As much as she loved being the leader of the SWORD team, Daisy hated the admin side. The reports, the procedures, the debriefs after exhausting missions where all she wanted to do was go to sleep. In space, it was hard to measure Earth time, but they tried their best to keep normal day patterns. Daisy could tell it was late, by the ache she felt in her bones telling her she needed to sleep for a least a few hours. Looking across the briefing room, she could tell Kora, Barragan and Booth felt the same way after their mission, their eyes glazed over slightly.
“Alright, let’s end this here, anything else you think of let me know in the morning.” She said placing the tablet down in front of her. “Get some rest, I think Sousa has put some leftovers in the fridge if you’re hungry. You did a great job today, guys.” Everyone quickly dispersed, heading for bunks or showers to change out of their mission gear. Daisy followed behind a few minutes later, sticking her head through the door of her bunk, expecting Sousa to be sat in bed on the other side, waiting for her to go to bed. But it was empty, the room quiet, the bed sat on, but the covers still made. Passing by the kitchen, she saw Kora and Barragan sharing some box of food, but still no Daniel.
She headed to the cockpit, knowing that would be the next place to look for him and it was fruitful. The normal hive of activity that occurred in the control room, during the day or intense missions had faded, the whole crew resting for the evening, leaving the ship in autopilot while they were in an intergalactic safe zone, which were under the protection of Carol, so they were confident enough to leave the plane unmanned for a few hours. The lights of the control panels were the only lights in this area, and Daisy moved quietly through the room, watching her boyfriend just look out into the endless space.
His hair was still wet from a shower, his natural curls free from the styling products he used in everyday life to tame them. She liked seeing him like this. Not the professional, strait-laced Agent Sousa in his button up shirts and slacks (not that she disliked that look, in fact she had made it known how much she liked it), but this more relaxed, excited Daniel, who still loved space. He’d gotten more used to the casual clothing of the 21st century over time, and the SHIELD embossed sweatpants had become a firm favourite item in his wardrobe. She had it on good authority that Mack had more pairs sent to their apartment for him. Stopping just behind him, she just watched as his eyes were fixated on the view outside of the ship.
It was always beautiful. A giant expanse of inky darkness could have been intimidating but the stars littered throughout the canvas brought a kind of comfort to him. Occasionally they’d pass a nebula or other astronomical and the skies would be filled with swirling shapes of pink or green, or a purple that reminded him of Daisy in a way he couldn’t explain. He came here relatively often, when things felt overwhelming or he was anxious, he’d told her that it made him feel calm, gave him something to think about, but that didn’t seem to be the case this time. His face was fixed in a small smile, and she could feel his heart rate wasn’t elevated above its usual resting rhythm.
“I know you’re there, Daisy.” He said, breaking the silence. “For a spy, you’re not that stealthy.”
“Maybe I wasn’t trying to be stealthy. Or maybe the fact that you’re a spy, means you have better sense for people approaching you.” She teased back, coming to stand between the two pilot seats.
“Maybe. Did you finish the debrief?” She nodded in response, running her hand through the curls on top of his head. He looked up to her and wrapped an arm round her waist. She moved closer, only to find herself pulled down to sit across his lap in on swift move.
“That was smooth Agent Sousa, they teach you that in the boy scouts?” She smirked at him as one arm came round her waist, holding her in place, while the other hand landed on her thigh. He pressed a kiss to her cheek as she settled against him. Her gaze shifted to the vast expanse in front of them. “What brings you up here tonight?”
“I don’t know, I finished my book, and you were still busy, so my feet just brought me here.” He said gesturing to the cockpit.
“Why do you come up here? Like I know you come here if you’re overwhelmed with everything, but why does it help?” she asked after a few minutes of silence. He took a breath before explaining.
“In 1955, none of this was possible, I mean people had theories and the stars had names, but no one really knew what was out here. And then I was brought to the future and shown that all this stuff was, in fact, possible. It means that whatever I know now, might not be the truth in the future. Anything bad or unpleasant that happens, has the chance to change or become better. So, when I feel stressed or out of place here, I come up here and remind myself that if this exists in the future, there is a million other good things that I know also exist here.” He said, his eyes meeting hers.
“Do you feel like this a lot?” she asked, her voice thicker now as if concerned.
“Daisy, it’s not that I wish I was back there, I don’t. Not at all.” He reassured her, moving his fingertips in small circles down her leg. “And I’m have less and less of these moments, especially when I’m around you. Well, when I’m around you it rarely ever comes up to be completely honest. But when it occasionally does, I just like to take in the stars and the beauty in them, and it grounds me a bit, makes it all seem real.” Daisy smiled at this, this sweet man, with a heart of gold and the courage of a solider, who had been thrown into the future at the deep end. He helped her sign peace treaties with aliens and fight their way off of hostile planets. And here he was, watching the stars to calm himself in his rough moments.
“I love you Daniel.” She said, into the silence of the Z3 control room. The words tumbled out, all at once and faster than expected something she had thought but never dared to utter out loud. It clearly startled him as well, as all movement stopped between the two of them and there was a split second of dead silence.
“I love you too, Daisy.” Was his reply, and Daisy let out the breath she didn’t know she was holding. He chased the statement up by drawing her in for a soft kiss, full of emotion, a silent exchange of the feelings they’d just laid out, a kiss that made her toes curl. Pulling away, he had that broad smile on his face that sent a shiver down her spine. “Not that I’m at all opposed to it, but where did that come from?”
“The stars.” She said, proud of the metaphor she managed to come up with on the spot. “You’re so solid and handsome and all in all too good to be true, yet when you need to be calm, you look to the stars.” Her hand came to the side of his neck, pulling him closer to her again
“Or I look to you.” He added and she melted at the warmth in his eyes. And then there was nothing to stop, she leant forward and kissed him, slow and gentle but not lacking in passion. They were so wrapped up in each other, neither of them noticed someone else had walked into the main area of the plane minutes later.
“I swear to god, you better not be getting it on in my chair.” Kora’s voice made them both jump apart, Daisy almost toppling off Daniel’s lap, had it not been for his arm around her waist tightening as her weight shifted. Sousa groaned slightly as the blush rose in his cheeks and he rested his head on Daisy’s shoulder, effectively hiding from his girlfriend’s sister.
“Hey, it’s my spaceship! I’ll ‘get it on’ wherever I want!” Daisy shot back, laughing at Daniel’s reaction. “We really need to get you some updated vocab.”
“You’ve got a bunk for a reason, you know.” Kora said rolling her eyes, her voice laced with annoyance.
“Yeah, and I fully intend to use it.” Daisy said smartly, Sousa releasing a barely audible groan at the crudeness of the whole situation, he knew sisters argued and teased other, but these two seemed to be constantly making up for lost time. Kora rolled her eyes yet again, before turning on her heel and shouting over her heel.
“I want to forget you just said that!” Daisy laughed loudly, and Daniel couldn’t help but think how beautiful she looked, carefree in the light of the stars that surrounded him. The brightest star in his sky.