Its cold. That’s the first thing he really notices. The second is that he can barely pry his eyes open and that lifting his hands to his face to clear them isn’t going to happen. Its drugs again. What an awful feeling. But he’s not on a battlefield or on the floor of some dingy barn. There is something soft beneath him and something warm holding his wrist.
As his senses slowly return, he manages to turn towards the source of that warmth. There is blurry dark hair and dark eyes staring back at him. He blinks a few times, excited to see her face but realizes soon something’s not right.
“I’m sorry, I know I’m not the sister you were hoping to see.”
Kora is standing next to his bed, there is a chair across the room she likely jumped up from when he started to stir.
“Attacked on a supply run.”
“I thought we were on a non-hostile planet.”
“We were but getting a whole planet to agree on whether the giant ship full of humans with their extremely powerful inhuman director is not a threat is never going to happen.”
“So it was rebels?”
“They hit you with some sort of toxin, its out of your system now but it sent your vitals crazy, people in charge gave us an antidote to try to smooth things over but they didn’t know how effective it would be on a human.”
“Was anyone else hurt?”
“We’re all fine.”
He relaxes back onto the bed. He’s still groggy but if the poison is out of his system than its probably just a side effect of being asleep and stationary so long.
“That’s odd they didn’t try to take out more of us, we were unarmed.”
“Daisy and I are never unarmed and when you didn’t answer your coms, well needless to say they scattered when she came to find you.” That probably didn’t help tensions, but he was thankful. The reason their team was as safe as it was traveling through space was because no one really wanted to risk crossing Daisy and Kora and that gave them time to prove they were only there to make peace. “She was here, the whole time you were out, medics couldn’t get her to wait outside, she only just left a few hours ago, asked me to be here so you wouldn’t be alone when you woke up.”
“Where is she now?”
“Her room.” Kora answers. “She put us back on track for earth, no more stops now that we’re refueled, you’ve got an appointment with Simmons when we get there by the way.”
That was a given. Simmons was the expert on alien biology, whether she was officially working for SHIELD or not. “Did she say when she was coming back?”
Kora looked uncomfortable. “She didn’t say, I’m sure soon though.”
When the day passes with no sign of her he can’t take it anymore. Its late in the evening and most of the crew is turned in for the night. He knows he shouldn’t be out of medical yet, but he thinks if he gets caught, he can just say he’s gone to get a change of clothes or a sweater from their room.
He slides open the door, relieved to see a light on. She wasn’t asleep yet.
Daisy is just sitting up when he steps inside. She’s clearly startled to see him, her eyes are wide and worried. “What are you doing here, you shouldn’t be up yet!”
She looks a mess and that’s saying something seeing as he’d spent time with her shortly after she had literally died. She obviously hasn’t slept but that wasn’t unusual. Her eyes are red, her hair looks unwashed and she dressed in an oversized t-shirt and shorts. She may have been trying to sleep or at least lying down because there is no work spilled across their bed like it often was.
“I wanted to – “ He wanted to see her. Her tone is full of worry though and he thinks she probably wants to hear a better excuse. “I needed a sweater, its freezing in those recovery rooms.”
“Oh.” She shifts uncomfortably. This was not at all the reaction he had expected. As the number one rule breaker on the ship he thought he'd get a earful of teasing for leaving without doctor approval or maybe at least she'd look happy to see him. “You should have just asked for an extra blanket.”
He steps over to their dresser thinking he might as well grab one for when she hauls him back down there. “I wanted to stretch my legs too and wanted to see you of course.” She stays quiet. He pulls open the top drawer of the dresser to find it empty. He opens the next one down. Also empty.
“Daisy where are all of my things.”
“They’re next door, in your room.”
This stops him.
He does in fact have a room next door, though it’s never been used. It’s really just for show; they are an official branch of SHIELD and every agent was required a bunk. Just the same, Daisy’s bunk was bigger simply because she was in charge. Not because it had been designed to accommodate two people.
He had thought the room had felt different when he walked in and a second glance around tells him his things have vanished. He’s not a messy person but his belongings that are always out, his books from the nightstand and his typewriter Daisy had given him that sat on their desk, were gone.
It hits him quickly what’s happening. He’d been warned, not once, not twice but three times that this would happen. That if he got hurt, she was going to pull away. Mack had warned him, Simmons had elaborated on why and May, thank god, had advised him on how to handle it.
She’s stubborn and the only way to get through to her is to be even more stubborn.
“So this is your solution, to put a wall between us, literally.” He asks but she doesn’t answer, just sits cross legged in the middle of their bed looking thoroughly unsure what to do or say. “Daisy, what happened wasn’t your fault.”
“Yes, it was, they attacked you because they don’t trust me.”
“That’s not your fault, you didn’t give them any reason not to trust you.”
This he realizes doesn’t make her feel any better.
“Please go.” She lays back down. Turns her back to him and faces the wall. He needs to get closer to her and make her look at him. It's the only way to get through to her. He crosses the room to the bed and lowers himself carefully to the edge.
“Please just go.” She whispers and curls farther in on herself.
“I’m going, but you want me and all my stuff out.”
“I already moved all your things.”
He reaches out to tug on her sleeve. Though she probably wore the old t-shirt more, it was technically his. It was the first thing the team had given him to change into and ever since he had kept it to sleep in. “This is mine.”
She sits up and glares at him and maybe it’s the resemblance but May’s word ring through his head again. How was anyone supposed to be more stubborn than she was? He tugs at her sleeve again and she jerks away. Whatever anger she has built up she can’t maintain and it leaves her with a heavy sigh. She pulls the shirt off but rather than hand it over she inspects the thread bare fabric and the faded SHIELD logo. Goose bumps run up her arms and back as the chill hits her, now dressed only in her sports bra and shorts. His instinct is to reach out and warm her up, pull the t-shirt back over her and wrap her in the thick quilt at the end of the bed.
But he has to be stubborn, he reminds himself again. So instead he reaches out to take the t-shirt and it does the trick. He pulls at it but she refuses to let go, her fingers gripping it like a lifeline. He uses it to pull her to him and she comes willingly. It’s an overwhelming relief as she sinks into his arms but her sniffling and the wet tears soaking into his shirt doesn’t let him enjoy the victory long.
“It was different this time.” She mumbles.
“What do you mean?”
“It hurt so much, but you’re still here.” Not like Lincoln or Trip or even her parents. “All those times before I lost what I had, I’ve always lived in the moment, day to day, too much going on to think ahead, but now, with you, I was – I was losing a future too.”
He'll admit that takes him by surprise. “You think about our future?”
She nods. “I’ve never really done that before, not far into the future anyways.”
He supposes that’s where they differ most; maybe it’s the generational thing but he’s been thinking about their future practically since the day they met. “What do you think about?”
“I don’t know,” she starts to sit back up, embarrassed or scared to say. He lets her rearrange herself but doesn’t let her move too far away. She’s leaning into him but her face its still turned away. “Just us being older together, after our space adventures or whatever, maybe working at SHIELD to help Inhumans together, I think you’d like to work at the academy, maybe getting married, maybe a family.”
As she speaks, she gets quieter and quieter until he can only barely hear her, but he does. He holds her tighter trying to express how much he would like that to be their future without saying it out loud. He knows Daisy well enough that actions are sometimes better than words. And sometimes the necessary words were for breaking the tension. “Well I’m flattered that I’m apart of it, but I think sticking me in a different room might be a step back.”
“I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“We’ve had this conversation before, we’re both prone to running head first into danger, I thought we agreed that that was going to be a regular thing and that staying together was just our selfish reward for being so damn self-sacrificing 99% of the time.”
She laughs and sits up again, finally, really looking at him. “We did agree to that.”
“Good, so I can move my stuff back in?”
“No.” She says climbing out of the bed. “But you can march yourself back down to medical and just as soon as we’re back on earth you are getting an earful from Simmons on proper bed rest and wandering around after literally be pois – “ He cuts her off with a kiss and he feels her smiling against his lips.
“And after all that?”
“After that you can move back in.”
"Good." He kisses her again and in her distracted state he manages to steal back the t-shirt. He pulls away enough to slip it back over her head. "This can be yours until then."