“I already regret this.”
Fitz sighed deeply into his coffee, taking a sip as he looked out the window of the coach, watching car after car fly out of view as it raced down the motorway.
“You’re just not a morning person, that’s all.” Jemma stated, sitting in the seat next to him at the very front of the coach behind the driver.
“I’m not an afternoon or evening person, either.” Fitz groaned.
Jemma smiled. “You’re such a grumpy old man.”
“No, I’m just Scottish. It’s our thing.” Fitz shrugged, standing up and turning behind him to face the coach full of excitable children. “Deke, I can smell that egg and cress sandwich from here; back in the bag until we get there!”
“Can I steal a sip?” Jemma asked as Fitz sat back down, gesturing towards his coffee.
He handed it to her with a smirk. “No backwash or else.”
“I’m sure Daisy was only teasing you about that.” Jemma smiled.
“And I’m sure she wasn’t. That woman is gross. You’ve seen her apartment.”
“She’s slightly untidy, I’ll give you that. But not everyone has the standards of cleanliness that we do.” Jemma said.
“I know, but the smell – just like the smell of EGG AND CRESS, DEKE!” Fitz exclaimed, turning back in his seat again.
Jemma laughed as she nudged Fitz’s shoulder. “Just let him eat the sandwich.”
“I will do no such thing. This school trip will go without a hitch or I will scream, and I will not risk everyone’s enjoyment being ruined by a spilled sandwich stinking up the place. We’re on this coach for another hour and a half yet.”
“You’re complaining about messes and smells on the way to a camping trip? I don’t think you’re going to enjoy this week.” Jemma said.
“I’ll be able to just about handle it so long as it doesn’t rain.” Fitz stated, noting the grimace on Jemma’s face. “It’s gonna rain, isn’t it?”
“To put it lightly.”
“Mr Fitz, you said a bad word!” A young girl sat behind them giggled.
“You misheard me.” Fitz said.
“No I didn’t.”
“You did. I knew I should have packed extra wellies!” Fitz groaned.
“Didn’t you pack three pairs?” Jemma smirked.
“Yes, but things get lost. Knowing my luck a pair will get stuck in some dirty, wet mud and I’ll have to abandon them.” Fitz said.
Jemma laughed. “You are such a drama queen!”
“You won’t be laughing when I’m watching you desperately try and yank your wellies out of the mud, Jemma Simmons.”
“Fitz, it’ll be fine. We’re only here to make up the number of adult supervisors required for the number of kids on the trip. Grant, Mack and Lincoln are leading the whole thing. We’ll barely have to do anything; maybe just help set up camp and make sure no one runs into a tree or something.” Jemma explained.
“…It’d be funny if someone ran into a tree, wouldn’t it?” Fitz whispered with a smile.
Jemma laughed again. “You are a terrible human being. Why did you even agree to come on a P.E. trip anyway? It’s your least favourite subject in the world.”
“Because it gets me away from those arrogant Year 10s for a week and…well, I’d miss you. Probably.” Fitz shrugged.
Jemma said nothing for a moment, clearly taken back. She smiled. “Careful, that was actually a very sweet thing to say.”
“I have my moments.” Fitz smirked cheekily.
“Well I’d have missed you too, so I’m glad you agreed to come.” Jemma said.
“Bobbi and Lance are coming along too; you’d have been fine.”
“I know, but I’d have still missed you.” Jemma said shyly. The two stared at each other for a moment in silence before looking down at the floor.
“…Why did Daisy drop out, anyway? Bobbi taking her place was very last minute.” Fitz wondered.
“…You didn’t hear this from me, okay?” Jemma warned. Fitz leaned in closer with a smile. “She may or may not have hooked up with Lincoln at Andrew’s leaving party last weekend and may or may not have been avoiding him ever since.”
“I’m surprised it took that long for them to do something.” Fitz commented. “There’s nothing quite like the drama of the workplace romance, is there?”
“Absolutely not. Especially at Coulson High; most of them end in disaster. I think Lance and Bobbi are the only pair to have actually gone the distance.”
“Well, we always knew that was gonna work. It was only a matter of time before they got together.”
“We all got so frustrated waiting for them to get their acts together, didn’t we?” Jemma smiled.
“How could two people be so blind?” Fitz shrugged.
“I have no idea.” Jemma said. “Love is blind, I suppose. And then one day it isn’t. My mum and dad were friends for ten years before it even occurred to them that they should be together. Mum always said it was like flicking a switch and suddenly he was her whole world.”
“Your mum and dad are the best.” Fitz grinned.
“I’m pretty sure they love you more than they love me.” Jemma chuckled. “After the classic ‘so, are you dating anyone?’ all I ever get is ‘how’s Fitz doing?’”
“I’m fine, thanks.” Fitz smiled.
Jemma rolled her eyes. “I’ll smack you, you know.”
“I don’t doubt that.” Fitz laughed.
“Miss Simmons, are we nearly there?” A boy shouted from the back of the coach.
“We’re still quite a way off yet, just hold tight. Why don’t you all sing something to pass the time?” Jemma suggested.
“Please don’t.” Fitz whispered under his breath. Jemma held back a smile.
“I don’t wanna sing!” Another child shouted out.
“Come on, where’s your camping spirit? Haven’t you done any songs in Miss Morse’s class?” Jemma asked.
“Nothing good!” A boy called out, making a few others laugh.
“I can do some Eminem!” Another boy exclaimed.
Fitz stood up. “There will be NO rapping on this coach!”
“Simon says that Mr Ward is rapping on his coach!” One girl argued, holding up her phone with a text on it.
“Well, this isn’t Mr Ward’s coach. The only rapping of any kind to be done on this coach is the wrapping of gifts you buy for family and friends at the campsite gift shop.” Fitz said. “I’m all for fun and games, but there is no place for rapping when – DEKE!” Fitz snapped, facing the boy sat in the middle of the coach holding an egg and cress sandwich into his mouth.
“I thought you were distracted.” Deke shrugged.
“Maybe you should finish your coffee.” Jemma suggested to Fitz, patting him on the back as they both sat back down.
“Good idea.” Fitz nodded.
One of the students leant over some seats towards Jemma. “You can do much better, Miss Simmons.”
“Mandy, how many times have I had to tell you that Mr Fitz and I are not…never mind, get back in your seat, okay? Everyone make sure your seatbelts are buckled!” Jemma ordered.
“This is gonna be a long week.” Fitz moaned. “Would you blame me if I threw myself out the window?”
“Blame you? I might join you.” Jemma smiled. Fitz smiled too.
Fitz woke up at the sound of his coffee cup sliding out of his hand and falling onto the floor. He didn’t remember falling asleep, but any thoughts over what time it was or how far away they were faded when he realised there was a weight on his shoulder. He turned his head slightly to the right, where Jemma was sound asleep with her head resting on him.
He said nothing as he shut his eyes and went back to sleep. He hadn’t noticed he was smiling.