Honestly, Danny is delighted of the turn of events. He had set on leaving on his own and not asking anyone else, it would have been unfair, but he hadn’t looked forward to it. He doesn’t really relish being on his own and he’s not in a hurry to rehash his stint of not having anyone watching his back when he left K’Un-Lun
(or being alone as he was when he got there in the first place)
but he needs to do this and what he wants really isn’t the point, or he’d be back home right now.
So he’s honestly happy that Ward accepted to come — at least someone will be there, and admittedly he has a feeling Ward also needs a break himself. This’ll do the both of them some good, he thinks, regardless of how much it hurts to leave, just when he had thought he finally was home —
“So,” Ward says, “can I at least call for someone to bring me a change of clothes before we leave?”
“I think we have the money to buy it, but sure. It’s not like we’re in a hurry,” Danny shrugs, resolutely not turning on his phone for how much he wants to.
They can wait half an hour, he figures. Ward calls someone, thanks them, then stares at his phone wistfully before shutting it off.
“Whatever,” he says, “I think I really need some time off.”
“Has Joy —”
“No,” Ward sighs. “And — I don’t think the other person I would like to hear from would call me for now, so… some time off will clear my head.”
“It’ll do both of us good,” Danny says, and at least he means it. It’d be a damned problem if he didn’t.
“Sure it will,” Ward says, looking at him in a weird way, but it’s nothing bad, and so Danny doesn’t press him. He figures they both have issues. He’ll talk when he’s ready, he figures.
“Oh, there it is,” Ward says twenty minutes later.
“What, whoever brought you your change of clothes?”
“I think so,” Ward says, but why is he smiling?
Something’s wrong here, Danny decides, and he’d be about to ask, except that a moment later someone’s running up the stairs to the jet’s door and —
Colleen bursts through the door with two backpacks, a katana on her hip and one over her back.
What the —
“Thank you,” she tells Ward, throwing him one of the backpacks.
“You’re welcome,” he says, and before Danny can ask — “Yes, I called her, and I actually didn’t think she’d go get me the clothes, but I suppose I can’t complain now.”
“But —” Danny starts.
“Danny, I think we both have an inkling that you’re a self-sacrificing idiot when you want to, but I also knew you didn’t tell her and I figured that she might want to know. Anyway, I’m ready when you both are,” he winks, and goes to sit down again, not moving anywhere he couldn’t hear them.
Danny feels his throat go dry as he turns to face Colleen, who has thrown the two other backpacks to the side.
“You know,” she tells him, “it was unfair that you didn’t give me any choice.”
“I couldn’t have left if I came back,” he blurts. “And — I didn’t know how you’d feel if —”
“Danny, fuck it, I think I have been a bit too strict and maybe we should have done it all differently,” she says, shaking her head, her hands going to his shoulders. “You know, when you asked me to come to K’Un Lun with you, last time, I wasn’t expecting you to. And now that you didn’t ask for — very good reasons, I supposed… I felt like shit when I read that letter. And I don’t really think you should do it alone, unless you want to —”
“Colleen, are you saying you want to come?” He cuts her, feeling his heartbeat increase by the second.
“What if I do? I mean, unless it’s a boys’s club only thing.”
“Who do you take me for? I called you,” Ward says somewhere behind Danny’s shoulders, and Danny has to laugh at that, because — now he has exactly what he wanted, if he says yes, doesn’t he?
“No,” he says, “I mean, it’s not an anyone-only thing. I just —”
“Danny, I’m not your teacher anymore and sure as hell you don’t need me to be that, and maybe it didn’t need to be like that from the beginning.” She looks up at him, her hands moving to his face. “And what you said in that letter — if I’m part of you, then it’s valid for me, too, and I appreciate that you wanted to bring me answers, but maybe I want to find them… with you. Also,” she grins, raising up a hand, slightly glowing white, “I think you both need someone to watch your back, don’t you?”
He thinks he’s about to cry with joy, but he tries not to. “Maybe I do. For me it’s a yes,” he says. “But you two need to play nice.”
“I’ve seen the inside of his closet,” Colleen deadpans, “including the underwear section.”
“Meachum, I think it’s the first thing you pack when you put together a change of clothes, and honestly, I think I can learn to get along with someone who actually wears Darth Vader underwear.”
“I hate you,” Ward says.
“Darth Who?” Danny replies.
The both of them look at him at the same time. “You were catching up on Spongebob,” Ward asks, very slowly, “and you haven’t seen Star Wars yet?”
“It — was on my list?” Danny offers. It was the next in his list, actually. “Hey, it was alphabetical. Star Wars is after Spongebob.”
“Wow. You’re a complete dork. And I think,” Colleen says, “that we know what to do for the next ten hours or so.
“Oh, good, at least I don’t have to play third wheel from the first moment,” Ward says, but he doesn’t seem disappointed. All the contrary.
“I can’t wait,” Danny replies, wiping at his eyes before leaning down and kissing Colleen for real, and man, he had missed it, he had missed it so much —
Now he thinks he’s delighted of this turn of events for real.