"Here, Coulson asked me to give you this--thingy," Skye says, wrinkling her nose as she hands over the ziploc bag full of neon-purple... stuff.
"Oh, wonderful, he got me a sample!" Jemma says, excited in the way she only gets around really, really gross things. "And oh, my, look how much of it there is, this is just amazing! I mean, I always knew there were samples available, I just never expected to be able to get my hands on any, and--oh, isn't this amazing?"
Skye doesn't quite agree, but still says, "Yeah, sure," because Jemma is so excited, already fiddling with one of her sci-fi looking science machines, and Skye doesn't want to be a party pooper. "Anything else I can help with?"
Jemma twirls around, almost as if snapping out of her science-enabled endorphine high. "Hm? Oh. No. Thank you, Skye."
"Okay, see you up there," Sky says and starts to head out of the lab, when a hesitant noise from Jemma stops her. "Did you say something?"
"Um," Jemma says, and her smile gets strained and also pretty creepy. "I really like--your..." she trails off and her eyes flicker back and forth. "...buttons."
Skye frowns. "Buttons?"
Jemma nods tightly. "Your shirt. Has nice--buttons. I, I like buttons. I have--my shirt has buttons, and I like yours better."
Skye inches towards the staircase. "Okay. Thanks."
Jemma takes a deep breath, creepy smile still in place, before turning back to her machines.
Two days later, Skye's busy trying to come up with a good prank to pull on Ward when Jemma sits down on the couch next to her.
"Hello," Jemma says, and Skye's instantly suspicious, because Jemma sounds nervous.
"Working on anything exciting?" Jemma asks, gesturing vaguely to the laptop in front of Skye.
Skye shifts it a little, protectively, to hide the screen. "...no?"
Jemma's smile falters a little. "Oh," she says. "I thought maybe--since you're so good with computers and all, you know, maybe you could teach me some."
Skye's confused. "Some what?"
Jemma brightens for a moment, "Teach me some--" and then her smile disappears completely, "--computering."
Skye's eyebrows climb upwards. "...computering?"
Jemma stutters a little, hands gesturing randomly in the air. "Well, no, that's not the term, I just, I wasn't trying to, I've got," and then she abruptly stands up and leaves.
"Hey," Jemma says a few days later, knocking lightly on the door to Skye's bunk where she's leaned back with her laptop on her knees.
"'Sup?" Skye asks, pulling out one of her earbuds.
"Are you busy?"
"No, just watching a movie, did you need anything?"
Jemma lets out a sigh in what appears to be relief. "Oh, movies, good, I can do movies," she mumbles, which is really weird, and then she carefully edges into the small space and sits down next to Skye so she can see the screen. "May sent me to tell you we'll be arriving in less than an hour."
"Okay, cool," Skye says, handing over the loose earbud without really thinking about it, so Jemma can listen.
They sit in silence and watch as Indiana Jones discovers the Well of Souls, before Jemma shifts a little.
"So," she says. "Is this one of your favorite movies?"
"Isn't it one of everyone's favorite movies?" Skye asks with a snort.
"I," Jemma says, then giggles in a weird, high-pitched manner, "you've got good taste in movies." Skye looks over at Jemma, who shifts nervously again. "I just, I think, maybe you can, um, show me sometime?"
Skye frowns and says, "I can give you a list of movie recommendations, if that's what you mean?"
Jemma makes that weird giggle sound again. "Of course, but, no, what I mean is, I like your movie brain?"
Skye doesn't know what to make of this, and for a split second wonders if Jemma wants to actually look at her brain. Hey, she's a freaky SHIELD biologist scientist lady--it could happen, okay?
Neither of them are watching the movie anymore, so Skye carefully plucks the earbud out of Jemma's ear, pulls the other one out of her own, and closes the laptop. "I'm going to go bug Coulson," she says. "Before he gets all, grr, work-mode, rawr."
Jemma's shoulders slump a little, but she keeps smiling. "Sure."
The following week, Skye is returning to the Bus, trailing behind Ward and Fitz as May starts unloading their cargo. Walking up the ramp, they're greeted by Jemma, hands clasped like a worrying mother hen.
"There you are, what on earth took you so long? It shouldn't have taken you this long?"
"Relax," Ward says as Fitz huffs past them and starts unloading his gear in the lab. "Everything's fine, we got what we came for, and the tracker was placed without a hitch. Fitz is just cranky because his favorite toy broke."
"It was not a toy!" Fitz argues from the background. "It was a prototype of a new retroreflective field detector, and staying on top of that technology is very valuable to, say, an organization whose main mode of transportation is a floating airbase outfitted with retroreflective panels!"
"Crankypants," Skye mutters. "He wasn't the one getting shot at."
Jemma looks shocked. "You got shot at?"
"Only a little," Ward says, giving Skye a look--seriously?--before heading upstairs. "Besides," he calls over the railing, "you handled yourself well, rookie."
It's been a long time since Ward called her a rookie, and a longer time still since he paid her any sort of compliment, and Skye beams a little.
Jemma doesn't share the sentiment. "Only a little?" she asks, outraged.
"I'm fine," Skye reassures her, happier now. "Did you hear? Ward said I handled myself well!"
Jemma nods before reaching out. Her hand hovers awkwardly just above Skye's shoulder for a few moments. "Well," Jemma says. "I'm glad you didn't get shot. And of course you handled yourself well, you're--you're..."
Skye waits for Jemma to go on and maybe also say something that actually makes sense?
"...you're a good handler.. of things," Jemma says. "I'm sure you could handle--other things too, if you wanted?"
She looks at Skye like she's waiting for a response, but Skye's honestly just very confused.
"Nevermind," Jemma says eventually, looking embarrassed as she hurries past Skye towards the ramp. "I'm going to go see if May needs any help with the cargo."
Skye watches her go, frowning. When she turns back, she's suddenly nose to nose with Fitz.
"Um, hi, wow, personal space?"
Fitz gives her a death glare. "You're not being very nice to her."
Skye's jaw drops, because what? "Excuse me?"
"I said," Fitz repeats, words clipped, "you're not being very nice to her."
Skye is completely confused. "What?"
"If you're not interested, just say so, she's a big girl and will respect that. Just don't string her along."
Skye is still trying to wrap her mind around how Fitz somehow is suddenly mad at her. "What the hell, stringing along? I'm not stringing anyone alo--" And then the proverbial light bulb goes off above her head. "Oh."
"Yeah," Fitz says, nodding like he's just taught Skye a valuable lesson. Maybe he has. "That's what I thought."
Skye watches as Fitz stomps back into the lab, then turns to watch where Jemma is gesturing at the crates May's loading out of the van. Huh.
Jemma jumps about a mile when Skye sneaks up on her and puffs a breath of air against her right ear, but it's fucking hilarious to watch, so Skye can't bring herself to feel bad about it.
"Hey," Skye says, smiling.
"Hi, Skye," Jemma says, taking off her glasses and glancing nervously back at her work space. "Please don't sneak up on me in the lab, some of my samples are very volatile."
"Sorry," Skye says, a little embarrassed, but mostly just--smitten. Jemma's wearing a white button-down with little, pink pixellated kittens stamped all over it, and it's doing funny things to Skye's insides. "I was wondering, do you drink coffee?"
Jemma looks confused for a moment, but she still smiles. "Why, I--yes, I prefer tea, but I do drink coffee, yes. It was practically a requirement to get through my education," she laughs nervously.
"Okay, good," Skye says decisively. "Then come on. Right now. We're getting a coffee together. You can have tea if you want, of course, but it's a date."
Jemma fumbles the glasses from her hands, and they clatter to the floor. The smile drops off her face. "A, a, a d-date?" she stammers. "Like, a real, proper date?"
"Yeah," Skye says, jerking her head towards the staircase. "Well, I don't know your definition of proper, since we're several thousand feet in the air somewhere above the Pacific right now and all we've got available to us is the Bus kitchen, but you know. We'll make do."
Jemma smiles again then, tentatively. "Really?"
"Really," Skye laughs. "I figured I'd save you any more of those terrible attempts at flirting."
Jemma's whole face goes bright red, and it's really adorable. Grabbing her hand, Skye pulls her to her feet. "Come on," she says again.
Jemma's smile grows, but she goes willingly.