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case report no. 593: Aldar: cooperation has been reached -after 3 weeks

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Home had once been a warm cup of tea when the rain had chilled her bones after having been playing outside for most of the day. Home had been the feeling of a keyboard under her fingertips as she had finally seemed to connect with something. Home had been Coulson’s jokes, his steady and reassuring glances as she had doubted her abilities. Home had been her powers, and the constant soft hum they had instilled deep within her mind. Home had been Lincoln and his handsome grin and kind eyes. Home had been the Zephyr, with a proper crew and a proper mission and a purpose in her life which for once had not involved the world ending, but a world being found. Home had been a lot of things, a lot of people, a lot of places, but Daisy had never once been in charge of her own home; had never found herself building her home, but had casually wandered into one, and had gratefully been accepted into it. 


SWORD was her baby, an idea which had popped into her mind as she had been sitting in one of the many SHIELD meetings Mack had kept nagging her ass into attending. An idea which had slowly brewed inside her brain ever since she had had the opportunity to meet with Captain Marvel herself. 


“We know there is a much bigger universe out there. We have seen it -have been there. I have traveled it -for an entire year I was out there. I know a thing or two about how to move across planets and galaxies and- shit.”


Mack had looked at her with an unyielding and unreadable face. When she had finished pitching her idea, he had waited a full minute before giving out a grin of his own, wide and proud and the most encouraging sight she had encountered ever since Coulson’s trust. 


She had hand-picked her team, alongside Sousa, who had supported her idea and had quickly and seamlessly adapted into the role of her partner. SWORD was hers, and Zephyr 3 had become Daisy’s new home. 


Home. Such a strange concept. Was it a physical space, a person, an emotion? After years of having felt as if she would never truly understand the true meaning behind such a word, at almost 33, Daisy was certain she had finally grown enough to understand the concept. It wasn’t something tangible or dependent on external circumstance, but a feeling created within, a feeling she had been aided to finally come to terms with, a feeling which now surged and blossomed within her whenever she heard Kora and Sousa laughing, or the soft hum of the Zephyr as it hovered in place between voyages, or Alya’s childish giggle. 


Home, was exactly the opposite of what Aldar was. 


Aldar was cold, and pink, and it had way too many daylight hours. Not to mention, the Aldarians insisted SWORD couldn’t leave until Captain Marvel herself arrived to sign the trading contracts which Daisy and Sousa had personally drawn up themselves. 


‘She’s Quake, you know, you have posters around announcing her as some kind of-’

Daniel had tried to point out, but the Aldar mayor had shushed him, earning raised eyebrows from both Daisy and Daniel. 


And so the wait had begun. They had been given  nice enough quarters, and had at least been allowed to room together. Kora, Roy and Leela had stayed behind with them, while Bill, Carson and Hill had gone back to the Zephyr, with explicit orders to keep a look out for Danvers. 


She had never made them wait so long before. 


Daisy missed the Zephyr; she missed waking up to the sound of Kora and Roy bickering over breakfast, Leela and Bill arguing over the use of the bathroom. She missed Daniel's ease, his casual dress and relaxed stance. Aldar had put him in a constant state of tension. He claimed it was due to being forced to stay still. Daisy knew it was more due to the fact the constant freezing temperatures of the city reminded him too much of another war, once fought. 


Everything about Aldar was annoying, everything was wrong and tedious. 


"You're going to sprain something if you keep doing that without proper equipment." 


Daisy turned around to meet with his gaze. Daniel stood at the entrance of the room, casually leaning on the doorframe, a small smile on his face. 


"I'm going to lose my mind if I don't. It's been three weeks, we should have picked something up already. I refuse to believe Danvers hasn't gotten our message. She has eyes and ears everywhere."


“She’ll get here,” he replied, his voice sound and secure, as if he truly believed every word he uttered. Daisy knew him better though, and the simple fact he felt the need to voice the thought, spoke of the doubts rooted within him. 


Daisy stopped hitting the makeshift punching bag she had put together, knowing him to be right, she could already feel her wrists aching from the lack of proper protection. She couldn’t afford to hurt her muscles, or bones, not when they still had no idea if Aldar would peacefully reach an understanding with them, or if they would have to quake their way out. 


“When, though? We’ve been stuck here for a little over two weeks now, and honestly- I’m getting tired of the food around here. I miss pancakes and toast, and I would kill for a good cup of coffee.”


“Better not let the Aldarians hear that last bit.”


Daisy groaned, her body collapsing on top of their bed, her groan muffled by the disheveled sheets. 


Daniel chuckled at the sight, and the mere sound of it, the echoes it produced, warmed Daisy’s body with a feeling she had come to recognize as the feeling of home. 


But it wasn’t home, not really. Because even if parts of it were there- like his eyes, caring, and soft, and supportive; or his arms, still warm and always welcoming; or his odd sense of humor, which never failed to bring out a small smile in her -the spark behind his chocolate eyes was missing. 


“I miss the Zephyr, I never thought I would miss it this much.”


“I miss feeling warm in the mornings, and the soft hum of the engine. I also miss eating normal food and hearing you laugh with the crew about one thing or another.”


She grinned, moving her body so she could properly see him. His body was near, his face and eyes lost in memories she knew too well, for it seemed her mind was lost in them too. The mere thought made her chest ache with something which she had grown to recognize as love. 


Home had been so many things for her, an enigma, a purpose, a goal, a flying plane, an encouraging smile- home was a feeling, a feeling which she had slowly allowed herself to recognize and embrace. 


Right then, home was Sousa getting lost in memories as he took a seat next to her on top of their bed, both of them staring at the ceiling, content in just being near each other. 


“When Danvers gets here, please make sure I don’t quake her sorry ass. I feel that after being stuck here for almost three weeks, my self control will end up dissolving and I'll end up doing something I regret.”


“And who’s to say I won’t be following you right there into madness?”


Because he followed her everywhere, just as she followed him everywhere. Figures. 


“well, we’re quite the pair, aren’t we?”


“Kora will have to take our place as commander; I think she’s ready. You know, she has not snapped at Roy this week, and has managed to only-” Daisy’s full laugh interrupted him, which made Daniel turn his head towards her, his own eyes crinkling with unvoiced laughter. 


“Ok, no. First of all, Danvers is my territory. Second, Kora has stopped snapping at Roy because I’m pretty sure she's into him-”


“I thought she had been dating that girl from back home.”


“She had. She broke it off before coming to space. Anyway, I’m pretty sure she likes Roy, so we can’t judge her social graces from her interactions with him. And third, you keep me in check and I keep you check, deal? No funny business, no quaking, no fighting, no snapping at the Aldarians.”


“Or at Carol.”


Daisy had nothing against Captain Marvel, in all honesty, she more than admired the woman; but the fact the renowned superhero seemed to always make Daisy uncharacteristically nervous frustrated her to no end. She was better than this, her fangirling days were long gone- or well, they should have been. 


“Or at Captain Marvel herself.”


Daniel leaned forward to give her a quick kiss on her forehead. Daisy could feel his grin, silly and amused, as his lips touched her skin. 


And in that moment, Daisy was home.