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Forever May

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159 days. 5 months.

5 long months since they had landed in the Playground and Chen was exhausted though she wasn’t the only one either…

Thump

“You know,” Skye started, pushing herself up from the mat again. “Despite all things… I would have thought that fighting would have unsettled you.”

Chen rolled her eyes, raising her arms, moving back to let the younger agent recover. Not the first time Skye had brought that up; she had been very hesitant to want to be trained by her  “I know I can win.”

Skye rolled her eyes. “Yeah, but I’d like to win as well.”

“That is part of the point if your training, if you can beat me, you can beat the better agents about.”

“I bet you’d be on Par with-” Skye paused though Chen knew where the woman’s thoughts had drifted too..

Chen darted forwards with an attack, sending her onto her ass on the mat, her hands coming to her waist. “I know. Don’t let her name distract you. It’s been over 5 months, let her go and move on.”

It was odd but she had gotten too far used to hearing her old name being tossed about the base. No one knew the full truth of her Melinda May death; not that she was overly surprised. All They knew that she died ‘for’ SHIELD, a drive for the director to build it the right was. Coulson had even put up a wall of valour along the common room. Seeing her name etched into the brickwork was definitely not a sight that made her comfortable but it instilled the truth she wanted. Melinda May was technically dead.

Her name had made the first place after Nick Fury but in front of Agent Hand, Eric Koenig and numerous other agents names that died at the fall and aftermath of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Skye huffed, irritably but pushed herself up again, breathing deeply. “When will you stop saying that?”

“When you start following it.” Chen answered, “I get it, I do. But May’s not going to magically come back from the dead.” Which was oddly ironic hearing herself say it.

“I’ve barely had a chance to get my head around it.”

“You’re not the only one in the deep end.” Her tone turned cool, Skye didn’t answer though she got her implication.

Her ‘Ex’ to SHIELD’s knowledge. Maria had managed to scramble up a few pictures a couple of days after she had settled, though given she had barely arrived with anything, people didn’t ask for any more. It seemed to show Coulson to how closely they resembled for her react in the way she does. Still, she had yet to write up a report on her ‘attack’ though it was glad Coulson didn’t push her to either; no doubt worrying it might unsettle her even more.

Skye continued to glower but shook her head. “Okay, I get that that’s a really big thing for you. But you can’t just use-”

“Skye.” Her tone went from cool to warning. “It’s not something i can get over…. PTSD is something that lives in my head like a shadow. A woman’s death does take time to get over, you heal; scars and all. I am not using my psychological trauma as some excuse.” Her arms lowered, serious. “I struggle every day with it. Agent May herself changed after Bahrain, I knew the woman. Before and after.” She inhaled deeply; her throat healed and back to normal colouring than the dark bruises she had for weeks. “Look, I don’t mean to lecture but-

Skye shook her head. “No… no i see you’re point.” She rubbed her face. “Sorry,.”

Chen placed a hand on her shoulder, offering her a smile. “I know I’m pushing you hard and in a fast pace too. I recognise it and you’re doing extremely well, Skye.”

As Chen, she had worked to be more social than her real self had been. Offering praise and support more verbally.. and being more smiley . Simmons was by far the easiest to talk to since she knew the truth but she hadn’t been around lately; sent onto a mission though not everyone in the core group knew that.

Looking around Chen checked the time. “Let’s finish up now. Coulson wants to run down a few things with you in  15 minutes.”

It wasn’t often she let them off early but she’d add the 10 minutes let off onto next training session. Plus she wanted to freshen up before seeing Coulson and what fresh hell he had planned.

Chen didn’t wait for an answer though walked off towards the showers regardless; ones closest to her bunk. Her Nano mask was waterproof and she didn’t replace it often though she kept a replacement on her at all times; concealed into her watch should the current one get damaged; the last thing she needed was to get exposed.

Training Skye hadn’t been as much as a trigger to her PDs as she thought; but it was more of  way to vent in a practical way. A distraction as she was only focusing on Skye than anything else until needed. Plus, Chen liked it… it was nice. Getting to Skye better than she had before, letting Skye know more about well her. Skye didn’t know a lot about her, even as May so it wasn’t too much of a concern to let some truths slip.

The hot water of the shower was nice, the water feeling therapeutic in its beats as it rained down onto her skin; washing away the sweat and dirt  down the drain. Letting out a deep sigh, she let the water slash down over her face...soaking into her hair.

Her hands came to wash over the mask, almost tempted a second to turn it off and remove it before deciding against hit, her hands coming up to brush through her hair, remembering after a second that her once long lock had been cut… her hair now into a pixie cut; only recently done; unused to it’s length; it still felt like her hair had been pulled back than cut off.

Washing through shampoo and conditioner, Chen relaxed for a little further before taking her leave from the warmth of the water into the soft towel but coldness of the air; drying down then opted for a dressing gown to her room. There was no one about as she got into her room quickly, rubbing a towel to soak up any water from her hair and locking the door before she pulled the box from a small compartment in the wall; concealed by a panel. The last thing she wanted was her nano mask box to be found.

Opening it up, Chen quickly placed a new mask sheet to be uploaded then headed over to the mirror, taking in a moment to look at her Chen face before she reached up and turned off the mask.

It was odd, watching her face make a new appearance… far now too used to her new face than her old. It felt… uncomfortable even seeing what she used to look like. Her May face. Framed by her pixie cut though it oddly suited even her old face. Her hand drifted down to her throat. No bruises, no soreness but she half expected them to appear each time she turned her face off.

 

Sighing deeply, Chen folded up the thin plastic and slipped it into a compartment of the box to be recycled for a new mask. Properly cleaning her face with a wet wipe for any residue dirt under the mask, Chen placed her new on into place...feeling it warp and cling to her face like a second skin. Changing it often enough ensured she didn’t get one that faulted. A faulty mask was not what she needed.

“Chen, Director wants you in his office now!” Called Skye’s voice through the door, almost making her jump but thankfully nothing more.

“In a minute!” She called back; her vocal processor kicking back up to her ‘normal’ voice. She quickly closed the mask box and shoved it back into it’s hiding place. Grabbing her jeans and a shirt but quickly shoved on the necessary underwear

“What’s taking you so long?” Skye rammed impatiently.

Rolling her eyes, Chen unlocked her door, running a come through her wet hair. “I was mastubating.” Blurting out the first thing that came to mind; something she had been doing as part of her Chen self.

Skye’s face stayed frozen for a moment which made her chuckle, taking the lead from the bunks; slipping on her leather jacket

“Err… Okay...” She could hear the awkwardness in her tone; obviously not sure if she was telling the truth

“It was a joke .” Chen reassured which relaxed the other though it made her smile still; at the reaction.

“With you, it’s sometimes hard to tell.” Skye mumbled, shaking her head but was also smiling softly.

“If it’s anything to do with sex or matubation; it’s a joke.” She clarified for next time for her. “I tend to keep that part of my life private as possible.”

“Let’s just move on.” Skye added quickly though they were now in the main section of the base, Agents and many more scientists filling the base, which now felt more like a SHIELD base than when they had started

“Then don’t be prude.” She was quick to add before taking the sharp left through the common space and up the stairs towards the office. Taking a moment at the door before knocking hesitantly.

“Come in.” Coulson’s voice called through before she slowly opened the door. Sighing very deeply as he dropped the paper clip… not that she was surprised to see him carving into his desk.