Skye fidgeted, shifting nervously from foot to foot. Next to her, Ward stood ramrod straight, eyes focused forward, not even a hint of movement. The silence seemed to drag on as Coulson was focused on the papers on his desk. Finally, she couldn’t bear it anymore.
“AC, I just want to-”
He silenced her with a single finger raised, not even looking in their direction.
The quiet stretched on. She cast a look up at her SO, who stiffened under her gaze, but didn’t dignify her with even a glance. After what felt like an eternity, Coulson put down his pen and looked up at the two. Skye’s stomach did another flip as he looked back and forth between her and Ward.
“I would like an explanation for why the cargo bay is covered in water and the lab doors shorted out and won't open.”
“I'm sorry, sir-” Ward began.
“It's not that big of a deal-” Skye said at the same time.
Coulson held up his hand again, cutting them off. “One at a time. Agent Ward, you're the Supervising Officer here. Can you explain it?”
If she hadn't spent as much time in close proximity to Ward as she had lately, Skye probably wouldn't have noticed the flexing of his jaw or the deep breath he sucked in before beginning.
“I'm sorry, sir. We were training in the cargo bay and things got out of hand a bit.” Skye snorted at that assessment. Ward just gave her a hard side eye then continued, “I apologize for any damage that was caused. As the SO, I'll take full responsibility.”
Skye rolled her eyes. “The doors will be fine. Give them a couple hours to dry out and they'll be back to normal. And if they're not, then not only is Fitz totally capable of rewiring them, but he'd probably enjoy it. See? Everything's fine.”
“Not helping, Skye,” Ward hissed.
“How do you know, Ward?” she growled between clenched teeth.
Coulson cleared his throat, directing their attention back to him. They both flushed a little as they focused. “I'm less concerned about the doors, though I'm not exactly thrilled about that either,” he said, giving Skye a pointed look. “What I am looking for is the actual explanation of events. How did training ‘get a bit out of hand’? How do you go from working out to having a water fight?”
Ward grimaced, not wanting to explain how he'd gotten suckered into something so childish. He hadn't even got involved in the shenanigans that ran rampant at the Academy. Yet, here he was, a 30 year old grown man, in trouble with his boss, for a water fight when he should have been a diligent trainer. There was just something about Skye that unraveled him.
Seeing that Ward was reluctant to answer, Skye decided it was on her to minimize the ridiculousness. “We were training, AC, just like every morning, at an hour that I'm sure is illegal in 47 countries - Shut up, Ward, I can hear your scowl. It's an appalling time to be awake, let alone doing pull ups - Anyway, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Water got flicked, flicked back, and then it seemed like it'd be funny to keep going.”
Ward muttered, “Of course, you thought it would be funny.”
She rounded on him, “Stop pinning this on me! You started it!”
“Started it! I'm not the one who filled up three extra water bottles and came back to attack again.”
“I had to defend my honor. You dumped half a bottle of ICE WATER on my head! And I had actually curled my hair this morning!”
He stared at her like she had three heads. “Why would you curl your hair before getting all sweaty? Wouldn't that mean you'd have had to get up earlier to do that?”
Her cheeks burned crimson, then she tossed her head. “That's entirely beside the point.”
“Oh, is it? And what exactly is the point?” he taunted.
“The point is you started it! If you hadn’t splashed water all over me, I never would have retaliated.”
“It was an accident!” He was close to shrieking. “I didn’t mean to do it!”
“Uh huh, sure, Ward. I bet you were just trying to stage a one-person wet t-shirt contest.”
Ward spluttered; actually gaped, completely speechless. “Skye, I would never,” he scrambled for words.
Skye laughed and rolled her eyes. “Oh my gosh, you need to loosen up! I’m kidding. Geez, you're so uptight. I know you wouldn’t even be caught dead trying to something as remotely human as that, Robot. I swear, I bet even Steve the-last-time-I-asked-a-girl-out-it-was-with-a-horse-and-buggy Rogers would think ‘Man, this guy needs to learn to not be such a prude’.”
“Did you really just insult Captain America in front of me?”
Coulson’s sudden interjection startled both of them. It was like they had completely forgotten about him, even though he was only a few feet from them. Now it was Skye’s turn to sputter. “I...uh….um… I mean, no way! I would never do that. I was just trying to illustrate a point to my super strict SO over here.”
“So I heard,” the CO replied nonplussed. “I think I’ve heard enough. You two will make sure every droplet of water is dried up from the cargo bay and you will personally help Fitz with any rewiring or other repair work that needs to be done on the doors. And if I ever catch wind of you two having a water fight, in an area where you could short out the avionics, I will leave you to the mercy, or not as it may be, of Agent May.”
Ward paled and Skye gulped.
Ward quickly nodded, “Of course, sir. Won’t happen again.”
“You’ve got it, AC,” Skye agreed.
“Excellent. Now you better go find some towels and get to work.”
The two of them quickly shooed themselves out of the office and down to the cargo bay. As they left, Coulson could still hear them bickering and teasing each other. He settled back down at his desk, with a funny little smile on his face. He’d have to keep an eye on those two.