You’re a surprisingly bad liar, Agent Simmons.
“I know,” she replies, “but I’m getting better at it.”
In the panic of their current situation, he misses her all but admitting the truth.
Then again, Jemma is quite used to being unsuspected, to being written off easily, as somebody who is not a threat.
The scrambled message flashes across her computer screen, a code she had learned to decipher years ago while at the academy, shortly after being approached by somebody with what they called an opportunity of a lifetime.
Out of the shadows. And into the light.
The only problem is, Jemma had grown to like the shadows.
Nobody notices what’s lurking in the shadows until it’s too late.
When Triplett flashes the knife at her, the first thought that goes through her mind is that he knows.
A foolish thought, because her cover is better than that. Jemma knows her cover is better than that. She has put years of work into the act, the scientist who couldn’t lie to save her life, who lives and breathes for SHIELD.
For a second though, she forgets how tight her cover is.
She takes a step back, already preparing to bring up her hands, to beg off the onslaught, but Hydra agents don’t beg, so she freezes in her spot staring him down until he offers the knife to her.
Suddenly Jemma wishes she had taken all of those lessons in field training more seriously, her fingers ghosting along the blade of the knife before she snaps it shut and pockets it, with a nervous little smile.
He doesn’t suspect a thing.
Nobody ever does.
He thinks that they're safe, sitting in a locked room, making plans to keep the Hydra agents outside those doors. He never thinks that he’s bumping shoulders with one at that very moment, and she doesn’t feel much like contracting him.
Eventually, they all burst in. She’s expecting somebody to recognize her, for it to be all too simple for her to turn Agent Triplett over and walk out of there without a scratch on her.
Instead they demand that she and Agent Triplett swear their loyalty to Hydra, with those simple words Jemma already knows how it is.
Hand thinks she’s so smart, but Jemma is smarter. She's always been one of the smartest people in the room, lately that has become her biggest advantage.
Hydra has always been more of a shoot first ask questions later, and if Hand was actually a double crosser, she should have been able to spot in on Jemma the second she walked into the room.
Instead she orders for them to switch sides, but in doing so, she makes it so obvious which side she’s on.
Jemma had to admit in the back of her mind that it was a good plan.
A plan that she easily saw through, but a good one nevertheless.
Then again, so is theirs.
It doesn’t take long till she’s written off once more, the naive little scientist, who doesn’t have a clue what’s going on.
She can tell that this is what they are all thinking when they look over at her.
If only they knew.
When Hand insists that Coulson is working for Hydra, Jemma almost wants to laugh.
Instead she bites her lip and shakes her head, “Coulson is a good person,” she says instead, “he couldn’t be working for Hydra.”
Really, out of all the people they suspected, it was Coulson whom they blamed. It was almost humorous to think about. After all, Coulson was the perfect example of a SHIELD agent, he collected Captain America fan memorabilia for crying out loud.
Plus, she likes to think that she would have known if he had been one. Much like the way she had noticed it with Ward instantly, when he had walked past her that first day on the plane and had mumbled, “hail Hydra,” under his breath.
They both knew whose team they were on.
Everybody else had just been late to get the memo.
They thought they were playing for the good guys when they held up their guns in the faces of those they used to trust, they pointed the finger around, passing blame from person to person.
Somebody had been foolish enough to suggest that it was Coulson who gave that order to Ward.
Nobody notices Jemma’s scoff, as she remembers whispering the order into Ward’s ear after she had told Fitz that she was going to grab a quick snack for them down in the lab.
“I can’t believe that Ward was working for Hydra,” their team would say when the truth comes out, when it’s all over and reports are coming in about more agents and more double crossing.
She wonders how anybody could had missed it, he was cold and secretive in the best of moments, yet nobody has suspected him.
“I thought I knew something-” Skye starts to say, but shakes her head, “but I just wrote it off as Ward being, well, Ward.”
The key to being a good liar is to make certain that nobody suspects you, to stumble over your words whenever in front of an audience, to make it seem so obvious.
“She couldn’t be a Hydra agent,” Fitz insists, “if she was we would have known already. No offense, Jemma, but you can’t keep a secret for your life.”
She smiles, her lips tilting up ever so slightly at his words and the general sounds of agreement around their broken little plane.
A little self-deprecating laugh escapes her lips as she looks between them, knowing at once that her cover is maintained, “I could be,” she says almost begging them to catch her slipping up, “maybe I’m just so good of a liar that nobody can tell?”
That starts the laughter up once more.
So, she looks away from them. And instead, Jemma stares down at the screen of her phone, where an encrypted message is flashing across its display, telling her to keep her cover maintained.
A task which will be almost too easy.
“If Simmons is working for Hydra, I’ll uh, I'll eat my shoe,” Skye teases.
Her eyes snap up at that while tucking the phone back into her pocket, she simply says, “but Skye, that’s so unsanitary!”