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“Shit. Fuck. Goddammit.” Skye sat with her forehead pressed against the wall, trying (and failing) to take comfort in the coolness it radiated onto her feverish skin. With knees pressed against her chest and both arms wrapped around her body protectively, she cursed her inability to make smart decisions when it came to gorgeous men.

She’d really done it this time. There was no getting out of this mess she was in. She’d allowed her future to be compromised all because of one agent; one sleeper agent. An agent who she’d trusted with her life and her heart and who had betrayed everyone and everything she held dear.

A single tear slid down her cheek as she played through every memory she had of Grant Ward; from the truth serum to their small moments of downtime to the first time they’d kissed. Nowhere in her memory could she find one small hint that it had all been an act. That he’d just been playing them-playing her. Grant Ward deserved an Oscar for that performance because despite what her heart wanted to believe her mind knew it was all a lie; in spite of what his last words to her had been.

“I love you, Skye. No matter what happens after we leave this room, promise me you’ll remember that. I love you.”

Skye hiccupped out a small sob before laughing bitterly. She’d been stupid enough to believe that and to cling to that belief for days after he left. But days turned to weeks and the bodies had begun to pile up. She’d tried desperately to force Coulson into confessing that he’d sent Ward in as a mole but that hadn’t gone as well as she’d hoped.

“I’m sorry, Skye. I know how hard this is for you, he was your S.O. but…I didn’t send him undercover.” Phil rested his hand on her cheek as she cried silently, much like the night when he’d told her the truth about her past.

“But, he could be, right?” She managed to get out. “You said he was angry, maybe-”

“In a fit of anger he said he wanted to kill Garrett and Victoria knew that, which is why she allowed him to come along. But Skye, John Garrett is still-”

“I know.”

Garrett was alive and Victoria Hand and her guards were dead. He’d played them all for fools but when it came to Grant Ward she couldn’t see reason. The heart wanted what it wanted and her heart yearned for him.

“I’m sorry,” Phil whispered and not for the first time since Hydra’s reveal Skye found herself in A.C.’s arms crying over Grant Ward.

She couldn’t cling to the hope that wherever Ward was he loved her. Not anymore. It was time to get over her broken heart and move on-for everyone’s sake.

“Skye? I don’t mean to interrupt but you’ve been holed up in there for hours. There are six of us and only one toilet you know.” Jemma’s compassionate voice echoed through the small bathroom and Skye let out a sigh. No, she couldn’t hide in here forever. She reached over and unlocked the door before resting her head back against the cool tiles of the wall. She stared up at the ceiling from her spot on the counter as the door opened followed by two sets of footsteps: Jemma and May. She didn’t even have to look to know her usual babysitters were the ones who’d come for her.

The plane was docked in a secret underground S.H.I.E.L.D. location, somewhere in Canada, which meant it was safe, for now. Fitz was hiding up in his lab, Trip was beating the crap out of a punching bag like he did most days, and good ol’ A.C. was gone. He’d left them three days ago to have secret meetings with Commander Hill, Director Fury, the good Captain and his new sidekick, and Mr. Tony Stark himself. Only Coulson would think reenacting the Avengers Initiative was the solution to getting S.H.I.E.L.D. to rise from the ashes.

“Skye, do you want to talk about it?”

“Nope,” she answered. She ignored the quivering in her voice. She refused to cry one more tear for that bastard.

“Skye-”

“Is Blake dead?” She glanced over to find Jemma watching her guiltily. She glanced towards May, knowing she’d give her a real answer. “So?”

“He’s still in surgery. But the surveillance footage is in: it was Ward.”

Skye chuckled and shook her head. “We sure know how to pick them, don’t we?” May gave her one of her disapproving looks before exhaling. May had been far more patient with Skye’s little mood swings than Skye thought possible. She felt sorry for her, everyone felt sorry for her.

Poor little Skye, in love with a murderer.

Sure, they’d all assumed at first that she was upset because of her professional relationship with Ward but the women knew better. Simmons because she was Skye’s best friend and May-well…

“He loves you, you know.”

“Melinda May, I didn’t take you to be a liar.”

Skye was laid out on one of the practice mats after letting May kick her ass. Her heart wasn’t into training. Trip had offered but it felt weird, like she was replacing Ward, so she’d let May take her under her wing but her heart wasn’t in it today. She’d spent the night having terrible nightmares about Ward killing innocent agents and then proceeded to cry about it for hours. She was exhausted and sick to her stomach and what was the point? S.H.I.E.L.D. was gone, they could try to rebuild it all they wanted, but her faith was gone. Nothing mattered anymore.

“You know Ward and I…after the Berserker Staff we were both in a dark place. We were only together a handful of times but I knew he was only doing it to distract himself.” And to get close to his biggest threat, Skye thought angrily.

“Your point?”

“On the two occasions he stayed the night he called your name in his sleep.”

Skye toyed with a loose string on her shirt and shrugged.

“Could have been remembering orders to kill me,” she muttered. “It doesn’t mean anything. We all say stupid shit in our sleep.” Like she had when she’d begged for him while recovering from her shooting; a shooting his mentor was responsible for.

May sighed and a moment later her face came into view. Skye resisted the urge to roll her eyes and allowed May to help her to her feet. She turned to leave but May held her in place.

“When Lorelei had him under her spell he confessed to her that he loved you. Just because he’s Hydra doesn’t mean his feelings weren’t real. You have to stop beating yourself up for falling for him. Shit happens when you’re undercover; sometimes you feel things you never meant to.”

Skye wanted to believe her, so she could feel less like this was her fault. She should have known, she was closer to him than anyone, but she was distracted. She’d let her feelings get in the way, a mistake she’d never make again.

“He could have faked being under her spell, to have an excuse to kill us all. Did you ever think of that?” Skye’s voice was barely above a whisper. This was no angry retort meant to hurt May, it was the truth, and the look on May’s face told Skye everything she needed to know; May had thought the exact same thing.

Skye shook her head. “I appreciate it, May, but I’m done trying to make excuses. He played us all. And the next time I see him, one of us is going to end up dead.”

An hour ago she knew she could have pulled the trigger, but now…

Skye sighed.

She’d gone through all of the proper phases of her grief. She’d refused to believe the truth. She’d hidden herself away from the people who loved her. She’d lashed out by throwing herself into training as hard as she could, until she puked. Then had come the ‘what if’s’. What if she’d used her head and not her heart? What if she’d paid more attention? What if she’d done something that could have saved lives instead of allowing Grant Ward to keep playing them?

The moment the depression had set in was when the men on the team came to their senses. Maybe not Trip, he seemed to understand the root of her pain, but to his credit he’d never said a word. He was solid that way. Fitz had come around first, but only because she’d flat out told him.

“The stabilization was off. I just need to calibrate…there we go. I can’t believe I made such a rookie mistake,” he muttered while tinkering with a new version of the Icers.

Skye, in the process of testing the most recent model, immediately snapped in anger. “A rookie mistake is being stupid enough to fall in love with a psychopath.”

It’d been pretty hard for Fitz not to get it after that.

And A.C. …

Skye was surprised he was the last to catch on. Maybe it was because he was too much of a father to her and not enough of a boss. He didn’t see it because he didn’t want to. Seeing the truth meant reprimanding her for her poor judgment and not allowing her to have time to grieve.

But in true A.C. fashion he’d managed to stick to the fatherly role, which she’d needed at the time. He’d simply placed a hand on hers and told her a story about a woman he’d loved in Portland and how losing people we loved was a part of life and we couldn’t regret our choices because they made us who we are.

Apparently she was a naïve girl who was a glutton for punishment.

She’d accepted her fate days ago but now-well, now things weren’t as clean as she’d like them to be.

Skye had been ready to pull the trigger if that’s what it came to but now…

Jemma took Skye’s hand and Skye looked up into the worried eyes of her best friend.

“Skye, it’s okay, you can tell us.”

Skye rolled her eyes. Of course Jemma would have caught on. She caught on to everything. She wondered how long she’d known when Skye had only discovered it herself twenty minutes ago while she’d stood in this very bathroom, clutching on to the hope that this was all a mistake for dear life.

But like every other aspect of her life, there was no happily ever after in this scenario.

Skye unclenched her fist, revealing the item she’d held so tightly in the palm of her hand that it was now bleeding. A small gasp escaped Jemma’s lips as May stared down, only a brief flicker of shock registering on her face. Skye focused on May, needing her to be her anchor. If she looked at Jemma she knew she’d find her best friend crying and then she would cry and Skye was done crying.

“So,” Skye began as she tossed her positive pregnancy test onto the counter, “which one of you is going to be the first to congratulate me on my complete and utter lack of judgment?”

Chapter Text

Ward stood apart from the group, too shell-shocked to register anything going on around him. He’d been so sure of his choices. The greater good came first. Garrett had taught him that. He’d agreed to join Coulson’s team on his orders. Come in, get close, find out how Coulson was alive, report back. What he hadn’t counted on was Coulson’s decision to recruit Skye. She’d been a wrench in his plans, an unknown, so he’d gotten close to her to figure her out.

He never could have imagined he’d fall in love in the process. Ward didn’t do love, it wasn’t his style, but somehow his sunshine rookie had crept underneath his skin and wormed her way into her heart. He truly believed he’d killed the right man when he’d shot Thomas Nash. He was a threat and he refused to allow Skye to be in danger again. Nearly losing Skye had broken him. He was no longer the Hydra sleeper agent firmly grasping to his beliefs.

No, he was a man compromised by a tiny girl who acted before thinking things through and who drove him mad.

And what was even worse was the one man he’d always looked up to, the person who had saved him, was the one responsible. He’d shot the wrong man. Garrett was the Clairvoyant and Ward’s loyalties were on the fringe. How could he continue to believe in everything he’d been forced fed as a young man when he’d found a home in Skye and a real family in the team?

Ward had begun this all as a mission but along the way he’d grown to love the team and now he wasn’t sure where his loyalties stood.

He stepped out of the room, knowing he wasn’t needed. Coulson and Hand were busy contacting other higher-ups and he couldn’t be around the team, especially not Trip. Trip had no clue the monster their S.O. was and he wasn’t sure he could look him in eye without betraying his secret.

Grant felt sick to his stomach.

What in the hell had he gotten himself into?

He’d been so convinced that S.H.I.E.L.D. was the bad guy but Coulson had shown him that they really did exist to help people. When had Hydra ever done anything but destroy lives? They’d taken him in when he was at his most vulnerable and warped him into their own little trained assassin.

Ward punched a wall and ignored the stinging in his hand.

Given another chance Garrett would try to make an attempt on Skye’s life and Ward wasn’t sure of much anymore, but he knew he had to keep her safe. She was off-limits. Ward would kill the man who was like a father to him if he even tried to harm another hair on her head.

His loyalty wasn’t to Hydra anymore and it wasn’t to S.H.I.E.L.D.: it was to the girl who wore flannel t-shirts and called him names and who’d taught him how to love.

Ward found himself in the janitor’s closet where he’d shared his first and possibly last kiss with Skye, needing somewhere familiar to collect his thoughts. He had a decision to make; tell Coulson the truth and face his punishment or return to Hydra to be the good little soldier he’d been trained to be.

He couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from Skye but the thought of lying to her…

“Grant?”

She only called him that when she was worried. Skye stood in the doorway, illuminated by the hallway lights like his very own guardian angel, and watched him with concern etched onto her features. She’d given him his space after Garrett’s arrest, but he didn’t want it.

He only wanted her.

On pure impulse Ward grabbed her firmly by the waist and crushed his lips to hers desperately. She was the only thing he was sure of-his anchor. He needed her just as much as he needed air. She returned the kiss as the door clicked closed behind her, leaving them in semi-darkness.

“Ward-” she whispered, trying to break free of his grasp. “We should talk about-”

He cut her off with another kiss. It was gentler this time and he pulled her against his chest. “Please,” he whispered as his hands moved to cup her face, not wanting to talk. He wasn’t one for conversation to begin with but he had no clue how to have the one they needed to have. He was a man of action. “I just…” He pulled away and stared down into her eyes. “I just need to be human for a moment. Let me be human with you.”

Skye stared up at him, dumfounded. He knew she was hurting as well. S.H.I.E.L.D. was her family and now it was gone. She was a nurturer, always there to comfort everyone else, and right now he knew they could find comfort in one another.

A moment later she reached up and grabbed his vest the same way she had earlier and pulled him down to her level. Their lips met and he lost himself in her.

This was not the way he wanted to make love to her for the first time; in a janitor closet, against the wall, with most of their clothing still on as they grasped one another franticly. It didn’t even occur to him to make it romantic. The moment he tugged her pants off far enough to thrust into her he did so with abandon.

His lips assaulted her neck as he fucked her. Her fingers dug into his shoulder blades as she barked out commands.

Faster.

Harder.

Please.

She begged him to let her come and he couldn’t deny her anything. He slipped his hand between their bodies and pressed his thumb against the spot she needed him most. She cried out his name and he was glad they were in such a spacious room in a large building. No one would come barging in, interrupting.

Afterward he held her pressed against the wall while his lips trailed along her temple. He wasn’t ready to leave her, not yet-not ever, but he knew now what he had to do. Hydra would keep coming for her; to get to Coulson, to get to S.H.I.E.L.D., to get to him. She was in danger from all angles and the only way to truly keep her safe would be to be on the inside. An agent turned spy turning on the very organization he’d defected to in the first place.

He would keep her safe by infiltrating Hydra. Thwart their plans. Make sure to keep her out of harm’s way by knowing the threats before they happened and stopping them. He knew he’d be breaking her heart and his own in the process but if it meant she got to survive he was willing to make that sacrifice.

But he couldn’t do so without telling her how he felt. She had the right to know that much. It was the only truth he could give her and he owed her the truth, even if it was only a fraction of it.

“I love you, Skye,” he whispered as he gazed down at her. Her entire face showed her surprise as she stared up at him, dumbfounded. He cupped her chin in his hands and lowered his voice. “No matter what happens after we leave this room, promise me you’ll remember that.” He wasn’t sure he’d see her again after tonight. Hell, he hoped he didn’t; it would mean she was safe, but he wanted her to know, deep down, everything he did was for her.

“Grant-”

“I love you,” he repeated before pressing one final, tender kiss to her lips. He released her and before she could stop him he left the room, a plan already in mind.

Ward wasn’t a wishing man but if he could wish his way back in time to fix things he would. It’d been weeks since he’d left the team and killed three agents in the process. The guilt was bad enough but missing Skye was the worst. Even if he could escape Hydra they could never be together. He’d done too much damage. But the desire to go back and be with her never left him. He wanted to do things right, to love her the way she deserved, but there was no going back.

Ward tuned out as Garrett went on and on, telling another one of his stories. Stories Ward had once found amusing but now they only highlighted how twisted his mentor really was.

“Ward? Did you hear me?”

He blinked and focused on Garrett.

“Of course, sir.”

“And here I thought you were still hung up on the girl, it’s about time you got over her.”

Ward suddenly went on alert. Was Skye in danger? Dammit, he should have been paying attention. He kept his panic at bay and simply shrugged.

“I told you, momentary flirtation, sir.”

“Good, I wouldn’t want you compromised, kid. Though, I gotta say, if I found out a chick I’d been banging was some sort of alien mutant I’d be a lot more freaked out than you are.”

A-Ward blinked. A what?

“Alien?”

Garrett shrugged.

“0-8-4, whatever you want to call it. Doc got the results on that blood Coulson’s scientist submitted for testing. Whatever your girl is, she ain’t all human.”

Ward’s heart pounded heavily in his chest. Small puzzle pieces began to form a picture. He knew she’d been moved around by S.H.I.E.L.D. after her parent’s deaths but he never bothered to find out why. Her file was thin compared to the rest of the team. She’d erased her past and now he knew why.

And if she was an 0-8-4…

That meant Hydra wouldn’t be the only ones after her. Leviathan was a myth to most organizations, but they were real, and they were rumored to go after gifted individuals, the way Centipede did.

Skye was in danger, and not just because of the people who loved her.

How in the hell was he supposed to keep her safe knowing Garrett wasn’t the only one who would go after her?

“Grant?”

He blinked and turned his focus back to Garrett.

With a shrug he pushed himself away from the wall. “What can I say, boss? She was killer in the sack, alien or not.” He did his best to sound indifferent and he wanted to vomit. Every lie that came out of his mouth made him hate himself even more. How had he ever bought into all of this crap? Even Garrett didn’t believe, he just enjoyed being on the winning team.

“Good, so you won’t have a problem helping the task team bring her in?”

“Of course not, it might be fun,” he teased.

Garrett grinned. “You can have her after Doc’s done with her. She can be your reward for finally ridding me of that pain in the ass Victoria Hand. Talk about wild in the sack.” Ward tried not to flinch. He’d taken plenty of lives, people who deserved it, but Victoria Hand and his fellow agents on that plane would forever haunt him. He only thought about them when he wanted to hate himself more than he already did.

Ward took a seat and set his gun on the table, out of his reach. The urge to kill Garrett was always there but he kept him alive simply because the devil he knew was far safer than whoever would take his place. Ward knew how to manipulate Garrett: he couldn’t risk Skye’s life because he wanted revenge.

He would keep playing the part because it was the only way he could keep her safe from Hydra. He’d figure out how to keep her safe from others eventually, but for now, playing buddy to Garrett was the best he could do.

“So, what’s the plan?”

Chapter Text

“So, when the two of you had sex was it like ‘I’m Agent Grant Ward and I’m going to get you pregnant’?” Skye did her best not to laugh but Triplett had the mannerisms down, right down to the macho façade.

Jemma ‘tsked’. “No, he’s more nasally than that,” she instructed. Trip tried again and it wasn’t nearly as funny the second time. “No, still not there, but close.”

“Come on guys, he’s not nasally,” Skye whispered as she stared down at the pillow in her lap. They’d been cracking jokes to try to cheer her since she broke the news. And while she appreciated it, she was now remembering the only time she’d been with Ward and couldn’t help but feel sad.

“Here we go, I found chocolate,” Fitz announced. She glanced up as he passed them out and smiled. Fitz had been so jealous of Trip since his arrival, but had really come around to liking him. She couldn’t blame him for his initial jealously; everyone who got to know Simmons fell in love with her, they couldn’t help it, and Trip wasn’t any different. Of course, she was the only one stupid enough to get involved with a team member.

No, not the only one.

“Where’s May?”

“She’s on a call with the boss.”

Skye lit up for a moment. “A.C.’s coming home?” He hadn’t called since leaving, so unless something bad had happened…

Fitz shrugged. “No clue, here, I brought you this, too.” Fitz handed her a bottle of vitamins and she smiled. Her friends were…

“Skye, what’s wrong?”

She shook her head and wiped at her eyes. “Nothing. Hormones.” They’d lost a big part of their family but they were still a family. Her child wasn’t going to have a father but she’d have the family Skye never had growing up. Call her an optimist but Skye considered that one for the ‘winning at parenting’ column.

“So, you never answered my ques-” Skye threw her candy wrapped at Trip. A blush crept up her neck, settling on her cheeks, but she refused to dignify his question with a response.

“Nah, I bet it was more like ‘I’m Agent Grant Ward. Be prepared to orgasm as I use only my right pinky’.” Skye covered her mouth as a very un-Skye giggle left her mouth.

Jemma’s eyebrows rose and she opened her mouth like a fish before throwing herself onto the sofa. “Oh. My. God. Is that really all it took?” Her best friend knew her too well.

“You know what, I have somewhere to be-”

“Me, too. Trip and I were going to uh-”

“Icers.”

“Right. Icers.”

The girls rolled their eyes as they were left alone.

“Idiots. Boys love to tease but when it comes time to talk-”

“Forget about them, tell me everything.”

Skye sighed and shoved another piece of chocolate into her mouth. “You really want to tell you about how I fucked a Hydra agent in a janitor closet after I rigged an explosive to go off in the Hub to destroy the mainframe?”

Jemma’s eyes lit up. “There were explosives?” Skye glanced down with a smirk. Jemma was such a morbid little freak sometimes and she loved her.

“All right, fine, but I have to tell you about when I kissed him first…”

Her eyes hadn’t left him in she wasn’t even sure how long. The hurt on his face…Skye wanted nothing more than to take it away but she understood that a man like Grant Ward needed time to assess his feelings. He kept things bottled up, compartmentalized, he didn’t need his lovesick rookie trying to force him to talk about his feelings. He’d come to her when he was ready and until then she’d let him grieve in his own way.

She didn’t know what she would do if she discovered her mentor, the person she’d trusted with her training and her life, was a traitor. A traitor who had tried to kill members of his team. Who had almost killed her.

That betrayal had to cut deep and he could hide it all he wanted, she could see his pain and she wanted to take it from him.

“Someone should talk to him,” Jemma whispered as Ward left the room. Skye wanted to give him his space but if she didn’t go after him someone else would and she was best equipped to handle him. It couldn’t hurt to make sure he didn’t do something stupid either. She’d seen what May had done to Quinn: she couldn’t even begin to imagine what Ward wanted to do to Garrett.

“I’ll do it,” Skye whispered She gave Jemma’s hand a squeeze before leaving the team. She paused in the doorway as Ward led out a loud curse. She flinched as he punched the wall and hesitated for a moment before following him into the janitor’s closet. She wasn’t going to let him hurt himself if that was what he intended to do. She didn’t understand his anger, but she knew it wasn’t all him. He’d been brainwashed twice since they’d met into becoming a rage filled killing machine and she knew that he would never fully recover from those invasions. All she could do was to be there for him and help him try to move past it.

“Grant?”

Skye stood in the doorway, not bothering to hide her worry. Up close she could see how bloody and battered he was from his fight and she wanted to go to him and kiss him and make it all better. Seeing him in pain hurt her and she supposed that was what being in love with someone felt like. She’d known how she felt for weeks but she also knew Ward had to come around on his own time and she was a patient woman. It seems all it took was a near-death to make him realize his feelings.

Stupid, Grant, she thought.

He watched her for a brief moment before taking two long strides toward her and pulling her into his arms. His kiss was hot and desperate and fueled by his anger. She returned it, knowing he probably needed it, plus she wasn’t going to pass up a chance to kiss him. Not now-not when she was reminded of how fragile life could be. It could be ripped from you in a moment and she didn’t want to miss anything, not with him.

Skye pulled away reluctantly, wanting to comfort him. “Grant, we should talk-” He pressed his lips to hers again and this kiss was different than the other two they’d shared. It was soft and he drew her against his chest, so closely she could feel his heart beating beneath his vest.

“Please,” he whispered as their lips broke apart. “I just…” Skye stared up at him. He was so lost and hurt and she couldn’t bear to see him this way. It hurt too much. “I just need to be human for a moment. Let me be human with you.”

Skye blinked, completely taken aback. She was so used to him hiding his feelings so to have him be so…she sighed and reached up to grab his vest. They met in a kiss and she found herself lost. She didn’t want to go another day without being with him. What was the point in risking their lives day after day if they didn’t bother to live when they had the chance?

There was nothing sweet about the way Grant Ward fucked. They were in a goddamn storage room for crying out loud. It was raw and passionate and fast and against the wall but damn was it good. She didn’t even care if they were caught; she never wanted him to stop.

She sunk her teeth into his shoulder as he obeyed her orders like the good agent he was. It didn’t do much to muffle her moans as his magical fingers brought her to orgasm twice. She knew he was holding back and she begged him not to. She was a big girl, she could take it.

And once again he complied, lifting her hands above her head and pinning them against the wall as he gave them both what they needed.

Skye wasn’t sure how they’d gone from kissing furiously in the aftermath of passion to both being clothed and cuddling against the same wall they’d just fucked against but she liked it. His lips brushed along her temple and she sighed happily. The world had gone to shit but this made her happy to be alive.

Ward pulled away and she glanced up to meet his eyes. She gave him a small smile. His affection for her was written all over his face and it made her stomach do little flips. She was sure her face gave her away as well. They were quite the obvious pair.

“I love you, Skye.” She stared up at him, stunned. She knew how he felt, how could she not, but to hear him say the words? “No matter what happens after we leave this room, promise me you’ll remember that.” Fear coursed through her. What was he getting at?

“Grant-”

“I love you.” Ward pressed his lips to hers once more and the finality of it left her frozen in place. The moment the door clicked closed she realized he was gone and she hadn’t even had a chance to tell him she loved him too.

Fingers brushed across her forehead and Skye crunched her nose in protest of being woken. She knew she’d fallen asleep on the couch after having her girl time with Jemma. Someone, most likely Jemma, had covered her with a quilt. She blinked and opened one eye to find her head was in May’s lap. She closed her eyes again, hair playing being one of her weaknesses. Of course, this was May and a moment later something cold and wet touched her forehead and she frowned.

“You’re running a fever, this will help.”

“It’s cold,” Skye complained as she sat up and loosened her shirt from her body. It was wet and clung to her and she realized she did indeed have a fever. Must be why she’d fallen asleep here instead of forcing herself to go to her pod. Great, as if morning sickness and a broken heart weren’t bad enough now she was coming down with a virus too.

May gave her one of her classic May looks and Skye sighed and laid back down like a scolded child. She’d once called Coulson and May mom and dad and as each day passed it was becoming truer. She and A.C. had always had a bond but now so did she and May and it was nice.

“Were you having nightmares?” May asked after a moment and Skye sat up once more.

“What?”

Sure, she’d had a few while recovering from her shooting but she didn’t think anyone knew about those. She knew Simmons knew about the ones she’d had after Ward’s betrayal; she’d snuggled with her more nights than she could count, both needing to not be alone with their grief.

“You were crying in your sleep.”

Of course she was. She’d spent hours pretending that she was recounting a love story to her friend and ignoring the pain in her heart  only to have her dreams torment her with what she’d lost. “Just a bad dream,” Skye whispered.

“There are always bad dreams in this job,” May whispered. Skye glanced up and they exchanged a knowing glance before Skye sat up, alert. She’d heard a noise coming from the cargo bay.

A teasing voice she’d know anywhere filled the air. “Kids, papa’s home!”

Skye scrambled to her feet and the moment Phil appeared in the common room her arms were already around him. “I guess someone missed me.” Skye tried not to cry. She always missed him. A.C. was her rock. He’d been the first to believe in her and he’d given her a real family. As far as she was concerned he was papa.

“We all missed you.”

Skye pulled away and stood between her two parental figures awkwardly. Coulson still didn’t trust May and May was so clearly not a traitor. She loved Coulson as much as the rest of them did plus Fury had confirmed her story. But Skye understood that it was hard to forgive someone after a betrayal. She hoped they made up for good soon because she really didn’t like it when mom and dad fought; none of the kids did.

Coulson gave May a small smile and Skye felt so relieved she began to cry.

“Skye?” He tried to place a hand on her shoulder but she brushed him off. It was the damn hormones, one minute she’d be fine and then the next she would catapult into an extreme emotion.

“Phil, you should sit down, a lot has happened since you’ve been gone.”

“I’ve been gone for four days and you’ve all been hidden underground, what in the world could have-” May cut him off with a look as Skye covered her face with her hands, embarrassed but still crying.

“Give her a moment,” May whispered.

Phil moved closer to May and in a hushed whisper that Skye could hear whispered, “Did he contact her? Because if he did-”

“Why do you always assume it has to do with him when she’s up-”

“What else is going to send her into a fit-”

“I’m pregnant!” Skye cried out in an outburst. She appreciated his concerned father reaction but she didn’t deserve his pity. She’d brought this on herself and while she’d been upset at first she’d come to accept it was what it was. She was going to have a baby and she was going to love that baby with everything she had, despite who its father was.

They all stood in silence, Coulson’s shock evident on his features. After a few tense, awkward moments she wiped her eyes angrily and crossed her arms. “I made a mi-I made a decision and now there are consequences.” It wasn’t a mistake. Her child wasn’t a mistake. She’d been made in a moment of weakness with a man Skye would probably never stop loving. The only mistake was that fate was cruel.

Phil took a step towards her and she shrunk back, not sure she could handle his disappointment. She was twenty-six years old, she was supposed to know better. She wasn’t supposed to fuck her supervising officer in a janitor closet without bothering to use a condom. And seeing as she wasn’t exactly having sex on a regular basis and it was damn near impossible to have time to refill a prescription in their line of work she hadn’t bothered with the pill in months.

She was disappointed in herself. This shouldn’t have happened like this. She knew better and this was her fault and she was the one who would have to pay for it.

“Ward?” He asked and she nodded, miraculously finding the courage not to cry. Coulson reached out before pulling back, thinking better of it. “Did he hurt you?”

Skye stared at him in confusion before the meaning of his question dawned on her. “No! Of course not, he woul-” Well, she didn’t know what he would or wouldn’t do. “No,” she insisted. “It was-” Skye wasn’t sure she wanted to tell A.C. about her sex life so she simply said: “It happened once. I’m sorry.”

“For what? Being human?” Ward’s voice played in her mind.

“I just need to be human for a moment. Let me be human with you.”

Skye shrugged it off. Knowing what she did now about him…

She rubbed her arms as if it would erase the memory of his touch.

Coulson wrapped one arm around her and led her toward the kitchen.

“Well, we’ll be going to the doctor first thing…”

That was A.C. for you, always surprising you.

No judgment. No disappoint. Not even a shred. Just pure love and complete support. Her rock.

Sure, she’d like to go back, to before they’d made such a mess of things. But she also didn’t. Her child was never going to meet her father. Skye wasn’t sure what she’d tell her. Could she lie? Tell her the truth? That she’d fallen in love with a monster? No, it was too painful. A lie would probably be best.

Your father died a hero in the battle for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s soul, she’d tell her. Her child would never have to carry that burden. Instead she would grow up with the family Skye had never had. The team would always be here. They were her real family. In time, the pain would go away. Her love would fade. The sting of his betrayal would cease and she’d still have her people. The ones she trusted. Who hadn’t turned their backs.

Who in the hell needed Grant Ward anyway?

Chapter Text

“You sunk my battleship.”

Skye glanced over the pages of her book to find Jemma and Antoine sitting where she and Ward had sat nearly a year ago playing the game she couldn’t bring herself to play anymore. Or any board games for that matter. That was something she and Ward had shared and done in their alone time. She was in the ‘everything that reminds me of Ward is bad’ stage of pregnancy; but she did have to admit, Jemma was an adorably sore winner.

She felt a hand squeeze her shoulder and she glanced up to find Fitz grinning down at her. “I have a present for you.” Skye tossed her book about what she should be expecting aside and stood excitedly. She loved presents.

“Does this present involve Americone Dream?”

Fitz laughed as she followed him up to the lab. She hopped onto a stool as Fitz began tinkering with a machine. They’d been isolated for months; going from secret underground location to secret underground location, surviving on the necessities but Fitz always managed to scrape together enough material to keep making new things. She wondered what this new trinket would do.

“Is this why you’ve been hiding?” Fitz was usually at Jemma’s side but when he was in the zone he rarely left the lab. The S.H.I.E.L.D. hideout they were currently holed up in had its own lab and living quarters but the team preferred the bus. Besides, with so many displaced agents needing a safe place to come together, they would feel bad taking up beds when they had a perfectly good place to sleep.

Fitz grinned in that childish way of his before calling for Jemma.

“What is it, Fitz?” She asked as she entered the lab followed by Trip.

“What is that, little dude?”

“Behold a homemade ultrasound.”

Jemma covered her mouth with her hands before squealing in excitement and Skye felt her eyes well up with tears. It wasn’t safe for them to be out of temporary headquarters and with the S.H.I.E.L.D. doctors and Jemma around Skye felt confident the baby was healthy but she hadn’t actually gotten to see it yet. That was a luxury they couldn’t afford and it wasn’t as if S.H.I.E.L.D. had a reason to keep ultrasound machines around. Most agents were out once a pregnancy was involved, but this was a new S.H.I.E.L.D.

Skye couldn’t go to see a normal doctor. Being out would mean being a target. There would be a paper trail; medical records, receipts, etc. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to know what he would do if he ever found out. Anything Skye could do to keep their baby off record she would. This was going to be another S.H.I.E.L.D. secret, just like she’d been.

Skye threw her arms around Fitz and pressed a kiss to his cheek.

“Fitz, I don’t know what to say.”

Fitz blushed and gave her a shrug. “Don’t thank me, it was May’s idea.”

Three sets of eyebrows shot up. “May?” They said in unison.

Fitz shrugged. “I think our little specialist already has grandma May wrapped around her finger.” Skye wasn’t sure which made her laugh; the image of May as a grandmother or Fitz’s nickname for the baby.

“Well, maybe we should wait for them to come back,” Jemma said, referring to Coulson and May.

“They’re in New York, may not be back for days,” Trip said and Skye smirked. Uncle Antoine was worse than the others. Some specialist he was. He was a big ol’ softie. Any day now Skye expected to find him knitting baby booties. They were a group of trained specialist tasked with serving the world stuck hiding to survive. With nothing else to focus on, her family had come together for one common goal: keep Skye and the baby safe.

“We can just do it again when they come home,” Skye said, not wanting to wait. Fitz had gone through the trouble and they needed something happy to focus on. Trip had nearly been killed in a Hydra raid last week. Two more agents had gone missing. Three more had defected. Captain Rogers was on his own secret mission, nowhere to be found, and Fury was hiding out in England somewhere. Not to mention a security breach in an Argentinian S.H.I.E.L.D. lab had everyone on edge. There weren’t many safe havens left and if the ones they had were being breached…

“So, Fitzy, how does it work?”

Fitz began to explain and Skye tried to follow along but she was too excited. She grasped Jemma’s hand as an image popped up on the old TV set Fitz had converted into a screen.

“Is that an alien?” Trip asked, making a face. Skye swatted his arm.

“It is! Aww, Skye, it takes after you,” Jemma teased. Skye’s O-8-4 status was a joke amongst the team. Knowing the baby could very well not be human, she’d had to tell them, but of course they all thought it was ‘cool’.

“My baby is not an alien; it looks kind of human…ish.” She cocked her head to the side and studied it. No, definitely human. She’d expected to see the scary alien looking fetus she’d seen by searching Google. She was entering her second trimester and her tiny little alien was looking very much like a little person.

“How long until we know if it’s a boy or girl?” Skye asked, knowing it was a girl. She wasn’t sure how she knew, but she knew.

“Another few months, I’m afraid,” Jemma informed her.

Skye crossed her arm with a small pout as Jemma offered Skye her shoulder to lean on. “She is cute though.”

“Yes, she is,” her friend replied, humoring her.

“Have you thought of names? Is the baby also going to sport the single name like you,” Trip asked. He couldn’t let the no last name thing go and gave her a hard time about it whenever he could, as if she’d break and tell him.

Skye ignored him with a shrug. She’d erased her past for a reason. Skye was the name she’d given herself. She didn’t need a false identity that had been given to her to hide her. “I don’t know, maybe? Or Coulson-I think he’d like that. We all know she’s going to have her grandpa Coulson wrapped around her tiny finger. Oh! Lola Coulson. He’d weep with joy.”

“It could be Lola Fitzsimmons,” Jemma teased and Skye shook her head.

“You’re all idiots. We’re a long ways away from having to worry about-” Skye covered her mouth quickly and momentarily forgot where the bathroom was. Trip thrust a trashcan under her face and she gave him a nod of thanks before emptying the contents of her stomach.

Skye shoved the bin away and Fitz took it as Jemma wrapped both arms around Skye. She leaned into her with a sigh as Jemma rubbed her back gently. Between the morning sickness, the super sensitive nipples, and being horny all the damn time Skye was beginning to understand why the bastard who knocked you up needed to be around. Sure, the team could take care of her when she was sick, make sure she ate right, and be there for her emotionally but she really needed to have sex.

The real inconvenience of your kind-of-lover turning sides in a war after knocking you up in a janitor’s closet was that he wasn’t around to tend to your sexual needs.

“Come on, you should lie down,” Jemma insisted.

Skye shook her head. She couldn’t rest every time she got sick. She needed to keep up her strength. She was losing weight, not putting it on. She knew it happened sometimes but she also knew the stress wasn’t helping. Her clothes were baggier than usual and she was pale all the time and no matter how much make-up she put on the circles under her eyes wouldn’t go away.

“Just help me to the bathroom so I can brush my teeth. I haven’t been able to keep anything down today, but maybe they have some crackers or something in the kitchens.” They had their own small supply of food on board but nothing could settle her stomach. Skye had to try something, she refused to lie around being sickly all day, that’s why she spent most days in full hacker mode, doing whatever she could to help S.H.I.E.L.D. stay hidden while rebuilding or continuing a light training regime with May. Being landlocked and pregnant was no excuse for turning into a frail little thing who forgot how to defend herself.

“You’re so stubborn,” Jemma muttered while helping her anyway. They left the boys on the boat and left the underground carrier through a small hallway that led to the main compound. Skye hadn’t been here in days. Word of her situation had gotten around and there were only so many ‘poor girl’ looks she could handle.

“You know, I’m feeling better. In fact, I could really go for a cheeseburger and fries. Oh and a chocolate shake. You think we can bribe A.C. to bring real food back home the next time he calls?”

“Poor Skye, I can imagine the bland cafeteria style rations we’re given aren’t ideal for pregnancy cravings.”

She shrugged. “It’s not that bad; May always manages to bring back ice cream. Not sure I can ask for much more.”

Jemma gave her hand a squeeze. “Oh, Skye, I don’t know if I could be as optimistic as you are if I found myself in your situation.”

“Of course not, you’d be even more so.”

“Oh, there’s Doctor Warren, I’ve been meaning to ask her if she’d looked over those blood reports. I want to make sure the drug that saved your life won’t have any adverse side effects on the baby. She’s really far more equipped to run that type of blood work than I am. Do you mind if I-”

“You’re trying to keep my unborn child alive, how dare you leave me to find food on my own?” Skye replied sarcastically. “Go, I’ll bring you back whatever I can scrounge up.”

Jemma rolled her eyes and Skye waved her off as she turned the corner and moved into another hallway with a sigh. A cheeseburger, fries, a milkshake, and sex were the top four things on her bucket list. What an exciting life she led.

Two agents ran past her, nearly knocking her over in the process. She called out a curse in their direction when two more came after them. Panic filled her chest as she realized something was wrong. She pushed past a crowd that had huddled around a security feed and what she saw made her heart drop to the pit of her stomach.

Without another thought she turned and ran back to where she’d last seen Simmons. They had to get out of here, now. May had taught Skye to fly the bus in case of this very situation. Every team had their own escape plan and that was theirs. The alarm system kicked in but it was too late, Hydra was already in the building. Gunfire rang in her ears and she tried desperately to remember where in the hell the scientists kept themselves holed up.

A set of brute arms grabbed her but unfortunately for them she’d been training with The Cavalry and even pregnant she could defend herself. Skye elbowed her attacker in the face before reaching for the Icer she kept on hand at all times, for events like this. She shot him once then twice, until he was on the floor and pocketed a handgun he had on his person before kicking away his rifle. The next time one of these Hydra bastards came after her she’d be firing real bullets.

Skye fired off three more rounds from the Icer, taking down another agent before being pulled into a nearby room. She turned, wondering who’d gotten her out of harm’s way when her entire body went cold.

You,” she hissed, surprised she hadn’t knocked him out with the butt of her gun instead. It was incredibly stupid but she threw a punch. She didn’t know how the anger that possessed her beat out her desire to get the hell out of here and live but he deflected her blow and pulled her against him as if she were nothing more than a rag doll.

“Stop fighting, you can’t overpower me.”

“I will not,” she struggled against him, refusing to be manhandled like this. If he was here to kill her, then he would have to do it like a man; face-to-face with his gun pointed between her eyes.

“I’m not here to hurt you, see,” he said as he threw his gun down and released her. Grant held both hands in the air and she stared him down furiously.

“Of course not, Hydra is just here to kidnap me and turn me into their lab monkey,” she spat. “I’d rather die than let that happen.” They’d come for her once before but the team had already been long gone. They’d discovered another group similar to Centipede, Leviathan, were the ones who had killed her parents, and had been on the run from them when Hydra tried to interfere. They’d gained access to her lab results from Simmons’ blood work and now everyone knew she was some sort of mutant who was immune to the adverse side effects of alien technology.

Skye really wished whatever secret alien or mutant powers she had would activate already, they would come in useful right about now.

Grant Ward had the audacity to look ashamed. Skye threw another punch and this time he let her take it. She pulled her stinging hand back from his face and smiled. That had felt just as good as she’d imagined all this time. She wanted to do it again, but her pregnancy riddled brain had other things in mind.

“How could you? I trusted you and you betrayed me for the same people who are trying to kill me. I don’t care what lies you’ve been fed, I’d rather die than be taken to some lab somewhere and experimented on so if you ever felt anything for me, even a shred, shoot me now. I won’t go willingly. I’ll shoot myself if I have to.”

There were no tears. No anger. No pleading. Her baby was not going to wind up in their hands, she’d rather they both die.

“Skye, I told you-”

“Lies. Everything was a lie.”

“No,” he whispered darkly, meeting her eyes. “Remember,” he pleaded.

“Oh, I remember all of it. You put on quite the show, Agent Ward.”

Skye raised her gun, the real one. She knew she could pull the trigger. It was him or her and if he made a single move toward her, she’d shoot. And then she’d shoot every Hydra agent she could once she left this room. She was going to go down fighting. She would not allow them to take her. Skye was a lot of things but she refused to be a victim.

“You’ve forgotten.” He stared at her with that pathetic puppy gaze of his and her finger trembled against the trigger.

“No, I just don’t believe it,” she whispered, knowing he’d only told her he loved her so he could use it to manipulate her later.

“Shoot me,” he whispered, defeated.

What in the hell kind of game was he playing?

Skye hesitated for a brief moment, not sure she could shoot an unarmed man. Her hesitation was a mistake, it gave him enough of a window to disarm her. Grant pulled her against him and she tried to shove him away the moment her body could only focus on how firm he still was.

“I meant every word,” he growled before pressing his lips against hers. She pushed against him, angry that he was still stronger than she was and even angrier that her body wanted to kiss him back. She almost did until the severity of the situation played through her mind.

Skye bit his lip, distracting him in the process. She reached for the gun but he pressed it into her hand with the barrel pointed at his stomach, the same place she’d been shot months ago.

“Do it. Pull the trigger.”

“Guilty conscience?” She spat. She wasn’t going to kill him because he wanted a way out.

“They’re here for you, Skye. You have to shoot me,” he insisted.

“Oh my God…” Skye whispered as she searched his face. Those familiar hopes returned but she couldn’t listen to her heart. Ward was playing her, trying to stall for time until his back-up got here to retrieve her. The gun fire was still far away, she could still get out of this if she made a run for it now.

“I told you to remember…you and me-that wasn’t a lie.”

The gun shook in her unsteady hand. Tears filled her eyes and she shook her head. No, he was trying to confuse her. Even if he did really love her he was a murderer. Psychopaths could fall in love; it didn’t make it romantic or safe for the object of their obsession.

An explosion sounded and she jumped.

“Goddammit, Skye! Just pull the trigger.”

“I’m not going to kill you!” She yelled, knowing she couldn’t kill a man unless she absolutely had to.

“I said shoot me, not kill me. Now, before they figure out I hid you.”

She met his eyes as she wrapped her hand around the gun.

“Just because I’m with them doesn’t mean I’m going to let them hurt you again,” he whispered and Skye made up her mind.

Skye raised her gun and fired two rounds right into his heart.

Chapter Text

“About time you came back for me.”

Ward did his best not to roll his eyes as Raina all but dry humped Garrett. Her blind love and loyalty disgusted him. Just as much as his disgusted him now. Of course, he didn’t go as far as sleeping with Garrett, so that was something at least.

“Did you have to bring sour face? I think he’s still mad that his girlfriend shot him.”

Ward’s hand instinctively went for the scar over his heart but he stopped himself, too trained to betray his cover. Skye had indeed shot him; twice, right in the heart, which seemed only fitting. He’d been wearing his vest at the time but she’d used the Icer, which hurt like a bitch normally on top of knocking you out, but Fitz had made adjustments. They were stronger than they had been when he’d left the team and it had left him with a small scar; a reminder that she still loved him.

She could have killed him. She could have turned him in. Instead she’d given him a way to continue his cover. Garrett had found Ward unconscious and been far too amused by the situation to really question how a tiny rookie could have escaped him.

In Garrett’s world women existed for two reasons: to fuck and to manipulate, something Ward was only now catching onto.

“Don’t mind him; he just needs to get laid.”

Ward rolled his eyes. His sex life was not up for discussion.

“Maybe I can help with that-” Raina began as she reached for him. Ward pulled away from her and moved to the window, really not in the mood for her shit. She was always trying to fuck someone and when Garrett wasn’t around, Ward was usually her object of affection.

“Now, baby, you know that’s not your job.”

Ward closed his eyes and tried to block out the sounds of his mentor the psychopath making out with his manipulated girlfriend the psychopath. When the fuck had this become his life?

“Sir, we’re here for a reason,” Ward reminded him, wishing he’d just killed Raina in the explosion he’d used in the Fridge to break her out. It would have easily been explained and Garret would find some other young, willing thing to blindly do his dirty work.

Ward wanted no part in Garrett’s plans; didn’t want any of this. This wasn’t what he’d signed up for. When he’d been recruited for Hydra he’d been a stupid kid, needing a way out after his younger brother’s death; to escape his guilt for failing to protect him. He’d been young and stupid and vulnerable enough to swear to a death oath at the tender age of twenty. Garret had been smart, recruiting his broken student right from the Academy; and that what he was-broken.

The only glue that could piece him back together was out of his reach.

“He’s right, baby. We can be alone later. Now, we’re going to need you to work some of your magic, we need Operation Deathlok to grow-”

Ward closed his eyes and blocked them out, having heard the plans dozens of times already; besides, there were better uses for his time and thoughts: Skye. It would always be Skye.

Ward was chosen to apprehend her, after all, they had a personal relationship, and it would be easier. In Garrett’s mind, Skye would fall prey to Grant’s charms. The moment they infiltrated the underground S.H.I.E.L.D. lair he made a run for the cargo bay. He knew her well enough to know she wouldn’t move off of the bus. He still hadn’t worked out what he would say to her or how he was going to cover up letting her get away, but he was a good liar; he’d think of something.

Grant turned a corner and froze. There she was, like a light at the end of the dark tunnel that was his life, and she was brilliant. He took a shot at one of the Hydra agents from behind without hesitation; he deserved it. He watched as Skye took down not one but two agents on her own and with physical force. Pride swelled in his chest. She hadn’t stopped training, good girl.

He slipped behind her and pulled her into the first room he could find. Luckily it was a closet, no need to clear it and make her see the monster he really was; not that she didn’t already suspect it.

You.” The tone in her voice hurt and he flinched. She hated him and he deserved it.

To his surprise she didn’t aim her gun, instead she threw a punch. Ward grabbed her before she could hurt herself. He’d gotten a good look at her and she looked…

Frail. Sick. Memories of her lying in that chamber filled his mind and he wondered if he was to blame. The alternative, that the drug they’d use to save her was now doing her harm was unacceptable. He refused to lose her. She’d get over her broken heart eventually but death was permanent.

Skye fought against him and he let out a sigh.

“Stop fighting, you can’t overpower me.”

“I will not,” she hissed, still fighting. Ward fought the urge to kiss her, knowing it would only piss her off, but the need was strong. She was stubborn and beautiful and he loved her. He didn’t know it was possible to love someone this much and somehow the more she fought the more he loved her.

His girl didn’t need him to protect her anymore but that didn’t mean he was going to stop.

He released her and dropped his gun. “I’m not here to hurt you, see?” He held both hands up. He knew he wasn’t at her mercy, he was a well-trained assassin, but he hoped the show of good faith would get her to listen to him. He needed to convince her make a run for it, which he wasn’t going to do manhandling her.

“Of course not, Hydra is just here to kidnap me and turn me into their lab monkey. I’d rather die than let that happen.”

Her words cut him deep. That was exactly what Hydra wanted. To study her. Discover her talent. Find out what it would take to make her break. To exploit her. He would die before he allowed them to lay a finger on her.

Skye railed off and threw another punch and he let her hit him this time. Maybe it would make her feel better to wail on him. He watched her flinch as she nursed her hand and he sighed. God, did he have to be in love with the world’s most stubborn woman? She had to have known punching him would hurt. She was just being an idiot now.

“Skye, I told you-” He began but she cut him off angrily.

“Lies. Everything was a lie!”

“No,” he whispered darkly, meeting her eyes. It may have started that way but with her, always with her, it was all real. “Remember,” he pleaded. He’d told her how he felt, laid out on the table for her. He needed her to understand-

“Oh, I remember all of it. You put on quite the show, Agent Ward.”

She raised her gun and he wondered if she hated him so much she didn’t believe he loved her. “You’ve forgotten.” How she felt. How he felt. He knew she knew the truth in her heart, she had to.

“No, I just don’t believe it.”

He deserved that. Words meant nothing; he’d have to show her, to remind her that she was everything, his whole world, the only thing that mattered to him.

“Shoot me,” he whispered. It would give her a way out of this and him an excuse for why she’d gotten away. She’d be safe and he could keep his cover.

Skye hesitated and in that moment he knew she hadn’t fully given up on him. He disarmed her, pulling her against his chest until she was in his arms. “I meant every word,” he whispered huskily before kissing her. It was the only way for her to know how to he felt. He couldn’t tell her the truth, blow his cover, put her in danger, but she needed to know that he loved her. That despite what he was she was important. He loved her and the only way he knew how to express it was to show her.

She bit his lip, turning him on and surprising him at the same time. She went for the fun but he shoved it into her hands with the barrel pointed where he knew she’d miss anything vital.

“Do it. Pull the trigger.”

“Guilty conscience?”

“They’re here for you, Skye. You have to shoot me.”

He could see the wheels turning in her head. Was she putting it all together?

“Oh my God…”

“I told you to remember…you and me, that wasn’t a lie.”

I love you, just shoot me already, he thought.

She was crying now. Dammit, he hated when she cried. And the gun was shaking. Was he going to have to shoot himself with her gun? She jumped at the first loud noise they’d heard since coming in here and he snapped, knowing they were running out of time.

“Goddammit, Skye! Just pull the trigger!”

“I’m not going to kill you!”

Was she insane?

“I said shoot me, not kill me. Now, before they figure out I hid you.” They locked eyes and he gave her a small nod. “Just because I’m with them doesn’t mean I’m going to let the hurt you.”

Skye raised the gun and then everything went black.

He’d woken in a Hydra hospital; bleeding from where the Icer had hit him, twice, and battered, but alive. His mood had been foul ever since. Seeing Skye again had reopened everything he’d tried to set aside in order to keep her safe. He could never be with the woman he loved and he wanted to punch someone because of it.

And that someone was usually Garrett.

But Ward didn’t punch him. He kept playing along, turning a blind eye to the destruction around him. His ledger was bleeding red and even the love of his life wouldn’t be able to scrub it clean.

He continued to pursue leads he knew were false to keep up the appearance of tracking down Coulson’s team but Garrett was getting suspicious, he could sense it. He was spending more time alone with Raina, with his other men; leaving Ward out of meetings. He knew if he didn’t do something soon his cover would be blown.

So Ward tracked the team down for real. He wouldn’t attack directly; Garrett didn’t need to be led to their doorstep, so instead he arranged for it to happen during a prisoner transport. Garrett would see it was S.H.I.E.L.D. and he was trying. He even had surveillance photos of Coulson in the area as proof that they would be ‘closing in’.

They could go in, he’d be sure to take out some of Garrett’s men without being caught, and then…

Then what? Keep playing this game?

Grant ran a hand over his face and thought back to his first kiss with Skye. He’d been prepared to die until she’d shown him she could love him, knowing he was a killer. He hadn’t been able to look at her before leaving that room. He could have walked away then, taken her somewhere, started over. She’d compromised him and he’d chosen to save her and the team in that moment.

They would never want him back, he’d done too much damage, but he missed them; all of them, not just Skye. From his lab monkey Fitz to sweet Jemma and Coulson. He even missed May. And Trip was a part of the team; they could have been friends in another life.

Grant realized he was tired. Tired of pretending. Of looking the other way. The team had taught him that protecting people was the real way to achieve the greater good, that you could keep your soul intact. They’d healed him and he wanted to go home.

There was no home for him but perhaps he could see them one last time before paying for his crimes.

Skye didn’t need him to protect her anymore. He was a liability, coming up with plans to attack S.H.I.E.L.D. just to keep up appearances. This isn’t how she’d want to be kept safe. He needed to go home for her.

Mind made up Ward made the call to Garrett before he could change his mind.

“Boss? I’ve found them.”

“Is that a smile, Agent Ward?” Skye teased as she played a Budapest Gambit.

Ward hadn’t been able to hide his feelings since her shooting; everyone knew, what was the point? Everyone but Skye, it seemed. “Just not used to people being smarter than me,” he teased. Sure, Fitzsimmons were geniuses but he’d never expected her to be able to outwit him at every turn. They’d been playing chess for hours and she’d won every game using calculated moves he didn’t even knew existed.

She smirked and gave him a shrug. “What can I say, Jason Bourne, I’m good.”

Ward rolled his eyes. While her spy nicknames were better than when he’d just been a robot to her, he wished she’d just call him Grant every now and then.

“Your move.”

“Man, you are bad this,” she said, shaking her head.

“Maybe I’m letting the patient win,” he taunted and she threw one of his taken pieces at him. She looked better. Cheeks were pink, she was sleeping less, keeping food down, and her stiches could come out soon.

He was reminded once again that he’d almost lost her and he wished he could tell her how much she meant to him, but he knew he wasn’t good enough for her so he didn’t bother.

“What?” She asked with a blush and he realized he’d been staring.

“Nothing, you just don’t look horrible anymore.”

“You’re an ass.”

He didn’t look up when the door opened until he sensed her presence. He slowly raised his head until he was met with her conflicted stare. She looked good-better. She’d been wasting away the last time he’d seen her but she looked healthier. He wished he could believe it was because she believed in him but the look on her face told him otherwise.

He hated being the source of her pain, but that was why he was here, so he could stop.

He hadn’t even put up a fight, he’d come willingly. He was home.

“Grant,” she whispered with her arms crossed. He recognized the sweater she wore; it was one of his old S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy sweaters. It hung to her knees, covering every curve. He inhaled sharply, wishing he wasn’t in cuffs so he could hold her.

“Skye-” Trip entered the room and leaned against the wall with his arms crossed.

“What is he doing here?”

“A.C.’s orders,” Trip replied with a glare.

Skye rolled her eyes and leaned into him.

“There are cameras everywhere-”

Trip placed a hand on her lower back. “I don’t care; he could take you out before we could get to you. I’m not leaving.” They exchanged a look and Ward flared with jealousy. He had no right to be but he was. Was this why she was doing better? She’d moved on? Was that even his sweater? Maybe it’s was Trip’s. The thought of another man touching her triggered the assassin in him.

“I’m not going to kill her.”

“Look, man, you can either have me or Mama Bear. And trust me, she’d love nothing more than to kill you with her bare hands.”

Skye glanced toward one of the cameras with a sigh. “May,” she warned before turning back to Trip. Ward lifted an eyebrow. May was Mama Bear? What hell had he stumbled into? “Just…stay put.” Skye instructed Trip before moving to take the seat across from him. It occurred to Ward that this was the third time they’d sat across this same table with her interrogating him.

Somehow, no matter what the situation, he was always at her mercy.

“Skye…”

“Don’t. They’re sending Romanoff to interrogate you. I don’t want to hear any of your excuses or bullshit, Grant. I just want to know…” He could see her battling tears but his girl was tougher than she looked. “Why,” she whispered. He knew that her question was weighted with many ‘why’s’. Why had he joined Hydra? Betrayed the team? Abandoned her? He wanted to tell her everything, but not here, not with her new boyfriend watching.

“Please, just you and me and I’ll tell you every-”

“No.”

“You know I won’t hurt you, I let you shoot me for crying out loud!”

“Let’s talk about that,” she snapped. “You betrayed this team and then saved me. Why?”

His eyes moved to their guard before he whispered: “You know why.”

“I’m not going to play games with you.”

He reached across the table in his cuffs and she recoiled. Trip moved to action but she shook her head. It seemed Grant Ward wasn’t the only one wrapped around her finger. “Skye,” he whispered. “You know why. I told you no matter what happens, no matter what you believe-”

“Were you undercover?” She was crying now; big, fat tears, her voice shaking, and ears red. Whenever she cried from anger they went red. And she was angry; angry and betrayed and heart-broken and all because he hadn’t kept it in his pants. If he’d been able to resist her, she would have been better off.

“Just tell me you were doing this on orders, I’ll understand you couldn’t tell me-”

“No one ordered me to do anything.”

She deserved the truth.

A heart-wrenching sob escaped her chest and Trip rushed to her side. She shoved him off but he was persistent.

“This was a bad idea,” he hissed. “You should be resting-”

“I’m fine. I can handle this.”

“I know you can, but –” Skye shot him a death glare Ward had never seen before and it was terrifying.

Why would she need to be resting? Why was Trip hovering? May listening? May didn’t care about Skye, unless-

“Skye.” His voice broke as he recalled how ill she’d looked. Had the drug backfired? “You’re not sick are-”

“Don’t pretend to give a damn,” she snapped.

“Skye-”

“No! Stop telling me to remember. I want to hear you say it. I want to know why! I want to know everything. I deserve to know everything!”

“You need to calm-”

“ANTOINE I AM NOT IN THE MOOD FOR YOUR SHIT!” Skye rounded on him and pulled a gun from a holster. “If he tries anything, I will put him down like a dog, now go. And May, turn those damn mics off or so help me-”

“Not happening,” May’s voice rang through the room and Skye wiped at her eyes furiously.

“Trip, wait outside with the door partially open. Barton’s in position if he tries to escape and you can shoot the bastard if he tries to touch our girl.”

Our girl. Ward wanted to punch something. Trip gave Skye the ‘I’m going’ hand gesture before leaning in and pressing his lips to the top of her head. He whispered something Ward couldn’t catch but it seemed to calm her down. Trip. He wanted to punch Trip.

“Don’t hesitate to shoot him again if you have to, baby girl.” May. Ward blinked in confusion. Melinda May was not an affectionate woman. He would know, he’d slept with her for crying out loud, and not once had she shown an ounce of emotion. She was a robot, she was the job; who was this impostor ready to kill for a girl she couldn’t stand?

“Mics off,” Skye hissed.

“Since when is May this overprotective?”

“Things change, Ward.” She placed her gun on the table before pressing her hands on the table. “We’re alone, talk.”

“Sweetheart-”

“Don’t.”

“What do you want me to say? I’m not a good man, Skye, but I would die to protect you.” Her eye twitched but she kept a cold stare. So…May had taken to training her. It explained why she’d fought so well and why May suddenly cared. She was molding her to be the next Cavalry.

“So…you really are Hydra.”

“I was recruited, yes,” he answered evasively.

“You’re not answering my question.”

“Yes, I did.”

She huffed and he slowly reached for her. “Skye…please.” She stared at him stubbornly but allowed him to take her hand. He leaned in, knowing Coulson would probably shoot him for getting near his protégé but Ward didn’t care, it was worth is just to feel her skin against his palm. “I meant every word I said to you in that closet.

I’ve done bad things, things I need to be punished for but you…” He lifted her hand to his lips and the tears returned. “I love you and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you safe even if it means you hate me.” He was home; there was nothing left to hide anymore.

Then she slapped him.

He supposed he deserved that.

“You are a coward. If you wanted to keep me safe you would have stayed home, where you belonged, not gone running to Garrett with your tail between your legs. You were supposed to be here, with me. I need you. You didn’t just betrayal the team and S.H.I.E.L.D. but you betrayed me.” She shoved him and her chair away and stood. She was furious. He’d never seen any woman this angry. He didn’t even know she had it in her, something else she could hate him for.

He knew all of her accusations were true, he wasn’t going to deny it, but he would never hurt her. “I would think you’d have enough faith to know that I would never intentionally betray you,” he assured calmly, not wanting to set her off even more.

Skye began to shake with anger, tears flowing freely now. “But you did! You left! With cryptic messages to believe in you, well I don’t! You left me! I hate you! This is my family, you killed innocent people. I hope they-” A gasp escaped her lips as her arm quickly went around her middle, where she’d been shot. She winced, clearly in pain. He shot out of his chair, worry etched on every inch of his face, but Trip was already at her side.

“We’re getting you to the infirmary now.” His tone suggested he would not take any arguments. Skye nodded in agreement. The panic she exhibited scared the hell out of him?

“What’s wrong with her? What happened?”

“It’s none of your damn business,” Trip shot back.

“The hell it isn’t!”

He tried to follow but May was there, ready to put him down if necessary. Skye disappeared from his view and he kicked the wall angrily. “What the hell, May? I don’t care how much you hate me; just tell me she’s going to be okay.”

She glanced at him coldly. “No. She won’t be. She is never going to be okay. You have no idea what that girl has been through because of you. You ruined her life.”

“No, I-” The entire plane shook, throwing them both against the wall. Ward hit his head and groaned, knowing there were only so many blows he could take. Everyone quaked once more as the familiar sound of explosions sounded through his ears.

Grant’s blood went cold with fear; they’d found her.

Chapter Text

Skye stared numbly ahead knowing someone, Jemma, maybe, was speaking, but she wasn’t paying attention. She’d come face to face with the man she loved; the man who’d betrayed her and the team, the father of her child, and she’d shot him.

Skye lifted her gun and fired. Two rounds into his heart; once for each time he’d told her he loved her. Grant fell to the ground with a loud thud and she sobbed, closing her eyes so she wouldn’t have to look at his unconscious body.

She dropped her arms to her sides, letting the Icer in dangle between her fingers. She didn’t have the heart to kill him and while she had thought shooting him in the heart just to hurt him would make her feel better, it didn’t.

Skye didn’t know what to believe. The Grant Ward she knew and loved, the Big Damn Hero, that was the Grant she wanted to believe he was-not the Hydra sleeper agent. And no matter how much his words had gotten to her, how much she wanted to believe he’d been here to save her, she couldn’t take the risk.

She knelt beside him and ran her hand over his forehead. He was out cold. The combination of the Icer and the force of it hitting his Kevlar vest had done a number on him. There was blood on his shirt, but not enough that she was worried for his life.

The gunfire was getting closer; she had to make a break for it. She glanced up and couldn’t find a vent system to escape from; she’d have to go through the hallway.

In a momentary lapse of judgment, or maybe weakness, she leaned down and pressed her lips to his. “I’m really sorry, Grant, but this isn’t about you or me of loyalty anymore. If you’re really the man I fell in love with, you’ll forgive me.” If he was in deep cover, the agent she knew and trusted, he would still never know her secret and it killed her.

But if he was really Hydra, she could never take the risk.

Skye disarmed him, leaving him with her Icer for when he came to. Even if he was Hydra, she didn’t want him to die. She moved to the door and listened to make sure the coast was clear. Balancing one gun in each hand, she took one final look at him before opening the door and hoped for the best.

“Goodbye, Grant.”

“Skye, did you hear me?”

Skye blinked a few times before Jemma came into view. She couldn’t remember how she’d gotten here. She made a run for it, grabbing Jemma from the lab, before getting the bus the hell out of there with as many agents as they could get on board. Her entire body had been shaking, her emotions out of control, so Trip had been forced to take over piloting. They were somewhere in Iceland, at yet another S.H.I.E.L.D. base.

She didn’t want to know the death count, she was just glad as task team had been arriving back from a mission and been able to end things before it got too bloody and extract the agents who hadn’t found a way out.

“No, what?”

“We have to move out of this location tomorrow morning. It’s not secure.”

“Right.”

This was their live now; flee, hole up, death, flee, death, fight and flight, flee, more death.

Skye buried her face in her hands and began to sob. Jemma wrapped her arms around Skye’s shoulders and pressed a kiss to her temple. “Now, now, Skye, we’ll be fine, we just-”

“No, we won’t. I should just turn myself in, every time they hide me somewhere, agents die. Death follows me. It’s not going to stop. It’s not safe for me to be with S.H.I.E.L.D. or with any of you. I’m going to keep getting you all killed.”

“No, Skye, don’t be silly, this isn’t your fault. Hydra would still come after us, with or without you. They want to finish dismantling S.H.I.E.L.D. At least with you home we can keep the two of you safe.”

Skye appreciated her words, but it didn’t quell her fears. “Will she ever be truly safe? Her life is going to be hard enough without a father, but to have to live on the run, in hiding? And if they ever find out about her…” Skye sighed and blinked away tears. “I don’t know how we’re going to make this work.”

Jemma gave her hand a squeeze.

“It will take time but we will rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. We’ll be safe. Someday, she’ll have a real home. And no matter what happens, she has you and she has her family. No one is going to let any harm come to her and she is going to be loved. What more could you want for her?”

“Her dad,” Skye blurted out, not even caring how stupid her admission was. She missed Ward. He’d always made her feel safe even when he was angry with her. He’d risked his life numerous times to keep her safe. She knew, traitor or not, that he would die to protect her and their baby.

But Hydra Ward would not be a good father. Their child deserved better.

On the other hand, if he was doing this to protect her…

Skye buried her face in Jemma’s neck and cried some more.

“Oh, Skye…”

“I know, but-he saved my life, Jemma. Why would he do that if he doesn’t really love me?”

Jemma pulled away and took Skye’s hands in her own before meeting her eyes. “Just because he loves you doesn’t mean he-” She sighed. “Look, we all love Ward, but he chose his side. He’s killed people, Skye. I know you love him but it’s safer for her if he never knows she exists.”

“This is so unfair! Do you know how many agents we have that have turned sides? Who were former KGB or from terrorist organizations. People who have killed Americans! Innocent people! S.H.I.E.L.D.’s hands are just as dirty. Why is it okay for them to be given seconds chances and not him?”

“Because they wanted those second chances Skye. They paid their penance and have been working to be better. He has to want it, Skye. You can’t force him to redeem himself, only he can do that.”

“Maybe, if he knew-”

Jemma took Skye’s hands in hers and met her eyes. “Are you really willing to take that chance?”

Skye blinked and shook her head. Whatever hopes she had about where his loyalties stood and however much she loved him, she loved their baby more. She was willing to die for the team but she was willing to kill for her child. Giving up Ward was a sacrifice that had to be made. It was the best thing for the baby. She came first.

Skye hit the mat with a thud and groaned. Her entire body was sore, she thought after a few days of Agent Ward Boot Camp she would have adjusted, but nope. She was battered and bruised and everything ached and she still couldn’t overpower him, no matter how hard she tried.

“Come on, let’s take a break,” Ward said, holding out his hand.

She shook her head. “No, I’m fine, let’s keep going.”

“Don’t be silly, we’ve been at this for hours. Come on.” Skye reached for his hand and then kicked his feet out from under him instead. He fell to the floor and she threw her head back with a laugh.

“I finally got you.”

That had felt good. She glanced over, expecting him to be angry but he had a smile on his face.

“You should really smile more often, Grant.”

“Is that so?”

They stared at one another a moment too long and butterflies fluttered through her empty stomach. Ward reached out and brushed his fingers along her temple. Skye tried to speak but she lost the ability.

“Does it hurt?”

“What?”

“You’ve got a small cut-”

Skye sat up and touched the spot where his fingers had been. She hadn’t even noticed she’d gotten it and it didn’t hurt but she observed it for a moment just to have time to get over the way he’d made her feel a moment ago.

Falling for her S.O. was a bad idea. She tried to resist it but they spent their days throwing each other around. It was sexual, how was she not supposed to enjoy the tiny moments when he touched her?

“Skye?”

She toyed with her necklace and nodded. “I’m fine.”

“You sure? We can have Simmons look at it,” he whispered and she realized he was behind her. His fingers brushed her skin once more and she glanced back to find his face was dangerously close to hers.

“I um…” They both leaned in and before their lips could touch Jemma’s voice filled the air and they broke apart like oil and water.

“Everything okay?” Jemma looked between the two suspiciously as Skye pushed to her feet.

“I um…head,” she muttered, letting Jemma fuss over her. She glanced back to find Ward staring numbly at the punching bad and she wondered what was going through his head.

They’d never had a chance to talk about it. With A.C.’s torture and her shooting, they’d never really had the time. And then, of course, they’d finally had a chance to have that kiss and so much more, as the small bump hidden between his sweater could attest to.

Skye had taken to wearing his clothes out of necessity at first. She needed bigger shirts and they were comfy and they still smelled like him and soon she wore them every day. She hadn’t been able to throw his things out when Trip took over his room so she’d moved them all into hers. There wasn’t much, a few books, sundries, clothes, and two pictures: one from her file and a stupid picture they’d taken together that she thought she’d lost.

Oh, Grant, she’d thought when she found them. He’d always been closed off and she wished he’d chosen to open up to her before Hydra’s big coming out party. Maybe she could have saved him. Skye knew he loved her but with all of the lies, she couldn’t trust what that love meant.

“This is a bad idea, Phil, we don’t know if they sent him to get inside or not.”

“She wants to see him, Melinda; I’m not going to tell her what to do.”

“Mom, dad, still in the room,” Skye said, annoyed with them. She was a grown woman; she knew how to take care of herself. The moment she’d heard that Grant had been caught, she knew she needed to see him. And then he’d refused to talk unless he saw her first. She really didn’t see the issue, they both wanted to see the other.

“Skye, we don’t know why he allowed himself to be caught-”

“We don’t know-” She sighed. Phil was right. There was no way Grant hadn’t allowed it to happen. From what she heard he’d all but turned himself in. Waltzed right up, shot his fellow Hydra agents with her Icer gun and then let them shoot him.

She wanted to hear him tell her why. She wanted to believe he’d joined them to keep her safe, to keep the team safe, but he needed to tell her the truth, for once.

“She’s supposed to be on bed rest, stress isn’t good for the baby.” All of the moving around, the emotional toil of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s fall, of losing Grant, it had gotten to her. Jemma had ordered her back to her sick bed and hovered over her like the mother goose that she was.

“I told you I’ll be fine-”

“Fine? You were a complete mess until you found out he wasn’t hurt! What do you think is going to happen when you see him again?”

Jemma looked ready to cry. Skye knew she was worried, but she was fine. Yes, she’d broken down earlier, but only because the news was that they’d taken him down and for a moment she believed he was dead. The thought of him being erased was too much for her. It was a perfectly normal reaction to have, Jemma was just being overprotective.

“I am fine, trust me.” Skye’s hand moved to her middle as the baby gave a sharp kick, as if she was saying she wanted her papa. You and me both, little one.

“What if he’s here to kidnap you? Or kill you? Or kill us?” Fitz argued.

“Trip will go in with her, he trained under Garrett, he and Ward have similar fighting styles, he can put him down if he needs to.”

Skye didn’t appreciate how easily May spoke of putting down the father of her child. Even if he was the monster the team wanted to make him out to be, she would always love him.

“He won’t get his hands on her, boss,” Trip assured.

“There is one other problem…” She could sense Coulson didn’t want to bring it up but she was his favorite and he wanted to protect her. “We have to run on the assumption that he’s here on orders, Skye. I know how much you want to believe otherwise, but this is reality.”

“I know. Your point?”

“What are you going to do if he notices you’re pregnant?”

Skye glanced down, knowing that despite the fantasies she had about a different world where they could all be together, he could never find out. She smoothed her sweater. She a little more than halfway through her pregnancy but she still had nothing more than a small bump. According to Simmons, some women didn’t really gain weight, so she was all baby. Her breasts were larger and swollen all the time but other than that she thought she could fake her way out of this one. The sweater covered everything important and since he wouldn’t be touching her they would have to go on looks alone.

“I don’t think he’ll notice.”

“Skye,” Phil began with a sigh.

“You’re assuming if he does notice he’ll jump to the conclusion it’s his. It’s been months. For all he knows, she’s moved on. Look at her, pretty face like that, only a moron would pass it up.”

A blush crept to her cheeks.

“Trip-”

He kissed the top of her head before giving her stomach a small rub. “Don’t worry, kid, Uncle Antoine has got it covered. If he notices, I’ll make sure he thinks you and I have a little something going on, sugar.”

Skye rolled her eyes.

“I appreciate the offer, Trip, but it’s not going to work.”

“Why-” May and Jemma gave him a ‘look’ as Skye toyed with the frayed hem of her sweater. She stared down at her lap but she could feel the awkward exchange of glances.

Trip seemed to catch on. “They were that-”

“He shot a man in cold blood for her, what do you think?” May whispered.

“Keep his attention on you, Trip. Ward has a jealous streak. That will give Skye enough time to sit down. With the table between them he won’t be able to see her body. And when it’s done, you escort him out before she gets up. We can keep him in a holding cell until Agent Romanoff arrives. They’re full of prisoners already, it’s where he should be anyway,” Jemma suggested, her voice barely above a whisper towards the end.

“Fine, can I go now?”

“No. We’ll be monitoring you on the cameras. Trip will be your immediate guard but there will be three more in the halls. Barton is in place in case Hydra tries to get in or out. We’re not losing any more people if this is an attempt for them to infiltrate.” This was the stronghold they’d manage to hold the longest, their agents were restless, tired of running, it would be a bloodbath if Hydra tried to take their home again.

“Fine.”

“Come on,” Trip helped her out of bed. She took his hand and waved off a wheelchair. Her legs were restless, she needed to walk. She’d humored Jemma’s bed rest thing but she was fine. She was an 0-8-4 after all, that had to mean super human powers or something.

The team went to their places and she walked ahead of Trip, enjoying her freedom. She stopped outside of the cage and hesitated. What was she going to say to him? She still had no clue. She didn’t even know how she felt, just that she missed him and needed to see him. She was angry and confused and hurt and she needed to control her emotions, for the baby’s sake.

With a sigh she entered the room and stopped mid-step. He’d only been shot with an Icer but he still looked like hell. He met her eyes and she felt the familiar stir of emotions that usually accompanied his presence.

She crossed her arms, as if the act would give her courage. “Grant,” she managed to get out, unsure if he’d even heard her. He gave her that puppy dog look of his and it wrenched at her heartstrings.

“Skye-” His eyes moved to Trip and they went dark. “What is he doing here?” Wow, that jealously thing was fast, Simmons was right. She remembered how bad it was with Miles and that was before they’d really started to care for one another. Though, from the moment she met him in that van before he’d pulled a bag over her head she’d felt a spark. It had just been a downhill spiral from there.

“A.C.’s orders,” Trip replied with an icy glare.

She rolled her eyes. She was not here for their shit. Skye leaned into Trip, knowing he had orders, but wanting a moment alone with Grant. “There are cameras everywhere-”

Trip placed a protective hand on her back. “I don’t care; he could take you out before we could get to you. I’m not leaving.” Skye sighed and gave him a pleading look. She knew Ward; he wouldn’t open up with an audience.

“I’m not going to kill her.”

“Look, man, you can either have me or Mama Bear. And trust me; she’d love nothing more than to kill you with her bare hands.”

She withheld a groan. Had they really planned ways to kill him? “May,” she warned, giving the camera a glare before turning back to Trip. “Just…stay put.” Skye instructed before taking a seat. She watched him and thought back to the other times they’d been in this situation. When he’d interrogated her for the first time. When he’d been given the truth serum. After Miles. When he’d killed Nash. Now here they were again.

Maybe if we hadn’t banged in a closet this is where you would have been made, Skye thought, directing it to the tiny angel inside of her.

“Skye…”

“Don’t.” She couldn’t with his sad, longing eyes, or his evasive words. “They’re sending Romanoff to interrogate you. I don’t want to hear any of your excuses or bullshit, Grant. I just want to know…” Skye had to stop to fight off tears. “Why.” Why did you leave me? Why join Hydra? Why betray the team? Me? How could you leave me when you claimed to love me? There were so many things she wanted to know but wasn’t he would answer.

“Please, just you and me and I’ll tell you every-”

“No.” She couldn’t be alone with him. She didn’t trust herself. Knowing she had an audience was keeping her together.

“You know I won’t hurt you, I let you shoot me for crying out loud!”

“Let’s talk about that. You betrayed this team and then saved me. Why?”

They locked eyes. “You know why.”

“I’m not going to play games with you.”

He tried to reach for her and she drew back, afraid of his touch. She couldn’t trust herself with him. He knew how to make her question everything her rational mind knew to be true, all because of her love for him. Trip moved to ‘save’ her but she shook her head. Grant wouldn’t hurt her. He wasn’t stupid enough, not on a boat filled with agents parked in a facility filled with them, all ready to put a bullet between his eyes if necessary.

“Skye, you know why. I told you no matter what happens, no matter what you believe-”

“Were you undercover?” The tears were coming. You couldn’t fake that kind of affection, so why had he done it. S.H.I.E.L.D. had its secrets; maybe Fury had lied to Coulson. Maybe he was just following orders. “Just tell me you were doing this on orders, I’ll understand you couldn’t tell me-”

“No one ordered me to do anything.”

She sobbed; finally, the truth, even if she didn’t like the answer. She felt Trip but she shooed him away. This was not happening, not in front of him.

“This was a bad idea,” Trip insisted. “You should be resting-”

“I’m fine. I can handle this.”

“I know you can, but –” She shot him a look that said ‘don’t you dare’. Ward didn’t need to see them fussing over her like this, he’d suspect something was wrong.

“Skye, you’re not sick are-”

“Don’t pretend to give a damn!”

He’d been gone for over five months and now he suddenly worried about her health? What about her heart? Why did he only seem to give a damn when it was convenient for him?

“Skye-”

“No! Stop telling me to remember. I want to hear you say it. I want to know why! I want to know everything. I deserve to know everything!”

“You need to calm-”

“ANTOINE I AM NOT IN THE MOOD FOR YOUR SHIT!” She was tired. Tired of being told what to do. Tired of being lied to. Tired of keeping secrets. She drew her weapon and gave Trip a warning glare. “If he tries anything, I will put him down like a dog, now go. And May, turn those damn mics off or so help me-”

“Not happening.” Skye wiped at her eyes, angrily. She’d let her hormones get control of her

“Trip, wait outside with the door partially open. Barton’s in position if he tries to escape and you can shoot the bastard if he tries to touch our girl.” Skye took a calming breath, grateful that Phil had her back.

Trip groaned but complied, pressing his lips into her hair. “I told the men to shoot with Icers only, be careful.” She shook her head. Oh Trip…

“Don’t hesitate to shoot him again if you have to, baby girl.” May had been so proud when Skye had recounted her story of how she’d escaped. She rolled her eyes.

“Mics off.”

“Since when is May this overprotective?”

“Things change, Ward.” She made a show of placing her weapon within reach on the table. She would shoot him again, if necessary. “We’re alone, talk.”

“Sweetheart-”

“Don’t.” She couldn’t deal with his terms of endearment right now. She wanted the truth.

“What do you want me to say? I’m not a good man, Skye, but I would die to protect you.”

Skye felt sick to her stomach. The baby kicked but she kept her hands on the table. Not now, little one.

“So…you really are Hydra.”

“I was recruited, yes.”

“You’re not answering my question.”

“Yes, I did.”

Why had she fallen in love with such an insufferable jackass?

“Skye, please.” He reached for her and this time she let him take her hand. She didn’t want to fight with him; she just wanted to cling to the hope that somewhere, deep down, he wasn’t a monster. “I meant every word I said to you in that closet.” He leaned in close and she felt her resolve slipping away. “I’ve done bad things, things I need to be punished for but you…” Grant pressed his lips to her knuckles. “I love you and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you safe even if it means you hate me.”

What a fucking hero.

Skye slapped him, hard.

How dare he claim to love to her when he’d killed who knew how many agents and left her here to deal with this all on her own. She was having his child, a child who he would never meet, and they were both in danger because of the people he’d associated himself with. If he really cared, he’d be here with them, not being a traitor of a hero or whatever it was he was up to. That wasn’t brave, it wasn’t noble. It was just him being a big macho asshole that was going to get killed.

“You are a coward. If you wanted to keep me safe you would have stayed home, where you belonged, not gone running to Garrett with your tail between your legs. You were supposed to be here, with me. I need you. You didn’t just betrayal the team and S.H.I.E.L.D., you betrayed me.”

Skye was angrier than she’d ever been in her life. She was stuck in this alone and she wanted to hate him but she couldn’t, which made it worse. She didn’t even care about the plan anymore. She stood angrily, needing to yell some more.

“I would think you’d have enough faith to know that I would never intentionally betray you.” His tone was condescending. She was not a child. She was an agent. His partner. The mother of his child. He would not talk down to her.

She cried angry tears; the release of them the only thing keeping her from hitting him.

“But you did! You left! With cryptic messages to believe in you, well I don’t! You left me! I hate you! This is my family, you killed innocent people. I hope they-” A pain shot through her middle and she wrapped an arm around her stomach on instinct. Something was wrong. She could hear Simmons now, scolding her about how she’d warned her stress wasn’t good for the baby. Or maybe it was the drug; had it done something? Was it hurting her in some way?

Skye latched onto Trip’s arms, blindly nodding as he led her out of the room. There was yelling but she couldn’t focus on that, she tried to remember what Jemma had taught her about breathing and prayed the baby was okay. She’d already lost too much, she wasn’t losing this too.

“She’s mostly likely experiencing a stress reaction, but I’ll get her down to the Infirmary just in case.” Jemma was already there, waiting for her and Skye was grateful. The pain began to dissipate and something nagged at the back of her mind.

“I have a really bad feeling about-”

She bus shook and Skye held onto Trip to keep from falling. She reached out for Jemma and pulled her into a doorway.

“Was than an earth-”

The ground shook once more followed by loud explosions. The alarms began to blare and the agents sent to keep an eye on her rushed past, yelling that Hydra was here.

“We need to get Skye out of here-” Trip began.

“No, I don’t want anyone else dying because of me, you and May should go help, even with Barton here, they’re going to need it. Jemma, Fitz, and I can hide in the Infirmary inside the base, we’ve increased security, turned it into a panic room.”

May emerged from the cube and closed the door behind her.

“Where’s Ward,” Skye asked, worried May had beat him into a pulp or something.

“I knocked him out with an Icer, come on, Trip and I will get you all to safety and then join the fight.”

Skye heard a gun go off and pushed Jemma to the ground before it could hit either one of them. She drew her own gun and shot a Hydra agent in the kneecap while May knocked one out. Trip pushed Skye and Jemma in between him and May and they began to fire back. Skye shoved an Icer into Jemma’s hand and yelled for her to start shooting. She hadn’t taught her to fight for nothing.

Once they cleared the bus they made a run for the panic room. Skye cursed when she realized she was out of bullets. A Hydra agent appeared in front of her and she moved to hit him with her gun but he fell to the floor with a howl of pain. She looked up to find Fitz holding an Icer.

“Fitz, where are we on the panic rooms?” May yelled.

“All level five and under agents along with scientists were in a briefing, they’re locked down and secure. Anyone else is fighting or making a run to one of the others,” he called before firing another shot at an incoming hostile.

“Come on, go, go, go,” May instructed. They rounded a corner and Skye could see the Infirmary at the end of the hall. Just a few more feet-

Jemma’s screams filled the air as Skye felt something hit her chest. Flashbacks of her shooting played through her mind and she looked down to find a dart in her body. She yanked it out and took a misstep, her vision swimming. She made out an agent with a gun pressed to Jemma before everything went black.

“What should we name her?”

Grant lay propped on one elbow while he rubbed his palm over her belly. “How about Schuyler?”

Skye made a face. “No, that’s-”

“Your real name?”

She wrinkled her nose but he had her.

“My real name is the one I gave myself, Agent Ward.”

“I knew it.”

“How?”

“I don’t know, Skye, this is your dream, you tell me.”

Her vision swam and she could make out voices and beeping but she slipped into unconsciousness once more.

“Skye? Skye! Come on, sweetheart, wake up, you have to wake up.”

She stirred but the desire to go back to sleep was strong.

“Skye, please!”

“Baby?” Skye reached out and felt Grant’s face. She pulled him near her and kissed him. This was a nice dream, she’d missed him.

“Skye, not now, come on, you need to wake up.”

“No, I need to tell you…”

He slapped her cheeks lightly a few times. “God, how many drugs did they give you? Snap out of, sweetheart.”

“Baby…” she whispered, her entire body aching.

A moment later she shot out of bed; angry and alert. “What the hell, Grant?” Her head was drenched in water and it was freezing.

“I’m sorry, but we don’t have time.” It was then that she noticed she was in some sort of underground laboratory. Oh God, Hydra had kidnapped her. He hand went to her middle fearfully. Was the baby okay? What had they done to her?

Grant yanked an IV out of her arm and she hissed in pain.

“Stop, now, let’s get the rest of this off of you. They’re raiding another S.H.I.E.L.D. location, this is the only chance we have to get out-”

Her head was still fuzzy. “You came here to save me?”

Ward placed his hand on the back of her neck and pressed a kiss to her lips. “Of course I did, I love you.” And he meant it. It hadn’t occurred to her until this very moment that while she’d desperately wanted to believe in his feelings, the doubt was always there, haunting her.

A small sob came out of her and she threw her arms around him.

“You’ve been working to keep me safe all this time?”

Ward held her against him. “I told you, I wasn’t going to let anything happen to you.”

“That’s all I needed to hear you idiot,” she whispered as footsteps echoed through the room.

“Look what we have here, darlin’, Romeo & Juliet reunited.”

Chapter Text

“Look what we have here, darlin’, Romeo & Juliet reunited.”

Grant felt Skye go still in his arms and panic set in. If he was caught, if Garrett realized he’d turned sides and had been playing him, then it was Skye who would pay the price. “Play along,” he whispered, “and shove me away.”

Skye was a great actress, he’d learned that when she’d conned the team in the beginning. They were both good liars, quite the pair. She shoved him away and slapped him. “Don’t you ever touch me again! And you,” she spat as she sent Garrett a death glare before looking around the room. The horror on her face was genuine. “Where the hell am I?”

Grant closed his eyes for a moment and when he opened them he was in full Hydra mode.

“Sorry, sir, I woke up and found her, I couldn’t help myself.”

“I get it, kid. Don’t worry, you can have some alone time with your girl later, though, but the looks of it, you’ve already had plenty. And here I thought I’d taught you better.” Ward blinked in confusion before turning to Skye. She shook her head, her face filled with panic.

“Grant…”

His eyes moved to the machines still wired to her. Two heart monitors. Why would…Skye’s hands moved to cover her mouth and she looked ready to be sick. Fear, guilt, and shame covered her features and he shoved her shirt up, exposing a very pregnant belly.

The floor opened up beneath him as he stood, the world whirling around him.

Skye was pregnant.

“How…”

She was crying now and Garrett gave his shoulder a squeeze.

“Don’t worry, kid, pretty thing like her, might not even be yours.” A hint of doubt played through his mind as he remembered Trip’s protectiveness. Was the baby his? Then Ward realized how ridiculous that was; of course it was his baby. That was why May was so protective, he realized; the team was trying to keep the baby safe.

“It’s mine,” Ward replied angrily. How could she not-no, she couldn’t tell him. She had no reason to trust him. This was why she’d been so insistent on interrogating him, she’d needed the truth and he’d needed to protect her. He’d made one hell of a mess of things, but he was going to fix it.

“I need to be alone with her, we have things to discuss.”

“I know you’re mad, kid, but Raina here needs the girl for tests. We’re going to find out why she’s special.”

Grant felt sick to his stomach. What had they done to her while he’d been unconscious? He already knew they’d drugged her, that couldn’t be good for the baby, not to mention the stress-

“She’s carrying my kid, John! Can’t you wait a few months to run your damn tests?”

They were almost nose to nose and Garrett shrugged.

“Kid, that fetus is probably a freak like she is. We need to study both of them. I know it sucks, but you’ll find another cute girl to knock up someday.”

He couldn’t hide his horror. The man in front of him was a monster.

“Grant, please!” Skye begged.

“I won’t hurt them-much,” Raina insisted. “And we’ll be keeping the girl alive, if things go south, you can just have your fun with her again and hope for the best.”

His gun was pointed against her temple less than a second later. He could hear Skye crying, but he didn’t care.

“Kid, stand down.”

“No,” Grant said darkly. Garrett wanted to threaten the woman he loved and his child, fine, but Grant would make sure to take out his science pawn and lover in the process. “That’s my kid, the girl stays safe until she gives birth, and then you can do whatever you want with her.” He couldn’t drop his cover, not now. They wouldn’t get out of here safely. He’d missed their window and would have to find a new one within the next few hours, Garrett wouldn’t hold off on experimenting on her for long. He was a sick, twisted bastard that way.

Garrett chuckled and Ward turned to find he had his gun on Skye and it was pointed right where the scars from her first shooting were. If he shot her, he’d kill the baby. He met Skye’s eyes and she gave him a small nod. He lowered his weapon and Garrett threw an arm around him.

“I like your balls, kid. I respect you want to protect your family, but remember your mission.”

“Right,” Grant replied numbly.

He allowed Garrett to lead him out of the room and he looked back, meeting Skye’s terrified face. The thought of what she and the baby were about to go through left him sick with guilt, but he had no choice, it was this or she’d die, though he wondered if she’d prefer the latter.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Grant spent the rest of the day pacing, waiting until Garrett was too busy to notice his absence. He had to get Skye out of here. He didn’t know how and he knew the moment he went back to S.H.I.E.L.D. it was the Fridge for him, but he didn’t care. She needed to be safe, their child needed to be safe. He’d pay for his crimes. All that mattered was making sure they’d be okay.

Once Raina was securely back in her lab and Garrett telling another one of his stories, Grant slipped out and made a break for the Infirmary. He ducked in and drew the blinds. Skye sat in the bed, unrestrained, no longer on machines. She was pale and stared at him as though he was the worst person in the world.

“What happened to the team?” She whispered.

“What?”

“I remember, before they took me, they had a gun on Jemma. Is she dead? Did they kill the team?” Tears were in her eyes and he moved to her side quickly.

“Shh, no. May killed two of their agents and then got them out, but they got you in the struggle. They found me unconscious in the cage and brought me back.” It was a good thing too: S.H.I.E.L.D. would never allow him to help in her rescue even if they did believe his intel.

“What did she do to you? How’s the baby?” He wanted to reach out and comfort her but he wasn’t sure she wanted him to touch her. She shook with silent sobs and reached for his hand. That was all the invitation he needed. He pulled her into his arms, thankful this and the lab were the only places Garrett didn’t have cameras and mics everywhere: Raina claimed they ‘interfered’ with her process.

Skye buried her head against his chest. “She claims she’s fine, but-”

“She?” They were going to have a daughter? He glanced down to find her looking up at him. He’d never seen her look so small and terrified. This was his fault. He traced her chin with his finger and she nodded.

He pressed his lips to her forehead and rocked her in his arms. “I’m sorry, I’m an idiot. I…I was a dumb kid when Garrett saved me and I let him brainwash me into all of this. But you, Skye, you made me realize how wrong it all was. And I knew, even if I killed him, they would keep coming for you. I didn’t want to leave you, but I wanted to keep you safe. It worked, for a while, until he started getting suspicious, and then…I should have just turned myself in then.”

“Is that why you let them arrest you?” She whispered as she lifted her head from his chest.

Grant ran a hand through her hair “I was causing more harm than good and…I was cracking, slipping up. I just wanted to go home, to you and the team.”

“But you know they’re going to-”

“I’ve made mistakes, Skye, killed innocent people, and I’m willing to pay for my crimes.”

Skye took his face in her hands and pulled him in for a kiss. He wrapped both arms around her and pulled her closer. He’d have to leave her again in a moment, before they noticed he was missing, but he was going to enjoy the brief window he still had with her.

She was the one to pull away a moment later. “What are we going to do?”

“Garrett doesn’t leave the compound often, he likes to have everyone do his dirty work for him, but when he does, he uses the time to entertain Raina.” Skye made a face. “Tomorrow night they have a shipment of weapons coming in from the Treehouse. He’ll be distracted and there will be less of a guard. I think…”

“What?”

“I think I should turn myself into S.H.I.E.L.D. and let them in the front door but-”

“You don’t want more blood on your hands?”

“No, I don’t want your blood. Getting S.H.I.E.L.D. involved means heavy gunfire; I want to slip you out. I’ll need a day or two to really study the compound, find a weakness so we can escape. Can you hold out that long?”

Skye nodded. “Raina plans to put me in a cell once enough time has gone by for her to drain me of more blood. Apparently she needs more ‘tools’ to play with me.”

Grant clenched his fist. Skye took his hands and met his eyes. “Hey, I’m fine, we’re fine, see?” She placed his hand over her belly button. His heart began to pound and he was terrified. He’d never wanted to be a father, afraid to pass on his fucked up genetic material, but he could see how much Skye loved this baby and despite his fear it was hard not to want something that was theirs. She’d be a good enough parent for the both of them and with him imprisoned, their child would be better off.

“I’m sorry, Skye, if I had known-”

“I know that now. We’re going to get out of here and you’re going to do whatever it takes to gain S.H.I.E.L.D.’s trust again and then we’re going to be a family.”

He watched her sadly. “Sweetheart, I don’t think it’s going to be that-” Grant glanced down and flexed his hand before pressing his palm against her stomach once more. “Is she-”

“Kicking? Yeah, she does that whenever she thinks someone’s being an idiot. Hasn’t stopped since you entered the room, really,” she teased.

“You’re not-” Footsteps. Heels. Raina was coming and where Raina went, Garrett usually wasn’t far behind. “Can you cry on cue?”

She nodded.

“Get against that wall.”

“Why?”

“Just do it and turn on the water works.”

Skye scrambled off the bed and did as she was told. Grant tossed a few things around the room before moving to her and pinning her arms behind her back gently. “He’s got to think the worst, got it?” Skye nodded and he cupped her chin in his hands before kissing her harshly, then it was time to pull out the angry Ward act.

“Did you really think I wasn’t going to find out?”

“Grant,” she sobbed. Damn, she was good. He heard the door open and he squeezed her face and she flinched while struggling against him.

“I knew you were a conniving bitch, but this is a new low. I have rights, you know-”

“Kid, away from the girl.”

“No, can’t you see we’re talking?”

Garrett chuckled and clapped him on the back.

“I’m glad you want the bitch dead, but we need her alive. Step away, son; get some air, take a walk.” Grant made a show of moving his hand to her neck before releasing her. Skye fell to the floor and began to sob and he had to remind himself it was an act so he didn’t break his cover to comfort her or shoot Garrett. There’d be agents shooting at them both in a heartbeat if he did.

“What are you going to do with her? I’m not done here.”

Garrett whistled and led Grant out of the room. He took one final look to find Raina helping Skye to her feet. He’d rarely seen her look remorseful, but this was one of those times. Good, maybe Raina had a soul left in her after all. Hopefully Skye would be safe until he could find an excuse to be alone with her again.

“I’ll tell you what, Grant, if you promise to behave, I’ll let you have that alone time I promised. We’re moving her to the ice box, to get her to…cooperate. Maybe you can help her submit, if you catch my drift.”

Ward swallowed back bile.

“Whatever you need, sir.”

Chapter Text

Skye sat huddled in the corner of her tiny cell, both arms cradling her stomach protectively, while she strained not to stare at the door, waiting for word from Grant. She was choosing instead to go through baby names, but she could only think of ridiculous names, and no matter how hard she tried, her thoughts kept coming back to the severity of her situation and how terrified she was.

“Don’t move,” Raina whispered and Skye glanced up at her in confusion. Once Garrett’s attention was gone and the men nearly out of the room she carefully helped Skye to her feet. She watched in terror as Grant left with that psychopath, wondering if she’d ever see him again. What if he still suspected him? She wouldn’t put it past him to murder his rookie, though she supposed he’d be sure to kill her first, so Grant could watch.

Skye stood and met Raina’s gaze. She looked…well, different. Without Garrett in the room Skye could see how terrified she was.

“How can you be here, working for that psychopath?”

Raina looked down at her feet for a moment before moving to grab a syringe.

“I don’t have a choice. He manipulated me, made me think he was special, and now…”

“He’d kill you?”

Skye didn’t feel bad for her, not really, she’d chosen this life, as had Grant, but unlike her, he was brave enough to want to escape it.

“Hold out your arm.”

Skye knew she didn’t have to ask, so she did as she was told.

“I’ll only take a little, anymore and you may pass out. I’ll keep taking a little by little to make him happy, but soon excuses won’t work, he’s going to want you cut open so he can figure out what you are.”

Skye was fully aware of that.

“So why not just get to it?”

Raina met her eyes before motioning to Skye’s abdomen. “I’m a scientist, not a monster.”

“What did you to do me when I was unconscious?” Skye had to know the kind of danger the baby was in, for when they found their way back to Jemma and the others.

“Just a few blood tests, ultrasounds to make sure the child was human, and recording your heart rates. I convinced him to wait for the tranquilizers to leave your body.”

“What will those do to the baby?”

“I honestly don’t know, but for now it seems to be fine. I’m sorry this is happening to you, but…he’s not going to stop, whether I help him or not, and I’m staying alive.”

Raina was a bitch but at least she was an honest one. Garrett seemed convinced Skye knew what her ‘talent’ was and had thrown her in here to ‘think about the benefits of coming clean’. Even if Skye had an inkling of what her mutant or alien or whatever the hell ability was she wouldn’t tell him. Hell, she doubted she even had one. Maybe she’d been mixed up with another baby and her entire life was just some cruel joke.

She entertained the idea of reciting some spells she remembered from Harry Potter, but thought better of it. She didn’t know where they had cameras and it was best not to encourage Garrett’s insane fantasies.

Though, she had to admit, it would be pretty fucking awesome if she was a wizard.

The lock clicked and Skye glanced up with a glare. She almost sighed in relief when she saw it was Grant and not Garrett but she didn’t drop it, she never knew where he was lurking, watching. She no longer trusted anything.

Grant stood watching her for a moment until the door slammed closed behind him. He glanced behind him, through the small window to make sure they were actually alone before rushing to her side. He fell to his knees and placed a hand on her cheek. His face fell as he looked her over. “Oh, sweetheart.” He pressed his lips to her temple before resting his forehead against hers. “I’m going to kill him for doing this to you.”

“No, you won’t.”

“I’d do anything for you,” he whispered, as he clutched her hands in his.

“I know and I don’t want you to kill for me, Grant. I see what taking a life does to you. We’ll find another way to make him pay, for everything.” She could see the pain on his face. He’d gone from one abuser to another and it had taken him this long to want to break free, she wasn’t even sure if he understood how deep the abuse ran.

After his brother, after Garrett, and after Lorelei all Skye wanted to do was keep him safe. She knew that no matter what happened she could survive, adapt, keep going, but the man in front of her was so close to breaking and she refused to let that happen. She would not allow him to fall apart, she would find a way to make sure he came out of this and that he became a better man for it. She didn’t need Grant Ward to save her but he needed her and their child deserved to have everything, which meant both of her parents.

“What’s wrong?” She knew that look; something was eating away at him.

“It’s Garrett…”

“What?”

Grant sighed. “He thinks…he wants me to seduce you for information.”

Skye’s stomach turned sour. “What?” There was no way in hell she was putting on a show for those bastards.

“He thinks you’re stupid enough to fall for it; he’s still angry about that hard drive.”

Skye smirked. She’d encrypted the hell out of that thing to the point where one failed attempt to hack it would erase the entire drive. She had a back-up but only she and Coulson knew where she’d hidden it and it was going to stay that way.

“Well, I’m not letting you touch me so Garrett and his boys can get off. In fact…why are you even telling me this?” She glanced around the room, still not having figured out where the cameras were hidden.

“What are you doing?”

“Looking for the surveillance equipment.”

“There is none.”

Skye rounded on him and gave him a ‘how stupid do you think I am’ look.

“I’m serious. I told him I wasn’t going to do that to you.”

Skye gave him another look.

“Okay, fine, I may have told him when he threw you down here his other boys hadn’t been loyal enough to deserve the free show and if that’s what he intended to have me do, then he could find another Casanova to seduce you for information because I wasn’t going to do it. I’ve whored myself enough for his cause.”

No, now she felt sick to her stomach.

“I’m sorry, they’re animals. Don’t worry, I’ve swept this room for everything, we’re safe, at least for the next hour, which is all we need.”

“What happens in an hour?”

“That’s when I’m breaking you out of here.”

Skye’s heart began beating more rapidly in her chest. She reached for his shirt, sighing in relief. “Really?” He nodded and she pulled him up to her level so she could kiss him. “How?” She whispered as their lips broke apart.

Grant moved a hand into her hair and held her hand in the other. “They have a raid planned on the Treehouse, S.H.I.E.L.D. regained control and they want it back. Garrett’s leading a smaller raid on the Hub, for some technology they think might be there.”

“We wiped everything, there, the Academy, the Triskelion, Providence, everything’s gone.”

He pressed a kiss to her knuckle. “I figured but I fed his ego, made him think it was a great idea. It’ll get rid of him long enough for me to easily take out the few guards he’ll leave here and get you out safely.”

“Why is he letting you stay here?”

It was his turn to smirk. “I told him I was going to need more than an hour to interrogate you.”

Skye rolled her eyes. “You’re so full of shit.”

Grant trailed his hand down her neck and she resisted the urge to lean into his touch. “Indeed, but all we have to do is put on a show for him in case he comes snooping around. I mean, it’s not like you know anything; S.H.I.E.L.D. made sure of that.”

He wasn’t wrong about that. “How are we breaking out?”

“There are three guards on you at all times, I’ll take them out. Another two will be monitoring the floor, and then from there we’re stealing a helicopter.”

“I didn’t realize you knew how to fly a plane.”

“There are a lot of things you don’t know about me,” he replied cheekily.

She tried not to smile. “Indeed…” There would hopefully be time to learn everything.  Skye glanced up for a moment and studied him. After a moment, she grabbed him by the neck and pulled him in for another kiss.

Grant returned the kiss briefly before pulling away. “Not that I mind, but what the hell, Skye?”

“He’s watching through the window,” she hissed. She kissed him again. “If he comes in, put on a damn good show, Grant,” she whispered between kisses.

Grant pinned her against the wall and trailed his lips over her jawline. “Are you sure?”

“Anything to make sure we get the hell out of here.” Had he forgotten she’d slept with Miles to get information? She could play the game just as well as he could. Skye moved a hand into his hair and drew him in close, meeting his eyes. “Better make it count, Grant.”

Grant grabbed her face with both hands and kissed her deeply, pushing his tongue past her lips as she wrapped her arms and legs around him. It was easy to forget they weren’t putting on a show for the man who would kill her the moment he no longer had use for her and that they no longer had control of their lives. It was easy to pretend they were just two people getting lost in one another.

Grant didn’t hold back; everything about him was sexy and she’d needed him for months. She allowed her head to fall back as his hands slid up her back and he kissed his way between her breasts. She had to remind herself this wasn’t real, it was just a diversion, but damn did she want to take advantage of it. She needed a real night with him; no bullshit, no quickies, no rushing, just the two of them alone for a full night.

The realization they were never going to get that hit her full force and she fought off tears. Now was not the time.

She pulled Grant’s mouth to hers once more after catching a glimpse of their audience through the window. “He’s coming in,” she warned before bunching his shirt in her first and tugging on his lower lip with her teeth to pull him back to reality; her poor boy looked half-lost in lust.

Grant sighed and tangled her hair in his fingers. “Skye, Skye…” He was slipping, she could feel it. Skye forced him to meet her eyes and gave him a tiny nod. You can do this, she thought. “I just want to keep you both safe, I can’t do that unless you tell me everything,” he pleaded as his hands caressed her face.

The door clicked shut and she knew they weren’t alone, but she ignored Garrett’s presence, she was supposed to be in the throes of passion or something.

“But I don’t know anything, Grant.” He kissed her again and the small moan that escaped her lips was real. She’d told him to sell it and she was convinced. Hopefully she wasn’t the only one.

“I hate to break this up, lovebirds, but I need you outside, son.”

“I’m busy,” Grant muttered as he kissed her again.

Now, kid.”

Grant pulled away angrily and Skye slapped him before shoving him off of her.

“You bastard!”

He chuckled and touched his cheek. “You weren’t saying that two seconds ago, darling.” It was scary how quickly he could revert back to Hydra Ward.

“You used my hormones against me! I’m not telling you a damn th-”

“You know the kind of man I am, baby, and don’t worry, you’re going to tell me everything.” Skye lunged at him but he caught her and threw her over his shoulder like a ragdoll. She struggled against him but he dumped her on the bed with a disapproving look. As if Garrett was going to buy anything without a few theatrical stunts.

“You’ll have time for foreplay later, kid,” Garrett muttered as he shoved Grant out of the room. “And you, behave,” he warned before slamming the door shut.

Skye scooted to the edge of the cot, her entire body shaking. She ignored the pounding in her chest. Not much frightened her, but Garrett scared the hell out of her. He was unstable, unpredictable. She tried to listen to their conversation but the door was too thick, even if she did move closer, and she didn’t want to risk being caught.

Grant returned a moment later, sans Garrett, and she let out a sigh of relief when he didn’t have any visible injuries. Maybe they were actually going to get out of this without being found out. He still looked worried and she wondered if Garrett was catching on to them. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, he wants to know what you are by the time he gets back or Raina’s cutting you open.”

“Well then, I guess it’s a good thing we’re getting the hell out of here.”

Grant pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I’ll be back for you in an hour. When you hear all hell breaking loose, that’s me, just be ready to run,” he whispered, slipping a gun into her hand.

Skye checked the safety and tucked it under the mattress. She gave him a small nod so he knew she understood the plan. He pressed another kiss to her temple and turned to leave but Skye grasped his arm and drew him towards her.

“What is it?”

She leaned up and pressed her lips to his. This was real. They were going to either make it out of here or die trying. And if they did make it out, she was going to lose him. There was no scenario in which she got him back, where their child was going to have both parents. He was either going to be a prisoner of Hydra or of S.H.I.E.L.D. At least with the latter she would get him back, eventually, but it could be years.

“We still have an hour to kill,” she whispered as she gazed up at him. They could run, try to start over, but he needed to pay for his crimes, it was the only way he could save himself. If this was the last time they’d be alone together she wanted to make it count.

“Skye…” He shook his head in confusion. “What-”

She pressed her fingers to his lips. “Please,” she pleaded, echoing his words in that janitor closet. “I need to remember why all of this matters. I need something to hold on to when this is all over. I need yo-” Grant cut her off with a desperate kiss. She pulled him to the cot and shoved him onto his back before climbing into his lap, deepening the kiss.

Grant’s hands were in her hair, holding her close. She clung to the collar of his shirt, her body pinning his to the stone wall. Skye’s hands went for his belt and a moment later her torn panties were in his hand and he was inside of her, his lips assaulting her neck while she fucked him. It was rougher than last time, more passionate. They could be caught at any moment and they didn’t have the luxury of time. Maybe one day they would have the chance to make love properly, but it wasn’t coming anytime soon.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered suddenly as he slowed to a stop, unable to finish. He kissed her shoulder and buried his face in the crook of her neck. He ran one hand over where their daughter lay sleeping and she could feel hot tears spilling from his eyes.

Skye shook her head and shushed him, gently massaging his lower back. “Don’t be.”

“I fucked everything up,” he muttered.

“Oh, Grant…”

He slipped out of her, still hard and she sighed. This was her fault, she’d pushed him and-Grant pressed her into the mattress and kissed her gently. Skye moved a hand into his hair as he kissed his way down her body, stopping so he could lift her shirt and press his lips to her round abdomen. “I promise you, I’m going to make things better. I’m sorry, baby girl, your papa’s a bad man, but he’s going to be better for you. I love you.”

Skye’s eyes were filled with tears. She reached out and stroked his hair while he lay with his cheek pressed against her belly. She could feel the baby stirring, missing her papa’s voice.

“Grant-”

His lips were on hers again. Grant held her face between his hands and kissed her slowly. “I love you,” he whispered in between kissing her and coming up for air.

Skye blinked away tears. “I’m sorry. I don’t even know what I am, what our baby is going to be. She’s going to be hunted her entire life because of me. We’re both fuck-ups.”

Grant pressed a kiss to the corner of her eye. “Shh, that’s not your fault. You’re perfect.” Skye laughed bitterly but her words died on her lips as he kissed her again. Any doubts she’d ever had about his feelings were erased with that kiss. He loved her, she could feel it, and he was inside of her again and it was everything she wanted it to be. It wasn’t the hours she wanted to spend learning every inch of him but this was what making love was supposed to feel like and if anything happened she was glad they’d have this.

“It’s almost time,” Skye whispered minutes later, still clinging to him. Grant groaned into her hair before pressing a kiss to the top of her head. He pulled away wordlessly and tucked himself back in. She watched as he transformed from the man she loved into the trained killer she knew he could be. She reached for her own gun and tucked it into the back of her jeans.

“I’m going to do a perimeter check, make sure the team is gone, then load up on the weapons hidden in my room. Before I enter the room I’ll knock three times. If that door opens before then you fire on whoever it is, got it?”

She nodded and Grant leaned down to press a kiss to her forehead but she leaned up and pressed her lips to his. She kissed him like it could be the last time before shoving him away.

“We might die, right?”

Grant shook his head. “I’m not letting that happen, sweetheart.”

Please don’t die, she thought as he gave her a nod goodbye and disappeared through the door. Skye sat, clutching the gun in her hands until they went white. Minutes passed before she heard gunshots outside. Skye flinched. She knew there were no Icers, that these men weren’t good men, but having more blood on her hands…

She jumped as the door handle rattled. She held the gun out, managing to keep it steady. The rattling stopped as the fighting outside intensified.

Please, don’t die, she pleaded.

Then nothing.

Skye choked back a sob.

“Grant, no.”

Skye took a step towards the door when three loud knocks sounded. She sighed in relief and jumped into Grant’s arms the moment he appeared.

“I thought you were dead!” She sobbed.

“Shh, not yet. Come on, something’s wrong, there’s too many men still in the compound. Are you okay to make a run for it?”

Skye nodded and took a second gun he held out for her. Grant led the way and she followed, ignoring her body’s protests. She could worry about resting and taking it easy when she was safe at home, with S.H.I.E.L.D., where she belonged.

They stood with their backs pressed against a wall as he surveyed the next hallway over. “Hurry.” They made a run for the stairs that led to the helipad. Grant let her go first and she climbed quickly, wanting the hell out of this compound.

The fresh air hit her lungs like a punch in the gut and her heart raced as she kept running towards the helicopter. She could hear Grant’s footsteps behind her. They were almost out of here. Skye wanted to cry in relief.

A gunshot rang through the air and Skye halted to a stop. Grant grabbed her by the waist and shoved her behind him as he aimed in the direction it had come from. Skye could smell the blood before she saw it and she pressed her hand against his forearm to try to stop the bleeding.

Garrett stepped into view from behind the helicopter and Skye could feel his men flanking up on them. She closed her eyes and pressed her face against Grant’s shoulder blades. She refused to cry. If they were going to die like this then she was going out in a way that would make her family proud.

“Oh, kid, I was hoping I was wrong about you but here we are.”

Grant stepped back, keeping one gun on Garrett and the other on his men. He was trying to move her out of shooting range but they were surrounded. It was two against five and while Skye knew those odds weren’t impossible with Grant, she complicated things.

“You’re a psychopath, John.”

“I knew the girl was trouble, should have killed her sooner.” Skye knew he’d faked the mission, to test Grant’s loyalty. He must have known all along. His little speech after Nash’s shooting had been a warning. He knew he’d lost Grant to her and he wanted her out of the way.

She cocked her guns before pressing her back against Grant’s. She aimed at the two guards closest to her and waited for Grant to make a move.

“You’re not touching her, John.”

“Ain’t nobody touching her, kid. I’ll just shoot the little bitch.”

“You’ll have to kill me first.”

“You’re like a son to me, Grant, but you betrayed me, so that won’t be a problem. Now, I’m a reasonable man. Hand the girl back over so we can find out if she has any powers and then you can have her back, maybe not in one piece, but hey, it’s better than nothing.”

Grant cocked his gun before aiming overhead. He fired three rounds and a sixth guard Skye hadn’t noticed fell from the roof. The others closed in but Grant just aimed both guns at Garrett. “Reach into my pocket, sweetheart.” Skye kept one gun aimed and reached into Grant’s pocket to find a grenade. If Garrett’s men made a move they were all going to die.

“She goes free, John. None of this is going to help you stave off death. We all have to die eventually.” Is this what this was all about? Garrett was dying?

“I get you love the girl, Grant, and the kid, but the work we’re doing is more important than some piece of tail and your bastard. Think of what we could have done had we gotten our hands on that GH-325 sooner, son. Your brother would still be alive.”

“Don’t,” Grant warned.

“Kid, the girl isn’t worth the greater good. People like her…with powers; they have a duty to share those powers with the rest of the world. And every man we’ve used that drug on has stayed dead. Only she and Phil have survived, if we can understand why and fix it, we can save lives.”

“You’re crazier than I thought if you think I’m going to let you kill what’s left of my family. And the rest of these idiots are crazy for buying into your bullshit. Hydra tried to kill millions of people, John. That isn’t the greater good, that’s genocide.”

“Goodbye, kid.” Garrett fired his weapon and then the shit hit the fan.

The bullet hit Grant’s shoulder as Skye tried to shove him out of the way and he fell to the ground in a small puddle of his own blood. Two of Garrett’s men grabbed her. She fought back but it was hard to do with two apes manhandling her. She took a deep breath and elbowed one in the balls before kneeing the other. She scrambled to grab a gun but the clicking of a hammer sounded next to her ear and he froze.

“Stand up nice and steady now, girl, with your hands where I can see them or you’re taking another two to the gut.” If looks could kill the one she gave Garrett as she slowly stood and turned to him would have left them all dead. He grinned before pulling her against him and pressing the gun to her temple.

Skye glanced over to find Grant trying and failing to get to his feet. He’d lost so much blood…Skye blinked away tears, cursing her useless 0-8-4 status. She was probably some useless alien bastard tossed aside for being ordinary because if there were any cool hidden healing or battle powers that she had now would be the time for them to unleash and there was nothing.

Grant spit out blood and glared at Garrett. Skye spotted a gun tucked in the hem of his pants but if he went for it Garrett’s men would finish him off.

She really wished S.H.I.E.L.D. would storm in right now.

“Here’s what’s going to happen, I’m going to shoot you and then let Grant here watch you die while my men beat the shit out of him and then I’m going to put a bullet between his eyes. You get to die together, isn’t that romantic?”

Skye shook her head. “No,” she whispered. Grant had endured enough abuse in his life. If they were going to die, so be it, but she refused to allow him to suffer before it happened.

“You’re not going to learn anything if she’s dead!” Grant pleaded desperately.

Garrett laughed. “If the girl had any real power we’d all be dead right now. Guess we’ve been wrong about her, she’s not special, she’s just another girl; probably born to some Asgardian’s human whore if Raina’s tests are right. Sorry, sweetheart, you’re nothing more than a hybrid bastard someone dumped on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s doorstep because they didn’t want you.

As for the drug…

Well, my old friend Phil will just have to help us with that.”

Skye blinked away angry tears.

“If I’m going to die, you’re going with me,” she muttered, meeting Grant’s eyes. ‘I’m sorry’ she mouthed before elbowing Garrett in the face and taking his gun. She wasn’t as fast as she used to be but she still managed to fire once, hitting him in the chest before one of his men tackled her to the ground.

Skye mustered up all of her strength and punched him before throwing him off of her. She reached for the grenade, thinking she could maybe take out Garrett’s guys without killing her and Grant in the process, when pain seared through her shoulder. She’d felt this fiery sensation only once before and man did being shot hurt like a bitch.

Time slowed down as she reached up to touch her gunshot wound while aiming her gun at Garrett and before she could pull the trigger gunfire rang through her ears. Skye watched in dismay as Grant shot the man who had been like a father to him along with every hydra agent on the helipad. She covered her mouth as her entire body began to shake. She could see the light leave his eyes as the agents left behind to guard the compound approached. She closed her eyes tightly as more gunfire blared through the air.

She opened her eyes once everything went quiet to find Grant standing alone, surrounded by bodies. For the first time since meeting him she was fucking terrified of him. And then he looked up and her heart broke. He was broken, this had broken him. This was her fault. He’d barely held his soul in grasp and now it was slipping.

“Grant…” She stood slowly, not wanting to spook him. “Put the gun down, it’s over.”

He dropped the gun, his hands trembling. “You’re bleeding.”

“Just a flesh wound…nothing they can’t take out. I’ll be fine but you need to sit down, you’ve been shot twice, okay?” She approached him cautiously. She trusted him but this wasn’t her Grant, he’d snapped when Garrett shot her, and now she needed to guide what little light there still was left in him to the surface.

Grant pulled her into his arms and she froze in fear for a brief moment before he half-collapsed against her. “Shh,” she whispered, stroking his hair. He was sobbing, his entire body convulsing. She helped him to his knees and held him tightly, rocking him back and forth in her arms.

“I had to do it, they were going to-”

“Shh, I know, baby, I know.” She pressed her lips to his temples as a tear rolled down her cheek.  “You did what you had to do to keep us safe and I know it wasn’t easy but we have to go, okay? You need a doctor and we don’t know when there will be more Hydra agents. Can you-”

Skye released him and looked up into the sky. She knew that sound… A smile crossed her lips as the bus came into the view. The Cavalry had come for her.

“You called them?” She sobbed in relief.

“Figured we’d be long gone by the time they got here-” Grant went limp in her arms and she held him up, slapping his face to keep him awake.

“Hey, come on, baby, just hold on a little longer okay-”

S.H.I.E.L.D. agents stormed the roof, led by A.C. himself. He whipped off his sunglasses before raising his gun. “Ward, step away from my baby girl now and I promise I’ll kill you before Agent May has a chance to get her hands on you.”

Chapter Text

Grant stood in front of John feeling sick to his stomach.

“You want me to do what, sir?”

“Charm the girl, get back in her pants, do whatever it takes to get her to talk. I mean, she’s your rookie, right? I’m sure you taught her well, she’ll hold under torture, and we don’t have time to break her.”

God, he wanted to vomit. Just the thought of Skye going through that and the baby would never survive. “Fine, but I want the room clean of bugs or surveillance, John. I’m not here to put on a show for these assholes.” He’d swept it before they’d thrown her in there but he wouldn’t put it past John to throw a camera in there and broadcast it to the entire compound just for fun. “If that’s what you’re looking for you can get someone else to do it. I’m not your whore for hire.”

“Fine, whatever kid, just get it done and fast, I need you on this mission, son.”

Grant scoffed. “I’m going to need more time alone with her if you want this done properly.”

“You’ve got an hour, that’s plenty of time.”

Grant grinned and made sure it was cocky. “Maybe for you, John, but trust me, an hour isn’t long enough, in fact…” He blew out some air before crossing his arms. “We might still be at it when you get back,” he said with a smirk and a shrug of his shoulders.

John clapped him on the back and it took effort for him not to wince. With the exception of Skye he’d always hated being touched and John knew that so of course he did it whenever he had a chance. “Oh, kid, you’re lucky I like you. Fine, have your fun with her while you can. Just make sure you’re the one in control, I’ve seen how that glass of water can wrap you around her little finger. I’ll be sad to see her go, she’s cute. I can see why you like her so much.”

Grant was going to enjoy putting a bullet through his kneecap before throwing his ass in prison.

“Right,” Grant muttered with a shake of his head before moving to leave the room.

“And son?”

Grant glanced back.

“Try not to knock her up again.”

He rolled his eyes and left, with the sound of John’s howls of laughter following him as he descended down the stairs to the basement where the holding cells were. He nodded to the guards as he passed and used his key to unlock the door to the ice box.

He allowed the door to close behind him as he stood watching her in despair. She looked terrible, frightened, her act was beginning to slip, and she was nowhere near as healthy as he wanted the mother of his child to be.

Grant glanced back through the window to make sure he hadn’t been followed before stepping forward. He took two quick steps and was at her side. He moved to his knees to get a closer look at her and his face fell. She looked worse up close.

“Oh, sweetheart,” he whispered.

John Garrett was going to suffer for this. He pressed his lips to her temple before resting his forehead against hers. He was going to get her home, where she belonged, where the team could take care of her and their baby. It was the least he could do for them since he was an absolute failure.

“I’m going to kill him for doing this to you.”

“No, you won’t.”

He took her frail hands in his. “I’d do anything for you,” he reminded her as he traced the inside of her palm.

“I know and I don’t want you to kill for me, Grant. I see what taking a life does to you. We’ll find another way to make him pay, for everything.”

He closed his eyes for a brief moment. How did she see through everyone? She was…God, she was brilliant. And she was right, Garrett would pay, but only if they managed to get out of here alive.

“What’s wrong?”

He hesitated for a moment, not sure she needed to know but decided against telling her another lie. “It’s Garrett,” he began.

“What?”

“He thinks…” Grant sighed. “He wants me to seduce you for information.”

What?” She hissed.

“He thinks you’re stupid enough to fall for it.” He sighed. “He’s still angry about that hard drive.” The memory of the fit John had thrown brought a smile to his lips.

“Well, I’m not letting you touch me so Garrett and his boys can get off. In fact…why are you even telling me this?”

Skye began looking around the room in puzzlement and he followed her gaze with a frown. “What are you doing?”

“Looking for the surveillance equipment.”

“There is none.”

She gave him a ‘look’ and he shook his head.  “I’m serious. I told him I wasn’t going to do that to you.”

She still wasn’t buying it. Smart girl.

“Okay, fine, I may have told him when he threw you down here his other boys hadn’t been loyal enough to deserve the free show and if that’s what he intended to have me do, then he could  find another Casanova to seduce you for information because I wasn’t going to do it,” he admitted. “I’ve whored myself enough for his cause.”

Skye’s face turned green and he took her hand. “I’m sorry, they’re animals. Don’t worry, I’ve swept this room for everything, we’re safe, at least for the next hour, which is all we need.”

“What happens in an hour?”

“That’s when I’m breaking you out of here,” he whispered.

Skye grabbed him by the shirt in excitement and pulled him closer. “Really?” He nodded. Skye pulled him against her and kissed him. He sighed into her mouth happily. Fuck, he’d missed her.

“How,” she asked as she broke away from him.

He ran one hand through her hair and clutched her hand with the other. “They have a raid planned on the Treehouse, S.H.I.E.L.D. regained control and they want it back. Garrett’s leading a smaller raid on the Hub, for some technology they think might be there.”

“We wiped everything, there, the Academy, the Triskelion, Providence, everything’s gone.”

Grant pressed a kiss to her knuckles proudly. “I figured but I fed his ego, made him think it was a great idea. It’ll get rid of him long enough for me to easily take out the few guards he’ll leave here and get you out safely.”

She smiled.

“Why is he letting you stay here?”

“I told him I was going to need more than an hour to interrogate you,” he replied with a smirk.

Skye rolled her eyes with a scoff. “You’re so full of shit!”

He shrugged with a small smile and looked her over, remembering how much he missed her. He let his hand trail down her neck slowly, needing to touch her. “Indeed, but all we have to do is put on a show for him in case he comes snooping around.” Something he wouldn’t mind doing. She leaned into his touch and he resisted the urge to kiss her. “I mean it’s not like you know anything; S.H.I.E.L.D. made sure of that.” He knew his girl well enough to know she wouldn’t have been able to keep that to herself; she’d have warned the team if there was anything about her that was dangerous. She was selfless in that way.

“How are we breaking out?”

“There are three guards on you at all times, I’ll take them out. Another two will be monitoring the floor, and then from there we’re stealing a helicopter.”

“I didn’t realize you knew how to fly a plane,” she replied, impressed.

“There are a lot of things you don’t know about me,” he teased. He hoped that someday she’d have a chance to know everything.

“Indeed…” She watched him and he toyed with her hair. What would it be like if he hadn’t been recruited by John? Would they have met anyway? Been able to have a real life away from the madness of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra? Or would they somehow have ended up on Coulson’s team anyway?

Skye smirked and grabbed him by the back of the neck before kissing him and shit, it was one hell of a kiss. And as much as he hated to do it, he broke the kiss. “Not that I mind, but what the hell, Skye?” Was now really the time?

“He’s watching through the window.” How had she caught that when he’d missed it? Jesus, he was slipping. Before he could glance back she was kissing him again. Goddammit, she was going to render him useless if she kept catching him off guard like this. “If he comes in, put on a damn good show, Grant,” she whispered in between leaving him weak in the knees.

Grant took a moment to gather his bearings before pinning her to the wall in response. He pressed his mouth to her jaw. “Are you sure?” He didn’t trust himself with her. One minute he could be the cool, composed agent and the next he would be completely lost and at her mercy. Lorelei had nothing on his girl.

“Anything to make sure we get the hell out of here.” She snaked her fingers through his hair and he sighed happily. He was falling apart here. Skye pulled him closer and met his eyes confidently. “Better make it count, Grant,” she challenged.

He kissed her without hesitation, like a desperate soldier back from war, though, he supposed they were in the middle of one so why the fuck not. By the time she wrapped herself around him he was gone. There was no Hydra, John wasn’t watching them from outside; they were just two people in love giving into one another.

Grant slid his hands up her arms before cupping her face. He never wanted to let her go. He was going to do whatever it took to make things right with her, to come back to her. She was his soul mate, the love of his life, second only to their child.

Skye’s head fell back and he moved his lips to her neck. He slid his hands down to unbutton her shirt and his mouth followed. Her breath hitched and she gathered his shirt in her fist. Before he could get any further she tugged him up and assaulted him with her mouth. “He’s coming in,” she muttered. He watched her for a moment, stunned. What in the hell had just happened? Skye pulled him closer and bit his lip. The pain flipped a light on in his brain and he remembered they were putting on a show for Garrett. Right…they could…later.

He moved his fingers into her hair, trying to think of something, anything to say. Some spy he was, the past ten years of training and undercover work had gone out the window the moment she’d thrown herself at him. “Skye, Skye…” She met his eyes and nodded encouragingly. Right, she was counting on him. “I just want to keep you both safe, I can’t do that unless you tell me everything,” he said, making sure to turn on the charm as he cupped her cheek.

He could sense John’s presence but he ignored him, Skye was putting on one hell of a convincing show.

“But I don’t know anything, Grant.” He lowered his lips to hers once more and she moaned. He withheld a smirk, now was not the time.

“I hate to break this up, lovebirds, but I need you outside, son.”

“I’m busy,” he dismissed, kissing her once more.

Now, kid.”

He pulled away, making a show of being angry about it. A moment later Skye slapped him, hard.

“You bastard!”

He placed a hand to his cheek with a chuckle. Damn, she was good. And he’d taught her to fight well. He felt sorry for anyone who got on her bad side for real. “You weren’t saying that two seconds ago, darling.”

“You used my hormones against me! I’m not telling you a damn th-”

“You know the kind of man I am, baby.” He rolled his eyes mentally. Who the fuck said ‘baby’ anymore? “And don’t worry; you’re going to tell me everything.” She lunged for him but he caught her. He knew she was putting on a show but Jesus, did she have to go for the physical stuff? He tossed her over his shoulder gently before tossing her back into bed. He gave her a ‘don’t do that again’ look. He wanted to get her and the baby out of here safely.

Garrett shoved him out the door. “You’ll have time for foreplay later, kid. And you behave.”

The moment the door shut behind him Grant was in John’s face. “What the hell, John, I was getting somewhere! Now I have to start all over, hell, she might not even talk now!”

“Calm down, kid. That girl was ready to be on her back, it won’t take much to get here there again. What did you get out of her so far?”

“Nothing! I don’t think she knows anything, John. I told you, she’s an orphan, S.H.I.E.L.D. kept her on its radar but she doesn’t know why.”

“Maybe we should cut her open now, then.”

The blood left Grant’s face.

“No! I mean, she’s a good liar. I just need more time, without interruptions.”

“God, kid, you’re pathetic. Just admit you want to nail her one last time.”

His fingers itched for his gun. He could do it, kill everyone here, he had the skills, but Skye…

“If there’s anything to know I’ll have it by the time you get back.”

“Good, you’d better, or when it’s time to take her out it’ll be your job to pull the trigger.”

Grant stood in silence and watched the man who had been like a father to him walk away. For the first time he realized he’d gone from one monster to another. At least with his own father he’d known all along what an abusive piece of shit he was.

He took a moment to regain his bearings before rejoining Skye.

“What’s wrong?” He could hear the fear in his voice. He didn’t want to add to her terror but he couldn’t lie to her either.

“Nothing, he wants to know what you are by the time he gets back or Raina’s cutting you open.”

“Well then, I guess it’s a good thing we’re getting the hell out of here.”

He moved to her side and leaned down to press a kiss to her forehead. “I’ll be back for you in an hour. When you hear all hell breaking loose, that’s me, just be ready to run.” Even if he failed he had a back-up plan but she didn’t need to know about it yet. He slipped a gun into her hand; it would help her if everything else failed. He knew she could defend herself if she had to, he just prayed it didn’t come to that.

He smiled as she checked the rounds and put the safety on before hiding the gun from sight, in case they were joined again. She nodded a moment later and he kissed her again. He hated to leave her but he’d have to get used to being away from her again. He moved for the door but she caught him and pulled him back.

“What is it,” he asked in confusion. Skye stared up at him before leaning up to kiss him. He returned the kiss and drew her closer to his chest. He was going to miss this.

Skye broke the kiss first and stared up at him confidently. “We still have an hour to kill.”

Was she…“Skye…” he shook his head. Was she serious? “What-”

She cut him off by placing her fingers over his lips. “Please,” she whispered and his mind went back to that night in the Hub. “I need to remember why all of this matters. I need something to hold on to when this is all over.”

“Please. I just…I just need to be human for a moment. Let me be human with you.”

“I need yo-” He kissed her desperately. She’d been there for him when he needed her and hell, if he was being honest, he still needed her. He’d always need her. He didn’t know how he’d survived without her. He hadn’t had a life before her. He’d simply been his father’s puppet, then Maynard’s, then John’s. He hadn’t become his own man until this beautiful creature had walked into his life and challenged all of his beliefs. He was going to spend the rest of his life striving to be the man she fell in love with.

His hands moved to her hair as she shoved him against the wall. He moaned. She was stronger than she looked. She ripped off his belt as he literally ripped off her panties. They didn’t have time for romance. He was inside of her and shit, it was better than he remembered. Hips lips went for her neck as he held her waist while she rode him.

He caught her skin between his teeth and sucked. She was going to have marks by the time he was done, proof that she was his. Though, she was already carrying that proof. He’d done nothing to warrant such a perfect creature loving him. And he sure as hell didn’t deserve to be given the gift she’d soon be giving him. Even if he never got to meet their daughter, she would still exist; proof that they’d loved each other once.

Grant’s hold on her slipped.

He wasn’t going to be there to raise his daughter. She was going to have no one but her mother. He’d already failed her. The best he could hope for was for Skye to move on, find someone worthy of her and who could be a good father. But she wouldn’t, he knew she wouldn’t. She would wait for him and their daughter was going to wait in vain for a father who would never show up.

Jesus. He couldn’t do this. He gripped her waist so she would stop. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. He couldn’t…he hid his face in her neck and tried not to cry. He splayed his hand over Skye’s stomach, desperate to feel their child kicking. He’d missed so much and he was going to miss everything. How had he let this become his life?

“Don’t be,” she whispered, trying to comfort him. No, it should be the other way around.

“I fucked everything up.”

“Oh, Grant…”

Grant slipped out of her and he could see the disappointment on her face. He really hated himself. He carefully laid her on the mattress and kissed her before moving down to her abdomen. He raised her shirt and kissed her belly. He rubbed small circles on her skin as he tried to find his words. “I promise you, I’m going to make things better.” He didn’t know how, but he was going to. She wasn’t going to grow up the way Skye had. She deserved to have both parents. “I’m sorry, baby girl, your papa’s a bad man, but he’s going to be better for you.” Romanoff had found redemption, which meant he could too. He’d find a way. “I love you.”

Skye stroked his hair, calming his nerves. He pressed his cheek to her baby bump and felt the baby stirring between his hands.

“Grant-”

He moved his lips to hers before she could finish. He took her face between his hands and kissed her slowly. “I love you,” he whispered in-between kisses. There weren’t enough words to describe how much he loved her. She was his everything.

Skye pulled away, crying. “I’m sorry. I don’t even know what I am, what our baby is going to be. She’s going to be hunted her entire life because of me. We’re both fuck-ups.”

“Shh,” he whispered, kissing away her tears. “That’s not your fault. You’re perfect.” Skye laughed bitterly and he kissed her again. He wasn’t here for her guilt. She had nothing to feel bad about. She’d done nothing wrong. Her only mistake had been loving him and well, he couldn’t call it a mistake when it had resulted in what was sure to be a beautiful child that hopefully inherited her kindness and gentle soul.

Skye clung to him and he made love to her, properly this time. It was a promise, that this wouldn’t be the last time.

He held her afterwards, his lips pressed into her hair as he traced small circles on her back.

“It’s almost time,” she whispered. He let out a groan, not wanting to let go of her. But he had one last thing to do before they could escape. He kissed the top of her head before pulling away from her. Without a word he dressed, making sure the safety was off on both of his guns before pulling on his vest.

“I’m going to do a perimeter check, make sure the team is gone, then load up on the weapons hidden in my room. Before I enter the room I’ll knock three times. If that door opens before then you fire on whoever it is, got it?”

She gave him a nod and he moved to kiss her forehead but she caught him in a real kiss. She kissed him like this would be the last kiss before shoving him away.

“We might die, right?”

“I’m not letting that happen, sweetheart,” he promised before leaving the room. He gave the guards a nod before disappearing to his room. He dug his sat phone out of it’s hiding place and dialed the same number he’d called this morning.

“What the hell, man, you were supposed to call me with coordinates half an hour ago,” Trip’s angry voice came through the line.

“Something came up. Your extraction team’s already here in Havana?”

“Just outside the city.”

“Good.” He gave Trip the location. They’d long ago moved from the barber shop to a deserted base outside the city, in the desert. Before Trip could ask him anything further he cut the line and dumped the phone. He planned to be long gone before S.H.I.E.L.D. arrived. They could arrest him after he got Skye to safety. She needed a proper doctor and some sleep which she could get while S.H.I.E.L.D. cleaned house with the information he’d leaked to Trip. Maybe it would help reduce his sentence. One could hope.

Grant slipped out the room and moved to the control room. Luckily it wasn’t being manned. He cut the camera feeds after taking note of the locations of the men still in the compound and unlocked the access to the roof. He poked his head out of the room and reached for a gas grenade. He pulled the pin out and rolled it into the hallway before barricading himself inside. It would put most of the men patrolling to sleep and he’d have to take Skye’s guards out with force. An Icer would be useful right now but knocking them out would do as well.

Once he was sure it was safe he left the room and made a run for it. His plan hadn’t worked as well as he thought it had because he encountered a still conscious guard on the way to the basement. He took him out easily but the fight had drawn the attention of Skye’s guards, along with a handful more.

And he’d been hoping to do this without shooting anyone.

He raced for Skye, knowing they only had minutes before S.H.I.E.L.D. invaded the compound. He reached for the door when a fist met his face. Shit, where had all these men come from.

He managed to knock them all out with one of Fitz’s Localized EMP Devices.

Grant pulled himself to his feet and stumbled towards the door. Time to mask his pain, Skye didn’t need to worry about the few punches he’d taken. He knocked three times before entering the room. She threw herself at him and he winced.

“I thought you were dead!”

“Shh, not yet.” But he could be soon. “Come on, something’s wrong, there’s too many men still in the compound. Are you okay to make a run for it?”

Skye nodded bravely and he held out a spare gun for her. She was going to need it. He led her out of the room, with a gun in each hand. He made sure to check around each corner. Things were too quiet. “Hurry,” he commanded as they made a run for the stairs. He allowed her to go first and climbed after her quickly. The moment the sunlight hit his face he almost sighed in relief. Almost.

They stood with their backs pressed against a wall as he surveyed the next hallway over. “Hurry.” They made a run for the stairs that led to the helipad. Grant let her go first and she climbed quickly, wanting the hell out of this compound.

He felt the pain searing through his arm before he registered the gunshot. Skye froze in front of him and he protectively shoved her behind him and held up a gun with his good arm. He ignored his bleeding arm and focused on John stepping out from behind the helicopter. He didn’t have to look to know they were being flanked by his men. The bastard had set this all up. Well, the joke was on him because all he had to do was stall for time and he’d be seeing the inside of a prison cell for the rest of miserably short life.

“Oh, kid, I was hoping I was wrong about you but here we are.”

He stepped back and raised his other arm, ignoring the pain and the way the gun felt unsteady in his hand. He kept one gun on John and the other on his men. He backed up slowly, trying to shield Skye but there was no use, they were everywhere.

“You’re a psychopath, John.”

“I knew the girl was trouble, should have killed her sooner.”

“You’re not touching her, John.”

“Ain’t nobody touching her, kid. I’ll just shoot the little bitch.”

The hell he would. “You’ll have to kill me first.”

“You’re like a son to me, Grant, but you betrayed me, so that won’t be a problem. Now, I’m a reasonable man. Hand the girl back over so we can find out if she has any powers and then you can have her back, maybe not in one piece, but hey, it’s better than nothing.”

He caught sight of a man on the roof and fired three rounds into his chest. The other men closed in but now both guns were on Garrett. He’d kill him happily. “Reach into my pocket, sweetheart,” he commanded. He’d packed a real grenade, as a last resort.

“She goes free, John. None of this is going to help you stave off death. We all have to die eventually.” He’d tried so hard to keep him alive for years but what was the point? They all had to die in the end.

“I get you love the girl, Grant, and the kid, but the work we’re doing is more important than some piece of tail and your bastard. Think of what we could have done had we gotten our hands on that GH-325 sooner, son. Your brother would still be alive.”

“Don’t,” Grant warned.

“Kid, the girl isn’t worth the greater good. People like her…with powers; they have a duty to share those powers with the rest of the world. And every man we’ve used that drug on has stayed dead. Only she and Phil have survived, if we can understand why and fix it, we can save lives.”

It made him sick to think that he’d once bought into all of this shit.

“You’re crazier than I thought if you think I’m going to let you kill what’s left of my family.” No one was ever hurting Skye again and their baby? John was fucking delusional. “And the rest of these idiots are crazy for buying into your bullshit. Hydra tried to kill millions of people, John. That isn’t the greater good, that’s genocide.”

“Goodbye, kid.”

A bullet pierced his shoulder as everything went to hell. He fell to the ground and the last time he’d seen this much blood was when Skye had been shot. His head swam and he was dizzy but…Skye. He had to get Skye out of here. When he raised his head he found her kicking ass. Well, shit. And then suddenly John had her. He tried to move, to go to her, but he was losing too much blood. No, he refused for it to end this way.

“Stand up nice and steady now, girl, with your hands where I can see them or you’re taking another two to the gut.”

Grant coughed up blood and took notice of his men. If he reached for his gun, they’d kill him and then she’d be on her own. He needed to wait until they were distracted and hopefully it happened before he bled out.

“Here’s what’s going to happen, I’m going to shoot you and then let Grant here watch you die while my men beat the shit out of him and then I’m going to put a bullet between his eyes. You get to die together, isn’t that romantic?”

Skye shook her head furiously. “No,” she whispered, her eyes on his.

“You’re not going to learn anything if she’s dead!”

He just needed a few more minutes, just a few, where in the hell was the team?

“If the girl had any real power we’d all be dead right now. Guess we’ve been wrong about her, she’s not special, she’s just another girl; probably born to some Asgardian’s human whore if Raina’s tests are right. Sorry, sweetheart, you’re nothing more than a hybrid bastard someone dumped on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s doorstep because they didn’t want you.

As for the drug…

Well, my old friend Phil will just have to help us with that.”

“If I’m going to die, you’re going with me,” Skye said defiantly. Grant watched her hatch a plan and he shook his head. ‘I’m sorry’ she mouthed before elbowing John in the face, disarming him in the process. She shot him in the chest before his men were on her. And shit, she was pregnant but unstoppable; he didn’t think Romanoff herself could pull this off.

And then things went horribly wrong.

Skye reached for the grenade when another gunshot ran through the air. John lowered his gun from his spot on the ground and she stumbled back. Blood spread over her shirt. Her fingers touched the wound and came back covered in red. She aimed her gun for John but by then all Grant could see was red. Adrenaline rushed through him and he was on his feet, putting all of his training to use as he lost control.

He killed John first, taking only a moment to register his death before turning his gun on the other agents. He didn’t finish firing until he stood in the middle of their bodies in a river of blood. His hand shook as he realized he’d just killed everyone when more agents descended. There was no way in hell they were getting near Skye.

When it was all done he stood, still pointing his gun, completely numb.

It took every bit of strength he still possessed to meet her eyes and he could see her terror. She had every right to fear him, he was a monster. There was no erasing the things he’d done. She would be better off with him dying.

Maybe they’d kill him. It would be a fitting punishment. He deserved nothing less.

“Grant…Put the gun down, it’s over.”

He let the gun fall from his trembling hand. “You’re bleeding.” He remembered her dying. Fighting for her life. There was so much blood…

“Just a flesh wound…nothing they can’t take out. I’ll be fine but you need to sit down, you’ve been shot twice, okay?”

Skye slowly came to him and when she was close enough he pulled her into his arms. She was too good for all of this. She needed to be prote-his adrenaline rush wore off, having been fueled by the rage of seeing Skye shot again. He collapsed and she caught him, helping him to the ground. She held him fiercely, stroking his hair. He began to sob in her arms while she ‘shushed him’ but he couldn’t stop.

The guilt…

God, what had he done?

“I had to do it, they were going to-”

“Shh, I know, baby, I know.” He felt her lips on his temple and he held onto her more tightly. “You did what you had to do to keep us safe and I know it wasn’t easy but we have to go, okay? You need a doctor and we don’t know when there will be more Hydra agents. Can you-”

The plane. Good, they were finally here. He blinked, trying to stay awake, but he was failing.

“You called them?”

“Figured we’d be long gone by the time they got here-”

His vision swam. He was getting weaker. He’d lost too much blood. Was this what dying felt like?

“Hey, come on, baby, just hold on a little longer okay-”

He leaned against her and closed his eyes. This was nice. He was going to die in her arms. At least her face would be the last he’d ever see. He didn’t even notice the agents storm the roof; he was too far gone by that point.

“Ward, step away from my baby girl now and I promise I’ll kill you before Agent May has a chance to get her hands on you.”

And then everything went black.

Chapter Text

Images flashed through his vision.

Skye screaming.

Blood.

Coulson and May pulling her off of him.

Then for the longest time, nothing.

He woke to the sound of beeping and when he tried to lift his hand he was unable to; handcuffs kept him hostage in his bed. His eyes met Skye’s tear-filled face and then he was gone again.

This time he dreamt.

Of her. Of their child. Of the life they could have had had he been stronger, better, less susceptible to brainwashing.

“I don’t care! I’m not leaving him!” Skye was screaming when he came to again. He felt stronger but the drugs running through his system have him feeling groggy, ready for more sleep.

“You need to sleep, Skye, this isn’t healthy for you or the baby. You’ve already had enough scares, he isn’t worth this.”

“Don’t talk to me about what he’s worth, Jemma!”

“He doesn’t get a pass because he saved your life, Skye!”

“No one said he does, Jemma, but she wants to be here with him, just let it be,” Leo interjected. “Besides, a baby needs its father, this may be the only time they get to spend together.”

“I’m getting May,” Jemma warned.

“Good, get her, see if I care.”

He was too exhausted to stay awake to see how that went.

When he finally had the strength to open his eyes he woke to find Skye clutching his hand while she sat curled up at his side, fast asleep. He smiled and pressed his lips to the top of her head before wrapping his fingers around hers.

“I love you,” he whispered before closing his eyes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“You need to spend the night in your own room, sweetheart,” Grant whispered as he stroked her hair. May had allowed him one free hand when Skye was with him but only because she sat in the corner of the room, silent, with a gun and a look that told him she would love nothing more than to have a reason to use it.

He deserved that. Hell, he didn’t know why Skye didn’t hate him; maybe it was pregnancy making her unable to see through him. But then there was Leo, he was on his side. Grant didn’t have the heart to tell him that his hero was a monster; he didn’t think he could handle the look on his face. It would be like kicking a puppy and Grant could never hurt something so innocent on purpose.

“No, they’re letting you out of here tomorrow which means you’ll be in the Fridge. I’m spending every moment here with you until then.”

He wasn’t looking forward to leaving her but this needed to happen. He was going to pay for things he’d done. He just wished he didn’t have to see that sad look on her face. He’d nearly died; but this was worse.

John had of course hit an artery. It was a miracle he was still alive. He had Fitzsimmons to thank; Leo for forcing Jemma to let him transfuse some of his universal blood into Grant to help with the blood loss. Then Skye had forced Jemma to keep him alive until they could get to a real hospital. Once he pulled through after surgery S.H.I.E.L.D. had taken him prisoner to recover at one of their new bases. They hadn’t told him anything else but he’d picked up on a few things.

Stark was rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. using Stark Industries’ new private security division as a cover. Fury was alive but had handed the reigns over to Hill for the time being while he worked on a personal mission and Romanoff was now Command.

With those two in charge he would be lucky to see the inside of a prison cell.

“I don’t think Mama Bear over there is going to let that happen,” Grant whispered, motioning towards May. Once he was well enough to go without drugs May had forced Skye to leave him for half the day to get back to work but they all knew it was to keep her away from him. Grant couldn’t say he blamed her.

Skye glanced over her shoulder as May’s lip twitched. She turned back to him and kissed him defiantly. “Too bad.”

Grant shifted uncomfortably. The PDA made him nervous when May or Coulson were around. They were like two overprotective parents and Skye was their impressionable young daughter with the bad boyfriend. Skye seemed to sense his discomfort so she kissed him again, longer this time, as if daring May to say something.

“I think that’s how you got pregnant, girl.”

Skye pulled away and Trip stood in the doorway, smirking. He didn’t outright trust Grant, but he was cool about it. She smirked and gave a shrug as Grant wrapped an arm around her and pulled her closer. “Actually, I think there was a wall involve-”

“Skye,” Grant hissed, shaking his head.

Trip laughed. “Well, I hate to cut this visit short, but A.C. wants me to take that one to interrogation.”

“For what? He isn’t supposed to meet with Hill until tomorrow.”

Grant sighed. Skye was getting into overprotective mother mode. He took her hand and gave it a squeeze. “Skye, it’s fine-”

“No, it’s not. You’re recovering.”

“I’m fine.”

“Well, I’m coming with you.”

“No, you’re not,” Trip interjected. “Boss’s orders.”

Skye huffed and glanced towards May who shrugged with a small smirk. “Better get used to being apart.”

He supposed May meant well but the look on Skye’s face was painful to witness. She stood and stormed out of the room. He sighed, wishing he could go after her. He held out his arm so Trip could cuff him before letting him lead him out of the room.

May followed as they made their way down the hallway to an interrogation room. Skye was there, arms crossed, glaring at Coulson and…Grant blinked. Holy shit.

“So, this is the guy who knocked up your baby girl, huh Phil?”

Coulson shot Grant a glare.

“According to her.”

Tony Stark, the Tony Stark, looked him over before shaking his head. “She can do better.”

“She will,” Coulson replied confidently.

Skye un-crossed her arms with a roll of her eyes. “I’m standing right here.”

“Yeah, so? You can do better,” Tony informed her as he put a hand on her shoulder. “Plus, there’s the whole murder-traitor thing going on-”

“I’m sorry; I don’t remember asking for your opinion, Tony.” Her voice was stern but after a moment a smile tugged at her lips.

Tony gave her a wink before ruffling her hair. “Sorry, kiddo, but the moment Phil here decided to claim you as his little girl, I became your favorite uncle.”

Grant glanced at Trip who shook his head, as if he was used to this. He hadn’t expected working for Stark meant the boss was around to harass S.H.I.E.L.D. agents but Coulson was tight with the Avengers, so he shouldn’t be surprised. And Stark was well known for his snark, he probably enjoyed having Coulson’s sassy young protégé around.

He momentarily wondered who would win in a sass-off and mentally kicked himself. Skye, the answer was Skye. It would always be Skye.

“No, that would be Clint,” she replied, holding her hand at shoulder level. “And then Steve,” she lowered it a few inches. “Then Bruce.” Lower. “And then you’re at the bottom,” she illustrated by putting her hand as low as it would go.

“So…not Thor?”

“He’s too dreamy for me to want to think of as a pseudo-uncle.”

“I’m hurt. You don’t think I’m dreamy?”

“Not everything is about you.”

He bopped her on the nose and she scrunched it up. “It is, actually. And it was all about you for a while, so it’s really past time for it to be all about me again,” he replied before clapping Grant on the back. “And you…I do not want to be you. But, I’m a sucker for a good love story, so I’ve ordered them not to kill you. Though…I can’t guarantee that The Cavalry won’t torture you, I still can’t seem to get that one to recognize me as the boss. Plus, she sees this one as her baby, so…sorry.”

Grant recognized the underlying threat but he still had to fight a smile. “Thanks…sir.”

“And don’t worry; Thor’s totally taken, so you don’t have to worry about him getting his Asgardian hands on her, for now.” Stark gave him a wink and moved to give Skye a half hug.

He gave Trip a pat on the back. “Don’t forget dinner this weekend, Steve’s got all kinds of stories to tell you about Gabe.”

Trip smirked. “Yes, sir.”

“Send Pepper my love,” Skye called as Coulson led Stark down the hall.

“Or you could come to dinner, as long as you’re not busy giving birth.”

Skye rolled her eyes. She wasn’t due to give birth for weeks. She leaned up and pressed her lips to Grant’s cheek before moving her lips to his ear. “Don’t worry; May won’t torture you without my permission. She’d never put me through that.”

“Oh, great, so I just have to hope I don’t piss you off.”

She smirked. “Now you’re getting it.”

A moment later Coulson returned and unlocked the interrogation room with another a word. He nodded in Trip’s direction and Trip led Grant inside. Skye followed but Coulson stopped her at the door.

“I just want to talk to him,” he promised. Skye frowned. “Skye, I’m not your-I’m not May. I promise, there won’t be a hair on his head touched. He’ll be completely unharmed.”

She huffed, unhappy, but nodded. Phil pressed a kiss to the top of her head as May appeared and place a hand on Skye’s shoulder

“Come on, baby girl, there are pancakes in the kitchens.” Skye smiled and leaned into May who wrapped an arm around her.

“Save some for me,” Coulson asked. May nodded and Skye watched with a smile as her parental figures quickly and awkwardly kissed good-bye.

Grant closed his eyes with a small sigh. Skye was going to be fine without him. She finally had the family she’d always longed for and their baby was going to be loved.

“You really love her, don’t you,” Trip asked.

“Yes, I do,” he answered before opening his eyes. “Both of them.”

Trip handcuffed him to his chair. “I’ll make sure they’re safe. She’s a good kid, reminds me of my little sister.”

“Thanks, Trip.”

“Not doing it for you.”

“I know.”

Coulson entered the room, commanding all of the attention.

“All yours, boss.”

Trip left the room and then it was just him and Coulson and shit, Grant had never been terrified of Coulson until this moment. He calmly took a seat and watched him silently for a long minute.

“Sir-”

Coulson held up a finger to silence him.

“She deserves better. In fact, I don’t think there’s a universe where you’d ever be good enough for her.”

“I know that-”

“But for some reason, she wants to be with you, despite everything, and I love her enough to not fight her on her decisions. She’s a grown woman and I can’t tell her what to do.”

“But?” Grant knew there was a ‘but’ coming.

“I would happily live the rest of my days having her hate me for putting two in the back of your skull if it meant she and that child were free of you. Don’t make me have a reason to do that, Ward. That girl may not be mine by blood but her and the rest of the kids on that team are ours, mine and May’s, and I would kill for any one of them, you understand that?”

Grant nodded. He knew that six months ago, he would have been someone Coulson would have killed for, but now he would forever be the enemy and he was okay with that. Skye deserved to have someone love her that much.

“Now, I won’t kill you, mostly because it would upset May; she wants that honor herself. But, Skye’s her favorite, which is why you’re still alive.”

“And you, sir? Why am I still alive?”

Coulson’s lip twitched.

“You killed thirteen men, including the man who was like a father to you to keep her safe. I think that means there may be some hope left for you. And I refuse to give up on anyone, even someone like you, if there’s even a chance at allowing you to redeem yourself.”

“I’m not sure I know where to begin, sir.”

Grant wanted to make things right. He knew leading S.H.I.E.L.D. to HYDRA and giving them all of the information he knew was a start. And serving whatever sentence they gave him would be the next but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for him. Until Skye, the team, finding a real family he’d never understood how truly evil John was. He was like a father to him and he was dying and Grant had just wanted to keep him alive. He’d managed to keep his hands clean, aside from the work he had to do as a spy, but killing Hand had tipped the scales. He needed to pay for that and he wasn’t sure there was a punishment that would every satisfy him, that would ever make him feel worthy of the girl who would sit on the outside waiting for him.

“But you’re willing? To make up for things?”

Grant nodded. “I’ll do anything, sir. I want to pay for my crimes. I want to…I want to be the kind of man my daughter can be proud of and I know that will never happen but I still want to try. She and Skye deserve that much.”

Coulson studied him and Grant eventually broke under his gaze. He glanced down for a long moment before meeting Coulson’s eyes. “There’s red in my ledger sir, I’d like to wipe it out.”

For the first time in his life he had people he loved and for some reason, some of them loved him back. He had a real chance to be happy and he didn’t want to fuck that up. He’d been so many things; ‘Kid’, ‘Ward’, ‘Agent’, but for the first time he had a chance to be ‘Grant’ and that was because of Skye.

Coulson smirked. “Good. He’s all yours, Director,” he called before standing.

Hill entered the room followed by Romanoff and armed S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Grant shot Coulson a terrified stare. He wasn’t supposed to be tried until tomorrow. He wasn’t ready to die and he was sure this was what this was; his execution.

“Hello, Agent Ward. I have a proposition for you.”

Chapter Text

“Ward, step away from my baby girl now and I promise I’ll kill you before Agent May has a chance to get her hands on you.”

Was he serious right now?

“He’s dying! We need to get him to a hospital, now!”

To A.C.’s credit it only took him three seconds to call for medical back-up and rush to her. He pulled her away from Grant but she threw herself back on him. “Give me your jacket!” She screamed. “Now!” He threw it down and she pressed it against the gunshot to his shoulder, the one that bled the most. She wasn’t a doctor but she knew this much blood loss meant the bullet had hit an artery. He was dying. She was going to lose him.

“Skye, we need to get him on the bus, there’s a hospital in the city, but you have to let him go.”

Skye shook her head furiously, ignoring her trembling hands as she continued to apply pressure, to try to stop the bleeding. Two pairs of hands ripped her off of him and she began screaming at the top of her lungs.

“Shut up, you flipping the fuck out isn’t going to help him.”

May. If she was here that meant… “Who’s flying the plane?” She rushed ahead the agent carrying Grant to the bus, followed by A.C. and May.

“Trip.”

“Oh my God, Skye!” Jemma jumped when she saw her but Skye didn’t have time for chit chat.

“You need to save him,” she pleaded, grasping Jemma’s arm.

“Who-oh God.” Jemma’s face went white as she saw Grant.

The agents deposited him in the medical pod and Skye took his hand desperately. “Now, Jemma!”

She shook her head. “No, I can’t-”

“I don’t care how you feel about him; I need you to save him!”

“I can’t, Skye, he’s lost too much blood-”

“Give him a transfusion; just keep him alive until we get him to the hospital!”

“I don’t have blood lying around, Skye!”

“Take mine.” Skye glanced back in relief as Leo appeared. “My blood type’s o-negative.”

“Fitz, I can’t in good conscience give him your blood, it’s not considered a universal donor blood any-”

“THIS IS AN EMERGENCY, JEMMA!” As if to make his point Fitz reached for a scalpel and Jemma immediately screamed for him to stop.

“FINE! I’ll need an IV and for everyone but Fitz to clear out!”

“I’m not leaving him!”

Jemma turned to her, red in the face. “GET OUT SKYE!”

May grabbed her by the arm and pulled her out. The pod door slammed shut and Skye watched in terror as Fitz connected Grant to the respirator and then allowed Jemma to stick him with an IV needle. She turned her head, unable to stand the sight of anymore blood. Her stomach felt sour.

“You need to sit-”

“I’m fine!”

“You’ve been held captive for days, you’re not fine.”

“He took care of me, May.”

“Think of the baby.”

Well, if May was going to guilt her into things.

“I need to make sure he’s okay-”

“You can do that from the couch.”

Skye looked up at May through her tear-filled eyes. “When it was me, he didn’t leave my side.”

May took Skye’s face in her hands and settled her gaze on her. “When you were shot, he wasn’t six months pregnant. I think he’ll understand. You’ve been through a trauma, your body’s still recovering, and you’re under a lot of stress. Trust me, Skye, you need to sit down and collect yourself.”

Skye took one final look before nodding, allowing May to lead her to the common area. She took a seat and burst into tears. The entire past week all came crashing down and it was too much. May took her in her arms and Skye buried her face in her shirt and sobbed loudly. Another pair of arms wrapped around her and Skye knew it was A.C.

The three of them sat huddled together until Trip announced they were landing on the hospital’s helipad. Skye shot up but May took hold of her. “I know you want to rush after him, Skye, but the doctors are going to have to take him.”

Skye nodded and let them take him to surgery. She wanted to follow, to pace the hospital hallways and waiting rooms, but the moment he was in the hands of the people who could save him, her body gave up on her.

She woke up hours later in a hospital room.

“What happened?” She whispered her throat dry. A.C. let go of her hand and handed her a glass of water which she took eagerly. Her arm hurt like a bitch and she looked down to find an IV drip in it.

“Doctors said you were exhausted. You fainted and then got some much needed rest.”

Skye groaned. Great, she’d fainted. She was never going to live that down. Grant was going to make fun of her for- “Grant! How is he?”

“He pulled through surgery but they need to see how he does overnight.”

“I want to see him.”

“You will. Once the doctors say you and the baby are okay to go, we’re going to get you as much food as you can stomach, getting you as shower, and then some more sleep. And then you can see him.”

Skye shook her head. “No, I need to be with him. He shouldn’t be alone-”

“Fitz is with him. He knew you wouldn’t want him to by himself.”

“It should be me, if he wakes up-”

Phil looked at her with sympathy in his eyes and took her had. “Skye, it’ll be a miracle if he wakes up. You need to be prepared for that.”

Skye shook her head as tears filled her eyes. “No, he has to wake up.”

“He lost a lot of blood, his injuries aren’t as severe as yours were, but they’re close. He took a beating before he was shot-”

“Garrett. It was Garrett. He wouldn’t tell me but I could see it, he used him as his punching bag, dad, for years,” she whispered, not noticing her slip. “First it was his dad and then his brother and then Garrett and I don’t think he even realizes it, it’s just something he’s used to. I’m glad Garrett’s dead.”

A.C. watched her, stunned.

“What? He deserved-”

“No, that’s not-” He shook his head before leaning forward to press a kiss to Skye’s forehead. “John Garrett was a sick man and the world is a better place without him in it. And…I know you want him to wake up but don’t get your hopes up, okay?”

Skye refused to give up on him. “I need to see him, please, just for a minute I need to see that he’s alive, please.” She moved a hand to her bump and gave A.C. the pouty lip. “We’ll both feel better after.” She was playing him and they both knew it.

“Fine, but then we’re eating waffles and bacon and whatever else isn’t making you sick this week. And Skye, I love you, but you really need that shower.”

Skye laughed. “Yeah, as good as I look covered in blood I think I’m done sporting this style.”

He smiled and pressed a kiss to the top of her head as he stood.

“I’ll let the nurse know you’re awake.”

“Thanks da-A.C.” Skye blinked. What the hell?

A.C. smirked as he paused in the doorway.

“You know…you can call me ‘dad’ if you want. I always wanted children but Melinda wouldn’t have any of it. Said the job came first and she was right. Of course, it took our marriage falling apart for me to see that, but you…well, I think if we’d had a daughter she’d be exactly like you.” And he left without another word and for the first time in days Skye burst into tears out of happiness.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It took a lot of strong-arming to get Skye away from Grant. The moment she saw him, clinging to life, the way she had months earlier, she never wanted to leave his side. But when Mama Bear May wanted something, she got it.

Trip took a turn babysitting Grant, which made it better, but Skye still wasn’t happy about leaving him.

“So…the two of you were married, huh? What was that like?” Skye asked between shoving bacon covered pancakes into her face. She’d be sampling some real Cuban cuisine later, but right now she needed her familiar comfort food and lots of it. Garrett hadn’t been concerned about keeping her alive and Grant had a cover to keep.

A.C. had an arm around May and he sighed as she glanced over at him with one of her deadly looks.

“I um-”

“It was hard,” May said, meeting Skye’s eyes. “This job isn’t for people with complications. We recruit orphans, people from broken homes, those who are loners for a reason. You don’t form attachments and it makes things easier. But we were young and stupid so we got married anyway. Then the job happened. We both saw and did things that tore us apart. There are some things love can’t fix, Skye.”

She knew May was trying to give her a lesson here about Grant but her heart broke. Sure, they weren’t her actual parents but…shit, they were her parents. She wanted them to be happy.

“But you guys stayed friends, that’s good,” she said, shoving more food into her face. Her stomach was going to ache later but it would be worth it. She avoided the topic that they’d clearly gotten back together because she wanted to get more out of them. She knew the moment she brought it up May would clam up.

“In this business, you stick with the people you trust,” A.C. said and then they exchanged another one of those ‘we’re totally banging looks’ and Skye had enough.

“Oh, come on, do you think I’m stupid? How long have you two been back together? I demand details. I’ve been through hell, I deserve some happy news.”

May glared at Skye but the corners of her mouth were twitching and Skye smirked.

“Oh, come on, I won’t tell. Besides, you both love me,” she teased with a smile.

“We’ve missed that smile,” A.C. commented and she shrugged. She could tell him to enjoy it while it lasted but she didn’t want to ruin the mood.

Instead she waved her fork in front of his face. “Hey, enough with the sentimental dad crap, old man, I need a good love story to steal. My kid doesn’t need to hear mine, so get to it.”

Skye was surprised when May was the one to spill the beans.

“Well, it ended one night in Bahrain…”

The story of how they came back together was pretty simple, actually. They’d been slowly making their way back for months but when she’d been taken…well, apparently they’d needed comfort and Skye didn’t want details. It was bad enough the father of her child and her not-quite-adoptive mother had fondued, she didn’t need to hear about mom and dad getting it on.

But their whole story?

Fucking heartbreaking.

Skye thought she and Grant’s was tragic but this was worse. May still wouldn’t go into details about what had happened in Bahrain but it was bad enough for her to lose herself, to be unmade, and it had ruined most of her relationships. Of course, her mother and A.C. had stuck with her, getting her through it, and in the end they’d found a way to remain best friends, which was sweet.

And it was so clear to her they’d never stopped loving each other. She’d totally caught on months ago but figured they’d get together when they worked it out. She was glad they’d come back together, everyone deserved a little bit of happiness, especially in this business. She’d never understood the whole ‘we don’t do love thing’. Skye thought it was foolish to risk your life every day and not actually live it.

Skye glanced down where the baby was playing soccer in her uterus and released Grant’s hand so she could place both hands over it. She smiled, wondering if the baby was happy grandma and grandpa had gotten their shit together.

“Maybe you’ll get to be in their second wedding,” Skye whispered, rubbing her baby bump. The baby gave her a sharp kick before calming down. Skye winced. As much as she enjoyed being able to keep her little monkey safe she was going to like having her be out in the world. Her bladder would appreciate it.

Skye sat back in her chair and stared at Grant. He looked terrible. Too pale, too many things plugged into him, and if she was being honest he looked dead. It was…terrible. But he also looked more peaceful than she’d ever seen him. He always looked tense and given what she knew now, it was to be expected. The only time she’d ever seen him look happy had been the night she’d woken during her recovery period to find him asleep with her hands in his and when she’d kissed him in the janitor’s closet.

She moved a hand over his cheek sadly. He looked peaceful now, but that was probably the drugs. She wondered if he was dreaming. No, if he was dreaming he’d be able to wake up. She wanted him to wake up. The waiting was torture. She knew he needed time to heal but she just needed to know he’d come back to her.

Skye leaned forward and pressed her lips to his while clutching his hand. “Wake up, Grant. We need you. I refuse to lose you like this; we’ve been through too much.” She wished he wasn’t handcuffed. It was stupid, where was he going to go? She kissed his knuckle with a sigh. Maybe if he felt the baby kicking it would help jog something in him, she’d have to give A.C. the sad eyes when he returned.

She closed her eyes and rested her head on his chest. Even though they’d forced her to spend her nights at the hotel while one of the team members stayed with Grant she hadn’t been sleeping. When she closed her eyes she saw him dying in her arms and she couldn’t handle the stress. She’d just lie there tossing and turning and crying and what good was that doing her?

Skye began to drift off, ignoring the tears in her eyes, when she felt movement in her hand. She shot up to find Grant’s eyes on hers. He blinked and then was gone again but he’d woken up, he’d-

She jumped off the bed and yelled for a doctor with tears in her eyes.

He was going to be okay.

Chapter Text

“So, this is the new base, eh?” Skye asked as she looked around. It was ostentatious, but what else could someone expect from Tony? They were somewhere in Canada, location classified, in yet another underground bunker but this one was extreme. There were like thirteen floors complete with training areas, offices, dorms, an infirmary, etc. It was like the damn Avengers Towers in reverse. Tony had pulled out all of the stops.

Speaking of…

“About time we got a real place to call home,” she teased as she saw a familiar bearded face.

Tony smiled before holding out his hands. “Look who decided to come home. And look, you’ve gained some weight. About time, you were too damn skinny.”

Skye rolled her eyes.

“Oh, please, Tony, there’s not an ounce of fat on her body. Everything’s in her uterus.”

Skye smiled and threw her arms around Pepper. A.C. had gotten the Avengers back together months ago to help S.H.I.E.L.D. rise from the ashes and she’d been so downtrodden when she’d met them she hadn’t had it in her to fangirl which had probably helped her not seem like a loony.

“You look good, better than I’d expect. Phil was worried out of his mind. I think if you’d died he would have gone on a rampage.” Pepper whispered and Skye smiled. She liked Pepper a lot. She’d been the one to set up every base they’d fled to and she was the real boss. Tony could pretend he was but it was all Pepper. Plus, she and A.C. went way back and Skye liked anyone who could make him be so at ease and happy.

“Eh, I’m sure the big guy with the hammer would have found me eventually.” Skye quipped.

“I think he already did,” Tony muttered and Pepper shot him a glare. Skye rolled her eyes. If the God of Fertility had yet to knock up his own girlfriend, Skye doubted those powers held any sway here in Midgard.

“What did I say?”

Pepper ignored him and took Skye’s hands.

“Phil’s insisted you have a room adjoining his in the dorms so we got everything set up once you were rescued. The doctors here are great, you’ll have everything you need for when the baby comes. It seems you weren’t the only agents who decided everything falling apart was a good time to break the fraternization policies, so they’ll be busy.”

Skye smirked.

“Hill’s upped your clearance to level three and once you’re ready to begin training again May is taking over as your S.O. Once this mess in Congress is over the Hub, the Triskelion, and the Academy will be back up and running and things can get back to normal.

I know Phil well enough to that I’m sure he’s been avoiding work talk.”

“You’re not wrong,” Skye said as she glanced back to a silent A.C. He rolled his eyes before shaking Tony’s hand. She turned back towards Pepper with a smile. “Thanks, Pepper. And thanks for everything. I know S.H.I.E.L.D. could have let Grant recover in the Fridge’s medical center. I’m grateful he can do it here.”

Pepper shrugged. “I know full well what it’s like to love a man who doesn’t deserve you.”

“Was that about me? I know it’s not about me. I’m perfect. She’s just kidding.”

“Not everything’s about you, Tony,” A.C. replied with a smirk. “But this time it is.”

“I’m hurt, really, Phil, do you see what I have to put up with?”

He rolled his eyes. “You can do better, Pepper.”

“I know, but being a single woman is so much work.”

Skye stifled a chuckle and threw an arm around A.C. “I hate to cut this reunion short, pops, but there’s a baby on my bladder.”

A.C. smiled and kissed her temple. “Sixth floor down, room 323. All of your things from the bus are there plus whatever else Simmons and Mel bought you.” He dumped a keycard in her hand and shook her head.

“You don’t do anything halfway, do you boss,” she asked as she lifted the blinged out card.

“Wait until you see the new S.H.I.E.L.D. badges. You’re going to love them.”

Skye glanced back at A.C. who looked like he had a headache. He shook his head with a ‘no you won’t’ and Skye chuckled before saying her goodbyes. She didn’t know the lay of the land yet but it wasn’t hard to find the infirmary. Grant wasn’t here yet but once he was she’d be right by his side.

Now, about her room…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Skye had been planning to head right down to the med center once she had a real shower but her ten-minute shower turned into a full hour. She hadn’t had a real shower in ages and she wanted to scrub every remnant of Hydra off of her body. Plus the water felt amazing and hadn’t gone cold (she’d have to thank Tony for that later).

Then she’d unpacked and wound up crying over baby clothes she found and a note from Mama Bear promising they’d be putting together a crib soon. She’d fallen asleep clutching a onesie and a beanie and woke with dried tears on her face.

“Kid, enough with the hormones,” she muttered affectionately before going to wash up. She changed into her sweat pants, not really giving a fuck, and moved to the door to visit Grant when her stomach rumbled and she realized she hadn’t eaten in hours and she had no clue where anything was in this place other than the med center.

She spotted the door that adjoined to mom and dad’s and shrugged, deciding they could give her the grand tour. She didn’t bother to knock, if they were worried about being caught in the act they could lock it plus they had to know that she’d just come barging in so really, it would be their own fault.

But when Skye opened the door it wasn’t mom and dad she caught in the act.

“Dammit, woman, I’m trying to read the instructions on this thing,” Fitz said trying to be assertive which had to be hard to do because Jemma sat on top of him, knees on either side of him, and her lips on his neck. Fitz made a face and a moan escaped his lips.

Skye pulled the door almost closed, not wanting to be seen but far too shocked to actually leave. How long had this been going on? How serious was it? This wasn’t voyeurism it was merely curiosity. Once they actually got busy she’d leave, she just wanted to know what they were up to.

And she wanted to know how they got these nice digs. Her room didn’t adjoin to another bedroom it adjoined to a fucking fancy living area with couches and tables and was that a kitchen she saw? She had thought her room was nice, especially the bathroom, but she figured it was just how Stark rolled. But maybe A.C. got the star treatment. He wasn’t the boss but he was like up there, right?

“Fitz, you’re a rocket scientist, I think you can handle putting together a crib.”

Skye almost cried. Fitz was so sweet.

“Aye, but I work best when it’s something I built on my own not some pre-packages shite. These damn things are just-Jemma I can’t concentrate when you-dear God, woman, are you trying to kill me? At least wait until we’re back in our-”

Fitz never finished his sentence because his hands were on Jemma’s ass and then they were kissing and the door was now officially closed.

“Well, then,” she muttered as the main door to her room opened and mom and dad stepped in. She immediately leaned into May and let her wrap her arms around her. She’d missed this, a lot.

“We came earlier but you were napping, we didn’t want to wake you,” A.C. said as he watched them fondly.

Skye gave him a smile. “Thanks, I guess I needed it.” Her gunshot wound had been nothing, she’d only been grazed, but it still hurt like a bitch.

“We were about to make dinner; figured you would want some real food your first night back.”

“Make it? We have a kitchen?” So, she had seen one.

May smiled. “This floor is mostly ours. Apparently when you’re an Avenger you get a suite,” May said as she gave Phil an adoring smile. Skye did her best not to grin like an idiot. They were so cute she wanted to vomit or cry but probably vomit because she had heartburn radiating from her kneecaps.

He grinned. “What can I say, Mel? I’ve got pull with the boss.”

Skye chuckled and raised one brow suggestively. “So, I’m guessing this room was meant to be yours, May?”

“Yes, but we figured we could share one if it meant Phil got the peace of mind of knowing you were close by. It’s such a struggle, let me tell you,” she teased.

Skye tried and failed to force back a smile. “Uh huh, I’m sure. What a hardship, having to sleep with A.C. every night. It must be dreadful.” She knew full well May had only stepped in this room to get it ready for her.

A.C. rolled his eyes. “Simmons is directly across the hall. She got a single room and Trip and Fitz are sharing the one adjoining to hers and we have our own office at the end of the hall.”

“So, we’ve taken over this entire corner, have we? Who are our neighbors? Thor and Jane?” She teased, finding the thought of being neighbors with the God of Thunder far more amusing than she should, mostly because she kept picturing him in nothing more than an apron. Oh, man, that was…she shook off the mental image. She had her own god-like creature to deal with.

“Yes and no. Clint and Natasha have the only other suite down the hall and the other dorms on this floor are reserved for visiting Avengers,” Phil answered like it wasn’t a big deal.

Skye’s jaw dropped for a moment. She’d been kidding. “I…well, I guess they need a place to hide out too from time to time,” she muttered lamely. This would totally be like living in Avengers Tower. How fucking cool was her life? Her surrogate father was a fucking Avenger and she got to hang out with them and maybe when she was ready to train Nat would show her some moves so she could kick double ass. She bubbled with excitement and had to remind herself not to be a fangirl. She was totally a badass spy. This is what she did like for real.

But it was still totally badass.

She smirked and rubbed her belly.

Kid, your life is going to be so awesome.

Especially once Skye found a way for her dad to be with them.

“So, ready? I know you want to see Ward but we were thinking of making your second-favorite; chicken and waffles. I said no more waffles but May insisted.”

Skye beamed. “Waffles are required at every meal, dad,” she insisted as she moved to the living area and then froze, remembering Fitzsimmons were totally getting it on in there.

She turned and gave them her best sweet smile. “But first can I get the grand tour of this place? I already took a nap and if I can’t sleep tonight I don’t want to be wandering around this place without a clue.”

“We can do that after dinner,” A.C. insisted and before Skye could argue he had the door open and-

“Skye, you’re up,” Jemma said with a smile. Skye let out a sigh of relief.  Jemma was on the couch reading a magazine while Fitz and Trip worked on the-was that supposed to be a crib? She wasn’t sure if anyone knew but she knew it would suck to be caught either way, so she just gave them a smile.

“Yes, I am, and I hope you’re not planning to have my child sleep in that thing,” she teased as she entered the room.

Skye had such a good time with the team she forgot to feel guilty about staying away from Grant for nearly a day.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Oh, man, do I have a lot to catch you up on,” Skye whispered as she brushed back some of Grant’s hair. It was getting long and he needed a shave but she liked it too much to cut it for him. She lay at his side, studying his face. Nothing had changed since she’d seen him this morning. She refused to believe he wouldn’t wake up, he had to. And she’d be here, as often as she could be until it happened. She wanted to be here when he woke the way he’d been there for her.

She pressed a kiss to his forehead before telling him about catching Fitzsimmons in the act. “It’s about time, don’t you think? Though, I totally thought Jem was going to say to hell with it and do Trip instead. Poor guy, we’ll have to find him a girlfriend. What do you think?”

She wasn’t expecting an answer but she glanced up anyway and sighed when she found him still comatose.

Right.

She closed her eyes and rested her head on his chest.

Aside from the fact that he was in a coma this was kind of nice. They’d never gotten to cuddle or just sleep together. They’d pretty much done this whole relationship thing ass-backwards but Skye really didn’t mind. She wasn’t exactly normal, after all.

Someday…

“I love you, Grant Douglas,” she whispered before allowing herself to sleep.

Chapter Text

“So, there’s still no change?”

The doctor gave Skye a sympathetic nod. “I’m sorry, we can run more tests but-”

She shook her head. “No, it’s fine.” Skye reached for his hand and did her best not to cry. Not now. Not here. She would only do it when she was alone. She’d shed enough tears in front of an audience lately.

“The good news is he still has brain function, he just-”

“Isn’t waking up. Yeah.”

He could wake up they just weren’t sure if he would. Maybe he didn’t want to?

Well, she didn’t care, he had to. He wasn’t getting off that easily. They had a baby girl to raise.

“I’ll let you know if anything changes and you should go back to your room and get some sleep. That little one needs her rest too,” the doctor said before leaving Skye alone.

She ran a hand over her face, knowing she was right. She’d slept curled at his side for the past two nights and her back was killing her. And she was starving. Maybe Trip or Fitz would stay with him, just to ease her mind.

Skye pressed a kiss to Grant’s forehead. “If you wake up, I promise, I only left because our little monkey needed me to.” Her fingers lingered against his cheek as she stared down at him. She pulled away sadly and left before she could change her mind.

Skye stopped by the lab on her way down but found it empty.

Oh well, she’d probably find Fitz in the common room eating. Fitz was always eating. Where did he even put it? He weighed less than she did pre-baby.

Skye leaned her head back against the cool wall of the elevator and closed her eyes. She was very close to falling asleep then and there when the elevator dinged. She sighed and stepped off. She went right for the suite, not even bothering to go to her room. When she opened the door she found Fitz sprawled out on the sofa, mouth half-open, and snoring with a bag of chips on his stomach.

She stifled a chuckle and cleaned up his mess, polishing off the chips in the process. She covered him with a quilt and leaned down to press a kiss to his forehead.  “Oh Fitz, you really are our little monkey, aren’t you?” She teased before grabbing herself a snack and heading to her room.

Skye ate, showered, and threw on one of Grant’s shirts (she had all of his things from the bus) before poking her head in to check on Fitz. She smiled when she found he’d fallen to the floor but was still sleeping peacefully. She didn’t know how he could fall asleep anywhere, but it was adorable. Skye debated on whether or not to wake Jemma so she could collect her boyfriend but she was already having second doubts about asking Trip to stay with Grant. It was late and he’d be fine and everyone needed their rest in their own beds or…floor.

“I’m worried about her Antoine, she’s going to wear herself thin, it’s not good for the baby or her.” Jemma’s voice trailed into the room as Skye was halfway through the door to her own room. She slipped in and closed the door, leaving it open just a crack.

Skye couldn’t help it; she was a field agent and they were talking about her.

“Give her a break; if it was Fitz you’d do the same. Hell, you did the same when it was her. She’s carrying his child, cut her some slack.”

“That’s precisely why I’m concerned, if it was just her I wouldn’t care about her risking her health but she has the child to-oh God, Fitz,” she said with a sigh once she spotted him. Jemma gave him a look mixed with affection and annoyance. “Oh, will you help me wake him?”

“Nah, baby girl, I got this,” he said, kissing the top of her head before leaning down to scoop up Fitz. Skye frowned. There was something…off about the way he’d kissed her. It was just…no. She moved to her main door and cracked it just enough to hear what was going on. She assumed Trip was depositing Fitz in his room because she heard nothing and then a door shut followed by footsteps.

“Honestly, I told you Fitz having access to a television was a bad idea, the last thing I need is him falling aslee-” Skye could see them now and-She was going to kill them both.

Trip’s mouth was on Jemma’s and Jemma was kissing him back and he had her pressed against the door to her room and Skye was livid. Was she seriously cheating on Fitz? With his best friend of all people?

They broke apart and Trip gave Jemma an eskimo kiss and an adorable smile. “Stop worrying about everyone all the time, Jem. Sometimes I think you’re the real mom around here.”

Jemma was not amused. “I can’t help it; someone needs to make sure everyone takes-”

“You don’t have to fix everything,” he whispered, taking her face in his hands.

Jemma gnawed on her lower lip for a moment before reaching up and pulling him down for another kiss. He reached behind her to open the door and they disappeared a moment later.

Skye stood, dumbfounded until she could very clearly hear sex coming from Jemma’s room and then she slammed her door, furious.

What the fuck was going on? The Jemma she knew would never! Especially not to Fitz. And she sure as hell didn’t do casual sex especially not with multiple people and there was nothing casual about her relationship with Fitz, everyone knew he was head-over-heels in love with her and what she’d just seen with Trip? That wasn’t a fling.

Skye went to bed angry and crying and confused. She wanted nothing more than to tell Fitz but she couldn’t bring herself to do it, not when she was this upset. She’d wait until tomorrow, when she’d cooled off.

Apparently she really couldn’t trust anyone anymore.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The next morning Skye glared at both Trip and Jemma over her cereal bowl having decided she hated them both. Fitz was a precious angel and he had to be protected at all costs. Skye was in full mother mode and Fitz was hers. No one harmed her child and got away with it, no sir.

“We should get to the lab, Fitz,” Jemma said and he gave her the most adorable smile Skye had ever seen. God, how many times had Grant looked at her that way? It was so clear Fitz loved her and she slammed her cereal bowl down in anger. Five pairs of eyes landed on her and she didn’t care.

“No, Fitz and I need to talk. It’s important.”

“Don’t worry, Skye, I’ll be by Ward’s room soon, I just need to finish up a few reports. I know I haven’t been by as much as I-”

“It’s not that, Fitz. This has nothing to do with Grant; I need to talk to you now.”

Fitz gave her his confused puppy look.

“Skye, are you feeling already, you’re all red,” Jemma said, pressing a hand to her forehead.

Skye pulled away angrily. “I’m not talking to you,” she said as she stood and reached for Fitz’s arm.

“Skye, what has gotten into you?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe the question is who’s gotten into you?”

Jemma gave her a scandalized look and May sighed.

“Baby girl, I don’t know what hormone rage you’re in right now but-”

Skye’s phone rang and A.C. answered it on the first ring just to avoid the awkwardness. He held up a finger before Skye could snap at everyone some more and she could see from his face it had something to do with Grant.

“Right. Good. I’ll let her know.”

Skye released Fitz. “What is it?”

He gave her a small smile. “He woke up-”

She was out of the room before he could finish. She knew they’d come after her but it didn’t matter. Grant was awake and he was going to be fine and-oh God. There were tears on her face and she’d forgotten why she was upset to begin with. Nothing mattered but Grant.

When the elevator doors opened she ran for the medical center and to his room. She halted to a stop when she found him still asleep surrounded by his doctors.

“What-no. They told me he was awake.”

“Skye, I tried to tell you-” She turned to find A.C. behind her. “He woke only for a few seconds, but it’s something. I mean, he woke once before. This means he might be close to waking for good, right doc?”

Skye tuned them out. She didn’t want more false hope, she wanted results, and she refused to leave his side again. She allowed them all to keep talking and once they left settled in at his side where she planned to stay until he woke for good.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When Skye woke it was darker than it had been when she’d fallen asleep and she was no longer alone.

“Did I miss dinner?”

“Yes, don’t worry, I brought you a sandwich.”

She smiled at Fitz who sat in a chair on the opposite side of the bed. She gave Grant’s hand a squeeze and remembered what she’d wanted to tell Fitz this morning.

“Fitz, I need to tell you something-”

“Dammit, Skye, it’s almost midnight, what are you still doing here,” Jemma asked from the doorway.

She shot a glare in her direction. She hadn’t forgotten she was pissed at her. “Unlike others I stick by the people I love, Simmons. It’s called loyalty; you might want to look it up.”

“I don’t know why you’ve been in such a mood today, Skye, but this isn’t doing either of you any good. You need regular rest in a real bed, all of your meals, and to be away from this stressful environment. Not to mention there’s still loads to do before the baby gets here. We still haven’t started your Lamaze tapes or picked out a name or organized an area for the baby in your room-”

“I can worry about that later. I need him to wake up. He needs me here. When it was me, I knew when you were all with me. It helped me get better. He doesn’t need to be alone right now; Fitz and I are all he has.” No one else believed in him. They were his only family now.

“Then let Fitz stay with him for a few hours so you can get some real rest.”

“I’m sure you’d love that. Have him out of the way.”

“What the hell if your problem, Skye?”

“You!” Skye didn’t remember getting to her feet but she was. And she was crying. Why was she always crying? Fucking pregnancy.

“Look, I love Trip, but Fitz is a gift. How dare you?”

“How dare I what?”

“I saw you! You’re cheating on Fitz! Don’t deny it, Jemma, you aren’t exactly quiet about it. If I hadn’t seen the two of you going at it I would have heard it. And I know about you and Fitz, okay. I’m not stupid and it’s kind of hard to hide who you’re screwing when you do it where anyone can walk in on you.”

Jemma’s face went slack for a moment before she blinked. “You have no idea what you’re talking about!” She hissed. “And this isn’t about me, this is about you not taking care of yourself because of some assh-”

My asshole!”

“SKYE YOU NEED TO STOP THIS! HE’LL EITHER WAKE UP WITH OR WITHOUT YOU OR HE’LL NEVER WAKE AT ALL!”

“I don’t care! I’m not leaving him!”

Skye didn’t care that she was yelling how dare she say he’d never wake up? If she was so damn worried about Skye’s stress levels maybe she should be more supportive on the subject of Grant Ward. She didn’t need negativity she needed hope and so far Jemma Simmons hadn’t given her any.

Jemma was supposed to be her person and lately she hadn’t been. Fitz had. And yeah, maybe that was why she was angry but maybe she also had a real reason to hate her right now.

“You need to sleep, Skye, this isn’t healthy for you or the baby. You’ve already had enough scares, he isn’t worth this.”

There she was again. “Don’t talk to me about what he’s worth, Jemma!”

“He doesn’t get a pass because he saved your life, Skye!”

“No one said he does, Jemma, but she wants to be here with him, just let it be,” Fitz whispered. Skye looked over at him horrified. Oh, God, she’d forgotten he was there. “Besides, a baby needs its father, this may be the only time they get to spend together.” He knew all too well what it was like to only have your mother to raise you.

“I’m getting May,” Jemma warned.

“Good, get her, see if I care,” Skye hissed as she angrily wiped her eyes.

“I know you love him but you need to move on. When he does wake up he’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison. And he deserves to rot there.”

“Shut up, Jemma,” Fitz whispered. He looked up at her, tears in his own eyes. Skye moved to hug Fitz but he pulled away, shot Jemma a glare, and left them alone.

Skye met Jemma’s eyes angrily.

“Get out.”

“Fine, but I’m coming back with May. She seems to be the only one who can talk any sense into you.”

“Go ahead. It’ll be nice to see someone who I don’t hate right now.”

She didn’t even bother to see Jemma’s reaction; she turned and sat back in her chair angrily.

She heard May approach minutes later but she ignored her.

“Skye…” she sighed. “I’ll stay with him. Go eat something at least; something that isn’t a sandwich. Doesn’t my granddaughter deserve that much?”

A sob escaped her lips and Skye buried her face in her hands. May’s arms were immediately around her and Skye continued to cry. May pressed a kiss to her temple. “Shh, baby girl, I didn’t mean to make you feel-”

“What if he never wakes up,” she whispered before completely falling apart.

May held her until she finally fell asleep, too exhausted to keep crying.

She woke up next to Grant with May fast asleep in a chair. She smiled and wrapped herself around Grant. She quickly slipped back into unconsciousness. In her dream he woke long enough to tell her he loved her and it felt so real that a smile was still plastered on her face in the morning when she woke.

Chapter Text

“No more all-nighters. You sleep in your own bed every night. You’re going back to work. You can see him after breakfast, during lunch, after work, and after dinner. Is that clear?”

May’s voice was hard and Skye knew there was no getting out of this. She nodded.

“That baby is coming out of you in eight weeks, Skye. You have both been through enough. He knows that. And the fact is you need to get used to not having him around. I know it’s harsh but it’s the truth. If he does wake up-”

“He’ll be in the Fridge, I know.”

May met her eyes and for the first time Skye saw pity there. “You better hope he goes to the Fridge, baby girl.”

Skye didn’t have the words to answer her but she knew she’d fight for him. She’d fight until her dying breath. May pressed a kiss to her forehead as she left.

With a resigned sigh she turned to give Grant a goodbye kiss and found a pair of brown eyes watching her intently.

“Oh my God,” she whispered, her voice breaking. She rushed to his side and began kissing him franticly. His lips, his cheeks, his forehead, anywhere she could reach. She stopped only when her tears obstructed her vision. Skye rested her forehead against his and allowed herself to cry some more.

“Don’t ever do that to me again,” she whispered angrily.

“Love you too,” he muttered, voice hoarse.

Skye sat up and reached for some water. Once he finished he glass she pressed a button for the doctor.

She hung back while they examined him and looked away only when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Skye turned to find A.C. and leaned into him, allowing him to hold her against his chest while she fought off the urge to cry.

An hour later, after the doctors looked him over and both Hill and Coulson had spoken with him and he was put in handcuffs (which really, Skye found to be unnecessary. What was he going to do? Walk out the front door?), they were finally alone.

Skye lay with her head on his chest, careful not to press into his wounds. The stiches were almost ready to come out and aside from needing to be monitored for possible brain trauma he was going to be fine. She was happy but also sad because once they declared he was fit to leave he’d be on trial and then he’d leave her. She never wanted to let him go.

“I’ve given statements about what happened, made it clear you switched sides. That with your intel allowing them to finish taking down Hydra cells you should be able to get a reduced sentence,” she whispered. There was no way in hell they’d execute him, but the possibility that he’d die in prison was strong. They weren’t being lenient at all when it came to Hydra members. Fury may have but Hill and Romanoff? Even with A.C. as their right hand they were making a statement.

“Skye…I’m going to take whatever sentence they give me.”

“Yes, but if we make it clear you-”

Grant cut her off with a kiss. When he broke away he toyed with her hair. “Skye, I love you. More than…” He sighed. “I didn’t even know I could love before you. And as much as I want to be with you I am not going to try to get out of this. I need to pay for my crimes. It’s the only way I’ll ever deserve you or our daughter. She deserves to have a father with a clean ledger. I want to be worthy of both of you. Don’t try to fight this, Skye. Things will happen the way they’re supposed to.”

She didn’t think it was possible to actually feel your heart breaking but here she was, pain shooting through her chest as it shattered. She shook her head and pulled away from him angrily but he held her face in her hands and kissed her.

“No,” she whispered, knowing this was what he had to do for himself and for their family. Prison would be better than the alternative but either way she’d be losing him.

“Sweetheart-” Skye buried her face in the crook of his neck and cried. He held her tightly and she wanted to hit him, yell at him, and do something. This was his fault and she couldn’t hate him. Garrett…he was the real one to blame and he was dead. He’d gotten off easy.

She balled his shirt in her hands and kissed him. And it was an angry kiss. She wasn’t happy with him but she would respect his choice. She loved enough to give him that much.

When she drew away she kept her eyes on his and they stared at one another in silence until a doctor interrupted, saying they needed to take him to run tests.

Skye released him and gave him a final look.

“I’ll let you do this but I swear, if you don’t come home to me someday-”

“I know,” he whispered.

She nodded and left him.

Skye resisted the urge to hide in her bed with ice cream while hugging her knees to her chest and crying. Instead she went down to lab to take care of something she couldn’t put off; apologizing to Fitzsimmons. And Trip. But Fitzsimmons first.

Plus, Fitz needed to know about Grant. He’d want to see his little monkey sooner rather than later and after the bombshell she’d dropped on Fitz he needed the good news.

She used her keycard to access the floor that led to Fitzsimmons’ personal lab and paused outside of the glass doors. Inside Trip was comforting a visibly upset Fitz by stroking his hair and whispering words she couldn’t hear to him.

“Great Skye, it’s you walk in on everyone in awkward situations week. Next you’ll find mom and dad banging on the kitchen counter.” Skye scrunched up her face at the mental image and shook it off.

She quickly came up with an apology speech and she raised her card to open the doors. Before she could swipe it she witnessed what was possibly the hottest thing she’d ever seen in her life: tiny Fitz shoving big, muscular Trip against a lab table and balling his shirt up in his fist before kissing him.

“Well, shit,” Skye muttered. She wasn’t sure which was more of a turn-on; dominant Fitz or that they were totally making out. Both; definitely both.

“Skye, what are you doing here?” Jemma called from behind her.

She turned to find a fuckstruck Jemma not watching the boys but watching her. Skye glanced back at the boys and then back to Jemma and suddenly everything made sense.

“Are the three of you…” she trailed off before smirking and barging into the lab. “Sorry to interrupt boys, but your girlfriend’s here and I need to talk to you.” The boys broke away awkwardly and she crossed her arms with a huge shit-eating grin. “Wow, this is hot. I’m jealous. If I’d known having both of you was on the table-”

“Oh, Skye, don’t be crude,” Jemma hissed. She turned and gave Jemma a ‘please’ look and found her with her cheeks red.

She rolled her eyes. “Were you ever going to tell me or?”

“We were waiting until Ward was better-”

“Why?”

She glanced back at the boys and Trip rolled his eyes with a shrug. “I don’t know, she thought you’d freak out.”

She laughed. She was pickled by this, honestly.

“She’s not freaking out,” Fitz muttered. He was a real Captain Obvious that one.

“Why would I freak out?”

“You’re okay with this-I mean…it’s not exactly conventional, I know,” Jemma muttered and Skye laughed.

“Hell yeah I’m okay with it, it’s awesome. Do you know how worried I was about poor Trip being all in love with you and never having a chance?”

“Hey,” he said, offended.

Skye ignored him. “Three of the people I love most are happy, so why wouldn’t I be happy about this, Jemma?” Jemma threw her arms around Skye and Skye hugged her back tightly. “I’m sorry I called you a cheating whore-”

“You never said ‘whore’,” Jemma said, scandalized as she pulled away quickly.

Skye made a face. “I might have in my head…”

Jemma scoffed. “After I was completely understanding about the fact that you slept with your superior officer in a broom cupboard and didn’t even bother to use protection.”

“Okay, not the same thing. And in my defense, I was offended on behalf of poor Fitz.”

“What about me?”

Skye rolled her eyes at Trip. “Please, like you need me to mother you. Besides, I did not come here to interrupt your little ménage à science okay? I came to say I was sorry about last night. I thought Fitz deserved to know the truth and in my defense I was provoked into screaming it the way I did.”

“Apology accepted,” Fitz said as he glanced at Jemma and gave her that dominant Fitz look. Damn, she didn’t think he had it in him. “And Jemma has something to say to you as well.”

Jemma sighed. “I’m sorry too. The boys brought it to my attention that I haven’t been very understanding. As much as I may hate Ward right now you and Fitz don’t and I haven’t been helping matters with my behavior.”

“No, you haven’t.”

Jemma gave her a ‘look’. “Shut up, I said I was sorry.”

Skye smirked and hugged her again. “Fine, I’ll forgive you, but only because I’m in a good mood,” she teased.

“Yeah and why’s that, mama,” Trip asked.

She glanced at them over Jemma’s shoulders and smiled directly at Fitz. “Because Grant’s awake.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Do you think Apples to Apples and Cards against Humanity are suitable games for sending him off? And I know pizza isn’t the best, but I mean, it’s something. Oh and I really should-”

Skye chuckled. “Fitz, whatever you come up with, he’ll love it,” she insisted as she patted his hand. The only person who would miss Grant more than she would was Fitz. He’d rushed to see him the moment she told him the news and they spent at least an hour a day playing board games. Poor Fitz, she could see how hard this all was for him. Not because he’s miss him but because of the baby. Every so often she’d catch him staring at her belly sadly, like he was remembering what it was like to lose his father, and mourning the fact that ‘baby Skye’ wasn’t going to grow up without him.

She was going to kill the asshole that had started calling her little monkey ‘Skye Junior’ and his name was Antoine Gabriel Triplett.

Just because Grant Douglas had begun calling the little thing ‘mi cielo’ when he talked to her didn’t mean she was actually going to name her after herself. That was a level of narcissism she hadn’t reached yet. Of course, she had no idea what she’d call her yet, but that was beside the point.

“I just want it to be perfect, I mean…” he made his puppy face and Skye leaned over to press a kiss to his cheek. He really was her little monkey.

“Oh, Fitz, he’ll have us, which is all he needs. You’re our little monkey, he loves you.” He was like their little brother who happened to be their son at the same time. “He’ll just be happy that we’re with him and he’ll have something to look forward to when he gets out and he will get out, someday.”

They shared a look, both knowing that someday was a long ways away.

“You don’t have to wait for him, you know.”

She smiled. That was sweet coming from Fitz.

“I know, but we both know I will. Besides, I have everything else I ever wanted.”

Skye reached for a piece of bacon and caught sight of May’s face. She’d been on edge ever since they entered the cafeteria. Sure, they had their own kitchen, but who wanted to wake up early to cook? And Skye never turned down pancakes and usually neither did May but she’d barely touched hers and-

“What are they doing to him?”

She was foolish. Pancakes were a means to distract her. She’d felt something was off earlier; she should have listened to her gut.

“Nothing, just talking,” but May didn’t seem convinced of it either.

Skye shoved her chair away and stood. May tried to stop her and Skye’s face went hard. “No. It’s been too long, something wrong.” And when May didn’t fight harder to stop her Skye knew something was really wrong.

“Wait for me.”

Fitz followed as Skye ran for the elevator. She pushed the buttons harshly, cursing that there wasn’t a real stairwell in this place; it would be faster.

“What do you thi-”

“I don’t know,” she muttered as the elevator doors finally opened. They rushed inside followed by a very calm May. Skye pressed the doors close button and their floor and began pacing in the car. The sick feeling in her stomach grew and it had nothing to do with the baby it was all instinct.

“He was never going to have a real trial was he?” May didn’t even have to answer. Skye was so stupid. She had to stop believing in the best of people and that things would work out. This was war.

“Breath,” Fitz whispered as he placed a hand on her lower back. She took a deep breath but it didn’t help calm her nerves.

They finally reached their after what felt like hours but was nothing more than a minute. The doors opened to Trip and Jemma. “We were coming to find you, Skye, I’m sor-”

She brushed past them and halted in her tracks as A.C. stepped out of the interrogation room. He gave her one short, guilt-ridden look before turning away from her.

No.”

Two guards escorted a handcuffed Grant out of the room and May held her back. “You can’t stop this, baby girl.”

Skye shook her head as tears streamed down her face. She was supposed to have more time. She was supposed to be able to say goodbye. No. His eyes met hers and he looked as broken as she felt.

Maria and Nat stepped out of the room and Nat at least had the decency to look sorry.

“Why?” Skye asked, her voice shaking with anger.

She held up a thick file. “Agent Ward gave us a very lengthy confession, Agent Mason,” she said, using the last name Skye had picked when they’d forced her to; part May, part Coulson. Skye shot her a death glare. “Don’t worry, I promise you he’ll be around to see that little one off to kindergarten, if he survives that long.”

“Don’t worry, he will,” Nat promised as she gave Maria an unhappy glance.

“That’s like…five years…” Skye whispered in surprise. That was…a miracle.

Maria shrugged. “You can thank Nat and Phil; they see something worth saving in him. Come on, boys, wheels up in three.”

Skye watched as they led him to the opposite end of the hallway, to the elevator that went up to the air pad. He gave her a final stare and she squirmed her way out of May’s grip and ran for him. Skye didn’t give two shits about being reprimanded for this; her dad was a fucking Avenger for crying out loud.

She grabbed Grant by the face and kissed him hard, not caring that she tasted like the salt from her tears. “Stay alive, I’m waiting for you and I swear to God, Grant Douglas, if you make me wait for nothing, I’ll resurrect you just to kill you myself.” She knew the Fridge was a horrible place and if you wanted someone dead it wouldn’t be hard to make it happen. All it would take is one ‘gifted’ unleashing their powers for all hell to break lose in that place.

He gave her a nod and A.C. pulled her off of him and held her back as she watched them disappear down the hall and through the doors. Skye buried her face in A.C.’s shirt and cried. He patted her back awkwardly. “I’m sorry, it was the only way. Maria is rightfully out for blood; he did kill a senior a-”

“I know,” Skye whispered as she pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Thank you. And thank you,” she said turning to Natasha who simply shrugged.

“Don’t worry about it, kid. I know people who’ve done worse and been given a second chance.” She looked at Phil as she spoke and Skye knew there was a story she was going to get out of him someday in there. “And chin up, Clint and I make it work, so maybe you will too,” she told Skye with a wink before heading for the elevator.

“The next five years are going to suck aren’t they?”

“Yeah, they will,” May whispered as she put an arm around Skye. She leaned into her with a small smile. At least she wouldn’t have to do it alone.

Chapter Text

Grant sat with the back of his head resting against his cell wall. He’d been sitting here in silence for the past week, moving only for meals and bathroom breaks. He was in the ice box and he was fine with it. He needed this time to himself and it was the safest place to be.

He was counting down the minutes until he was free of this place. Yes, it was where he belonged, but he was much more interesting in doing something to fix the wrongs he’d committed and he wasn’t going to do that from a prison cell.

Three.

Two.

One.

Nothing.

The door to his cell opened a moment later and he opened his eyes to find Barton and Romanoff dressed in tactical gear.

“You’re late.”

Romanoff smirked and threw a vest onto his cot.

“Whatever; suit up, kid, we’ve got work to do.”

“Hello, Agent Ward. I have a proposition for you.”

A…he blinked. “What?” He croaked.

Hill took the seat in front of him and Romanoff flanked her on the left. “Fury loves a good redemption story; did you know that? Phil too. They have this sort of saving people complex. Now, I for one could not give two fucks about giving someone like you a second chance, however, seeing as one of the best people I know is only here today because people like Phil Coulson and Nick Fury decided to take her under their wing I can see the merit behind that line of thinking. Do you see where I’m going with this?”

Grant glanced up at Romanoff who had a stoic expression but she gave him a small wink and he sat back in surprise. “You want to take me under your wing?” He doubted that, Hill had hated him even before she knew he was a traitor.

She smirked. “Hell no, Ward. Hydra or no you’ve always been a pain in the ass. I’d kill you after a day of being stuck with you. No, ‘Tasha here is sweet on your girl. So is Barton. I don’t blame them, she’s adorable and one hell of an agent. Until you knocked her up she had the potential to be the next May or Romanoff,” at this Romanoff smirked. “She and Phil think you’re worth a second chance and well, Barton does whatever this one tells him. Plus he’s a sucker for romance and he thinks a kid deserves both parents even if one of them is you.

So, tell me, Agent Ward, are you worth a second chance?”

Grant remembered why he’d always hated Hill and damn if she wasn’t going to make one hell of a director, which made him hate her more.

“No,” he answered honestly, “but I still want to earn one.”

Hill smiled. “You know, that may be the first time I’ve had any respect for you.

Here’s what’s going to happen. The Fridge isn’t going to do you any good. You’ve already come to terms with your crimes; sitting in a cell won’t fix anything. But there are ways for you to pay for your crimes that don’t involve prison.

Your Hydra buddies released some dangerous individuals back into the world and all of our best specialists teamed up won’t do any good against them and we can’t spare the resources. The Avengers could handle it but that would take time and energy that could be put to better use.

Barton and Romanoff are our best bet. They’ll get the job done, quickly, and efficiently, but they’ll need help. And the fact is Team Delta’s needed to be more than a two-person operation for some time and for some reason they’re willing to take you under their belt and train you to be even better than you are now.”

“Wait, you want me to-”

“Welcome to level eight, Agent Ward. Meet your new S.O.”

Romanoff smirked.

“Hello, Romeo. You’re going to help us save the world.”

Grant nursed his jaw with a groan. “Did you really have to punch me in the face?” Nat was a hard-ass, worse than Garrett had ever been, but she wasn’t usually cruel.

“You lost Barton and when I found him he was drunk and missing his pants.”

“And that’s my fault?”

She glanced over and gave him a ‘shut the fuck up’ look.

He sighed and checked his rounds for the fifth time since beginning this stake-out. They’d been at this for weeks and he hadn’t had a proper shave in days. He wasn’t complaining, this beat rotting in a cell and at least he was doing some good, but he hated being away from Skye. Hell, she didn’t even know he wasn’t in the Fridge. He’d been unable to say a proper good-bye to her, too afraid he’s accidentally fuck up and spill about the deal he’d made; reform Strike Team Delta with Barton and Romanoff whilst rounding up every escaped convict from the Fridge so they could be put back where they belonged.

It seemed simple enough at the time but he hadn’t taken into consideration that most of these individuals were gifted and catching them wasn’t going to be as simple as take them down with force and arrest them. He’d also neglected to consider the fact that the S.T.R.I.K.E. division had been completely infiltrated by Hydra save his two new S.O.’s and that when they completed this mission their next mission of reforming said division would be even harder. Specialists were hard to come by to begin with but specialists on their level? The only one he could think of was Triplett but like himself he’d been compromised by the team.

Specialists weren’t supposed to form attachments but he was coming to learn that even the great Black Widow and Hawkeye weren’t immune to emotions. He’d caught on pretty quickly that the rumors about the two of them being a couple weren’t rumors at all and it was inspiring, really. They didn’t let it get in the way of their work and they always had someone they could trust not to betray them at their side. It was the way he and Skye should have been had he not been a complete and utter fuck-up.

Skye…well she was the reason he had to do this. Why he had to do this right. Someday they’d be together again and he’d hoped this would make it sooner but now he wasn’t so sure. Out of a list of fifty they’d caught only seven and those had been the easy cases. Some of these people had powers beyond his comprehension. Catching them was going to be a bitch.

“Chin up, kid,” Nat muttered with a smirk.

“Why? So you can punch it again?”

She laughed. “No, but Coulson did send me this,” she whispered as she typed into her phone. A moment later his beeped (it was encrypted not to be able to contact anyone but Romanoff or Barton and yes, he had been stupid enough to test it) and he rolled his eyes as he pulled it out to check his messages, sure it was some emoji filled nonsense she’d sent him to amuse herself. For a deadly assassin she was a huge dork most of the time. He wasn’t sure if that made him like her or fear her more than he already did.

Hey, knock up the deputy director’s daughter recently? It read followed by…he cocked his head to the side? Was that a fucking smiley face with hearts around its head? He rolled his eyes and was about to put it away when he noticed there was an attachment. He clicked on it and it opened a picture of a smiling Skye. He glanced up to find Romanoff smirking before she turned her attention back to the building they were surveying.

He glanced back down and studied every detail. It looked like her baby shower and she held up a pair of pink booties. She scrolled down to the text of the forwarded message.

Thanks, Aunt Nat, I’m sure she’ll love them.

“Baby booties?” He glanced up and shot Romanoff a look of surprise.

She shrugged and failed to hide a smile. “Kids’ feet get cold. Plus, they’re cute, shut up and get back to work, Ward.”

He’d been taken in by two assassins, one who loved babies and the other who liked to get drunk and be naked, his life wasn’t weird at all. They also seemed to be very invested in his relationship with Skye working out which made it even stranger.

“There he is, ready to party?”

“Yeah,” he muttered, having learned a while ago to just roll with Nat’s definition of ‘party’.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Kid, you got those reports, right?”

It had been hard to imagine Romanoff compiling reports and working at a computer but he’d gotten used to it. She was like Skye, always on the damn thing in her spare time.

“Yeah,” he answered as he looked up from his own laptop to find Romanoff pulling Barton towards the bedroom. He lifted one brow in surprise. “You’re leaving me with no babysitter? What if I make a run for it?”

She snorted. “If you tried you’d never get a chance to do what I’m about to do to this one with that cute hacker.” And she left it at that.

He shook his head and a moment later she poked her head out of the bedroom. “By the way, there’s a package on the table for you. Don’t say I never gave you anything.” Then she was gone again and he wished he had some earplugs or headphones to block out whatever it was she was doing to Barton to make him moan that loudly.

Grant opened a large manila envelope to find half a dozen letters with Skye’s sloppy scrawl on them. He smiled and blocked out the noise so he could sit and read them. Each came complete with a Polaroid. He’d always loved her stupid fascination with that camera; it had given him an opportunity to steal her pictures so he would always have a piece of her with him. He’d been so damn in love with her from the start; he just wished he’d realized it sooner.

Maybe if he had he wouldn’t already be a bigger disappointment than his own father had been.

He gingerly touched a picture of Skye’s bare stomach. How was it possible to love someone so much when you’d never met them? He wanted nothing more than to be there when she came into this world but he’d just have to settle with being in her life at all, someday.

Grant closed his eyes. Three weeks. In three weeks she’d be here and would exist and not know she had a father who loved her because he wasn’t there. He didn’t try to stop the tear that fell down his cheek. He deserved to feel this miserable; it couldn’t be anywhere close to how Skye was feeling.

“I love you, sweetheart,” he said to no one, but his eyes never left the picture in his hand.

Chapter Text

“So, Fitz is like a closet sex God, huh,” Skye asked as she sat at the counter and watched him whisper something into Jemma’s ear that made her giggle loudly. She shoved another pretzel into her mouth, missing sex. She hadn’t even had it properly in months. Janitor’s closets and Hydra cells weren’t exactly the best places to bang. She wanted Grant Ward on his knees where he belonged, in their bedroom, servicing her for hours, until she saw stars and blacked out.

Why couldn’t she have nice things?

“Judging by the noises that come out of their bedroom? Yeah, I’d say so.” Mel answered as she took another swig from her beer.

Ah, alcohol, another thing she missed.

Instead of good sex and booze Skye had sore nipples and back cramps and bodily functions she could no longer control. Her life was amazing. The little monkey kicked her hard as if to say ‘hey mom, I’m worth it’ and Skye winced as she rubbed her belly. “Damn kid,” she muttered.

She glanced back up to where Fitzsimmons were now kissing and cuddling while telling each other ‘I love you’ and she sighed, wishing she had that. “Who would have guessed?” Now, Trip she imagined being a sex God but it wasn’t Trip’s name that was always being loudly moaned from the bedroom the three now shared. Apparently Fitz was very much in charge in the bedroom which Jemma and Trip did not seem to mind. Hell, she was pretty sure the boys went at it more than anyone else. “I guess it’s always the reserved, shy, awkward types, huh?”

Mel smirked knowingly and Skye groaned. “Jesus, Mel, I didn’t need to know that. There are children in the room, God.” She didn’t need mom telling her how dad was in the bedroom. It was wrong. Weren’t there laws against that?

“He’s the best I’ve ever had, which is better than the best you’ve had.”

Skye rolled her eyes. She did not need to be reminded that Mel had been there and done that with her man long before she’d had a chance. “I don’t need to be reminded that everyone is getting some except me, thanks.”

“You can always join Fitztrimmons, I’m sure Fitz wouldn’t mind having someone else to boss around.”

Skye scrunched up her nose in disgust. “That is gross, he is like my son.”

Mel shrugged. “Then be proud you’re raising a sex god,” she teased.

Skye rolled her eyes and shoved more pretzels into her mouth in a very unladylike manner. “So, you’re really saying dad is better than Grant in bed?” Why was she asking? She didn’t want to know but what else did she have to talk about?

“I wouldn’t really know, he mostly laid there and took it. I think he would have rather been somewhere else, I was just a mission to him.” This actually made Skye feel better. “Why, how was it for you?”

“Fucking amazing,” Skye answered without hesitation. “Like…Jesus, Mel, I need it now. Being pregnant sucks; you’re just bloated and disgusting and horny all the time. I was planning to take a final crack at that in that hospital bed before they whisked him away from me. I can’t wait to be not pregnant so I can at least use something battery operated without feeling guilty.”

Mel laughed and finished her beer. “Well, at least it was good for you.” She stood to get another. “More pretzels?”

Skye glanced down to find she’d inhaled them all. She shifted uncomfortably as discomfort settled into her side. “No, I’m good.”

Mel placed a hand over hers. “Baby girl, you okay,” she asked in her mom tone.

Skye nodded. “Yeah, I think I just ate those too fast, you know, it’s nothing, just a cramp.”

Mel eyed her warily. “Are you sure?”

Skye closed her eyes and let out a small breath. Maybe she needed to lie down. “No. I’ll be in my room,” she muttered as another cramp settled in, this time more painful.

“Fitz, stop-Skye? Are you okay?”

She opened her eyes to find three worried set of eyes on her and a hand on her lower back. She hadn’t even heard Trip come into the room. “I think A.C. is going to be really pissed he’s on an assignment right now. And someone should find a mop.”

Panic erupted from everyone but Mel and Skye.

“We need to get her to the Inif-”

“Boil some water, Jemma can delive-”

“Don’t listen to them, baby girl, Uncle Antoine has got this, just grab on and I’ll carry you.”

Mel rolled her eyes and took Skye’s hand. “Can you walk?”

Another contraction hit and Skye winced. They weren’t painful just…uncomfortable. And she really had to pee. Or maybe she wanted to push. Crap, she’d heard about kids being born in elevators or in cabs on the way to the hospital, but she didn’t think hers would be one of them. “Yeah, no, I’m good, but we should go now, yeah? Kiddo wants out.”

Mel wrapped an arm around her middle and led her out of the room. They all piled into the elevator and Skye suddenly felt like they were all crowding her. There was only one person she wanted with her and as much as she loved them it wasn’t a single one of them.

“Someone call A.C., yeah?”

“Don’t worry, Skye, we’ll take care of everything. You just bring our niece into this world safely, yeah?”

Skye snorted. “Sure thing, Fitz. Anything for you.”

She was grateful they only allowed one person in with her. As much as she loved the team there was only so much she could handle. She didn’t understand how mothers could handle a room filled with nurses and a doctor and three family members like in a real hospital. That was way too much stress and way too many people looking at your vagina.

She picked Mel to stay with her. She loved Jemma like a sister but…Melinda May was the closest thing she had to a mother and maybe that’s why so many damn people were usually in the room with you. A girl needed her mother at her side and the asshole that got here there. Unfortunately for Skye she just had the one and it was going to have to do.

“Are you sure you don’t want-”

Skye shook her head. It was too late for drugs and she wasn’t crying because of the pain. It honestly wasn’t that bad. She’d been through worse when she’d been shot. “I’m fine.”

Melinda wiped at Skye’s cheeks before pushing back some of her hair. “You’re doing great,” she insisted as she gave Skye’s hand a squeeze.

More tears spilled from her eyes and Skye fought off a sob. “Grant should be here. That bastard needs to be here.” Her hormones were all over the place. She wanted him and hated him and missed him all at the same time. “I am so stupid-”

“No, you’re not. Plenty of women do this alone. You don’t need him here.”

“But I want him here,” Skye whispered as she glanced over. “And I want my mom. It’s so stupid but I thought when I did this I would do it right. I’d be married and we’d be together and happy and my kid would get to have everything I didn’t. And she’s about to be born and she already doesn’t have a dad and this is not what I wanted for her. I wanted better for her and I just…” She sobbed. “I want my mother. I want to go back and have someone who loved me and took care of me and who could be here right now to tell me it’s going to be okay and I don’t get to have to have that and it sucks. And I know I pretend like I’m okay with it but I’m not.”

Melinda took Skye’s face in her hands and set her hard stare on her. “You have me.” A sob escaped Skye and Melinda pressed a kiss to her forehead before pulling her closer. Skye clung to her and cried as another contraction hit. This one hurt more than all of the others combined.

“Skye, it’s time.”

She shook her head at the doctor. “No, I’m not ready.”

“Yes, you are, baby girl,” Mel whispered as she squeezed Skye’s hand.

“This is going to hurt isn’t it?” Skye glanced up and Mel scrunched up her nose.

“It’s going to feel like being torn in half. Like being shot but in reverse. At least, that’s what I’ve been told.”

Skye frowned. “Great. Getting shot. My favorite thing to do.”

And it did hurt; a lot, but not as much as Skye thought it would.

When it was done she leaned against May, delirious from the pain and endorphins and hormones.

“She’s perfect,” Mel whispered.

Skye opened her eyes and smiled when her eyes landed on her precious angel. She took her carefully and resisted the urge to bury her face in her little head full of hair. She couldn’t fight off a fresh wave of tears as she pressed her lips to her daughter’s tiny fists.

“Hi, baby girl. Happy birthday.”

Her little monkey opened both eyes and gazed up at her. Skye’s heart swelled with pride. How did such a tiny act affect her so much? Oh, this little one was trouble. “How can you love someone so much you just met?”

“It’s called being a mother,” Melinda whispered proudly.

Skye glanced over happily before returning her attention to the baby. “I should probably feed you, huh? Yeah, come on, let’s figure this out.”

Once her baby girl was latched on and happily chomping away Skye was asked the question she’d been dreading.

“So, do we have a name? Or are we going to keep calling her Baby Girl Mason?”

“Ward,” Skye corrected as she gazed down at the love of her life. “You know…Mason Ward isn’t a bad name-”

“You are not naming my granddaughter Mason. It’s not pretty enough for her. I hate to agree with Ward on this one, but-”

Skye made a face. “No. Skye Ward? I don’t think so. Plus, isn’t one Skye enough?”

“You know Skye is usually short for Sch-”

“Yeah, I know.”

She hated her given name. Not really how it sounded more how it was-

“I could deal with Skylar with a ‘k’. And it’s kind of badass that way. Skylar Mason Ward. What do you think, monkey?” Skye glanced down to find her namesake fast asleep. She smiled. “I’m going to regret this in the morning, but I’ll let your grandma and dad and uncles have their way on this one.”

“Did I miss-she’s…Skye…I…”

She glanced up with a smirk. “No, crying, pops, don’t want the kid to know how easy it is to wrap you around her finger before she’s even an hour old, do you?”

“Oy, out of the way, boss, we have presents that need to be delivered.”

Skye rolled her eyes when she saw Fitz carrying the largest stuffed monkey she’d ever seen. How did a person find a monkey that big? “Tony,” she muttered. Who else? And the card confirmed it. She shook head and pulled up her gown before showing off her tiny bundle of love.

“This is your family, baby girl. You’re very lucky,” she whispered as she glanced up and met Mel’s eyes. They exchanged a small smile before turning their attention to a very proud Phil who was already planning out the rest of her life.

“Calm down, old man, let her get through her first day before you start planning which Academy she’ll be attending.”

“SciOps,” Fitzsimmons said in unison as Trip said “Ops”. Skye snorted.

“She’ll be in Communications. Maybe a field agent like her grandpa but that’s it. None of this specialist crap. And no offense, Jemma, but she is not going to be a mad scientist.”

That sent Fitztrimmons into an argument about which Academy was better and Skye sat back and held Skylar to her chest protectively with a grin. This wasn’t the life she’d wanted but it was enough. She missed Grant something fierce but that void in her heart that she’d carried with her since she could remember had been filled over time and it took her until now to realize it.

“I love you, princess,” she whispered as she pressed a light kiss to the top of her head. Skye closed her eyes and gave in to her exhaustion, still clutching her tiny bundle to her chest as she joined her in slumber.

Chapter Text

“You know, I have two boobs for you to chow down on,” Skye whispered as she rubbed her sore right nipple. Those breast pumps were not pleasant but since her little monkey refused to latch onto that side she had to pump.

Skylar blinked up at her innocently and Skye sighed. That face was too cute to be annoyed at. She had that same puppy look Grant had. She was all Skye except for those damn eyes and her cheekbones; no baby needed cheekbones that sharp, it wasn’t fair.

She set the pump aside and pulled her munchkin off her boppy and held her against her chest. “You know, your papa liked my boobs too. Not for the same reason you do though. Couldn’t get his eyes off of them the first time we met.” Poor bastard, he was missing out on prime boob action. She was going to miss these when they were gone; they were kind of nice to look at. Though, she wasn’t going to miss the back pain. Like, how in the hell did Nat deal with hers? And in those cat suits?

Great, she was thinking about other people’s boobs now.

She sighed.

She loved being a mom a lot but she missed working. It’d only been a few days and she was ready to at least hack something. Or hit the gym, anything really. The baby kept her busy but not enough. Skye didn’t know how to sit still and just do one thing. She was going to have to get mom to teach her to meditate or something, just to keep from fidgeting.

“You better enjoy being spoiled as an only child because you are it for me.” She said in her baby voice. “Though, with the way your Auntie Jemma goes at your uncles you might have a cousin soon, yes you will. And grandpa will love that.” Sure, she was his baby but the rest of the team were his kids too. If it were up to him he’d adopt them all. A.C. was made to be a dad and he was finally getting the chance.

Skylar blew a spit bubble and Skye chuckled. “Don’t worry; don’t tell cousin but no matter what I think you’ll always be grandma’s favorite.” May and A.C. were the parents she’d never had and she was so grateful for them. And yeah her baby didn’t have her dad but she had a mother who would die for her, two grandparents who adored her and a ratag team of wacky aunts and uncles who were already spoiling her rotten. Skye had a feeling her kid was going to do just fine. She was going to have the life she deserved; Skye was going to see to it.

Skye ran her index finger over Skylar’s tiny fist as she let out a little yawn and closed her eyes. She smiled as tiny snores escaped her. She pressed a kiss to her nose and carefully stood to place her in her basinet. She watched her sleep for a few minutes while stroking the top of her head gently.

“You’re so perfect.”

She was everything Skye ever wanted and didn’t know she needed.

As an orphan Skye had always wanted her own family and now she had more than she could have ever dreamed.

“When you wake up we’ll take another picture to send to your papa, yes?” Skye hadn’t been able to express in words everything she wanted to say to him about the birth of their daughter but she was working on it. She didn’t want him to feel left out of her life.

And Skye was going to make sure their daughter knew how much he loved her.

She reluctantly left her (a sign that no matter how much she missed work she was nowhere near ready to go back to it) to put away her breast milk and grab a snack. When a tiny person was literally using you for food it left you hungry all the time; between her and Fitz she was amazed they ever had food lying around.

When she stepped into the living room she found Clint and Natasha at the bar speaking in hushed whispers with mom and dad. They all stopped the moment the door clicked closed behind her and glanced up.

She raised one brow with a smirk. “Did I interrupt a session of talking about me?”

Nat smirked and held out an arm to pull her into a half-hug. “Hi mama, you look good.”

“Not as good as you. So, what are you four whispering about?”

“Phil’s showing off,” Clint said with a smile. She leaned over to find all of the pictures that used to hang on the fridge were now sprawled over the counter. She smiled and fought off tears. Her monkey was so much bigger today than she was the day she was born. God, how was she going to handle her growing up for real?

“Do you want to see her? She’s asleep but unlike everyone else in this room she is a heavy sleeper.”

“Nah, we can see her in the morning, Clint and I have some super important spy business to attend to,” she teased as she grabbed him by the shirt. “Mel, Phil, try not to smother the kid too much, yeah?”

Mom rolled her eyes and dad simply gathered the pictures carefully so he could hang them back up. Skye chuckled.

“And you, have fun,” Nat called, giving Skye a wink before disappearing through the door.

Skye snorted. Nat was such a dork. She made it easy to forget she was a trained killer.

“You hungry, baby girl? I can make you something,” Mel brushed some hair away from Skye’s face and she shook her head.

“I was just going to grab an apple and a bottle of water. I’ve got maybe an hour before she wakes up and I should take a nap.”

Mom and dad shared a knowing smile and Skye furrowed her brows. They were so totally up to something. She grabbed her snack and eyed them warily.

“Night, baby girl,” Mel called as she disappeared into her bedroom.

A.C. pressed a kiss to Skye’s forehead.  “Don’t say I never gave you anything,” he whispered before leaving without another word.

Skye stood there for a moment in confusion before rolling her eyes and going back to her room. If she woke up tomorrow to find a damn toddler-sized archery set or something equally ridiculous as a baby gift from Clint and Nat she was not going to be pleased (though mom and dad would find it hilarious she was sure).

She took a long swig from her water and wondered if it would make her a bad mother if she just kinda maybe hacked into the mainframe to see what was going on around S.H.I.E.L.D. that she was missing out on.

She froze in the doorway and had the Icer she kept on her person at all times aimed and ready to fire in less than two seconds.

“You know; I still have a scar from the last time you shot me.”

Her heart pounded in her chest as she lowered her gun. “Grant?” He stood over the bassinet and gave her a small smile before glancing back down at their sleeping bundle.

Skye let out a shaky breath and tried not to cry. She didn’t know how those four had pulled this off and she didn’t care. She shoved her gun back in its holster and flung herself at him. She wrapped both arms around him tightly and kissed every inch of his face before pulling him down and kissing him hard on the mouth.

“I missed you too,” he said in-between kisses and pulled her closer.

“How?” She whispered as she pulled away, her face wet.

Grant wiped her cheeks and sighed. “Did you really think a prison could hold me?”

She gave him a disapproving look. “Do not joke about prison breaks with me.” She knew full well he could break out of prison if he wanted to and so did S.H.I.E.L.D. But staying there was proof that he’d changed. “What favor did A.C. call in to get you out to see her?” She was sure he’d be right back to the Fridge in the morning.

“None, Nat and Clint just thought I should be here to see her born, of course none of us knew she was already here…” he glanced back at her achingly. Skye would let him hold her later; right now she wanted an explanation.

“What do you mean?”

“Yeah…” he glanced back at her. “About my prison sentence…”

They sat in bed and split her apple and a granola bar while he told her about how he’d been put in the Fridge as a cover so he could help his new handlers round up criminals. She wanted to yell at him. What he was doing was dangerous. He could die. At least in the Fridge he’d be relatively safe.

But…and it was incredibly selfish of her, but this way he could come home faster, right?

“So, you’re just being a badass spy while I sit here lactating and losing sleep, I see how it is,” she teased.

He smirked and leaned over to kiss her. “Don’t worry baby, I’m totally in danger 24/7.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” she muttered as she pulled him closer for another kiss. The moment they got a lead they would be gone and she had a lot of things she wanted to do before she went who knew how long before seeing him again.

Grant pulled her into his lap and drew her against his chest before burying his hands in her hair. When they finally came up for air Skye cleared her throat to calm herself. As much as she wanted to they could not do that, not yet anyway.

He stared down at her with his dumb smile and toyed with her hair. “Can I hold her?”

“Grant you don’t need permission to hold our daughter.”

“Yeah, but she’s asleep. Babies need sleep, right? I don’t want to wake her.”

She laughed. He was so cute and clueless; Grant Douglas knew nothing about babies. “Remind me to give you all of the baby books to take with you when you leave.” She kissed him quickly before rolling off of him. She carefully lifted Skylar from her bassinet and handed her over to a terrified Grant. “It’s okay, I’ll teach you how.”

Skye laid her in his arms gently and showed him how to support her head. “There, see, it’s not so hard.”

He rocked her gently and they locked eyes and he smiled. “She’s perfect.”

“Yeah, that’s ‘cause she came out of me,” Skye teased.

Boy did he look damn good holding a baby.

Skylar blinked and let out a tiny fussy whine. “She’s waking up, what do I do,” he asked, panicked.

“Shh. Come here.” Skye led him to the bed. “Just lie back and hold her against your chest. Like that. Good.” She tried not to laugh. He was a big macho robot and yet he was terrified of a newborn.

She slid into bed with him and curled up at his side so she could watch her two children interact.

“Hi, princess-” He glanced up at met Skye’s eyes, panicked again. “I don’t even know her name. What kind of father doesn’t know his daughter’s name?”

“Grant, it’s okay.”

“No, it’s-”

Skye pressed her finger to his lips. Their daughter did not need to see her father have a breakdown. She met his eyes and spoke calmly. “No one does this perfectly and you’re a good father, Grant. You love her. You’re here. You’re doing everything you can to be with her. Do you know how many children don’t have that? I never had that. You never had that. We’re already doing better by her than our own parents did. I know you feel guilty but…” she shrugged. “This is our life and we have to deal with it.”

He nodded and glanced back down at the baby who gazed up at him curiously. Skye let her take her finger in her fist and smiled. “Grant this is our daughter, Skylar Mason Ward, monkey this is your papa. You remember him, from when you were in mama’s belly? I know I told you he had to go away for a long time but he’s here because he misses you and even though he has to go away again we’re going to enjoy the time we have with him, aren’t we?”

Grant leaned down and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “You’re too good for me,” he whispered into her hair.

She smiled and wrapped her arms around his middle. “Yeah, well, now I’m stuck with you,” she teased.

He chuckled and kissed the top of her head again before leaning down and pressing a kiss to the baby’s forehead. “You’re the only person I love more than mommy, mi cielo,” he whispered with a small smile. “And I love mommy a lot.” He glanced over and Skye smirked. She moved a hand up to toy with his hair as his attention went back to their little angel. “Your mama is the best thing to ever happen to me and then she gave me you and I really don’t deserve either of you.”

Skylar fussed in his arms and took his finger. He smiled with proud tears in his eyes and Skye rested her head on his shoulder with a sigh, wishing they could stay like this forever.

“She’s so strong,” he whispered. “And beautiful. She’s exactly like you.”

“Grant Ward, stop it or I might think you’re in love with her.”

“I am. I didn’t know it was possible to love someone like this. I never want to let her go.”

Skylar chose that moment to begin screaming. “Sorry, daddy, but its boob time so you’re going to have to let her go.” She’d learned which cry meant food and which cry meant diaper change and she suspected she’d have to do the latter soon anyway.

She took her and babbled to her in baby talk to keep her calm while she fussed with the stupid bra she still hadn’t gotten used to. She could see him trying to avert his eyes and she snorted. “Grant, you can look, it’s just a nipple.”

“Right,” he muttered awkwardly before glancing over. His face turned to awe as it did every time he watched Skylar do something new.

Skye smirked and rubbed gentle circles on the baby’s back. “You know, if you want you can try this later…” she suspected he would be very into it.

“Huh?” He glanced up and she realized he was so far gone with their daughter he’d tuned her out.

She snorted. “Nothing, I just said when she’s done I’m going to teach you how to change a diaper.”

Twenty-five minutes later they lay with a sleeping Skylar between then. Grant had begged to hold her while she slept but Skye insisted on ‘no’. She didn’t want her baby to be a co-dependent sleeper, which she now realized she totally would be with Grant around.

It broke her heart that they’d be separated again soon because she could already see how hard it was going to be for him.

“You know, we’ve never actually slept together,” she teased as he took her hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it.

He grinned. “Well, I’m glad we could make it a family affair.”

She laughed and closed her eyes while linking their fingers together.

“So…did you mean it earlier when you said we could do boob stuff or-”

“Grant Douglas Ward I swear to God-” He cut her off with a kiss and she playfully kicked him.

“Sorry, sweetheart, I couldn’t resist.”

“You’re an ass,” she muttered before popping open one eye. “And if I get more than three hours of sleep…and we get time to sneak away to shower…maybe.”

“I’m ready to get you pregnant again just thinking about-oww!” This time she kicked him hard.

“You’re lucky there’s a newborn between us Agent Ward.”

“Yeah? Then why are you smiling.”

“Shut up.”

Grant gave her hand a squeeze and gave his other to Skylar who hand one finger from each other them wrapped up in his little fists.

They stayed like that for hours, sleeping peacefully, and when Skye finally woke, her internal clock telling her she’d missed a feeding she found Skylar passed out on Grant’s chest with an empty bottle on the counter. She smiled and curled up at his side before falling asleep again.

Chapter Text

Grant was used to sleeping in weird places and positions so when Clint kicked him awake and he woke to find he’d fallen asleep on the floor of the plane’s cargo hold he wasn’t surprised. What did surprise him was the smirk on Clint’s face, the one that said he was up to something. He groaned. “Clint, I can’t handle another prank right now, are we back in the U.S. yet? I need a hot shower and a bed.”

“Oh, you’re going to get more than that, kid, come on.”

He helped Grant to his feet and he grabbed his duffle bag while rubbing his eyes. “What time is it?”

“Just after midnight.”

It took him a full thirty seconds to realize where they were once they stepped off the plane and into an underground hanger, which was a testament to how out of it he was.

“What the hell?”

Nat gave him a smirk and shrugged. “You deserve to be here when your kid gets here. Though, you better hope she pops before we get another lead or you’ll still miss it. My intentions are pure but I make no promises.”

He was…There were no words. If he touched Nat he’d be a dead man so he hugged Clint instead.

“Calm down, kid, it was Phil’s idea. Told us if we got a chance to bring you home; of course, no one can know, if the boss finds out she’ll kill you.”

Nat snorted. “Who do you think okayed this?”

Clint pushed the elevator button and frowned, not liking he’d been kept out of the loop. “You damn women, always scheming…”

“Oh Clint, it’s not scheming when we don’t tell you things, it’s because we want them to stay secret. We all know what happens when you drink, babe.”

“Hey! I’m just as good of a spy as the rest of you.”

The corners of Nat’s lips twitched. “Of course you are. And the rest of us also find ourselves without pants at least once a week and have seen Blade Runner three hundred and sixty-seven times.”

Blade Runner is the shit.”

She glanced over at Grant and mouthed ‘loser’.

Grant crossed his arms and kept his mouth shut. He knew better than to say anything when they were like this. Nat was in a constant state of being done with him while also completely participating in the behavior she pretended to hate.  Grant was pretty sure it was some weird form of foreplay that he wanted no part in.

When they stepped off on their floor Nat stopped him. “Wait out here, kid. I’m going to see if she’s asleep so you can surprise her and to get a key to her room. Be right back,” she said with a wink.

“Why do I have a feeling she wants me to get laid?”

“Because we both do, she thinks it will get the stick out of your ass and I disagree. There’s a blowjob on the line, don’t disappoint me.”

Grant rolled his eyes and Clint disappeared into the suite. Five minutes later they emerged with Nat looking so pickled it made him nervous. She tossed a keycard his way. “Have fun, Romeo. I’d hurry up and get in there before Juliet comes back, you’re in luck, she’s awake and in the kitchen so…”

He smiled and took the keycard happily. “Thanks, again.”

“I didn’t this for you; I did it for my home girl.”

The last thing he needed was those two being friends, he didn’t even want to imagine the shit they would get into.

“Come on Clint, I need to sleep and you know what that means…”

He frowned. He did not need to know that sex was how the Black Widow relaxed enough to sleep peacefully. Hearing it on the road was bad enough.

He shook off the thought and took a deep breath as he unlocked Skye’s door nervously. It was now or never.

Grant slipped into the room and left the lights off. Skye would immediately know he was there if he turned them on. He let his eyes adjust to the darkness before moving towards the bed. He stopped in his tracks when a small whine filled the room and he realized there was a bassinet next to the bed and clear signs of a baby living here.

He heart fell to the pit of his stomach. He’d missed her birth? When…how…

He quietly moved to the bassinet needing to see her for himself. He stood in complete awe as he took in the tiny, sleeping bundle. She was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen; she was even more beautiful than her mother which he thought to be damn near-impossible.

How was he already in love with her? Sure, he’d loved her since he knew she existed but this was…how was it possible to love any one person this much? Especially someone so tiny? She was a little person and she was his and he felt nauseous.

The door opened and he turned to find Skye with a gun on him; of course. “You know; I still have a scar from the last time you shot me.”

“Grant?” He nodded and turned his attention back to their daughter. A moment later Skye’s tiny body knocked the wind out of him and the best night of his life began.

As Skye slept he rubbed small circles on the back of her hand, unable to sleep. He couldn’t keep his eyes off of either of them, despite how drained he was. When Skylar woke he carefully took her, not wanting to wake Skye; she had to do enough of this on her own, the least he could do was do everything when he was around.

“Shh, baby girl, let mama sleep,” he whispered as he went in search of a bottle. There was a breast pump on the nightstand so there had to be milk somewhere, right? He had no clue what he was doing but he was going to figure it out.

He went through the door Skye had come in from earlier and found a living area. “Let’s check the fridge, yes?” It took him a moment to figure out how to hold her securely enough with one arm to search the fridge. He was terrified he’d drop her or hold her too tight and he was just terrified period.

“Bottom shelf.” He turned to find May in a robe with her arms crossed. Right, of all of the people he’d wake up it would be her. “Move, you look lost.” He stepped back and let her get the bottle ready. She handed him a cloth and the bottle and he had no idea what to do with either. “You put the cloth on her chest in case she spits up and then you use it when you burp her.”

“I um…how do I…”

She rolled her eyes. “You men are all idiots,” she muttered in Chinese as she took the baby and led him to the couch. “Pay attention, knowing my daughter, she’s going to let you knock her up again and if that happens you are going to actually be there or I’ll kill you.”

“It’s not like I don’t want to be here now, May.”

She shot him a glare and he cleared his throat, terrified.

Once the baby finished May held her up and he reached for her timidly. “Skye showed me how to do this part,” he whispered as he took her and burped her the way she’d showed him. May still glared at him but it was less threatening.

“Maybe you’re not useless after all.”

Grant suspected that was the closest thing to approval he would ever get from her. “Thanks,” he muttered as May stood.

She watched him for a long moment before sighing. “We’ve taken care of Marcus Daniels. You can’t take him off your list. And Fitzsimmons have been compiling theories on how to capture some of the other gifteds based on their abilities. Fitz wants you back almost as much as she does so I’ll have them give it you what they have and once they know it’s for you, I’m sure they’ll work faster.”

He glanced up, surprised. “Thank you.”

She shrugged. “You’re trying. I don’t like you. I don’t think you’re good enough for them but…” she sighed. “I just want her to be happy.”

“When…when did you start giving a shit? Was it really because of the baby?”

May smirked. “You know nothing, Ward.”

He furrowed his brow in confusion as she went back to her room. Skylar fussed in his arms and he carried her back to the room and changed her before feeding her the rest of the bottle.

Confused over his talk with May, wiped out from his emotions, and just generally exhausted he allowed himself to give in to sleep with his angel passed out on his chest. Skye would be upset but he’d take it, he wasn’t able to let her go not when he’d have to leave her again soon.

When he woke she was gone and he panicked. He sat up in full assassin mode and sighed in relief when he found Skye walking and rocking her in her arms. She gave him a smile before returning her attentions to the baby. He sat back and allowed his panic to settle. Was this what being a good parent was like? Always being terrified?

He watched them with a small smile. Skye was…well, she was perfect. Seeing her with his child in her arms…he was falling in love with her all over again.

“You’re staring again,” Skye whispered with a smile.

“I can’t help it; you’re both so beautiful.”

She blushed and glanced down, giving him the butterflies in his chest. “Come here,” he whispered as he reached for her. She brushed past him to put the baby down but he caught her by the waist and pulled her into his lap. He kissed her neck and held her tightly while he gazed down at their tiny miracle.

“I don’t want to leave either of you,” he confessed.

“I know,” she replied sadly as she glanced up at him.

He ran his fingers through her hair and leaned down to brush his lips over hers. “You can put her down now; I just had to see her.”

Skye smiled. “I understand the feeling; sometimes I just watch her sleep. A.C. does it too. And well, everyone. She’s a big hit around here.”

Grant chuckled. “Yeah? I can imagine. Has she been issued a badge yet or is that going to be her first birthday present?”

“Oh no, Tony has made it very clear she’s a level one agent,” Skye said seriously before smirking.

He kissed the side of her head and released her so she could put the baby down. The moment her hands were free he pulled her back into his lap and kissed her properly. Skye tangled her fingers in his hair and made a noise that reminded him how weak he was when it came to her.

“You know, we could-” He began but she shook her head.

“I want to but…I can’t.”

He frowned as he realized her body probably hadn’t recovered from having the baby. He pressed his forehead against hers with a sigh. “I should be here to take care of you,” he muttered and she kissed him.

“Don’t worry, buddy, when you’re home for real I’m going to make sure you make it up to me with hours spent on your knees, also so I can teach you your place,” she teased.

He kissed her nose with a smile. “That’s a place I can’t wait to be.”

Grant moved his hand into her hair and pulled her closer for a kiss. She was the first real thing he’d ever had in his life. Before her sex was just…well, sex. John had tried to force a prostitute on him once and kept doing it until he’d finally lost his virginity to some whore whose name he couldn’t remember and after that he only had it when the mission called for it and when he was too drunk to care about the guilt he’d feel afterward.

But it was different with Skye. Not only did he trust her but he wanted to be with her. Fucking her in that closet was the first time he’d ever had sex because he wanted to and she was the only person he’d ever made love to. Hell, until their daughter she was the only person he’d ever loved period. He hated that they’d only been together twice and both under shitty circumstances and he wanted very much to make it up to her by being with her properly.

But since he couldn’t do it now…

“You know, we can do other things,” he whispered.

“Yeah? Like what?”

“This.” He kissed her again as he carefully laid her on her back. His lips trailed down her jaw until he found a spot on her neck that made her breath hitch. He sucked lightly as his hands pushed up the hem of her shirt.

“I think I like where this is going,” she mumbled.

He grinned, happy to be doing something right, and cupped one of her breasts which was way bigger than he remembered them being. “Is this okay?” He didn’t want to hurt her.

Skye nodded furiously. “Just get on with it before she wakes up.”

“So, you did miss me?” He said with a smirk.

Skye rolled her eyes. “Grant Ward I swear to God if you don’t-fuck, yes,” she moaned as he wrapped his lips around her nipple.

Grant was thankful for these nursing bras. It was so easy to just pop it open.

Her hands snaked through his hair as his hand moved to grope her neglected breast.

“Sorry to interrupt kids but we have a mission.”

He quickly covered Skye’s body with his and glanced back to glare daggers at their intruder. “Jesus-fucking-Christ, Nat, you don’t know how to knock?”

She smirked. “Nope, besides, I doubt you would have heard me.”

“Out, Nat!” Skye commanded, annoyed.

Nat chuckled and turned to leave. “Fine but I want you in the garage in five minutes, kid. Don’t worry, Skye, I’ll bring him back…eventually.”

Grant groaned and buried his head in Skye’s neck. Nat was such a pain in the ass sometime.

“I’m sorry about her,” he whispered as he kissed Skye’s temple. He wasn’t ready to leave her yet but it was what it was.

“It’s okay.” Skye turned her head and kissed him.

He held her close and deepened the kiss. He wanted to make it memorable. When he was sure his five minutes were almost up he pulled away and pressed his forehead to hers. He could see she was close to tears and he cupped her cheek gently.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart, I have to go.”

Skye nodded as he wiped a stray tear from her cheek.

Grant pressed his lips to her forehead. “I love you.”

He turned away while he still had it in him to do so and said a quick goodbye to their sleeping miracle. He didn’t know if he could do this with those beautiful brown eyes staring at him.

“Grant, wait!” Skye called as soon as his hand touched the doorknob. He turned and she threw herself at him and kissed him hard. Grant wrapped his arms around her and lifted her slightly off the ground as she clung to him.

When she pulled away there were tears in her eyes but she had the determined Skye look to her. She took his shirt in her fist and gnawed on her lip nervously. “I love you.”

He smiled and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I love you to-” He blinked as every moment they ever spent together played through his head and he realized that while he’d told her he loved her at least a dozen times she’d never actually said the words to him.

“You’ve never said that before,” he whispered as he stared down at her.

Skye shrugged nonchalantly but he could see the red rising on her cheeks. “I told you when you were in a coma,” she whispered.

“Right, because I was conscious at the time,” he teased and she shot him a small glare.

He smiled and pulled her into his arms. He held her head against his chest and kissed the top of it. “I love you too.”

He’d never had anyone to say those words to and know that he did he wanted to say them all the time but he realized it was harder for her to say those words and it was okay. He was going to come back to her and stay unlike everyone else in her life and maybe when she realized he was there to stay she’d be more comfortable saying it. He didn’t mind waiting.

A moment later he released her and ducked down to press a final kiss to her lips. He turned without another word and left her. He could feel her watching him go but he couldn’t turn back. This was hard enough as it was. It wasn’t until he was on the elevator that he caught a final glimpse of her standing in her doorway and the look on her face broke his heart.

Chapter Text

“You’re one chunky little monkey, you know that, angel?”

A pair of big brown eyes blinked up at Skye before fisting her shirt and shoving it into her mouth. Skye made a face and chuckled before pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

“Come on, baby girl,” she said as she balanced Skylar on her hip and tried to keep her training bag firmly on her shoulder while unlocking the door to the suite. She poked her head in warily not wanting to catch mom and dad going at it again. When she found them cuddling she was relieved. Her poor eyes didn’t need to see that and neither did her child. Skye wanted her to stay innocent for as long as possible.

“There’s my girl.” Mel was on her feet in less than a second and before Skye could dump her bag in a chair Mel had Skylar in her arms, pressing kisses to her nose and heading to her and Phil’s room.

“Hey, hello to you too and where are you taking my kid? I’ve only had her for five minutes, she’s been in the bloody lab with-oh God, I’ve been around Fitzsimmons for too long,” she muttered in horror.

Phil smirked and kissed the top of Skye’s head before following his wife (yeah, they’d gotten hitched, again, finally) towards their bedroom.

“What are you-”

Skye spotted a bag from Nat’s favorite burger place and she glanced up to find Mel winking in her direction. She muttered a quick ‘thanks’ before rushing to her room in excitement. She didn’t care that she was sweaty and gross from being in the gym all morning the moment she spotted that idiot with a grin on his face waiting for her on their bed she launched herself at him.

“I missed you too,” Grant muttered in-between her attacking his mouth with hers.

“Shut up and take off your pants,” she panted as she reached for his belt.

He moved his hands down to her ass and pulled her closer. “As much fun as that sounds I’d like to see our-”

“After-” He gave her the puppy eyes and she groaned before burying her face in his neck. “My life is now always being second to that little chunkster, isn’t it?”
                                                                                                                                                                                  
She could imagine his smile as he kissed the top of her head. She pouted and wrapped her arms around his middle.

“Sorry, but pictures aren’t-” He hissed and she drew away to find his shirt was stained red.

“Goddammit, you’re bleeding!” She didn’t know what pissed her off more; that he hadn’t bothered to tend to his wound for his own safety or that he’d planned on bleeding around their child. He was such a moron sometimes.

He smiled sheepishly. “It’s nothing, a flesh wound-”

Skye pulled up his shirt and immediately slapped him upside the head. “You’ve been stabbed! Oh my-Get in the bathroom now!”

He’d better not need stitches. Oh she was going to kill him! He was a fucking idiot. Why did he and Trip and the rest of these damn specialists think it was okay to get stabbed and shot and not see a doctor? What in the hell went on in the field that she didn’t know about?

“I will not have the father of my child-sit down!” She barked. He’d followed her in like a lost puppy and she shoved him onto the toilet. She stripped him of his shirt and began cleaning up the wound.

“Skye, it’s not that-”

“Shut up!”

He was smart enough to stay silent while she wiped away the blood and disinfected the cut. Okay so it really wasn’t that bad but she still wasn’t happy with him. When she finished she glanced up to find him watching her with a smirk.

“No, I’m not in the mood anymore-”

He pulled her between his legs and kissed her. Skye moaned and moved her fingers into his hair. She really hated how quickly she melted into his arms, it wasn’t fair.

“I have to leave in the morning…”

“I thought you wanted to-”

He kissed her again and pulled her closer. She felt his erection press into her thigh and smirked.

“Later,” he mumbled and she laughed.

“So, the whole nurse thing does it for you, huh, no wonder you’re always getting hurt,” she teased.

He bumped her nose with his and pulled at the hem of her shirt. “Nah, sweetheart, that’s all you. You’re sexy when you’re yelling at me.”

“Well, that explains why you’re such a dumbass.” She kissed him quickly before hopping to her feet. He pouted but it fell away the moment she tugged her shirt off.

“Get naked, 007, you’re not getting into my bed with all of that dirt and blood all over you.” She finished stripping and helped him do the same before pulling him into the shower.

“Fuck you’re beat-”

“Shut up, you talk too much.”

She kissed him and shoved him against the shower wall. The water sprayed over them as they made out. Skye wrapped both arms around his neck and a moment later her lifted her up by her ass. She wrapped her legs around him in relief. She needed this badly. She’d contemplated using a damn vibrator (Nat had found it appropriate to mail her one with a note saying ‘enjoy’) but she’d had no time to even attempt it. Their little monkey was five months old and a handful. Even with the team helping (‘it takes a village’ Jemma would say) she still had a full-time job on top of being a mother.

This asshole owed her a lot of sex. Lots of mind-blowing orgasms to relax her body and mind and to take her mind off of things.

Grant started to kiss his way down her torso but she groaned. “Later, I just…just fuck me; we can worry about foreplay later.”

She pulled his face towards hers and tried not to think about how every time they’d had sex a wall was involved. It was too depressing.

Grant pressed her into the shower wall and broke their kiss. “Condom?”

Oh, now he cared about a condom?

“Boy am I glad you didn’t ask me that fourteen months ago,” she replied sarcastically.

He smirked. “Shut up, she’s worth it.”

“Says the man who’s seen her once?”

He was pouting again. She rolled her eyes and kissed him while tightening her hold on him. “I’m on that stupid implant thing, okay? It was the only thing I could take while still breastfeeding so will you shut up and fuck me? That thing hurt and I only did it so we could-”

“Finally,” she moaned, glad he did actually know how to follow directions.

Skye tried her best not to dig her nails into him seeing as he was already injured but man did he know what he was doing. She had to claw at him just to keep from crying (it had been a long time). She didn’t even wait for them to dry off after their shower to pull him into bed. She was nowhere near done with him.

Grant pinned her to the mattress and a shiver ran through her. She could do this for days.

“I love you,” he whispered as he stared down at her.

A snarky reply came to her lips but she stopped herself. Instead she gave him a smile. “I know. I love you too.”

He grinned and leaned down to kiss her. They became a mess of limbs as they each took their time to touch and kiss every part of each other’s bodies. When Grant finally made his way between her thighs Skye was a panting mess and when his tongue slipped through her wet folds she completely fell apart.

She didn’t care if the entire building heard her; he was fucking fantastic at this. And he didn’t stop with one orgasm, no, she was pretty sure he was trying to lick her into submission. After the third go she pulled him up by his hair and kissed him, enjoying the taste of herself on his lips.

Skye shoved him onto his back and smirked down at him playfully. “My turn.”

She didn’t want to brag but she knew she was very good at this which was confirmed when he cried her name out the moment she wrapped her lips around him. She smirked. That’s right she thought before showing him just how good she was.

“Skye, I’m…” she heard him sigh before he tugged her away from him minutes later. She gave him a ‘look’. He was about to come, what in the hell was wrong with him? He gave her the puppy-eyes and pulled her towards him. He brushed her hair away from her face before cupping her cheek. “I want to make love to you and I can’t do that if you keep doing that.”

Skye smirked smugly and kissed him. She was perfectly okay with that. She snaked her fingers through his hair as he lowered her onto the mattress. As he slipped into her she couldn’t help but giggle.

Grant pulled back and glanced down at her, horrified.

“I’m sorry, it’s not-” she pressed a kiss to his lips and rested her forehead against his. “I’m sorry, the only time we did this in a bed it technically started against the wall and I’m dumb. I’m sorry, keep going.”

He sighed in relief and chuckled. “Jesus, Skye…” he kissed her and began to slowly thrust inside of her.

Skye held him close and didn’t let their lips part for more than a brief moment to breathe while they made love. She knew he thought he’d be home as soon as this mission was over but she knew how this would go. There would always be another mission, something to take him away, and he’d go in an effort to prove himself. Their lives were never going to be easy and she wanted to cherish and savor every moment they got together.

Afterwards they lay wrapped up in one another as she pressed lazy kisses to his shoulder. Grant linked their fingers together and held their joined hands together between their chests. He kissed the tip of her nose before resting his forehead against hers. Skye tried not to smile at the butterflies fluttering through her stomach and failed.

“I love you.”

She leaned up and kissed him. “I know but if you want to convince me of it some more-”

He laughed and pulled her closer. “There will be plenty of time for that later.”

“But you’re leaving me again in the morning,” she pouted as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

Grant reached up to toy with her hair. She resisted the urge to close her eyes and enjoy the feeling. After a moment he met her eyes with a small smile. “I’ll be home soon. Our list is down to six, that’s why we haven’t bothered to take any breaks to come home.” Her heart pounded. She knew it wouldn’t change whatever mission took him away next, but he’d be around more, and Skylar needed her dad. Hell, Skye needed him too. She respected this was what he had to do but it didn’t erase how much she missed him and how painful being away from him was. “We got some help from Thor and Banner and we’ve put almost everyone back where they belong.”

Skye could see the sadness in his eyes and touched his cheek gently. “Hey, you don’t belong there, okay? Yes, you did terrible things but it wasn’t entirely your fault. And you’re doing good; a lot of good, and you’re going to do more, okay?” She didn’t want to see him fall into some pit of guilt. She loved him too much for that.

He kissed her hand and nodded. “I know. Nat keeps…” He sighed. “I know. But sometimes I remember I’m not good enough for either of you and-”

Skye pressed two fingers to his lips to shush him.

“Stop. I love you. She loves you. This isn’t some game of who deserves whom, okay? We love each other and we’re a family and that’s what matters. I’m always going to be here to make sure you remember you’re worth all of this. And I know you, you’re never going to stop doing good to make up for the bad and that’s what makes you a good man. Not what you did before but what you’re doing now.”

Grant leaned down to capture her lips with his and she released a sigh of relief. He wasn’t insisting he was a bad person, which was good. Maybe being with Clint and Nat was doing him more good than she assumed.

He pulled away a moment later and stared down at her with that goofy look of his.

“I’m going to be home soon and I know…I know it’s going to be a long time before we rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. but do you think maybe, someday, we can live away from this? I mean, this is a nice setup but it’d be nice to have a real house with a yard and a dog where Skylar can run around and have a real childhood.”

Skye smiled. “That’s sounds nice.”

“And maybe,” he shrugged and stuck out his lower lip, “I don’t know, in a few years we can give her a brother or sister-”

“Okay, you can stop right there.”

“Come on Skye, I’d like to be around for everything, have a do-over.”

She shook her head and he leaned in to kiss her neck and she laughed. “Oh buddy, that’s not going to work. Let’s deal with the one we have before you start thinking of more.”

He pouted. “Fine.” He took her hand again and she could see the wheels in his head turning while he studied her.

“I really do everything wrong, don’t I.” It wasn’t a question.

“Grant-”

“No, I mean…we didn’t exactly do this the way you’re supposed to. We started off okay, with the falling in love part, but everything after that we just-”

“Rushed.” She finished.

He smiled. “Yeah, kind of.”

“Grant, what’s going on in that brain of yours?”

He released her hand and reached down to cup her face. She could feel her heart racing because she knew that look. It was his ‘I’m about to do something stupid’ look.

“I know I should have a ring for this but-” Skye cut him off with a kiss. Her eyes were filled with tears and she knew this was way too fast but they already had a kid, right? And he was right; they hadn’t done anything else the way they were supposed to.

She pulled away a moment later with a smile.

“Is that…wait, you didn’t even let me finish asking.”

“Yeah, whatever, I’ll marry you, dork. I mean, I kinda love you and shit. Plus, there’s the kid.”

He grinned like the idiot he was. “I think you love me a lot.”

Skye shook her head. “Nope, I don’t know what you’re-” She squealed as he began tickling her and she fought back, trying to find his sensitive spot.

In the end Grant won (which wasn’t fair, he was stronger than she was). He held her tightly on top of his chest and she yawned. He’d worn her out but he sore boobs reminded her she had a child to go feed and while bottles would suffice she needed to get out of this bed before she and Grant ended up fucking again.

She tried to sit up but he was holding on too tight. Another yawn escaped and she sighed. “Maybe we should take a nap…a short nap.”

He kissed her temple and closed his eyes.

“Yeah, short nap.”

When Skye woke hours later she knew their nap had been a long one because she actually felt rested for once. She found Grant’s side of the bed empty and she sat up at the sound of one of Skylar’s toys. Grant had Skylar down on a he blanket surrounded by toys. Skye moved to lie on her stomach quietly so she could watch them without alerting Grant that she was awake.

“You’re beautiful, like mommy. What are you doing? Do you want this?” He dangled a bear in front of her like she was a cat and Skye had to hide her face to keep from laughing. He was such an adorable dummy sometimes.

Skylar shoved her tiny fist out stubbornly and pouted (just like her father) when she couldn’t grab it. She whined and Grant, being the pushover he was, handed the bear over.

“Shh, don’t cry, angel, daddy was only teasing.”

She took the bear happily before throwing it.

“Hey,” Grant was offended and Skye pressed a fist to her mouth to stifle a chuckle.

Skylar sat up and he sat back in shock. “Woah, what are you-” She spotted her monkey and rolled onto her stomach so she could grab it with her chubby little hand. “Oh my God! You…you’re a genius!”

This time Skye couldn’t hide her laughter. He glanced over and met her eyes. “Skye! She rolled over!”

She stood and moved to take a seat next to them. “Yes, dear, I know that. She’s been doing it for about a month.”

He pouted. “I didn’t know-” Skye kissed him before he could ruin the moment with his mouth.

“Hush, you’ll get to see all kinds of cool things. Like her crawling and walking and I’ll even let you do all of the potty training.”

He wrinkled her nose and she kissed his cheek before turning her attention to Skylar who now had her monkey’s tail in her mouth.

“Angel, no-”

“Leave her, she’s starting to teeth. I can’t wait until her first tooth comes through. All of the screaming and knowing she’s in a pain is going to be so great for me.”

Grant wrapped his arm around her and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “You won’t have to do that alone, I promise, I’m going to find the rest of these bastards and be home before you know it.”

Skye wrapped her arms around his middle and rested her head against his chest.

“We’ll see.”

Chapter Text

Grant stood outside the gate watching his family with a smile on his face. A pair of big brown eyes met his with a smile. He lifted his finger to his mouth but his little Skylar wasn’t one to keep quiet.

“Daddy!

Mommy, look! Daddy’s home!”

He could see Skye sigh. He wasn’t supposed to be home for another week. “No, princess, daddy’s on a-” Skye turned and spotted him and their eyes met and he swore for a minute it was like they were falling in love all over again.

“Daddy!”

He entered the yard and scooped up his princess. He hugged her tightly and pressed a kiss to her temple. “You didn’t think I’d miss your birthday, did you baby?” He’d missed her first and no matter what mission he was on he always made sure to come home to see her.

“No!”

He held her against his chest and glanced back to Skye who watched him with tears in her eyes.

“I’ve only been gone a few days,” he teased.

“Daddy, did you bring me a present?”

He laughed and pulled back to give his little lady a smile. “Aren’t I enough?”

“No. I want a puppy!”

He laughed because they already had one and because he knew there was a second with a bow on its collar waiting inside courtesy of grandpa. “We’ll see.”

“Trip?” Skye whispered as she watched them. “Take your niece,” she ordered as Grant set Skylar down.

“I’m busy here,” he said, motioning to the toddler in his arms.

“Trip,” she warned before handing off Lillian to her overwhelmed uncle.

The moment the infant left her arms Skye ran for him. She threw her arms around him and he lifted her off the ground and kissed her properly.

“Eww, Uncle Fitz, they’re kissing.”

“Yeah? You don’t like that?”

“No, last time I saw them kissing Lily showed up.”

Grant smirked against his wife’s lips as he carefully set her back on her feet.

“I missed you,” Skye whispered as she moved her fingers through his hair.

He rested his forehead against hers with a smile. “I’m sorry, sweetheart.” They both tried not to leave for more than a couple of days at a time so the girls could have both of their parents around as much as possible but how could you say ‘no’ to Steve Rogers when he needed your help?

“Yeah, well, you’re back now,” she whispered before kissing him again.

“Eww, does that mean two new babies are going to appear?”

Skye rolled her eyes as she pulled away.

“Honey that’s not how babies are made-”

“S.H.I.E.L.D. delivers them mom, I’m not stupid. Uncle Tony told me all about it.”

Grant and Skye met eyes and she frowned. “Oh boy,” she muttered before returning to Lillian so she could rescue poor Trip.

Grant took her instead and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Hi angel, daddy missed you.” She was fast asleep but he didn’t care, just being hear her was enough for him.

“I don’t know why you complain so much, Trip.”

“I’m trying to hold my daughter and you’re just thrusting more kids at me!”

Skye sighed loudly. “Okay, first of all, you have another kid, how can you not handle two of them? Secondly, really?”

Grant did his best to hide a smile. It was clear to anyone who took one look at the Simmons children (Jemma had insisted on them having her last name seeing as she’d given birth to them) who had fathered which child but neither Trip nor Fitz cared.

Emilie was an exact copy of Jemma with the exception of Fitz’s unruly hair. In fact, Grant wondered if she should be in the sun. He was always worried about Jemma being out in it for too long and Emilie was a tiny little thing (like Fitz).

Nolan on the other hand…well, he was only a few months older than Lillian but Grant already knew he was going to have Trip’s personality, which, as it turned out, was a lot like Skye’s.

Sick of listening to them bicker he pulled Skye against him and kissed her. “Sweetheart, leave the man alone. He’s not as skilled as we are.”

“Hey!”

Fitz chuckled and Grant turned to find him handling his son just fine along with playing a game with Skylar.

“Yunno, I was going to say since there are three of them he’s not used to having to deal with two at a time but I think he’s just lazy.”

Trip rolled his eyes and stormed off grumpily.

“Trade?” He asked Fitz who effortlessly traded their son for their daughter all while continuing to bounce Skylar on his knee and showing her how to play whatever science themed board game he’d bought her.

Grant held Skye against him. “I think Fitz was born to be a dad.”

“Eh, Trip’s not so bad; he’s just terrified of screwing up. Reminds me of someone I know.”

She glanced up and Grant grinned. “Eh, that was with the first one, I’ve got this thing down, by the time the next one comes alone I’ll be perfect at this.”

Skye laughed. “Oh no, I wanted to stop with one. You got this one so you could have your do-over. I’m done. No more babies. This factory is closed.” She left him to go join the boys and he followed her with a pout.

“But look at them, they’re so perfect, why wouldn’t you want more?”

Jemma emerged with the cake looking very pregnant and grumpy and Skye made a nod with her head as to say ‘that’s why’.

“All right, everyone, who’s ready for cake?”

It was a Captain America cake (of course-he was sure the Avengers would all show up at some point with gifts but for now it was just their tiny immediate family) topped with a number five candle. He and Skye met eyes again and he smiled. In just six short years this group of people had managed to change his life and give him the family he’d always wanted. He knew he didn’t deserve it but he was smart enough not to point that out.

“Where’s grandma and grandpa?”

“Oh, they’re coming, angel, just blow out your candle, will you?” Jemma instructed as she set the cake down.

Skye leaned down to light the candle and gave Skylar a kiss on her cheek. Grant cradled Lily in his arms and rocked her gently as he watched Skylar lean into her cake with excitement.

“I know what I want; another puppy!” ‘

‘Puppy’ was an overstatement. Lola was more of a grumpy senior.

Skylar then blew out the candle enthusiastically.

Skye laughed and grabbed her around the waist. “You’re not supposed to say what you wished for, silly!”

“I don’t care, mommy!”

“Did someone say ‘puppy’?”

Phil emerged carrying a tiny black lab they’d rescued from a shelter. Their older Corgi lifted her head, took one look at it, shrugged, and returned to napping. Grant chuckled.

Skylar squealed and ran for her grandpa. She kissed his face and took the puppy. She stumbled trying to carry it but May appeared out of nowhere to help her not drop him.

“Daddy! Look what grandma and grandpa got me!”

He laughed. “I see.”

“And where has grandma been hiding?” Skye crossed her arms and lifted one brow.

May shrugged innocently. “Nowhere, I was just-” a kitten appeared at May’s feet and she smirked. “Ah, there you are.”

Skylar squealed even louder and Skye sighed loudly as she shook her head and both May and Phil disapprovingly. “I said she could have a goldfish and now I have three damn animals to take care of …”

Fitz appeared at his side. “I should take her in, too much sun is bad for them, you know.”

Grant did know but he didn’t want to let go of his baby either. He pressed a kiss to Lily’s forehead and reluctantly handed her over to her uncle. Fitz and Trip disappeared into the house with the babies and Grant took a seat at the picnic table. He pulled Skye into his lap and held her as they watched Skylar lead Emilie and their new friends around the yard.

“You let this happen,” Skye mumbled grumpily.

He kissed her temple and held her closer.

“Skye, we both know the moment you get your hands on those cute fur balls you’re going to be completely in love with them. You’re like Coulson, always taking in strays, like me.”

She chuckled and glanced up at him. He reached down to tuck a loose piece of hair behind her ear.

“We did good, right?” She whispered.

He smiled and leaned down to kiss her. “We did better than good, sweetheart.”

She smiled and they both turned their attention back to the not-so-tiny miracle that had brought them both everything they’d ever wanted and more. He glanced down at Skye with affection knowing she was the real reason he was happy. She’d given him everything; her heart, his children, and a family. He loved her more than anything in this world.

He pressed his cheek to hers and held her closer. “I love you, Skye.”

“I love you too.”

“No regrets?”

She glanced at him with a smile.

“Honestly?” He nodded. “When our daughter’s grown up I’d like to not have to tell her she was conceived in a janitor’s closet.”

Grant grinned and pressed his lips to hers. He held her tighter and rested his chin on her head. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, wife, banging you in that janitor’s closet is the smartest thing I ever did.”