Warmth // Names
Daisy argued that everything had been Kora and Roy’s fault.
Daisy had always attributed her sister’s early morning routine to the fact Kora had been kept under May’s care and training for the first five months after the team had safely returned to the 21st century. However, she held no notion as to why Roy also enjoyed being up before five in the morning. And so, without fail, ever since Z3 had taken flight, Kora and Roy would always be the firsts ones up whenever the Zephyr’s circuits declared it to be morning time.
The incident had occurred on a particularly hard, very early morning. Daisy had found herself awake at such hours, if only because she had never truly gone to sleep in the first place. She had spent most of the night trying to sooth and nurse a stubborn Sousa, who had begun their night with a slight fever and had ended it with a persistent cough which had eventually drained his energy, and had driven him to sleep at around four in the morning.
Daisy, tired yet restless, because she had never seen Daniel looking so pale, had not been able to find sleep. By the time the internal Zephyr clock had read five, Daisy had felt comfortable enough with leaving Daniel to rest as she headed towards the kitchen for something to eat.
Tired legs and a small headache had accompanied her, the buzzing in her head having slowly morphed from a persistent white noise to something which had sounded more and more like actual words and short phrases.
Of course, her sister and Roy had already been up and- had begun cooking breakfast; prancing around the small kitchenette with an ease she had never before witnessed between the two lovers. They were usually bickering and snapping at the other, teasing and flirting and driving most of the crew insane. That morning had been different, they had been almost- soft with each other.
Daisy had often wondered if mornings were their thing, the one time in between the chaos and ever changing ambiance of their lives in which they found peace. For Daisy herself those moments usually came in the evenings, during the nights when she would allow herself to be completely engulfed by Daniel’s warmth, by his arms and kisses and -
“You’re letting them simmer, right?”
“Yes. I know how to cook, you know.”
“Yes, supernova, but you forget you have a tendency to forgo cooking for blasting. Doesn't really taste the same.”
Daisy had seen her sister grin and give a small blush at the nickname.
“It only happened once, babe. Here, take a look.”
The conversation had struck a nerve with Daisy and had persisted to haunt her for the rest of the day.
The thought had come to her then. Daniel took to calling her Quake on an almost daily basis, usually as a quick joke, or to make a specific point regarding her already well-known reputation across space. Even if she had heard him use the tease a thousand and one times, the name still made her roll her eyes at him in clear annoyance.
He called Quake to annoy her, sweetheart to disarm her, Dais to praise her, and Johnson to make a point.
She just called him Sousa on most days, and she would dare to venture into calling him Daniel whenever she would feel her chest tighten and emotions get the better of her. She had taken to calling him 'square' in the beginning, but had eventually stopped. Why had she stopped?
It had suddenly not seemed fair to her.
It was how it had begun.
She had started by trying to use ‘square’ again.
“Come on, Quake, it’s only fifteen feet away.”
“Don’t be such a square about it, it is perfectly fine to try and put in more distance between us and the ‘Gluriari’.”
He had not even batted his eyelids, he had continued to argue his point, which had only ended up frustrating Daisy even more.
“Doesn’t it bother you?” She had asked him a couple of days later.
Daniel had always been good at reading her, but even he was not a mind reader and couldn’t fathom where her comment was coming from.
“When I or others call you a square?”
Looking up from his book, staring at Daisy’s concerned and annoyed face sitting right across from him on the edge of their bed had only made him chuckle.
“I am a square, especially by 21st century standards.”
Daisy had then decided to try another nickname, determined to get some kind of reaction off from him.
She had tried calling him ‘Danny’ once, in endearment. He hadn’t reacted, but she had almost gagged.
'Danny boy' had come up next, the name falling easily from her lips, a mirthful smile accompanying her delivery. It had passed by unnoticed by him, as he had simply nodded his answer and had continued to explain the schematics he had drawn up regarding the city of Ginby .
Daisy had had to bite her inner cheek in order to not give out a very frustrated huff.
In the meantime, he continued to whisper ‘ Dais’ to her in the middle of night; sweetheart as she fell asleep; Quake as they took a step outside the Z3 onto an alien planet or space station.
She would react each and every time. She would blush or roll her eyes; she would flinch as the word Quake would leave his lips with a little more venom than amusement.
Daisy had tried to find a quip, a tease, an endearment which would simulate the same kind of response from him that he so easily got from her. She had thought hard and had even tested some out inside her mind, but could never bring herself to commit to any of them. None of the ones she had managed to think on felt good enough, or clever enough.
Because she had never been big on nicknames, or pet names. She had been given the moniker of ‘Quake’ by the press and she had learnt to accept and even care for it. Mack had dubbed her 'Tremors' in endearment and she had cared too much about the man to ever ask him not to. Someone had even once dared to call her the destroyer of worlds . Daisy would still flinch whenever she remembered that one.
Too many names, too many variables. The names Mary Sue Poots and Skye also came to mind, names never forgotten but now never used. How was it she got to have so many names, and yet she couldn't think of a single one to call her boyfriend?
It wasn’t either professional, or a common occurrence for her to enter a room with distracting thoughts plaguing her mind, but for weeks now she hadn’t been able to think on much else.
They got called into the Jill room on Gyun, their names announced and ranks stated as they walked through the green doors.
Daisy pondered over the fact she got introduced as ‘Quake’, while Sousa only got the word ‘Agent’ as a decor.
Carol Danvers was waiting for them, and the blond woman’s presence was such a surprise, it managed to throw Daisy off her thoughts for a bit.
“Danvers,” she called out, hoping she didn’t sound as starstruck as she thought she did. Daniel’s soft half smile towards her told her she did.
“Well this must be highly important if Mack has managed to convince you to meet with us.”
“It wasn’t Director Mack who made the contact this time.”
Daisy raised her eyebrows in question, waiting for the woman to finish, hating the fact they had been blindsided with the arrangement. Daniel’s silence and furrowed brows let her know he too felt conned.
“It was Fury.”
The people of Gyun finished their initial report after that, on how they had detected a massive amount of energy starting to brew from somewhere near the galaxy, how they had devoted a whole generation to its study and how they had finally arrived at a conclusion regarding both the energy’s source and purpose.
Of course it was both evil in conception and purpose, and of course it happened to just want to destroy all of life and blah blah blah blah. Daisy huffed and looked over towards Sousa who had morphed his furrowed annoyed brows into furrowed determined ones. His face and stance stopped Daisy from rolling her eyes in front of very concerned Gyuns and a very focused Carol who kept firing rapid question after rapid question regarding the energy’s properties and composition.
“I can get to the source faster, but I don’t have the knowledge to properly assess it. Think you could lend me one of your nerds, Johnson?”
Gladly, Daisy thought, yet only nodded in response; her eyes entirely focused on the various schematics and models the Gyuns had drawn up regarding this- blob of energy. The spark it gave felt oddly familiar to her.
“If one of the team goes, then I go.”
His tone was familiar and Daisy’s reaction mimicked one which she had given to him what now felt like a lifetime ago, when time had been but a mere obstacle in the way.
“Uh no, why? Either Gigi or Truman can handle this. You need to stay behind, along with the rest of the team. This needs to be monitored from a distance, kept in constant assessment, just in case it spreads faster than Captain Marvel here can stop it.”
“Yes, but you forget that even if either Gigi or Truman accept the offer, neither is cleared for field operations.”
Yeah, well, neither had Fitz nor Simmons.
“Well, yeah I know-”
“And you were the one who pitched in that particular rule.”
Yes, because there is a reason some people should never be tainted by the hardships of a battlefield.
“Yes, so I go.”
“No, this is not up for discussion, if I have to pull rank, then I will. But I'm not letting my boyfriend just willingly sacrifice himself for me. Not again.”
And of course, the one term which she had always taken for granted, the one name which she had then came to realize she had never spoken out loud, was the one which finally broke Sousa. She could see it in his eyes, the way they slightly widened; in his cheeks, the way they tinged pink; in his breath which suddenly hitched; most importantly, she could feel his heart accelerating, the vibrations around him getting louder, messier.
Daisy couldn’t help it, she grinned.
“I missed something, didn’t I?”
Carol went by unattended. Daisy taking a step towards Sousa, eyes sparkling, mouth pursed in a teasing manner.
“I’m not sacrificing myself, Dais, you know I’m the better candidate. I could see it in your eyes the blasts are familiar, it’s giving off a flare which reminds you of something- of someone.”
Ah shit . Kora.
“You’ll be needed here. I’ll accompany Danvers, and either Gigi or Truman. You stay with your sister, make sure she’s safe and guarded from whatever this could be.”
“You’re just going to continue ignoring the fact I just made you double blink when I called you my boyfriend, aren’t you?”
Daniel chuckled, moved in to give her a quick, but soft kiss on her forehead, the words ‘of course, sweetheart’ whispered against her skin.
Fine. He won. Daniel Sousa could disarm Daisy Johnson with mere words. Oddly enough, as she watched him address the rest of the room following their brief personal interaction, the way he cleared his throat and tried his hardest (succeeding, dare she might say) to not let his embarrassment show, Daisy found herself not minding.