Once again, they managed to save the world from an imminent catastrophe, Izel almost beat them, however, their team was unstoppable. They had been so close to the end of the world many times before and it was bound to be tiring. But they did it anyway, for the greater good, for the protection of human kind and to continue with SHIELD's legacy, to honor Coulson.
Fitz got worse, the stress and the constant feeling of being worried were starting to shine through, he heard the doctor more and more. After he learned about the split his other self suffered, he couldn't risk getting even worse and hurt the team, hurt his friends or hurt Jemma. He had to stop, he had to find a way to make the pain lessen and his wounds heal.
He was the only one sat in the lab in the middle of the night, fighting to make a decision that wouldn't hurt anyone, he needed time and he couldn't keep going until it all crashed down and drowned it alive. He knew what he needed to do, so he got up, turned off the computer and went off to find Jemma in their bedroom. Once he reached the door, he took a shaky breath and went it, Jemma was there getting dressed.
"Finally, I was going to go out and look for you, where have you been?" Jemma's voice and worried expression were there when he stepped inside.
"Sorry, I was in the lab, lost the track of time" He knew his answer was vague and unsettling, she looked up and finished putting on one of his t-shirts.
"Are you okay?" She stepped closer and tried to find his eyes, who were looking everywhere but her, his mind was racing but he knew what he needed to do.
"No" He let out a breath and then looked up. "I want to leave SHIELD" There, he said, the big bag he was carrying, all the pressure gone but replaced with anxiety over what her answer would be, how would Jemma react?
"Are you sure?" Her voice was soft, she took his hand and led him to the bed, so they could be sitting next to each other. “How long have you…?” She couldn’t finish the sentence, but he understood what she wanted to know.
“Since we came back, probably, and yes, I’m sure, I’m still…hearing him, you know?” He lowered his head as he spoke but Jemma’s eyes remained on him, ready to listen to whatever he had to say. “I can’t keep doing this, all this pressure, all the pain, it’s too much.”
“What are you afraid of?” She asked softly.
“I’m afraid I’m gonna break.” He answered almost in a heartbeat. “I can’t hurt you or our friends, but I can’t get better if I’m still here.” Fitz tried to explain, finally looking up. “You don’t have to come with me, I mean, I want to get help, I want to live in a less stressful environment, but I don’t want to force you to come with me if that’s not what you want and…” He started rambling, his anxiety pouring in, words leaving his mouth in a rushed way.
“Fitz, Fitz, listen to me, it’s okay.” She grabbed both sides of his face softly, letting the feeling of her hands on his cheeks ground him. “If you want to leave, that’s okay. I won’t stop you.”
“It doesn’t bother you?”
“What? No, why would it? Fitz, all I want for you…for us is to be happy, to be safe and if that’s what you need, I support you and I promise you, we’re gonna be okay.”
He raised his eyebrows, that was…not what he was expecting, but his heart leaped with joy, he loved her so much.
“Thank you.” He whispered and leaned to kiss her, letting their lips join in a tender expression of love. “I love you, I love you so much, Jemma Simmons.” She smiled and pulled him into an embrace, they were going to be okay, she knew it and she hoped Fitz could believe it too.
“The Academy? Like, the SHIELD Academy?” Jemma couldn’t believe what she was hearing, Mack was planning on opening the academy again, letting new bright minds and brave heart become the new generation of shield agents. “That’s…wonderful.” She finally said, after the memories of her time at the academy flooded her mind.
“There’s another thing I wanted to say…well, ask you, feel free to take some time to think about it.” Mack’s voice and his presence were always a bit intimidating, but she nodded, curiosity peeking in.
“I would like for you to be one of the professors at the new academy.” Her mouth opened in surprise but soon her expression changed, her smile reached her eyes, unable to hide her excitement, she was about to yell “YES” at the top of her lungs, but she remembered her little girls and his little boy were waiting at home with her husband and grandson, concern settled in her stomach.
“I…can’t believe it and thank you. And yes, I would like to think about it, can I give you an answer tomorrow?” She finally answered and Mack simply nodded, she smiled back and left his office, she needed to get home and talk to Fitz, this could be a huge opportunity for her. He left SHIELD a few days after their conversation, they moved out together…and Deke, which was good, he helped around a lot and Fitz liked him this time. However, she didn’t stop being an active agent until a few months later, the news of her pregnancy surprised all of them.
Between him leaving shield and her pregnancy, it had been a year and a couple of months, the twins were only a few months old and if she started working in the academy as professor, that meant leaving Fitz alone with their children. He certainly was so much better, both physically and mentally than when he decided to step down. She had no doubt he could handle it, but she still had to talk to him.
It was almost time for dinner when she got home, the familiar smell of homemade pasta filled her nose and she couldn’t help but smile.
“Welcome home” Fitz looked up when she entered the kitchen, he put down the knife he was holding and smiled.
“Hello…” She let her eyes take him in, his curls made him look adorable, kind of like his academy self, he was wearing a green shirt and had a towel on his shoulder…she loved Fitz, she loved to see him having fun, even after taking care of their daughter all day. She got closer, so she could finally give him a proper kiss, then sat down in front of him in the kitchen counter.
“Maggie is sleeping, Deke is playing with Phillip and dinner’s almost ready.” He informed and returned to chopping vegetables. “Maybe take a shower while I finish and set everything up?”
“Deal.” She got up and went to have a shower. Almost half an hour later, she was back in the kitchen in a fresh set of clothes and a content expression on her face. “I checked on Maggie, she didn’t even stir.” She laughed softly. “And Deke is putting Phillip to sleep.”
“Thank god, Maggie spent all day crying, I had no idea why.” Fitz said while putting down on one last plate on the table. “But she’s okay now, no need to worry.” He added, knowing that Jemma had worried instantly. “So, let’s eat.”
Honestly, it was delicious, homemade pasta was always good, but every time Fitz made it was a precious gift, they were both almost done, she took a deep breath and decided this was as good time as any.
“So…Mack talked to me today.” She began, getting his attention, he raised his eyebrows and encouraged her to continue with one of his hands. “He said he’s re opening the academy…and he wants me to be a professor there.” His eyes widened, taking in her words, he looked rather surprised and how could he not?
“What did you say? Did you take the job?” He asked after a few minutes, when what she said finally clicked in his head.
“I said I’d think about it…so, what do you think? Should I take it?
“Do you want to?”
“Well…yes, but, we have the twins and I don’t want to leave you all alone every day.”
“Jemma, I can take care of them, plus, Deke can help, and if this is something you really want to do, we can work it out, yes?” Tears filled up her eyes, it was impossible for him to be so selfless and so…caring.
“But…what if she needs me? What if YOU need me?” She bit her lip, what would he do then?
“You’ll only be a phone call away; I can do this.” She trusted him, she really did, if he was on board, she had no obstacles in her way. “Let’s make a deal, take the job and we’ll see how we deal with it for a few weeks, if you don’t like the job or I can’t deal with the twins, we’ll see what we can do.” The proposal sounded good, so she wiped the tears that someone found her way to her cheeks and finally nodded.
“I can’t thank you enough.”
“No need to, I’m your husband, we’re a team, right?” He arched the corners of his mouth into the lovely smile she loved so much, contentment filled her heart and finally dared to believe the promise she made to him a year ago, they were going to be okay.
“I’m also here.” Deke’s voice full of fake indignation interrupted the moment, and they both bursted into laughter.
“Yeah, you too. Are you up to take care of the kids with me?” Deke raised his eyebrows in confusion, but finally nodded and got up. “Why not? Today was good, I’m your right hand man.”
As she looked at his grandson and her husband in front of her, doubt slowly started leaving her…maybe this could work.