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Luck of the Draw

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*June 2, 2014, 2:50 pm*

"Daddy!" The little brunette girl exclaims as soon as she steps out of the front doors of the school to see her father standing outside waiting for her. She turns to her teacher, points to where her dad is, elbow bumps her teacher, and then bee lines it straight for her dad.

"What's up, bear?" he smiles at her as he picks her up and sets her firmly on his hip. "How was school today?"

"It was okay." She shrugs.

"Just okay?"

She looks down and starts playing with the collar of her dad's shirt, "Nobody talked to me again. Or played with me outside during recess. They all think I'm weird."

"I'm sorry, Sara. That's their loss though, because they can't see how much fun you are. But I know a way to fix that."

"Ice cream?" Sara asks, looking up at him.

Her dad, Grant, smiles, "Yeah. Ice cream."

"Can we take some to Gramsy, too?" she asks her dad.

"Of course we can," he smiles at her.

"Yes!" she exclaims, "Let's go!"

Grant chuckles, "Alright, bear." He sets her down on the ground and grabs her hand, leading her across the street and towards their car. "Buckle up," he reminds his daughter, as he climbs into the driver's seat of the car.

"I know," she tells him. "Now come on, let's go. I want ice cream."

"Alright, calm down." He starts the car and backs out of the parking space.

"Hey daddy?"

"Yeah?"

"You're the best daddy ever." She smiles at him innocently from the back seat of the car.

He sighs and glances at her through the rear view mirror, "What do you want, Sara?"

"Why do you think I want something?" she asks him.

"Because," he says, "you're a devious little eight year old girl. And you're being super sweet, which hardly ever happens."

She sighs, "Fine. I have a request."

"What is your request?"

"Will you play my Skye CD?"

"Really? You want to subject me to listen to that music?"

"Yes," she responds, throwing a big smile at him. "And because I'm your favorite daughter, you'll play it for me."

"You're my only daughter, Sara." He rolls his eyes at her wide smile and batting lashes, and then sighs, "Fine. I'll put your CD in."

"Yes!" she pumps her fist in the air in victory.

"Here we go," he says, grabbing the CD from the organizer above him on the sun visor, and slips it into the CD player, "Why do you even like this Skye girl so much anyways? What's so great about her?"

"She's awesome! She's really pretty, she has really good songs, and she's really nice."

"How do you know she's nice? You've never met her," Grant points out.

"I know that. But I've seen a bunch of videos on YouTube of her meeting her fans, and she seems really nice when she meets them."

"If you say so," he says.

"I do," she says determinedly. "And you know what's awesome?"

"What?"

"Skye is having a concert in town next weekend and I really wanna go."

"Why don't you?"

"I need tickets, daddy. And I don't have any money for tickets. And I can't enter the contest to get tickets by myself, because I'm only eight. And I know you can't buy them for me, because you don't get paid very much from your job, so the money that you do make has to go to the bills and other really important stuff."

Grant's face falls at hearing the sadness in his daughter's voice, "I know, bear. I'm really sorry."

"And you know what sucks even more?"

"What?"

"Her concert is the day before my birthday, and it would have been so cool to go."

"I'm sure it would have been," Grant says, glancing at his daughter in the rearview mirror, to see her slightly sulking.

"I bet Skye would talk to me," he hears her mutter under her breath.

A minute later, Sara instantly perks up and gets excited, forgetting about all of her problems, "Oh, I love this song!" she exclaims, "Turn it up, please!"

Grant chuckles and turns the music up, listening to his daughter sing along to her favorite song by Skye. He smiles as he watches her sing and dance in the backseat, and it's then that he has an idea. The perfect idea.


*4 pm, Nursing home*

"Hey Gramsy?" Grant asks, as he lifts his gaze from his laptop screen, to look at his grandmother sitting in the chair across the room from him.

"What is it, sweetheart?" she asks him, not looking up from her knitting.

"Do you know what the website is for that singer Sara likes?"

"Why do you need to know?"

"Sara really wants tickets to go and see Skye perform next weekend, and I thought that I'd enter this contest they're having, to try and get some tickets. And if I win, I'll take her. As a birthday present."

His grandmother looks up from the scarf she is knitting and smiles at him, "Well that's sweet. And I don't remember the exact name of the website, but you can probably type in something like, Skye, ticket contest, in Google, and you should be able to find it that way."

"Thanks Gramsy." Grant smiles.

"You're welcome, sweetie." She gives him one last smile before going back to her project.

Grant puts his attention back on his laptop, clicks on Google, and types what his grandmother suggested. Skye, ticket contest. He hits enter and then waits. When the search finishes, he glances at the results. The first one looks promising, so he clicks on it.

The page loads and instantly, Skye's latest song blasts through his computer speakers. He winces, and then quickly hits the mute button on the keyboard.

"They really should make that optional." He mumbles to himself.

Grant takes a minute to glance around the webpage, searching for any sign of the contest. At the top of the screen, right under the webpage letters, he sees the link for the contest page.

WIN TICKETS TO A SKYE CONCERT IN LOS ANGELES!

He clicks on the link and waits as the new page loads. When it finishes, he begins filling out at the correct information.

Name: Grant Ward

Birthday: March 25, 1989

"Okay," he breathes out, looking at the final component for entry into the contest, "Why do you want to win these tickets?" he thinks for a moment and then begins typing, "My daughter, Sara, really loves Skye, and her music. She is completely obsessed. She's not the most liked kid at her school, but when she's listening to Skye's music, it's like none of that seems to bother her at that moment. She's always going around singing Shake It Off, because according to her, she can relate to it, which makes it her favorite song. She's told me a few times about how going to a Skye concert would be a dream come true, the best thing to ever happen to her. She doesn't know that I am entering this contest to try and win the tickets for her. But if I do win, I am going to take her to the concert as her birthday present. Her birthday is the day after the concert, and I know that it'll mean the world to her to be able to go. I don't want whoever is reading this to think I said any of this to make you to feel sorry for her, it's all just the honest truth. I may have gotten a little carried away while writing this, but she's my little girl, and I would do anything for her, especially if it'll make her happy. If you don't pick me, I completely understand, but I want thank you for this opportunity. –Grant Ward."

"And done," he says to himself as he presses Submit. A second later, the screen changes, showing the sign reading, Thank you for your submission.


*6:30 pm, SHIELD Records*

"Hey Skye," a tall, African-American man says he knocks on the door jamb of the room Skye has at the studio, peeking his head inside, "all of the entries for that contest are in. They're all printed out for you, you just have to read them and decide who gets the tickets."

"Thanks Mike," she smiles up at the man, "you really are the best, you know?"

"So you've told me about a million times," He smiles.

She smiles right back, "Oh, how's Ace doing?"

"He's doing pretty good, thanks for asking."

"No problem. That kid of yours is too cute for words. I miss him."

He chuckles, "Thanks, Skye. I'm sure he misses you too. Do you want me to bring all of the entries in here for you?"

She thinks for a moment, "Nah. I'll come out there. Just give me a minute."

"Sure thing." He smiles at her and then leaves the room, going back out to the main lounge area. Skye yawns and then stands up from her bed, bringing her phone with her, and goes out into the main room as well.

When she gets out into the main room, she sees a large stack of papers sitting on the table in front of the couch. She sighs as she sits down, pulling her legs up underneath of her, "Why did I agree to the type of contest where I have to read many, many things?"

"Because you're a nice person who wants to give two of your biggest fans in LA the best night of their life?" Mike suggests. Skye just smiles at him as she pulls the stack of papers towards her and begins quickly skimming through them.


 *20 minutes later*

"How's it going, Skye?" Mike asks, walking back into the room.

"Almost done," Skye tells him, "on the last few entries right now."

"Good," he says, taking a seat in the chair on the other side of the table, "any idea on a winner yet?"

"Nope," she tells him, continuing to skim through the entries in front of her, "These are basically all the same thi—Hang on."

"What is it?" Mike asks, moving to sit next to her on the couch.

"This last entry," she says, picking the paper up from the table, "it's way longer than the rest. And it's from a guy, born in 1989. I was born in 1990, which means he's a year older than me. So that makes him, 25 years old."

"Really? That's kinda odd. Most of your entrants are girls. Usually the parents or older sister entering for the younger kid."

"I know." She replies, "Just give me a minute to read this one." She holds the piece of paper in her hand and reads through the entry, feeling something stir within her as she reads it. "Aww," she says when she finishes, "that's so sweet. He's entering the contest to win tickets for his daughter for her birthday. He doesn't say how old she is, but her name is Sara, and apparently her birthday is the day after the show. It's also sad because I guess people don't like her at her school, but my music helps her forget about all of the problems that she has as school. That's really, really sweet. His daughter doesn't even know he's entering this contest, and he's planning on taking her by himself."

"Wow. That is one dedicated father."

"Tell me about it," she says, "and this guy is definitely winning. He said he didn't want to make us feel sorry for his daughter, but I do a little bit. He is most definitely winning." She holds the paper out and hands it to Mike. "And I want to meet both him and his daughter. She really sounds like she could be my number one fan."

"You got it," he smiles, "I'll take this to get processed right now."

"Thanks Mike."

"No problem."

Skye watches as Mike leaves the room and smiles to herself. Pulling out her phone, she goes into Google and types in the name, Grant Ward. She waits for the search results to load and then begins scrolling through the list of results. She finds the link to a Facebook page with his name and clicks on it, waiting for it to load. When it loads, she takes a moment to admire his page. His profile picture is one of him, taken at a lower angle, and tilted slightly. She assumes that it must have been taken by his daughter when she was younger. In the photo, he's making a silly face, a smile clearly present. The cover photo on his page, is one of him and his daughter together. Their faces are side by side, and they are both smiling wide for the camera, their eyes shut tight, Sara having ice cream smeared all over her mouth. Smiling at the two very cute pictures, she begins scrolling through his posts. His posts consist of mainly things about his daughter, or his friends. There aren't a lot of posts, though, she notices. She scrolls back to the top of the page, she hesitantly clicks on the pictures tab, and waits for them to load as well. When they do, she notices that he only has a few photo albums on the page. She click on the first album, labeled, Sara's First Year and begins scrolling through the photos; most of them of his daughter, Sara, with the occasional cameo of him, or a few other people.

Most of the rest of his photos consist of the two of them together, large smiles on both of their faces. Every so often, there'll be a picture of Sara and another guy, around the same age as Grant, she assumes. Most likely a family friend.

She smiles to herself at seeing all of the pictures of Sara, he must really, really love his daughter, and then closes out of his Facebook page before she accidentally does something that she'll regret later. She sets her phone down next to her and leans her head back, a smile still on her face.

Chapter Text

*June 4, 2014*

Walking into the front door of his house, Grant deposits his keys into the bowl sitting on a side table just inside the front door. He makes his way into the dining room, setting the pile of mail down on the table, and begins sifting through it. Gramsy's medical bills (pay as soon as possible), a few bank notices (go over as soon as possible), Sara's final report card (probably close to top marks in all aspects). But it's the final letter that really gets his attention.

"What the…" he trails off, staring at the return address on the top of the envelope, "It's from that ticket contest." Flipping the envelope over, he rips it open and pulls out the piece of paper folded up inside. He unfolds it, holds it in front of him, and begins to read it silently to himself.

Dear Prize Winner,
Thank you for your submission to our contest to receive two tickets to Skye's contest being held here in Los Angeles, California on June 13, 2014.
Your entry has been read over and considered, and we would like to congratulate you on winning this contest for the concert tickets.
Enclosed in the envelope, you will find two tickets to Skye's concert. Your tickets will allow you to sit in the front section of the stadium during the concert.
Once again, thank you, and we hope you enjoy your time at the show.
Sincerely,
S
HIELD Records

Smiling after he reads the letter, he looks inside to see two tickets, along with two laminated backstage passes. He pulls them out and looks at them, and then his eyes catch a piece of paper sitting inside the envelope. He pulls it out and reads it.

Hi Grant. After reading a hundred or so entries for my contest, I finally got to yours, and I really read it, I didn't just skin. I just want you to know that I think what you did for your daughter is really, really sweet. That's why I picked you to win these tickets. Your entry was really touching, and thoughtful. You'll notice that you have two backstage passes in there as well. Those are there because I really want to meet you and Sara before the show, and I know that it'll make this birthday even more memorable for her. Just flash those badges to my guy Mike when you show up. He'll be waiting outside the entrance to your section of seats, and when you show him the passes, he'll bring you backstage.
I can't wait to meet the both of you. :)
Skye

Grant lets a small smile slip at the note left for him by Skye. He always thought that the winners of these contests were randomly picked by a third party. Turns out he was wrong, and he's kind of happy about that fact.

He's never met this girl before, barely even pays attention when Sara listens to her music, yet oddly enough, he's really excited to go to this concert. Especially if he's going to be able to meet the person who seems to make his daughter forget about all of her problems. He just hopes she's as nice as the letter makes her out to be.


"Hey Mike." Skye says as she walks into the lounge area to see her bodyguard leaning against one of the walls, messing around with something on his tablet.

Mike looks up and smiles at her, "Hey Skye, what's up? Do you need something?"

"No, I don't need anything." she says, flopping down onto the couch, "I was just wondering if you mailed out that letter to the contest winner."

"Yes," Mike tells her, "I sent out that letter and tickets to the winner yesterday morning. And before you ask, yes. I included the special note and backstage passes in the envelope, just like you asked me to."

Skye smiles wide, "Thank you so much, Mike."

"No problem, kid," he says, "just happy that I could help." He turns around and begins to walk away when he hears Skye call after him again.

"Mike!"

He turns back to face her with a smile, "Yeah?"

"When it that presentation for Ace's class that he wanted me to go to? It's like a career day type of thing, right?"

"It's on Friday, I think. And yeah, all year they've been having each kid bring in someone that they know, to talk about what they do. And Ace convinced the teacher to give him the last spot. Something about wanting to top everyone else's presentation."

"I think it's really cute that he wants me to show up for Career Day." she smiles kindly.

"Yeah, he has this whole thing worked out. I guess he's going to introduce me first, telling everybody that I'm a bodyguard for famous people. I'm going to talk a little bit about my job. And then, he said that he's going to introduce the famous person I work for, and then that's when you'll come in."

"That's awesome. His class is going to freak out."

"And you'll probably be bombarded with requests for autographs and pictures."

"Good thing I'll have my bodyguard there to keep people in line." she gives him a wide smile.

"Yeah, there is that." he chuckles.

"So what time should I show up?"

"Well, his class starts at 8:30. So maybe, ten or fifteen minutes beforehand? He'll probably want you to wait in the hallway so that it'll be more of a surprise for the rest of his class."

"Sounds like a very well thought out plan. I will definitely be there." she smiles.

"Thanks a lot, Skye, for agreeing to come and do this. He really looks up to you, and it means a lot that you're willing to go to his class and talk a little bit about what you do."

"Like I said the first time you asked me to do it, it's not a problem. I love Ace; he's a really good kid."

"Yeah, he is." Mike smiles, thinking about his son.

"Well, tell him that I said hello, and that I'm looking forward to meeting his class in a couple of days."

"I will," Mike replies, "I'll see you tomorrow, Skye."

"Yeah," she smiles, "give Ace a big hug for me."

"Will do." he says, and then turns and makes his way from the room, towards the elevator.

Skye just leans back against the back of the couch, thinking about the prize winner, Grant Ward, and what she remembers him looking like from his picture, and how great of a father he seems like.

She pushes herself away from the couch, pulling her phone out of her pocket, and a quick text to her best friend. She definitely needs to talk to another girl about this.


 

Chapter Text


*June 5, 2014*

Skye pulls her car into the driveway of her best friends' house, putting it in park, and turning it off. She climbs out of her car, and begins to make her way up to the driveway towards the front door. She reaches for the door handle when a voice from behind her makes her stop.

"Excuse me? What do you think you're doing?"

Skye turns around and looks at the man in front of her, "I'm just going to go up and get drunk with Jemma, and then maybe do something completely reckless," she says nonchalantly.

The man smiles, "Of course. Go right ahead."

Skye laughs, "Hey Tripp," she smiles, walking towards the man to give him a hug.

"Hey Skye," he replies, hugging her back.

"Is Jemma in her room?"

"Yeah," he replies. "Go on up."

"Thanks Tripp," she smiles, turning around and walking away.

"Anything for my second favorite girl," he calls back. Skye just smiles and continues walking.

When she reaches Jemma's room, she steps up to the door and leans in, "Hey hey hey," she says, catching Jemma's attention.

Jemma whirls around in her desk chair to look at Skye, "Hey Skye," she says with a smile, "what brings you here?"

Skye walks into the room and drops her bag on the floor, going straight for Jemma's bed to sit down, "What, a girl can't come and visit her best friend without having a reason for it?"

Jemma just looks at Skye, "I've known you since we were kids, Skye. You always have an ulterior motive to everything you do."

"Whatever," Skye says, rolling over onto her stomach, "so, what were you looking at before I came in? Something naughty?" she wiggles her eyebrows at Jemma.

"No," Jemma says, "Steve sent over the pictures from my shoot last weekend."

"Ooh. How did they turn out?"

"Have a look for yourself," Jemma says, moving slightly so that Skye can get closer.

Skye scrolls through the photos, looking over each one carefully, "Damn girl!" She exclaims, "You look hot!"

"You really think so?"

"I know so."

"Thank you."

"I'm totally serious," she says, "you are really attractive. I still can't believe that you don't have a boyfriend yet," she says the last bit as she flops back down onto Jemma's bed.

Jemma rolls her eyes, "I've told you before, I'm…"

"…waiting for the right person," Skye finishes for her. She sits up and looks directly at her friend, "I know. And I've told you before, that it's not like anyone is expecting you to marry the first guy you find attractive. Just go on a few dates with him for a while to see if he is good for you."

"Yes, well, I'm not going to date just anyone, alright? So please, just drop it."

"Fine," Skye holds her hands up, "but there's something that I want to talk to you about."

"I knew there was something," she says.

"Hey, I take offense to that statement."

"Sure you do," Jemma rolls her eyes, "Now, what did you want to speak with me about?"

"Well, I want you to come to my show next Friday night."

"Really?"

"Yeah. You're my best friend, and I want you to come to my show."

"I've been to many of your other shows, Skye, without you having to beg me. So, why is this one so important?"
"Because, I'm meeting one of my fans."

"You are?"

Skye nods her head, "She won the ticket contest I was holding, well, technically it was her dad who won, but his entry was super sweet, and I decided that I wanted to meet the both of them. So I threw in two backstage passes so I can meet them."

"You did?"

Skye nods her head again, "Yeah."

"And you're going to meet the both of them?"

"Isn't that what I just said?"

"And you want me there because…."

"Because I want this little girl to meet you too."

"Why me?"

"Well, I figured that if she's a fan of me, then she might be a fan of you as well, because we're always hanging out, and if she's as big of a fan that I think she is, then she'll know exactly who you are. Which means she'll be even more excited, and it'll be the best birthday she's ever had."

"You really want me to come along, don't you?" Skye smiles and nods her head eagerly. Jemma sighs, "Fine. I'll go to your show."

Skye beams and jumps from the bed to hug Jemma around the neck, "Yes! Thank you so much, Jemma! You are the best!"

"I know I am," Jemma smiles.

Skye pulls back, "Shut up. Now, I have a few more hours till I have to be at the studio. What should we do until then?"


 

*June 9, 2014*

"Hey Sara?" Grant calls up the stairs of the house, "can you come down here for a minute?"

A moment later, he hears her feet running full speed down the stairs, straight towards him. She stops on the bottom step and smiles up at him, "Hi daddy! What's up?"

"I have a very special surprise for you."

"Really? What is it?" she asks, bouncing up and down on her feet.

"It's a special birthday surprise."

"But my birthday isn't until Saturday."

"I know that. But I figured that you probably wouldn't want to wait until your birthday for this."

"I won't know until you tell me." She smiles.

"Right," he says, "well, you're going to have to guess."

"Come on, dad!" she exclaims, "Please don't make me guess."

"Sorry, bear," he shrugs his shoulders, "guess."

She huffs, "Fine. Is it, a new bike?"

"No."

"A car?"

"You don't know how to drive."

"A pony?"

"We'd have nowhere to put it."

"A boyfriend?"

"You're eight. And my little girl. So no."

Sara grumbles, "Fine. I give up. What did you get me?"

"Who is your most favorite person in the world?" he inquires, though he already knows the answer.

"You?"

"That sounded like a question. And nice try kissing up. But no. Someone who isn't family."

Sara crinkles up her nose, "This is a weird game."

"Just answer my question, Sara. The one person in the entire world, besides me or Gramsy, who you absolutely love."

"Um, Skye, my favorite singer. But I don't see why…" Sara trails off as Grant pulls his hands out in front of him. In each hand, he holds a ticket to Skye's concert and a backstage pass.

"What are those?" Sara asks, as she takes a step closer to her dad.

"Two tickets and two backstage passes to Skye's concert, this Friday night, here in LA." He smiles.

"No way," she says, stepping even closer. She looks up at him and smiles, and then jumps up into his arms. She wraps her arms around his neck while he wraps his around her tiny waist. "Thank you thank you thank you!" she exclaims, hugging him tightly.

He chuckles, "You're welcome, bear." He gently pries her small body from his and sets her down on the ground. "Are you excited?"

"Of course." She says, "I get to go to a Skye concert! And I have a backstage pass to meet her! This is the best birthday present ever!"

He smiles, "I'm glad you think so."

"Where did you get the tickets and the passes though?"

"Well, I won the tickets in a contest, and the backstage passes were a personal gift from Skye herself. She said that she wants to meet us."

Sara's eyes go wide, "Really? I don't believe you."

"Well you better believe it," he tells her, "because you and I are going to a Skye concert this weekend."

She beams up at him, "I can't wait! This is gonna be so much fun! Can I have my ticket and pass right now?"

"I think I better hang on to these. You have a tendency to lose things. Especially important things."

"No I don't."

"Yeah you do. Which is why I am going to keep these safe until the day of the concert."

Sara sighs, "Fine. But when we go to the show, I want to give the people my ticket, okay?"

"Sounds good. Now go play."

She smiles at him, "Thanks again, dad." She steps forward and hugs him around the legs, "you're the best dad ever."

Grant smiles at his daughter as she turns around and makes her way back up the stairs to her bedroom. Yeah, he knows he's the best dad ever.

Chapter Text

*June 13, 2014*

Walking into her best friends bedroom, Jemma moves to sit on the bed, "Mike and Tripp are downstairs waiting whenever you finish," she informs her friend.

"Thanks Jem," Skye replies, applying the last of her mascara.

"So," Jemma says after a moment as she leans back on the bed, resting on her hands, "are you ready for your show tonight?"

"Just about," Skye says, slipping her earrings in. "And you remember that you're meeting the contest winners too, right?"

"Yes, and I know that I've said it before, but I think that it's amazing what you're doing for this little girl. Letting her meet you and everything, but what are you going to say to the people?"

"What people?"

"The people who try and make some false accusations about why you chose them winners of your contest."

"Oh. I'll just tell the truth. That I didn't know them. But they seemed like they'd be nice people, so I wanted to meet them. And I wanted to give this little girl a birthday that she'll never forget."

"Skye," Jemma sighs, "You are something different, you know that?"

Skye smiles wide, "I know. Now come on, let's go to my show." Skye loops her arm through her best friends' arm, and then pulls her out of the room and down the large flight of stairs.

When they reach the bottom of the stairs, Tripp and Mike are waiting at the bottom for them. Skye and Jemma both smile when they see their respective bodyguards. "Hello ladies," Tripp smiles, "are you ready to go?"

"I think so," Skye says, looking around her house. "Mack driving?"

"Yeah," Mike replies, "we should probably get going though if we want to beat any potential traffic."

"Right," Skye smiles, "are mom and dad already there?"

"I believe so," Mike says, "I think that they went up earlier in the day with Natasha. That way they could make sure that everything was ready by the time you got there. But if we want to get there with enough time for you to do a sound check before they open the doors, we need to get going."

"So bossy," Skye teases Mike as she and Jemma walk past the two bodyguards and out to the car. "Hey Mack!" she says to the driver as she opens the back door and slides in.

"Hey Skye," the man smiles at her in the rearview mirror. "Good to see you, Jemma."

"Hello Mack," Jemma smiles kindly at him. "How have you been?"

"Been doing pretty good, you?"

"I'm doing very well, thank you."

Once Tripp and Mike climb into the car, Mike turns slightly to look at Mack. "Alright Mack," he says, "We're ready to go."

"Okay," he says, starting up the car. "Let's get you to your show."


"You know, you really didn't have to come over," Grant says to his best friend, Leo Fitz, as they sit in the living room, talking with one another.

"I know that," the Scotsman replies, "but this is big. I wanted to see Sara off properly."

"It's not like she's going away forever. I'm just taking her to a concert."

"Yes, but this concert is a big deal. It's Skye, for crying out loud. One of the biggest names in the music industry."

"You really seem to know a lot about this girl," Grant says.

Fitz shrugs, "I just pay attention whenever Sara talks about her, is all."

"Uh-huh. Sure." Grant smiles, standing up from the couch. He moves over to the stairs and stands at the bottom, "Sara!" he calls up the stairs, "You have five minutes, and then you're butt better be down here and ready to go."

"Okay!" She shouts back.

Grant steps away from the stairs and turns back to face his friend, "I don't know why I decided to do this, Fitz," he says to him.

Fitz just smiles, "Because you're a father who loves his daughter and would do anything to make her happy."

"I guess so," he says back, "but I don't know if I'll be able to handle all of the screaming that'll be happening tonight during the show."

"Oh hush," he says, "It's not like you're going to die or anything."

"I don't know. I just might."

Fitz rolls his eyes at him and Grant just chuckles.

"Okay dad!" Sara exclaims, as she bounds down the steps. "I'm ready to go!"

Grant turns to look at her, and just smiles at her outfit. She's wearing a pair of blue jeans, and one of the Skye t-shirts that Gramsy bought for her, and her hair is pulled back into a ponytail. "You look great," he tells her, "are you excited?"

"Duh!" she says, like it's the most obvious thing in the world.

"Don't be rude," he says.

"Sorry," she apologizes, "Now can we please go? I don't want to be late to the concert!"

"Relax, Sara," Grant says, as he grabs his keys out of the bowl by the door, "We are not going to be late."

"You don't know that," Sara says, "what if there's an accident on the road or something, and we get delayed, and then we can't get to the show, and then Skye doesn't get to meet us, and I lose my chance of ever getting to meet her."

"You know what's going to make us late?" Grant says to his daughter.

"What?"

"You talking, now move. Go out to the car."

Sara smiles at him and then opens the door, running out to the car parked in front of their house.

"Bye Fitz!" Grant says back into the house. "Please don't destroy my house while I'm gone, and be gone before I get home."

"Bye!" he yells back, completely ignoring Grant's requests, "Have a good time."

"I'll try," he calls back, with a shake of his head, and then shuts the door behind him as he walks out to his car.

Climbing into the driver's seat, he looks in the rearview mirror as he starts the car, "You ready, bear?"

From her spot in the backseat, Sara nods her head vigorously, "Yes yes yes!"

"Alright, then let's go meet Skye."

Chapter Text

"I can't believe we're actually here!" Sara exclaims as she stares at the large stadium in front of her. "This is going to be the best night ever!"

"I'm sure it will be, for you." Grant says, as he locks the car, making sure he has both tickets and backstage passes on him.

"You're not going to have a good time?" Sara asks him curiously.

"Not particularly, no. With a bunch of screaming little girls surrounding me, singing at the top of their lungs? No thanks. I'm only here because I know that you really want this."

Sara smiles, "That's why you're the best daddy ever!" She tells him.

"And don't you ever forget it," he says, "Now come on. Let's go inside so you can meet your second most favorite person in the entire world."

"But I don't need to meet you," Sara says to him.

He looks down at her and glares playfully, "Very funny. But I meant Skye."

"I know you did," she says, "I'm just really happy right now. This is going to be the best day ever!"

"So you keep saying," Grant smiles at his daughter as she walks slightly ahead of him, towards the entrance to the building. She's skipping excitedly, singing one of Skye's songs at the top of her lungs.

When they reach the front entrance of the stadium, Grant steps up, making sure Sara is beside him, "Hello," he says, "we're here for the Skye concert."

"Tickets?" the man at the counter says. Grant and Sara both hold up their own tickets. The man takes each of their tickets, looking at them. He then rips them in half, handing the stubs back to them. "Go right in," he says, "your seats will be in the section to the left."

"Thank you," Grant says, smiling at the ticket man. "Come on, Sara," he says, grabbing her hand so he doesn't lose her in the large crowd of people. Making their way through the crowd of people, Grant searches the stadium for Mike, the man Skye told him to look for.

When they reach the entrance to their section, Grant spots a tall, African American man standing just outside of it, "Hi," Grant says to the man.

"Can I help you?" he says.

"Yeah," Grant reaches down and grabs his backstage pass, holding it up, "Are you Mike? I was told to find you."

The man smiles, "So you're the contest winner. I'm Mike Peterson. Skye's bodyguard."

"Nice to meet you, Mr. Peterson, I'm Grant, and this is my daughter Sara."

"Nice to meet you too. And please, call me Mike. Mr. Peterson is way too formal."

Grant smiles, "Alright, Mike."

"Stop talking guys," Sara whines, "I wanna go and meet Skye."

Mike smiles down at her, "Sara, right?"

Sara nods. "Good. I know that Skye is really looking forward to meeting you."

"Really?"

"Absolutely," Mike says, "I'm always hanging around Skye, so I know for a fact that she is very excited to meet you, little missy."

Sara smiles wide, "Cool. I can't wait to see her."

"Well then, follow me this way." He gestures for Grant and Sara to follow him. He leads them through the stadium, and down a bunch of back hallways.

"It's really dark," Sara points out after a while, grabbing tightly onto her dad's hand.

"I know," Mike says, "but don't worry. We're almost there."


"Where is Mike?" Skye says to no one in particular as she paces back and forth backstage.

"Relax, Skye," Jemma says, "they'll get here when they get here."

"I'm sorry," she says, "I'm just really anxious."

"Imagine how that little girl must feel," Jemma supplies.

"Right," Skye says, "she's probably even more nervous than I am."

"Why would you be nervous?" Jemma asks her best friend curiously.

"Because," Skye begins, looking pointedly at the Brit, "From what I can understand, I am this little girls' hero. She looks up to me, and she's obviously one of my biggest fans. I just don't want to let her down if I'm not everything she imagined that I'd be."

"I'm sure she's going to love you," Jemma assures her.

"Thanks Jem," she smiles.

"Hey Skye!"

Turning around at hearing her name, Skye sees Mike advancing towards her. "Mike! Hey!"

"So," Mike smiles, "I have a couple people here who came to see you. Shall I send them in?"

Skye smiles back, "Of course."

"Great. One moment." Mike leaves the room and then a second later, two people enter the room. A small girl and an older man, most likely her dad. She watches the girl carefully as she enters the room. Her eyes are full of amazement as she looks around the room, taking everything in.

When the land little girls' eyes land on her, she sees a large smile grow on her face. "You're Skye!" she exclaims happily.

Skye laughs to herself and smiles, "Yes I am. And you must be, Sara."

Her eyes go wide, "You know my name? How?"

"I told you, bear," her dad speaks up from behind her, making her turn around to look at him. "She wanted to meet us. Don't you think she'd know your name if she wanted to meet you."

"You're right. Thanks daddy!" she wraps her arms around him in a hug.

He hugs her back, "You're welcome, Sara. Now go meet your favorite singer." He says into her ear.

"Okay," Sara smiles. She turns around and makes her way over to where Skye is. She stands nervously in front of her, "Hi," she says quietly.

"Hey," Skye says, kneeling down in front of Sara. "So, I heard that you are a huge fan of mine." Sara nods her head. "Well that's great," Skye tells her, "because it'd be kind of weird for you to be here if you weren't a fan." Sara smiles and giggles. "And there's a smile. That's what I like to see on my fans."

"Can I get a picture with you?" Sara asks hesitantly.

Skye smiles instantly, "Of course you can! I'd be sad if you didn't want one."

Sara smiles wide and then turns to her dad, "Daddy! Can you take my picture with Skye?"

"Sure thing, bear," he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone. Sara turns back to Skye and moves to stand next to her.

Grant smiles and positions the camera so that it's focused on Skye and Sara. "Say cheese," he tells them.

"Cheese!" Skye and Sara say at the same time. Grant presses the capture button and then pulls his phone forward to look at the picture.

"Hey Sara," Skye says to the little girl, "I really like your shirt."

Sara glances down at her shirt for a moment before looking back up at Skye and smiling wide, "Thanks! My Gramsy bought it for me for my birthday last year."

"Well your Gramsy definitely loves you," Skye smiles.

"Hello. Would you mind if I join in with the next photo?"

Sara whips her head around to see Jemma Simmons standing just off to the side, a nervous smile on her face. Sara's own smile widens, "You're Jemma Simmons!"

"Yes I am," Jemma replies, stepping forward. "And you must be Sara."

"You know my name too?"

"Of course I do," Jemma smiles, "Now, how about that picture?"

"Yeah," Sara smiles, "dad," she turns around to face Grant, "Can you take another one, please?"

"Sure," he smiles, holding his phone back up as the three girls get in position. Sara is in the middle, with Skye and Jemma on either side of her, crouched down to her level. All three have smiles on their faces, Sara is smiling the widest.

Grant lines up his phone with the three girls in front of him and then snaps the picture. Grant smiles at the wide grin on his daughters' face.


Smiling down at the little girl in front of her, Skye listens as Sara explains to her about how she became a fan of hers. She is talking excitedly, using her hands as she speaks to her favorite singer.

"Five minutes till show time," the producer of the show announces as he steps backstage briefly and then back out.

"Thank you," Skye smiles at him before turning back around to face Sara. "I have to finish getting ready for the show now, Sara, which means that you and your dad need to head over to your seats so you don't miss anything." She smiles down at her.

"Oh, okay," Sara says. She waits for a moment before stepping forward and hugging Skye around the waist. "Thank you."

Skye smiles and hugs her back, "You're welcome."

When Sara pulls back, she smiles one more time at Skye before turning around and making her way towards her dad. "Come on, dad," she grabs his hand in her own, "let's go and find our seats so we don't miss the show."

He chuckles, "Alright, bear. Just give me one minute, okay? Can you go and wait just out there with Mike?" he looks up at the older man, "You don't mind, do you?"

Mike smiles and shakes his head, "It's fine. I've got a son about her age. Come on, Sara. Let's go and wait for your dad."

"Okay," she smiles at him.

When Sara and Mike leave, Grant turns back around to face Skye. He shoves his hands in his pockets, giving her a small smile, "I uh, I just want to thank you personally. Sara's a really big fan of yours, and I know that this absolutely meant the world to her."

Skye waves him off, "It's no big deal. She's such a sweet girl. I'm just glad that I could make this a really memorable birthday for her."

"You really have," he tells her, "I know that she's never going to forget this."

"I hope she doesn't," Skye smiles at him, "I'm sure she's going to tell her mom all about it when the two of you get home."

Grant shifts on his feet, "Um, actually, her mom isn't in the picture. It's just me and her."

"Oh," Skye says, suddenly feeling something stir within her. "Sorry."

"Don't be." Grant tells her, "You didn't know." There's a bit of silence for a moment, while the two adults just stand in front of each other, not knowing what to say.

Skye speaks up then, "Right. Well, I better go and finish getting ready for the show."

"Yes," Grant says, "and I better take Sara to find our seats. I look forward to the show." He smiles at her.

"I hope the both of you enjoy it," she smiles back.

"I'm sure Sara will immensely," he smiles and then turns around and makes his way out of the backstage area towards his daughter. "Okay, Sara," he says, "let's go find our seats."

Chapter Text

"Alright," Grant says, leading Sara through the rows of seats in the front section of the stadium, keeping a tight hold on her hand, "I think these are our seats right here."

"I still can't believe that we just met Skye," Sara says to him, her emotions still reeling from just a few moments before. "And Jemma Simmons! The model! She's so much prettier in person. They both are."

"Were they everything you thought they'd be?" Grant asks his little girl.

Sara nods her head, "And more."

"Well I'm glad," he smiles, "Are you ready for the show to start?"

"Totally!" She exclaims, bouncing excitedly in her seat. "This is going to be such an amazing show!"

"I'm sure it will be," Grant says, smiling down at her.

Suddenly, the lights dim in the stadium, and all of the young girls in the crowd start screaming. "Hello Los Angeles!" they hear from somewhere in the stadium. "Are you ready to party?!"

The crowd screams louder, and Grant uses all of his willpower not to cover his ears with his hands, like a small child hearing a fire alarm for the first time. The lights in the stadium flash all around, causing the people in the stadium to go even crazier. The light show stops suddenly, and a single spotlight appears in the center of the stage, Skye standing in the middle of it. She has a microphone in her hand and a smile on her face.

"Skye!" Sara screams happily along with the rest of the crowd. "Woo!"

The music starts and everyone watches as Skye begins singing and dancing across the stage, putting on the best show that she can for her fans.


"You guys are so amazing!" Skye says into the microphone as she stands at the front of the stage. The crowd cheers again, and she smiles. "Alright, so unfortunately, this next song is going to be the last one for the night." The crowd groans. Skye smiles, "I know, I know. But it has to end sometime, right? However, before I sing this next and final song, I want to say something real quick. I was originally planning on singing this next song a little bit earlier in the show, but then I learned something very important, and decided to sing this one last. Tomorrow is a very special day for someone out there in the audience. Tomorrow is the birthday of a brand new friend of mine, and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet her earlier before the show. Her name is Sara. Happy Birthday, Sara, I'm so glad that you are here and that I got to meet you." Skye manages to find Sara in the front section of the crowd and then waves and smiles at her. "I heard that this next song is your favorite song of mine, so this one goes out to you."

The band begins the music and Sara's eyes widen. She screams with joy. "I love this song!" she says, turning to face her dad, a wide grin on her face.

"I know you do," he smiles.

Sara maintains the smile on her face and sings along with Skye, waving at her as she is up on the stage performing.

I stay out too late
Got nothing in my brain
That's what people say, mmm-mmm
That's what people say, mmm-mmm

I go on too many dates
But I can't make 'em stay
At least that's what people say, mmm-mmm
That's what people say, mmm-mmm

But I keep cruising
Can't stop, won't stop moving
It's like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, "It's gonna be alright."

Reaching down into the crowd, Skye grabs one of the cameras being held by one of her fans and brings it on stage with her. She turns the camera so it is facing her and keeps on singing while filming herself first, and then the crowd.

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

Handing the camera back, she stands up straight and continues singing.

Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

I never miss a beat
I'm lightning on my feet
And that's what they don't see, mmm-mmm
that's what they don't see, mmm-mmm

I'm dancing on my own (dancing on my own)
I make the moves up as I go (
moves up as I go)
And that's what they don't know, mmm-mmm
that's what they don't know, mmm-mmm

But I keep cruising
Can't stop, won't stop grooving
It's like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, "It's gonna be alright."

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

Shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off

Hey, hey, hey
Just think while you've been getting down and out about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world,
You could've been getting down to this sick beat.

My ex-man brought his new girlfriend
She's like "Oh, my god!" but I'm just gonna shake.
And to the fella over there with the hella good hair
Won't you come on over, baby? We can shake, shake, shake

Grant isn't quite sure, but he thinks that he sees Skye make eye contact with him and then wink at him with a smile on her face. He has to shake his head for a moment to clear those thoughts from his head, because that definitely couldn't have happened.

Yeah ohhh

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break

And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

Shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off

Shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off

As she sings, she bends down to the front row, touching hands with many of the fans there.

Shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off (
you've got to),
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off,
I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off

The music ends and the crowd cheers even louder. Skye smiles down into the crowd and waves to all of her fans. She blows kisses out into the crowd as well.

Bringing the microphone back up to her lips, she speaks, "I want to thank you all so much for being here tonight. You guys are all so wonderful. I love you all so much, goodnight and be safe on your way home."

The lights in the stadium dim and Skye walks off the stage back to where her parents and best friend are waiting for her.

Out in the crowd, as the house lights turn back on, Sara remains facing the stage, her eyes wide and a smile on her face. Grant just watches her and waits for her to move. When she does, she turns to her dad and smiles up at him, "That was such an awesome concert," she tells him, "and Skye said that we're friends now. In front of the entire stadium. And she wished me a happy birthday in front of everyone too. That was so cool."

"I know," Grant smiles down at his daughter, "I was standing right here the whole time, bear."

"Thanks for bringing me, daddy." She wraps her arms around him in a hug.

"You're welcome, bear." He hugs her back. "Now come on. Let's go and get some ice cream before we go home."

"Really?" Her smile widens.

"Really."

"Yes!" She grabs his hand in hers and begins trying to drag him out of the stadium. He just chuckles and follows her as best he can through the crowd of people and out to the entrance of the stadium.


"Daddy?" Sara speaks up as they enter the front door of their house.

"Yeah?"

"Can I borrow your phone for a minute?"

"What for?" he asks, sitting down on the couch.

"I want to tweet the picture you took tonight. I'm going to post it so that Skye and Jemma can see it."

"Sure, but just twitter; come give my phone back when you're all done." He pulls his phone out of his pocket and tosses it to her and then makes his way down the hallway to his bedroom. Sara walks over to the couch and lies down on it, unlocking her dad's phone. Clicking on the twitter icon, she waits for it to load. When it does, she taps on the New Tweet button, and then the Upload Photo button. She selects the picture of her, Skye, and Jemma from the camera roll. When it loads, she begins typing her tweet.

@Sarabear: @RealSkye @JemmaS had so much fun backstage tonight with you guys. Thanks for making this the best birthday ever! :)

Satisfied with her message, she hits the tweet button and watches as it sends the message out into the Twitter world. After a quick moment, Sara gets a new twitter notification. She clicks on the Notifications tab and looks at the top two. Skye favorited her tweet, and replied to it. With a smile on her face, she clicks on the notification to fully read what it says.

@RealSkye: @Sarabear you are the one who made tonight so much fun! So glad that we met you! Now go to sleep :)

Sara smiles at the words written to her by her idol. She's about to type back a reply when another notification comes in. It's from Jemma this time, in reply to her original tweet.

@JemmaS: @Sarabear Skye's right. You are super sweet, and very adorable. Glad that we could make this such a memorable birthday for you.

Smiling even wider, Sara types in her own reply.

@Sarabear: @JemmaS @RealSkye thank you. And fine, I'll go to bed. Good night :)

Closing out of Twitter, Sara stands up from the couch and makes her way to her dad's bedroom. She opens the door to see him sitting up against his headboard, reading a book. Sara steps further into the room and moves over to the bed.

"Here's your phone, dad," she says to him, holding his phone out to him.

"Thanks sweetie," he takes his phone from her. "You ready for bed?"

"I just have to change into my pajamas and brush my teeth."

"Alright, well you go do that then. Goodnight."

"Night dad," she replies, leaning forward to kiss him on the cheek.

"Night bear," he says back, smiling at her as she walks out of his room and in the direction of her bedroom.


Once she is all ready for bed, Sara turns her bedroom light off and climbs into her bed. As she lies in her bed, she stares up at the ceiling, a smile still on her face. It still amazes her that she met her idol just a few hours ago. It was, hands down, one of the best moments of her entire life.

Chapter Text

*June 14, 2014*

Picking up her cell phone, Skye thinks for a moment, debating on whether or not she should actually call them. He'll probably ask how she managed to get his phone number, but it's a simple enough answer. She wasn't really being creepy or anything, she was just curious. And it was better than stalking him online. Even though she technically already did that with Facebook. But that's beside the point.

Finally deciding that she should just get it over with and stop worrying, Skye dials the phone number written on the orange sticky note in front of her. Holding her phone up to her ear, she waits impatiently for him to answer the call.

"Hello?" the voice on the other end finally answers.

"Is this Grant Ward?" She asks, wanting to be sure that she has the right number.

"Yes it is. Who I am speaking with?" he asks her.

"It's Skye."

"Skye?" he repeats, and she knows he is surprised, to say the least. "How did you get my number?"

"Oh, yeah. I um, I had Mike look you up in the phonebook."

She can hear him chuckle, "Right. So, what's up?"

"Well, I have the day off today from well, everything, and I was wondering, if you guys are free, if you and Sara wanted to come and hang out with me for the day. I can show the two of you some of the best places in town and then take you to lunch; we can make an afternoon out of it. And I know it's on pretty short notice, so I understand if you can't. But I just thought that since today is Sara's actual birthday, we could make it even more fun."

"Um, I think that should be okay, let me just check with Sara, see what she thinks."

"Okay."

"Hey Sara!" Skye hears Grant's muffled voice through the receiver, "Do you want to go shopping and have lunch with Skye today?"

Skye laughs when she hears Sara's squeals on the other side of the phone. "Yes yes yes!"

"I think that's a yes," Grant chuckles into the phone.

"Awesome," Skye replies, smiling wide. "I'll be there around 11:30."

"Sounds great."

"Cool. I'll come and get you guys then."

"Wait," Grant says before either of them can hang up, "Do you need our address?"

Skye smiles into the phone, "I have my resources."

"Okay then," he chuckles, "I'll see you in a couple hours."

"See you then. Bye."

"Bye."

Skye hangs up her phone and holds it against her chest, leaning back against the door of her bedroom. She takes a deep breath to calm herself down, and then pushes herself away from the wall. Walking to her closet, she begins finding the best clothes to wear out today. She definitely wants today to go well.


*11:25*

A knock at the front door causes Grant to put down his laptop and stand from the couch. He walks up to the front door and unlocks it, swinging it open. He smiles when he sees Skye standing on the porch. "Hey," he says.

"Hi," she smiles back, "are you guys ready to go?"

"I am, but Sara is taking a little bit longer. She says that she doesn't know what to wear."

"Why don't you help her?"

"I tried to, but apparently I'm not 'qualified enough' to pick out her outfit."

"Ah," she says, "well maybe I can help."

"Maybe you can," he says, opening the door wider and allowing her inside. "She's upstairs, her room is the door on the right."

"Cool. I'll see what I can do, then." Grant watches as Skye heads up the stairs to where his daughter is, as he himself makes his way back to the couch.

Skye makes her way up the stairs and turns to the door on the right hand side. The door is partially open, and she peers inside to see Sara in the middle of her room, clothes scattered all around her. Skye raises a fist and knocks on the doorjamb, catching Sara's attention.

"Skye!" she exclaims, looking up from her dresser.

"Hey Sara. Need some help?"

"Yes! Please! I don't know what to wear today."

"You can wear anything," she says, "Whatever you decide to wear out, I'm sure it'll be perfectly fine."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm positive," Skye tells Sara, smiling at her. "Mind if I take a look?" she asks, gesturing to the dresser and the pile of clothes on the floor.

"Okay," Sara agrees.

Skye walks forward and begins rummaging around through the large pile of Sara's clothes. She takes a few minutes, looking at a few different pieces of clothing. After a little while, she holds up a couple pieces of clothing. "Here, try this."

Sara looks at the clothes, and then smiles, "It's perfect," she says to Skye.

Skye smiles back at her, "Alright. I'll let you put that on. I'll be downstairs waiting with your dad."

Sara smiles and nods her head, "Okay."

Skye turns and walks out of the bedroom, and back down the stairs. When she reaches the bottom, she sees Grant sitting on the couch, working on his laptop. "Hey," she says, walking towards the couch and sitting down next to him.

"Hey," he smiles at her. "Did you find something for Sara to wear?"

Skye nods her head, "Yep. She should be down in a minute."

"Good," Grant says, "Was the drive over here fine? Was it too difficult finding the house?"

Skye shakes her head, "Nope. The drive was nice. Very enjoyable."

"I'm glad," he smiles.

"I'm ready to go!" Sara announces as she bounds down the stairs, a smile on her face. She makes her way over to them and stops in front of the couch.

"Okay," Grant says, closing his laptop and setting it down on the coffee table, "Who's hungry?"

"Me!" Sara exclaims, throwing her hand up into the air. "I am."

Grant just smiles, "Then I guess we should go out and eat." He turns to Skye, "Do you want me to drive?"

She stands up from her seat, "I got it. Thanks for the offer though. Everything today is my treat, so I'm going to drive. Also because I know where we're going, and you don't." She gives him a small smile.

"Alright then," he smiles back, standing from the couch, "let's go."


Walking out the front doors of the restaurant, Skye, Grant, and Sara all head for Skye's car. Sara is carrying a to-go box, not having been able to quite finish all of her lunch.

"That was such a good lunch," Sara says as they stop at Skye's car, waiting for her to unlock the doors. "Their French fries are amazing."

"I'm glad you think so," Skye smiles, "I love to come here for lunch every once in a while."

"I can see why," Sara smiles back. Skye unlocks the car and all three of them climb inside to their respective seats.

"So," Skye begins, turning so that she can face both Grant and Sara, "shopping now?"

"Can we?" Sara asks excitedly.

"What do you say, daddio?" Skye asks Grant, "You up for some shoppin?"

Grant just looks at her, and then at his daughter in the back seat. They are both smiling wide, waiting for him to say something. He sighs, "Well, I realize that no matter what I say, you two are so dead set on going shopping, so we might as well just go shopping."

"You are a very smart man, Grant Ward," Skye says to him, turning back around in her seat. She puts the keys in the ignition and starts the car, backing out of her space. "Let's go shopping."


Pulling up to the front of the house, Skye puts the car in park, and turns around to face Grant and Sara. "We have arrived," she smiles.

"Is it really over?" Sara asks with a frown.

"Yes, bear," Grant says, digging in his pants pocket for his keys. "Now say thank you to Skye, and go inside and put your stuff away. I'll be inside in a minute to get started on dinner." He holds his house key out to her and she takes it.

"Thank you, Skye," she says with a smile, "I had a lot of fun with you today."

"You're welcome, Sara," Skye smiles back, "I had a lot of fun with you today, too."

Sara takes the keys from her dad and then grabs all of her bags, making sure to grab her to-go box from lunch, and then climbs out of the car. "Bye, Skye!" she waves as she makes her way up to the house.

Once she is inside, Grant turns around to face Skye, "Thank you for today," Grant smiles. "I know that Sara had a really great time."

"I'm glad she did. She's really fun to hang out with."

"I'm glad you think so, it definitely made her feel a lot better."

"That makes me really happy. She's such a sweet girl."

"Well thank you. I'd like to take all of the credit for her being that sweet, and I will." He smiles at her.

"You seem like a really great dad," she tells him.

"Thank you."

"I really mean that," she reaches out and puts her hand on top of his, smiling at him.
"Do you want to go out sometime?" he blurts out, and then cringes slightly at how it came out. "With me," he amends, "Would you like to go out sometime with me?"

A small smile slowly spreads across Skye's face, "Yes, I would."

"Really? Because you don't have to if you don't want to."

"No. I want to. I want to go out with you."

A wide grin spreads across his face instantly, "Oh. Wow. Great. So I'll uh, I'll call you later and we can figure out what day works best for the both of us."

She nods her head, "Yeah, sure. Um, you should have my number in your phone from when I called."

"Actually," Grant says, "that wasn't my cell. That was the home phone number that was in the phonebook. Not my cell."

"Oh, well then maybe," she reaches into her coat pocket, pulling out her phone. She quickly unlocks it and then holds it out to him with a smile, "you should give me the correct number."

He smiles back at her and then takes her phone from her. He looks down at it and then clicks on Contacts, tapping on the New Contact button. He quickly enters in his information, and then hands it back to her.

She smiles at him, and then taps on the Add Contact Photo button. She holds it up in front of his face and looks at him, "Smile."

"What? Why?"

"I'm adding a picture to your contact," she tells him, "now smile nice."

He sighs, "Fine." Sitting up straighter, Grant clears his throat and smiles wide, showing off his teeth, the smile reaching all the way up to his eyes.

Skye snaps the photo and then holds the phone down in front of her, looking at the picture. "Very handsome," she smiles.

"Thank you," he says. He reaches into his pocket and pulls his phone out and unlocks it, "Now you need to give me your number." He holds his phone out to her.

She smiles at him and takes his phone, putting her name and number into his contact list. Once done, she clicks on the Add Contact Photo button, and then hands the phone back to Grant. "Here, take my picture."

"Okay," he accepts his phone, holding it up to frame Skye's face in the screen. Skye sits up a bit, fluffing her hair just a bit before smiling wide at the camera. Grant captures the photo, holding the phone down to look at the picture he just took. "Beautiful," he smiles up at her.

She blushes slightly, "Thanks. Now, you better get inside."

"Right," he says, slipping his phone back into his pocket. "Thank you again for today. It was very fun." He turns and opens the car door, stepping out. He shuts the door and begins to walk towards his house when he hears Skye calling him. He turns back around to see her sitting in her car with the passenger window rolled down, she's leaning forward slightly.

"I look forward to your call," she smiles at him.

He smiles back. "And I look forward to your answer," he says, before turning around to face his house. Once he knows she can't see him, he cringes at his odd reply. I look forward to your answer? He chastises himself internally. Stupid.

Chapter Text

*June 16, 2014*

Picking up his cell phone, Grant unlocks it, going straight to his contact list. He scrolls down the list until he finds the right contact he needs. Once he finds it, he clicks on the name, pulling up the contact photo and phone number. He looks at the photo for a moment, smiling at the beautiful woman smiling back at him. Taking a deep breath, he hits the call button, and then holds the phone up to his ear, waiting impatiently as the phone rings. He doesn't know why he's so nervous about this. He's never been this nervous asking someone out. And technically, he already asked her out, and she said yes.

"Hey you've reached Skye!" the recorded message says and he lets out a small breath he didn't know he'd been holding. "Sorry I missed ya! This probably means that I'm in the studio working on my next hit, or I managed to sleep in somehow. Just leave me a message with what's important and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks! Bye!"

The recording tone beeps and Grant's breath does a sharp intake. "Hey, Skye," he says quickly. "This is Grant. But uh, you probably already know that because my number, is in your phone, and this is a missed call..." he trails off. "Anyways, on Saturday, you said yes to going on a date. With me. So I am calling you to see if Friday night works for you. For our date. I was thinking maybe around 6:30. So yeah. Just uh, call me soon, well not too soon, just uh, whenever you—" the beeping of the voice mall cuts him off. Letting out a large sigh, he just hangs up, not wanting to check if he sounds like a bumbling idiot in the message.

Hey, it's Skye. I got your message. Friday at 6:30 sounds great.
Awesome. I'll come by your house to pick you up on Friday then.
Great. I can't wait. :)
Neither can I. :)
So where are we going to go for our first date?
That is for you to find out and for me to…figure out.
You don't have anything planned yet?
Nope. But I promise you that it will be great.
So long as you are there, I'm sure it'll be perfect. :)
Thank you. I appreciate your confidence in me. It's very helpful.
Glad I could help. :)
Me too.
Oh. I just realized. I need your address so I can actually get to your place on Friday.
I was wondering how long it would take you to ask for that. :)
Were you seriously just waiting for me to ask for your address? You weren't going to give it to me?
Spot on.
You're cruel.
Only slightly. ;)
More than slightly.
:) Here's my address. 5385 Providence Dr. My house is on the left side.
Thank you. I'll see you on Friday.
See you then. :)


*June 20, 2014*

"You look very handsome, daddy," Sara says as Grant walks out of his bedroom and down the small hallway near the dining room, slipping his phone and wallet into his pocket. He's wearing a simple pair of black slacks, black dress shoes, and a nice, dark blue, button down shirt.

"Thanks bear," he smiles at her.

"Where are you going?"

"Out to dinner."

"With who?" Sara prods, shifting on her seat at the dining room table so that she is sitting up on her knees.

"I don't know if I should tell you," he says with a small smile.

"Come on daddy, please? Tell me tell me tell me!" She says, bouncing up and down slightly in her chair.

"Do you really want to know?" he asks her.

"Yes yes yes!"

"Alright," he says, bending his head down so that he can look her in the eyes. "I'm going out to dinner tonight, with Skye."

Sara's eyes go wide, "Really?"

"Really."

"That's so cool!" She smiles wide.

"I know," he smiles, "Now, I have to go and pick up Skye. Don't want to be late for the first date."

"No you don't," she agrees. "Can you tell Skye that I say hi?"

"I'll make sure that I do," he says, kissing the top of her head. He stands up fully and then watches as Sara turns back to the paper and coloring pencils around her and her babysitter, Rebecca. "Alright," he turns his attention to Rebecca, "She already had dinner, but if she wants to have a small snack in a little while, that's fine. But nothing too sugary. Since it's Friday, she can stay up, but make sure she still brushes her teeth, puts her pajamas on, the whole bedtime routine. She can do whatever she wants until I get home, but no more food after she brushes her teeth. I should be back in a couple of hours. I shouldn't be out too late."

"There's no rush, Mr. Ward," Rebecca tells him honestly, "it's a Friday night, so I don't have to be home any time soon."

"Okay," he says, "And like I've said before, Mr. Ward is too formal, call me Grant."

Rebecca smiles, "I'll try and remember that."

"Great. Sara, I love you and I'll see you later tonight." Sara stands up on her chair, wrapping her arms tightly around his waist.

"Love you daddy. Have fun."

"I will. Be good for Rebecca, okay?"

"I promise."

"Alright, see you guys later."

"Bye daddy!"

"Bye."


Pulling his car up to the front of Skye's house, Grant puts it in park and shuts the engine off. He climbs out of the car and makes his way up to the front door of the large house. Straightening out his suit jacket, he takes a deep breath, before raising a fist to knock on the solid oak door in front of him. The door swings open to reveal Skye's dad standing in the doorway, a stoic look on his face.

"Hello, sir," Grant says a bit nervously, "I'm here for Skye."

"I know," he says, folding his arms across his chest. "What are your intentions for tonight with my daughter?"

"Um...what?" Grant replies, unsure of how exactly to answer the question.

"It's a simple question. What are you intentions for tonight?"

"We're just going out to dinner, dad."

Grant looks past the intimidating man to see Skye approaching, dressed perfectly for their evening out. She's wearing a beautiful black dress that goes down to about mid-thigh, with a white sash tied around her waist, and a slightly plunging neckline with a white tank underneath of it. She's wearing a pair of black flats on her feet, and her hair is slightly curled, hanging down. "Hey Skye," he smiles, completely forgetting about her father in front of him.

"Hi Grant," she replies with a smile, gingerly stepping past her father. She turns around to face her dad, "I love you dad. Goodnight." She leans forward and presses a kiss to his cheek. Then she turns around and grabs Grant's hand in her own, pulling him down the sidewalk towards his car.

"I'm really sorry about him," Skye begins when they get into Grant's car, "He can be a little much sometimes."

"It's fine," Grant assures her, "I'm sure I'll be the same way when Sara starts dating. Though if I have my way, she won't be dating until she's well into her 30's."

Skye just shakes her head and smiles, "You're such a dad."

"Thank you," Grant smiles, starting the car. "Now then, time to begin our evening."

"I can't wait," Skye tells him excitedly as Grant pulls out of the driveway, "Where are we going? You told me on Wednesday that we're going to dinner, but you didn't exactly say where. I'm not too dressed up, am I? Or underdressed?"

Grant chuckles, "You look perfect," he says and then a blush quickly creeps up his face. Skye just smiles at him. Grant clears his throat, "As for where we're going, well, that's a surprise."

Skye pouts, "Come on, Grant. You can't just keep me in the dark like this."

"I can and I will. And don't think that any type of pouty face will work on me. Thanks to Sara, I am immune to the pouty face."

Skye huffs and folds her arms in front of her chest, "Fine. But it better be amazing."

"As I recall," Grant begins, "You told me that it doesn't matter where we go or what we do. As long as I am there. And I have the proof if you even try and deny it."

Skye rolls her eyes, a hint of a smile on her face, "Shut up and drive."


"Wow," Skye says in amazement as Grant pulls the car up to the front of the restaurant. "This place looks absolutely amazing." She looks over at him, "No offense or anything, but how can you afford to bring me here?"

Grant shifts the car into park and looks over at her, "Why Skye, are you insinuating that I am too poor to take you to a fancy restaurant for dinner?"

Skye's eyes go wide, "Oh my goodness! No! I swear that I didn't mean it like that, I'm so so sorry. I was just–"

Grant breaks into a smile and starts laughing, "Skye, relax. I'm just messing with you. It's fine. And if you really want to know, my best friend works here, as the head chef, and he kind of has an in with the owner. So whenever I need to, which is very rare, I'm allowed to bring my dates here for a nice meal. Or sometimes Sara and I will eat here on occasion. Free of charge."

"Really?"

"Well, I mean, I help them with certain things whenever they need it. Construction, wiring, that kind of stuff."

"That's so nice of you."

He shrugs, "It's nothing really. Now come on, let's go inside and eat."

"Thank goodness," Skye says, "I'm starving."


"Hello," Grant says to the woman at the hostess stand.

"Hello," she replies, "name?"

"Actually, I don't have a reservation on the list. But if you could let the head chef, Leo Fitz, know that I'm here, that would be great."

"Okay," she says, confused, "I'll be right back."

"Thank you," Grant says, watching as she walks away.

"She probably thinks you're crazy," Skye whispers to him, so as not to disturb any of the customers currently in the restaurant.

"I think she's new," Grant replies, "I've never seen her here before. I've met all of the other hostesses before, and I don't remember her. She probably doesn't know about the arrangement I have with Fitz."

"Oh," Skye says, "alright then."

"Grant Ward." Grant looks away from Skye to see Fitz approaching the front of the restaurant, dressed in his chef uniform, a smile on his face.

"Hey Fitz," Grant replies, wrapping the other man in a hug. "How are you?"

"I'm doing great. How's Sara?"

"She's doing pretty well. She wants you to come over again, soon."

Fitz smiles, "Tell her that I don't know if I want to after what she did the last time I was over."

Grant sighs, "You're a grown man, Fitz. Let it go already."

"Not until she apologizes for cheating."

Grant just rolls his eyes, deciding to change the subject, "Fitz, I'd like you to meet my lovely date for the evening, Skye."

"A pleasure to meet you," Fitz smiles at Skye, holding his hand out to her.

Skye accepts his hand, smiling back at him, "Likewise."

"Now then," Fitz speaks to both of the people in front of him, "if you'll both follow me right this way, I will show you to your table."

"Come on," Grant says, grabbing Skye's hand in his own, and leading her through the restaurant, right behind Fitz.

"Where are we going?" Skye asks him as they pass all of the regular tables in the restaurant.

"You'll see," is all Grant says back.

Skye sees them approach the kitchen doors and her eyes go wide, "Why are we going into the kitchen? Are we even allowed back there?"

"Relax," Grant tells her. They follow Fitz through the swinging double doors, and into the kitchen. They walk past all of the other cooks and waiters, Grant greeting them as he passes, and towards the back area of the kitchen.

"Your table," Fitz announces, gesturing to the center of the room. Skye takes a moment to let it all sink in. In front of her, stands a single, round, dining table, a chair on either side of it. It's complete with an elegant, white table cloth, two plates, two wine glasses, two sets of utensils, and even a small vase of flowers sitting in the center.

"This is beautiful," Skye says, looking up at Grant. "Really, really beautiful."

Grant smiles, "I'm glad you think so." He leads her over to the table, holding her chair out for her, allowing her to sit down.

"Can I start you off with some wine?" Fitz asks the two of them.

"Skye?" Grant says, looking over at her. "Any preference?"

She shakes her head, "Nope. Anything is fine with me."

Grant smiles, "Your best then," he tells his friend.

"Of course," Fitz says with a small bow and then leaves to retrieve the wine.

"Okay," Skye begins, "this is really amazing. And if the food here is as good as the service or the personal dining area, I think that this is going to be the best first date I've ever been on."


"Skye?" Grant says as he swallows another bite of his brownie, "I know that I've already said it before, but I really want to thank you again for allowing me and Sara to go to your show last week. It meant the absolute world to her."

"It wasn't a problem," Skye replies, digging her fork into her chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, "When I read through all of the entries, I thought yours was the best. I was really touched at how much you were willing to do for you daughter. Not many dads are willing to go to a concert like mine for their daughter. Even if she's their only daughter."

Grant smiles fondly, "Well, she's my angel. I'd do pretty much anything for her if it made her happy."

"That's sweet. She must really look up to you."

"I hope she does. I try to set a good example for her. It's hard for her sometimes though, I think, not having her mother in the picture. She has Gramsy, my grandmother, but she isn't always around because she's not doing so well."

"What happened to her mother? If you don't mind me asking. At the show, you mentioned that it's just you and Sara."

"It's fine," Grant says, glancing down briefly at his left hand. "I feel like I can tell you."

"Well you don't have to tell me anything that you don't want to. It's not really the kind of thing one expects to tell on a first date."

Grant smiles softly at her, "Sara's mother, Miranda, and I, we were together in high school. Halfway through our sophomore year we got together. A few weeks into our senior year we, well, we found out that we were going to be parents. We were both beyond terrified. And it didn't really help that my parents kicked me out and pretty much disowned me for getting a girl pregnant while in high school. Thankfully Miranda's parents let me stay with them for as long as I needed; they were always pretty nice to me, even though I got their only daughter pregnant in high school. And even though we were terrified, we agreed that we'd stick together and get through every obstacle as it came up."

"That's really good," Skye comments.

"I thought so too. But uh, not long after Sara was born, Miranda decided that she had changed her mind. She didn't want to be a parent at such a young age. So she left Sara with me and just took off. I don't know where she went, and I haven't heard from her since. At first I was angry, angry that she could just abandon her daughter like that. For a while, I was secretly hoping that she'd come back so we could raise Sara together, as a family. But over time I came to terms with everything, especially with the fact that she was never coming back."

"Wow." Skye says quietly. "I'm so sorry."

"It's okay though," he assures her, "because Sara and I have been doing just fine on our own. Gramsy is always there to lend me some advice when I need it. Same with Miranda's parents, they're always a phone call away. And Fitz was willing to jump right in as the protective and loving Uncle that he is to Sara."

"How did you and Fitz meet? It seems like you've known each other forever."

"It wasn't long after I came here, actually. When Miranda left me with Sara, I decided that I needed to get a fresh start somewhere. Somewhere that wasn't tainted with memories of Miranda or what she'd done." He takes a deep breath to calm himself down. "So, when Sara was just a few months old, I moved out here to stay with my grandmother. That way I could be there for her if she needed me too. Miranda's parents were really supportive of me, too. They didn't, and still don't, resent me for bringing Sara out here. They even helped me financially, so that I was able to come here. They're still in contact with Sara, and she knows who they are, I never kept them from her. I want her to know them, and she does."

"That's great that they're so understanding."

Grant smiles, "Yeah. They've always been better parents to me than my own were."

"That's too bad."

He shrugs. "But anyways, I met Fitz at the mall. I was struggling to calm Sara down, and he came over and offered to help me. He told me that he always used to help his aunts and uncles with his cousins when they were little, and he did a bit of babysitting growing up, so he had some experience. I was hesitant at first, because I didn't even know him, but I eventually agreed to let him help me. He somehow managed to figure out that she had just started teething; and helped me find something for her to gum on to calm her down." He smiles at the memory. "After that, we just kind of clicked, started finding out that we actually had quite a bit in common. He was more than happy to take on the role of Sara's uncle, and I began seeing him as a brother or sorts."

"That's really sweet," Skye smiles.

"And even though things were pretty tough at first, they are a lot better now, and I wouldn't go back and change a single moment of it all."

Skye reaches across the table and covers his hand in her own, "That's really great, Grant. You're an amazing father, and I'm positive, without a doubt, that Sara knows it as well."

"Thank you," he tells her. "For everything. And I'm sorry that I threw all of that on you just now. Like you said, I never exactly planned on sharing so early on."

Skye smiles softly at him, "It's no problem. Now, why don't we head out? I think we're both pretty much done with our desserts."

"Yeah. And um, do you mind if we stop by my house? Sara is probably still up and I told her that I was going out with you tonight. So maybe, if you want, you could come by and say goodnight to her."

"I'd like that," Skye smiles.

Grant smiles back, "Awesome. Let's go."


"Here we are," Grant says as they pull into the driveway. He puts the car into park and turns it off. "Home sweet home." He takes a moment to look at the house before getting out of his seat, and then walks over to the other side of the car and opens Skye's door for her.

"Thank you," Skye says to him as he holds the door for her while she steps out. "Your house is adorable, it looks so cozy."

"Thanks," he replies, as they begin walking up to his front door, "I'll give the credit of the coziness to my Gramsy. It's her old place. Sara and I are just staying here until I can find us our own place. If we end up deciding to need our own place. But finding a place to live, and buying it, is definitely not as easy as it sounds."

"I can only imagine." Skye says as he pulls out his house key.

"Well of course, little miss richy rich," he smiles at her playfully.

She rolls her eyes, "Shut up and open the door."

Grant chuckles, "Alright, alright." He turns the key in the knob and pushes the door open, allowing Skye to step inside. He walks in behind her and shuts the door, locking it behind him. "Hello?" he calls out into the house, "I'm home."

A second later, the sound of feet hitting the carpeted floor can be heard, along with the call of, "Daddy!"

Grant smiles when he sees Sara rounding the corner and making her way towards him, "Hey bear," he says, moving forward and picking her up in his arms. He hugs her tightly, "Did you have fun with Rebecca?"

She nods her head, "We had a lot of fun."

"Good."

"Did you have fun?"

"Yes I did. But maybe you should see if someone else had a fun time, too."

"Who?" Sara asks.

"Me," Skye speaks up, catching Sara's attention for the first time that night.

Sara's eyes go wide and she smiles, "Skye!" She exclaims, immediately leaning out of her dad's arms and into Skye's.

Skye manages to catch her and hugs her tightly, "It's good to see you too, Sara."

Sara pulls back from the hug and looks at Skye, "Did you have a nice dinner with my dad?"

"I certainly did," Skye smiles, "We went to a restaurant, and guess what?"

"What?"

"We got our own private dinner in the kitchen."

Sara gasps, "Uncle Fitz!" She exclaims with a large smile. "My Uncle Fitz works there, and sometimes he lets me and daddy eat in the kitchen. He's really funny. But he's a sore loser when we play games and I beat him."

"Yes he is," Grant chuckles.

"Skye," Sara says, catching the older woman's attention again, "Do you want to see my favorite game to play with Uncle Fitz?"

"I would love to," Skye replies. She sets Sara down on the floor, and then the two begin to make their way through the house and towards a small hallway.

"Hey Sara!" Grant calls out, getting his daughters' attention.

Sara stops and turns around, "Yeah?"

"Aren't you going to say thank you to Rebecca for babysitting you?"

Sara turns to Rebecca and smiles at her, "Thanks Rebecca!" Then she continues on her quest down the hallway towards the family room.

Grant chuckles and turns to Rebecca with a smile, "Thanks again for watching her tonight," he tells her, pulling his wallet out of his back pocket.

"It was no problem," she says back. "We had a lot of fun."

Grant hands her a few bills, "Have a safe drive home, okay?"

"I will. Thanks." She walks out the front door, closing it behind her. Grant turns around and makes his way down the hallway and into the family room, right next to his bedroom.

"Dad!" Sara exclaims when she sees him walk into the room, "Can Skye read to me tonight?"

"I don't know, bear," Grant says, "I still have to drive Skye home."

"I can read to her," Skye tells him. "I'll just call my driver later to have him come and get me."

Grant smiles, "Okay then. Let's get you up to bed, bear," he lifts Sara off of the floor and hoists her over his shoulder, carrying her like a sack of flour up the stairs. Skye follows after them, watching their interaction with a smile on her face.


"Did you call your driver?" Grant whispers to Skye as he closes Sara's bedroom door.

"Texted him," she corrects, "He said he'll be here in less than a half hour."

"Cool. Well, why don't we go downstairs and wait in the living room."

"Sure," she replies, walking in front of him down the stairs and into the living. They both sit down next to each other on the couch, a small bit of space between them.

"Skye," Grant speaks up, "I uh, I just want you to know that I had a really great time tonight, at dinner."

Skye smiles gently at him, "I did too."

Grant lets out a breath he didn't realize he was holding, "You did? Thank goodness. I thought it was just me," he chuckles.

"No, it wasn't just you. I really like you, Grant."

Grant smiles at her, "I really like you too. And I was wondering, if maybe, you'd uh, you'd consider being my girlfriend?" He looks at her shyly. "I mean, I know we've barely met, and you're kinda famous and what-not, and I'm just some random guy. And we've only been on one date, but—"

"Yes," she cuts him off.

"Yes what?" he asks.

She smiles and laughs quietly, "Yes, I'll be your girlfriend."

"You will?" He asks for clarification. "You're not just saying that to shut me up?"

"No," she tells him. "I'm saying yes to being your girlfriend, because I really like you."

He smiles, "Awesome."

"So," she says, "do we make it public that we're together? Or just try and keep things low key for a while, see what happens?"

"Well, I don't know about you, but I don't really want to hide from the world. I want them to know that I'm with such an amazing woman. But I also know that if we do announce things to the world, Sara could become a target for the paparazzi, and I don't want that for her. Not right now at least."

"I definitely agree with you, I really do. But I know for a fact, that ever since we met, I haven't really been able to stop thinking about you."

"I haven't been able to stop thinking about you either. But uh, what about your parents. Are they going to hurt me or something, if we decide to tell them about us?"

"Well, if I know my parents, and I do. Then if you ever even think about hurting me, they won't hesitate to kill you, or something brutal. Especially my mom. Though they probably won't kill you because you have a daughter."

"Wow. You certainly don't sugar coat it," he says.

"There is no sugar coating when it comes to my parents and their only daughter."

"Believe me, I get where they're coming from. But what about us? What happens now? I know I'm probably not your usual choice of guy."

"You're right," she tells him, "you're not. You're different."

"A good different?"

"A very good different," she smiles. "And I want to see where this," she gestures between the two of them, "goes."

"I want to see too," he tells her.

"Great," she smiles. They just sit there for a moment, in a silence, not an awkward silence, just silence.

A knock at the front door breaks them both out of the reverie and Skye stands up from the couch, "That must be my ride." She steps over to the front door, Grant right behind her, and opens it. Her driver, Mack, is standing on the front porch. "Hey Mack," she smiles at the tall man.

"Hey Skye. Are you ready to go?" He asks her.

"Just give me one more second," she tells him, "Keep the car running."

"Of course," he smiles and then makes his way back to the car.

Skye turns to Grant and smiles, "Well, I guess that this is goodnight."

"Yeah," Grant smiles. He shifts awkwardly on his feet, "We should definitely do this again though, soon."

"I agree," she smiles. Skye leans forward to place a kiss on Grant's cheek, when at the last second, he turns his head and catches her lips in his own. Skye stills for a moment, before relaxing into the kiss. She brings one hand up to rest on Grant's cheek, while the other goes to his side. Grant reaches one hand out and grabs Skye's waist, pulling her just a hair closer, while his other hand tangles itself in her hair.

After a moment, due to the need to breath, they pull apart, resting their foreheads together. "Wow," Skye breathes out, her eyes still closed.

"First kiss, check," Grant smiles.

Skye opens her eyes and smiles back at him, "And it was one heck of a first kiss."

"That it was," he replies, pulling her into a hug. Skye hugs him back, resting her head against his chest. "Text me when you get home, okay?"

She nods her head against his body, "I will."

"Good. I want to know that you're safe at home."

Skye pulls back from the hug and looks up at him, "I'll see you soon."

"Yes you will," he smiles back.

She leans up and presses a small, chaste kiss to the corner of his mouth, before reluctantly removing herself from his warm embrace. She makes her way down the small porch, towards the car, "Goodnight, Grant," she turns and waves at him.

He waves back, "Goodnight, Skye."

Chapter Text

*July 4, 2014*

"Good morning," Grant says as he and Sara enter the lounge room of one of the recording booths. He walks up to Skye and leans down, pressing a kiss to the side of her head. Then he sits on the arm of the couch next to her.

"Hey guys," she smiles.

"Hi Skye," Sara smiles, plopping herself down next to Skye on the couch. "What are you doing?"

"Right now I'm just taking a short break before trying to finish this song that I've been writing."

"Cool. Can we stay and watch?"

"Of course you can," Skye smiles, "I'd be sad if you didn't want to."

Sara smiles back and then looks up at her dad, "Dad, did you hear that? We get to stay and watch Skye write one of her songs. This is so cool!" She begins bouncing excitedly in her seat.

"I heard her, bear," Grant smiles. "Now quit bouncing."

"Okay Skye, break time is over," a blond haired man says as he walks into the room. When he sees Grant and Sara, he stops and points in their direction. "Who are they and why are they in here?"

Skye rolls her eyes at the man and stands up, walking towards him, "Relax Clint. That's my boyfriend, Grant, and his daughter, Sara. They're going to sit in while we finish up."

"I don't—"

"Clint," a woman with dark red hair appears in the room, "Stop. If Skye wants them here, then they are welcome to be here."

"Thanks Tasha," Skye smiles at the woman.

"No problem kid," she smiles. "He's just territorial."

"Yeah, I know," Skye snickers. "Grant, Sara, this is Clint Barton, one of the studio engineers. And this is his wife Natasha, my manager."

"Tasha, this is my boyfriend, Grant Ward, and his daughter, Sara."

"It's nice to meet you both," Natasha says to Grant and Sara.

"Your hair is really pretty," Sara says to Natasha.

The woman smiles, "Thank you, Sara. I think your hair is very pretty as well." Sara beams up at her. Natasha turns to Skye and Clint. "Now then, shall we finish this song? I'm sure that these kids have some fun plans for today."

"We're gonna watch Independence Day," Sara pipes up from her spot on the couch. "Skye hasn't seen it yet, so dad and I are going to watch it with her."

"Well then I guess it's a good thing she has the two of you to show it to her," she smiles at Sara and then turns to Skye, "Alright Skye, grab your notebook." Skye walks over to a small table, picking up a leather-bound notebook, and then sits down in a chair next to Clint. Natasha takes her place next to Clint at the table to one side of the room.

Clint leans back in his chair and speaks, "Okay. Where were we?"


"Alright," Grant says as he enters the family room, a bowl of popcorn in his hands, "the popcorn is popped, everyone has their drink. Is the movie ready to go?"

Sara nods her head, "Yep. I skipped over all the previews, so it's on the menu now. We were just waiting for you to get back with the popcorn."

"Good." He takes his place on the couch, sitting down in between Sara and Skye; both girls immediately curl into his side. He smiles at them. "Remote please," he says to Sara. She hands it to him. "Skye," he says to his girlfriend, "Get ready for a wild ride. This movie is amazing. It's a classic."

"It really is," Sara adds. "Dad and I watch it every year, and it never gets old."

"Well then, it better live up to the pretty high expectations you two are setting for it."

"Oh trust me," Grant says confidently, "it will."

"Play the movie then," she says, popping a piece of popcorn into her mouth with a smile.

"Your wish is my command," he says, clicking the play button on the remote, the menu disappearing and the opening credits rolling across the screen.

"Dad!" Sara whisper yells, as the movie plays out on the screen in front of them, "The speech! It's time for the speech!"

"I know, bear," he chuckles, "You ready?" She nods her head. They wait for a moment, for the right moment of the movie.

On the screen, the president steps up into the back of a truck, the PA intercom in his hand. "Good morning," he says into the intercom. Both Grant and Sara excitedly sit forwards in their seats, ready for their moment.

"Good morning," they recite along with the President, "In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind. 'Mankind.' That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom…Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution…but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in once voice: 'We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!'"

"That was adorable," Skye smiles at Grant and Sara, a hand over her mouth.

"Why thank you," Grant smiles in her direction. "Now back to the movie. It's just getting good."


"So who's exactly going to be at this party?" Grant asks when Skye enters the living room after having changed into her 'party attire' as she put it. She's wearing a pair of blue, skinny jeans, a thin, red and white striped over shirt, one side of the front is blue with tiny white stars, a matching pocket on the opposite side; a white tank top underneath of it. A red white and blue hair band is wrapped up in her hair, and she has a pair of red and white, thin striped, slip on shoes.

"Most of them will just be people from the Studio;" she tells him, "managers, producers, engineers, signed artists, even the custodial staff is invited. Some of them bring their families along as well. Everyone is really close though, so we usually have a lot of fun." She moves over to the couch an sits down next to him.

"And SHIELD Studios does this every year?"

Skye nods her head, "Yep. Every Fourth of July for as long as I can remember. My parents have been working there since I was a baby, because my dad is long-time friends with Nick. I always hung out there, deciding to stay near my mom because my dad was always busy being a busy working man. I also like to hang out with Clint in the recording booths. Sometimes he'd let me mess around in the booth, just singing random songs. I didn't know it, but he secretly recorded all of the songs I sang. And he showed them to my parents and Nick. I was also putting cover videos on YouTube quite a bit, and people seemed to really enjoy the videos. Then, in my senior year of high school, pretty much everyone in the Studio urged me to pursue a music career when I finished school. I was hesitant at first, but after the huge positive response I got from the people who had already been watching my videos, I decided to give it a shot, and I grew to really love it."

"And now you are one of the most successful singers in the US."

Skye smiles, "Yeah. I guess there's that too."

"I'm ready!" Sara announces as she makes her way down the stairs. She's wearing a pair of red shorts, a white, short sleeved, t-shirt with a faded America flag covering the front. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail, and she's wearing a pair of white flip flops on her feet. "Dad, where's your patriotism?"

Grant looks down at his outfit; a simple pair of blue jeans, tennis shoes, and a white t-shirt. "I thought I looked pretty festive."

Sara sighs, "Fine."

"Great," Grant smiles. "Shall we head out?"

"Yes!" Sara exclaims. "I'm so excited! I love the Fourth of July!"

"Me too," Skye smiles, "and SHIELD Studios throws the best party for the Fourth."

"I can't wait," Sara smiles. "I just wish that Uncle Fitz could come too."

"I know you do, bear," Grant replies. "But he has a big party that he has to cater for. He tried to see if someone else could do it, but the host of the party only wanted him."

Sara sighs, "Okay."

"Don't look so sad," Skye tells her, "This party is going to be really fun."

"I hope so. I've always seen the pictures online from the people who get to go to this party, and I've always wondered how cool it really was."

"Then let's go." Skye stands up from the couch, pulling Grant up as well. She pushes them both towards the front door, "This party is going to be amazing."


"Whoa," Sara says when they reach the backyard of SHIELD Studios, "this is so cool." There are red, white, and blue streamers hanging in the trees. To one side of the yard, there are tables set up for all of the food. Red, white, and blue paper stars attached string are wrapped around the table in a bunting style. A grill is set up near the tables, already cooking the burgers and hot dogs for consumption. At the other end, there are firework stands set up, ready to be loaded.

"You think so?" Skye asks, swinging her and Sara's entwined hands back and forth.

Sara looks up at her and nods her head, "Uh-huh."

"Well I'm glad," she smiles.

"Skye!"

At hearing her name, she turns around to see a man and a woman walking towards her, smiles on both of their faces. Skye smiles at them, "Lance, Bobbi, how are you guys?" She greets the both of them with a hug.

"We're doing alright," Bobbi replies.

"Except for the fact that I was trying to work on one of my new songs earlier today, and she kept trying to distract me," Lance complains. "Drove me nearly insane."

Bobbi looks at him and smirks, "I didn't hear too much complaining from your end eventually."

"Lance, Bobbi," Skye speaks up before either of them say anything else, "I want you to meet my boyfriend, Grant, and his daughter, Sara."

"It's nice to meet you," Grant says, holding his hand out to the both of them.

"It's nice to meet you as well," Bobbie smiles kindly at him, accepting his hand.

"Yeah," Lance agrees with his wife. "What she said." Bobbi and Skye just roll their eyes.

"Are you Lance Hunter?" Sara asks, looking up at Lance. "The one who sometimes sings on some of Skye's songs?"

"As a matter of fact, I am." He smiles at her. "Are you a fan?"

Sara shrugs her shoulders and the smile falls from Lance's face. Skye, Bobbi, and Grant just chuckle to themselves. Sara turns to look at Bobbi, "You're really pretty," she says with a smile.

"Thank you," Bobbi smiles back, "You are very pretty as well."

"Thanks," Sara smiles.

"Hey Sara," Grant speaks up, "I think there are some games and things over there," he points to one side of the spacious backyard. There is a group of kids already playing together. "Why don't you go and see what's there. Maybe see if some of those kids want to play with you."

"Okay, do you think Bobbi will come play with me?"

"She might if you ask her."

Sara turns to face Bobbi, looking up at her shyly, "Bobbi?"

"Yes sweetheart?"

"Will you come and play some games with me?"

"I would love to," Bobbi smiles. She turns to her husband and plants a kiss on his cheek, "I'll see you later," she tells him. She turns back towards Sara and holds her hand out to the little girl. Sara gladly accepts the hand and she and Bobbi walk hand in hand to where all of the toys and games are located.

"I swear mate," Lance starts up, looking directly at Grant, "if my wife starts wanting to have kids because of your girl over there…"

"Oh shut it, Lance," Skye rolls her eyes. "You're married. There is nothing wrong with having kids when you're married."

"Yes, that's true. But we've never really had a real conversation about the whole thing. I think we briefly talked about it when we first got married, but it hasn't really come up since then."

"Okay Lance," Skye says. "Well, we're going to go somewhere else, so I can introduce Grant to more people. See you later."

"Yeah, fine. I need a beer anyways." He turns around and walks away in search of a cold beer.

"Is he always like that?" Grant asks Skye when Lance is out of earshot.

"Pretty much," Skye replies.

"Good to know," Grant chuckles. "Why don't we go find some drinks? I think I'm getting kinda thirsty."

"Follow me then," Skye smiles, holding his hand in hers and pulling him over to where the drinks are laid out on one of the many tables. "Well it looks like we have a few different soda choices, some lemonade, or water."

"There's beer in the cooler over there," someone says from behind them.

Skye turns around to see Tripp standing in front of her, a smile on his face. "Tripp!" She steps forward, wrapping the man in a hug.

He hugs her back, "How are you?"

"Good. You?"

"Doing alright? Who's this guy?" Tripp gestures towards Grant.

"Oh," Skye says, reaching out for Grant to take her hand in his, "Tripp, this is my boyfriend, Grant Ward. Grant, this is Antoine Triplett. He's Jemma's bodyguard."

"It's nice to meet you Antoine," Grant holds his hand out.

Tripp accepts the hand, "Please, call me Tripp. No one really calls me Antoine except for my mama."

"Tripp it is then," Grant smiles at him.

"So how long have the two of you been together?" Tripp asks, taking a sip of his beer.

"Just a couple of weeks," Skye tells him.

"I see," Tripp smiles. He looks at Grant, "So you haven't gotten to see her really wild side just yet then."

"You have a wild side?" Grant smiles with a raised eyebrow at Skye.

Skye rolls her eyes, "I was just a bit stupid when I was younger. Got into a few tiffs here and there."

"A few tiffs?!" Tripp exclaims with a laugh, "That's funny. Because the way that Jemma tells it, most of the stuff you did was way more than just a tiff."

"Let's just stop talking about my younger, idiotic self, okay?" She says to Tripp. "I'd really rather not relive those moments. I just want to enjoy this beautiful summer day, and have fun with all of my friends."

Tripp holds his hands up in a surrender position, "Alright, alright," he smiles, "I won't say another word."

"Thank you," she lets out a relieved sigh.

"But that doesn't mean I won't tell Jemma to tell Grant all your dirty secrets," he says to her as he turns around and walks away.

"Antoine!" She shouts at his retreating back.

"Relax," Grant chuckles, placing his hands on her shoulders.

"Sorry," she sighs, "It's just, I really like you. And I don't want your opinion of me to change just because of the stupid stuff that I used to do when I was younger. I'm not like that anymore."

"I really like you too," he tells her. "So believe me when I say that nothing you could have done is going to change any of that. You say that you aren't that person anymore, and I believe you."

She smiles up at him, "Thank you."

"Anytime," he smiles back. "Now, let's go find those beers. I think we both could use one."

"Yes please."


"Hello, can I have everyone's attention please." Everyone in the yard turns to face the end with the tables, putting all of their attention on the man standing up. He's a tall, African American man, with no hair on his head, and a black patch over one of his eyes. He's wearing a pair of dark blue jeans, and a plain white t-shirt with an American flag in the corner of it.

"Who's that?" Grant whispers in Skye's ear.

"That's Nick Fury," she tells him, "He's the owner of SHIELD Studios."

"Ah. He looks kind of intimidating."

"Everyone thinks that. But he's a pretty big softy when you get to know him."

"For those of you who may not know me," Nick continues, "I am Nick Fury. I want to welcome you all here to SHIELD Studios' annual Fourth of July BBQ and Fireworks show." A bunch of people start cheering. "The fireworks will come a little bit later this evening, when it gets darker. Before I let you all get back to the party, it's time to sing our National Anthem, and then we'll have some food. Like every year, our Anthem will be sung by the very talented, Skye."

"You didn't tell me you were going to be singing," Grant whispers to Skye.

"Surprise," she smiles. She drops his hand and then makes her way over to where Nick is standing. She smiles at him. "Thanks Nick." Turning to face the large group of people in front of her, Skye clears her throat and then opens her mouth to sing.

O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

When she finishes singing, everyone around her cheers. She smiles at them all, "Happy Fourth of July everybody! Enjoy the party and enjoy the food." Then she makes her way back over to where Grant is standing in the grass.

"That was great," he smiles at her, leaning forward to press a kiss to her cheek.

"Thanks," she smiles.

"Hi daddy!" Sara smiles as she runs over to them, a smile on her face. "Great job, Skye."

"Thanks, Sara," Skye smiles. And then she takes notice of the damp shirt Sara is wearing. "Why is your shirt all wet?"

Sara glances down at her shirt and then back up to her dad and Skye, "Water fight." She tells them. "We all ganged up on Bobbi, but then she grabbed the bucket of water and dumped the entire thing on all of us. A couple of us got completely soaked."

"Good for her," Grant says.

"You're supposed to be on my side, dad," Sara tells him.

"Says who?"

"I don't know. You just are."

"I'll let you keep thinking that," he tells her. "Now go and get some food please, before you go back and play. But not too much dessert."

"Okay. Bye dad. Bye Skye."

"Bye," they say at the same time, watching Sara make her way over to the line of people already getting their food.

"Those kids kidnapped my wife," Lance complains as he moves to stand next to Skye.

"What do you mean they kidnapped her?" Skye asks him.

"All afternoon I haven't been able to talk to her because all of those kids wanted her to play with them. I have needs too you know."

"Oh Lance," Skye says, patting him on the back as she and Grant move towards the food.


"Okay," Nick Fury says from the far end of the yard, "I want to thank everyone who helped to organize this year's Fourth of July Party. It turned out to be a huge success. And now, it is time for what you have all been waiting for. The fireworks show." Everyone in the yard cheers. "So, everyone please get comfortable, there are some blankets on the tables at the back if you want them, and the show will begin in just a few minutes."

Grabbing a blanket off of the table near her, Skye grabs Grant's hand in her own and leads him over to a section of the grass, "This'll be the perfect place to watch the show," she tells him, laying out the blanket. She sits down on the blanket and smiles up at him, "Sit down," she says, patting the spot on the blanket next to her. He smiles and sits down next to her, wrapping his arm around her waist to pull her close. She smiles back and leans into his embrace.

"Daddy!" Sara says, running up to them and stopping right in front of the blanket. "Can I sit with Bobbi? She said that I can if you say it's okay."

"Sure," he smiles at his daughter, "go ahead."

"Thanks!" She smiles and then runs over to where Bobbi is sitting in one of the lawn chairs. She climbs up into Bobbi's lap and leans back against her chest, watching the night sky in anticipation.

"She really seems to have taken to Bobbi," Grant points out, watching his daughter talk animatedly with the other woman.

"Bobbi loves kids," Skye tells him, "For as long as I've known her, she's always been really great with any kid she comes across. All the people who work for the studio, they're kids all love her, hence why she was hanging out with them all afternoon. I'm actually surprised that she and Lance don't have any kids of their own yet."

"Give them time," Grant smiles, "I've only just met them, but I'm sure that she'll break him down eventually."

Skye laughs, "Yeah, I can't tell you how many things Lance did that he didn't want to, only because Bobbi asked him to."

"I can only imagine," he smiles.

"Ooh!" Skye says when she sees the men down front beginning to light the many fireworks. "The show's about to start." She leans further into Grant's embrace, tilting her head up to look towards the sky, ready for the fireworks to explode into their beautiful colors.


"Whoa!" Sara exclaims as a firework explodes in the sky above her. "Bobbi, did you see that one?"

"Yeah," Bobbi smiles, "That one was pretty big."

"I love the Fourth of July," Sara tells her.

"Me too," Bobbi smiles, "The Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday."

"Christmas has always been my favorite, but this party is one of the best parties I've ever been to."

"I know what you mean about the party," Bobbi tells her as two smaller fireworks explode in the sky. "I've been coming to this party for years, and I always look forward to it. But SHIELD's Christmas party is always fun too."

"Do you think that Skye will invite me and my dad to the Christmas party too?" she turns her head to look back at Bobbi.

"Well I don't see why not." Bobbi tells her. "I think you both would have a lot of fun there. There are always a lot of fun things there. And the food is pretty good too."

"Cool," Sara says, leaning back against Bobbi's chest. "I like you, Bobbi." She says nonchalantly.

Bobbi smiles, hugging the child closer to her, "I like you too, Sara."

From his spot next to them, Lance just smiles at his wife and Sara. Maybe having a kid of his own wouldn't be so bad. So long as the kid was as beautiful as his wife, he'd be fine.


Hearing a laugh coming from just a little ways in front of her, Jemma looks up to see Skye and Grant curled up together on the grass, watching the fireworks. Skye's head is leaning on Grant's shoulder, his arm wrapped tightly around her waist. Jemma smiles at the sight of her best friend, glad that she is so happy. She pulls her phone out of her pocket, sliding the camera icon up. She watches as Grant and Skye both tilt their heads towards each other, sharing a kiss. Just as Jemma presses the capture button, a firework lights up in front of her friends. After she snaps the photo, she looks down at her phone, grinning at the perfect moment she managed to capture.

Unlocking her phone, she goes to her Instagram app, and then clicks on the new photo icon. When it loads, she clicks on the camera roll button, and then selects the photo she just took. Tapping inside the caption box, she begins to type. Happy Fourth of July to all of my American friends and fans! Hope you're all having an excellent holiday [smiley face emoji] [firework emoji]. Clicking on the Tag Photo button, she selects Skye's face and then types in her Instagram handle, clicking on it when it appears. Satisfied with what she has done, she looks down at the Share section, clicking on the Twitter button. Then she clicks on the green share button, and waits for the picture to upload itself to Instagram. Once it does, she smiles, locking her phone and slipping it back into her pocket.

"Why are you so smiley?" Tripp whispers in her ear.

She turns to look at him, "Grant and Skye. They look so happy together."

Tripp cranes his neck to get a good look at the couple and smiles, "Yeah. They definitely look happy."

"I can't even remember a time when Skye was happier," Jemma replies. "Even that time when she won her first award. Right now, she is much happier than that."


Pulling up to the front of Skye's house, Grant shifts the car into park and turns to face her. "I had a really great time tonight, thanks for bringing us along." He glances back at Sara, sound asleep in the backseat of the car.

"Well thanks for coming with, I had a really great time as well. I'm sorry my parents weren't there though, I forgot that they went on a business trip and their flight was delayed, unfortunately. I was really hoping that you could meet them."

"It's fine," Grant says, "I'll just have to meet them some other time."

"Yes you will," she smiles. She leans forward and presses a quick kiss to his lips. When she pulls away she's still smiling, "I'm going to go inside now. To get some sleep."

Grant smiles and presses his own lips to hers, "Okay," he says against her lips. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," she whispers, and then reaches behind her to open the car door. Slipping out of the car, she shuts the door and gives Grant a final wave before turning around and walking up to her house. Pulling out her key, she unlocks the front door, steps inside and shuts the door behind her. She tiredly makes her way up the stairs to her bedroom.

Entering her room, she flops down onto her bed, letting out a happy sigh. Today was such a good day, better than most days. It was even somehow a better Fourth of July party, even though it was the same as every other year. Except for the fact that she had a guy she really likes there.

Reaching into her pocket, she pulls out her phone and unlocks it, going for Instagram. She scrolls through her feed, liking the occasional photo posted by her friends. She stops when she sees Jemma's latest photo from earlier in the evening. It's a picture of her and Grant kissing, with a firework exploding in the background. She shakes her head at her friends' antics, but saves the photo to her camera roll anyways.

When she finishes scrolling, she clicks on the new photo icon, going to her camera roll. She selects the picture that Jemma took and waits for it to load. When it does, she clicks in the caption box and begins typing, Celebrated the Fourth of July right, with my favorite guy :) (Photo cred: JemmaS)

Chapter Text

*July 5, 2014*

A NEW MAN FOR EVERYONES FAVORITE SINGER?

It's pretty much common knowledge that hit sensation, Skye, has been single for a while. A few years ago a rumor had surfaced, stating that Skye was involved with, Antoine Triplett, a bodyguard employed by Skye's record label SHIELD, but those rumors were quickly shut down. "Tripp and I are just really close friends. He's like a brother to me," the young starlet had said on the matter.

Skye's last known long term relationship, with an up and comer in the movie industry, Miles Lydon, had ended very badly for the singer. Since then, Skye has not been seen in any sort of romantic entanglement with any of the men in her life. Which is why a photo that surfaced on her Instagram page just last night has been raising questions, as well as a few theories, from the fans.

In this photo, credit of which is given to her best friend and well-known model, Jemma Simmons, Skye can be seen locking lips with an unknown man (See: photo to the right). There is nothing in this photo that can help to distinguish who this mystery man might be, though that is not stopping her fans from leaving comments all throughout the night, and well into the morning, trying to come up with answers as to who this man is. Some fans think that it might be her ex, Miles; that the two have decided to give it another try, despite the way things ended between them. Others figure that it might be Antoine, that the rumor was true, and they've just been very good at keeping it a secret. Others believe that it is a man who is not in the spotlight at all. Could this mystery man just be another regular person, and not someone in the industry?

Sound off in the comments below and let us know who you think Skye's new man is.

Letting out a big sigh, Skye falls back onto her pillow, thinking about the article she just read. Sometimes she wonders if being famous is really worth it. People are always trying to delve deeper into her personal life, so much so, that it gets very irritating, making her want to yell at them all to leave her alone and worry about their own lives. Though, there'd be no use trying to stop being famous at this point in her life, because everyone already knows who she is.

Skye lets out another sigh, reaching over to her nightstand to pick up her phone. Unlocking it, she goes to her contact list. She goes straight to her favorites, selecting Grant's name. She hits the call button, holds the phone up to her ear and waits for him to answer.

"Hello?" she hears his voice on the other end.

"Hey," she smiles into the phone, "What's up?"

"Not a whole lot. Sara's still asleep. I think she's worn out from the party last night."

"That's completely understandable," Skye replies. "When I was a kid I'd get so worn out from pretty much every SHIELD party that I attended. I hope she had a good time though."

"I'm sure she did," Grant assures her, "I think she really enjoyed the fact that other kids actually wanted to hang out with her. She doesn't really get that at school, so I'm sure she had a blast."

"I'm glad she enjoyed herself. It's too bad that no one at school wants to hang out with her. I can't even begin to imagine what that's like."

"So I take it that you were pretty popular in school," Grant states.

Skye shrugs, but then remembers that Grant can't actually see her, "I guess you could say that. I mean, I wasn't like, ultra popular, but I did have my fair share of friends. And I got invited to a lot of parties and things. Plus I did after school activities and things like that. Ooh! Maybe Sara could do a sport or something," Skye suggests, "that might help her make some friends."

"She actually takes dance classes throughout the year. She really enjoys it. I don't know what the friend situation is like there, but I think she gets along okay with the other kids there."

"It must be hard," Skye says to him, "Seeing her sad all the time from not having friends, but not being able to do anything about it."

Grant sighs, "It really is. I just wish there was something I could do."

"If it makes you feel any better, I think that she and Ace hit it off pretty well at the party last night. At least, that's what Bobbi told me. She was hanging out with all of the kids at the party, pretty much the entire time, and she told me that Ace and Sara were practically glued to the hip for part of the night."

"You know what, that does actually make me feel a bit better."

"I'm glad I could help," Skye smiles.

"So long as Ace doesn't try anything in the years to come, I think I'll be fine with the two of them being friends."

Skye rolls her eyes, "Relax, Grant. I can promise you that he won't try anything, ever. Mike has been raising him to be a gentleman around girls of any age. And to respect them all, no matter what."

"He sounds like an excellent father," Grant says.

"He really is. His wife died when Ace was just a baby, so he's had to raise him alone."

"It's great to hear of other dads who don't give up on their kids, even when things get rough."

"I thought you'd like hearing that." There's a brief pause, and Skye speaks again. "Hey, so, I have a question for you."

"Shoot." He tells her.

"Well, I was just wondering if you'd seen this article that just popped up earlier this morning? I'm thinking that you might not have, because I don't think you're the type of person to scour the internet for articles about me and my personal life."

"No I am not," Grant chuckles, "What was the article about that surfaced this morning?"

"Um…it's about you and me. And I don't mean that it's directly about you and me, because no one knows that we're together. But this website used the picture a picture that I reposted from Jemma's Instagram, of the two of kissing last night while fireworks went off, and then they wrote this little article, basically trying to theorize about who you could be."

"Oh. Okay."

"You don't have anything else to say about this?" Skye questions him, slightly worried.

"I didn't think there really was anything else to say. You had to have known that something like this was going to happen eventually, right? If Jemma didn't post that picture last night, it just might have been a little bit longer before people started noticing us hanging out together a lot more."

"You are taking this really well."

"Do you want me to start freaking out about it?" He asks her. "Because I can do that if you really want me to."

Skye laughs quietly, "No, you don't need to start freaking out."

"That's good. Because I don't think there's a real reason to freak out."

"Okay. So you aren't going to freak out when I suggest that I post a picture of the two of us last night, on my Instagram? That way this whole theorizing thing can stop. Because I really don't know how much more I can take of people commenting on whom I'm dating. Some of the suggestions are ridiculous."

"It's fine, Skye. I don't mind you posting pictures of us. It just lets the world know that you are, in fact, in a relationship. And a happy one, I might add."

Skye smiles, "Yes. I am very happy with this relationship. It's different than any of my previous ones, but I'm okay with that. Sometimes it's okay for things to be different, to shake things up a little bit."

"Then it's settled. You are going to post a picture of the two of us, letting everyone out there know that you are in a happy, and committed relationship. And I am going to change my Facebook status to single, now that I think about it."

"You haven't done that yet?"

"No. Have you? Because I distinctly remember us agreeing that we'd keep this all low-key, for a little while. But if you're posting a picture of us, I'm changing my relationship status. As soon as I figure out how to do that."

Skye giggles, "You're not too good with technology, are you?"

"I have my limitations."

"Okay. Well, I'm going to go now, so I can post that picture, and I have a few things that I need to get done. But I'll talk to you later, yeah?"

"Of course. Bye."

"Bye."

Ending the call, Skye pulls the phone away from her ear and goes directly to her Instagram app. When it opens, she spends a minute scrolling through her feed, liking the occasional photograph. Once done, she hits the new photo button, and goes to her camera roll, finding a picture from the previous night to post. She scrolls through her pictures, looking for just the right photo to use.

After less than a minute of looking, she finds the perfect photo. It's a shot of the two of them together, from the waist up, taken by someone at the party. Grant's arm is wrapped around Skye's waist, holding her close, and she has both of her arms wrapped around his middle. Skye is looking directly at the camera, a huge, slightly-cheesy smile on her face, while Grant's gaze is directed down at her, a look of pure affection written across his face.

Smiling at the photo, she selects it, and then taps in the caption box once it appears. For those of you who were curious. :) Hitting the 'share to twitter' button, as well as the 'share to facebook' button, she then hits the larger green share button, waiting as the picture loads itself to Instagram.

After a moment, she refreshes her feed, and then decides to look at the comments on her latest picture. She can't help but smile as she reads them.

"I knew it wasn't Miles! The entire time they were together I knew they weren't right for each other. This new guy looks promising, just look at his face! He's totally into her!"

"He's so cute!"

"Good job, Skye! Way to land a hot one!"

"You guys are adorable together!"

"Cute!"

"He's so handsome!"

"Aww! So happy for you, Skye! I love you! Way to go!"

"I don't recognize this guy; he must not be in the industry. But that's okay, cause he's pretty cute, and you guys look great together."

"Congrats on the new relationship! You both look really happy together, hope it lasts for quite a while. :)"

Chapter Text

*July 7, 2014*

Making her way down the stairs, Sara finds her dad sitting on the couch in the living room, typing on his laptop, the local news playing on the TV. "Hey daddy." She speaks up.

He turns his head to look at her and smiles, "Hey bear. What's up?"

"I have my dance recital next Saturday," she tells him, moving closer to the couch.

"I know," he smiles, "And I can't wait to see what you've been working on."

"Uncle Fitz is coming too, right?" she asks.

"Of course he is," Grant tells her, "he already promised you that he'd be there."

"Okay," Sara moves and sits down next to him, "Well, I have a question."

"And what is your question?"

"Do you think that Skye will want to come to my recital?"

Grant smiles, "You can always ask her and find out."

"Can you ask her for me?"

"Why don't you want to ask her?"

"Because she might say no."

Grant wraps his arm around her shoulders and pulls her close, "You know what, it would probably mean a lot more to her, if the question came from you."

"I guess so," she shrugs.

"Why don't I call her, and then you can ask her, okay?"

Sara nods her head, "Okay."

Grant smiles at her and then leans forward to grab his phone from the coffee table. He goes into his contacts, scrolling until he finds Skye's number, and then he hits the call button. He waits as the phone rings, and after just three rings, he hears Skye's voice on the other end.

"Hey handsome," she says to him.

"Hey Skye," he replies with a smile.

"Why are you calling?" She asks him. "Not that I mind. I'm just curious."

"Well, I have someone here who wants to ask you a question."

"Alright," Skye says, "ask away."

Grant smiles and hands the phone to Sara, "Ask away," he tells her.

Sara holds the phone up to her ear, and speaks, "Skye, it's Sara."

"Hey Sara. What's up?"

"Um, I was wondering, if maybe, you wanted to come to my dance recital next Saturday?"

"You want me to come to your dance recital?" Skye says.

"Yeah," Sara replies.

"Hmm. I think I remember your dad telling me that you take dance classes. How long have you been dancing?"

"I've been in classes since I was three."

"That's awesome. What time is your performance?"

"It's at 7."

"Hmm. 7 o'clock next Saturday. I will definitely be there."

Sara smiles wide, "Really? Yes! Thank you, Skye!"

"You're welcome, Sara."

"I can't wait for you to see me dance."

"I can't wait either," Skye says.

"Also," Sara continues, "I was wondering if you could ask Jemma if she wants to come too."

"You know what, I'm sure she would love to come and watch you dance. But she's going to be in New York that weekend for a photo shoot."

"Oh," Sara says, "Okay."

"But I will tell her that you invited her. Alright?"

"Okay."

"Good. Now give me back to your dad, okay?"

"Okay," Sara says, "bye, Skye."

"Bye, Sara."

Sara pulls the phone away from her ear and holds it out to her dad, "Here dad."

"Thanks. Now go and unload the dishwasher please."

Sara huffs, "Fine."

Grant watches her walk towards the kitchen, and then he puts the phone to his ear, "Hey."

"Hey yourself," she says back.

"So you're going to come to Sara's recital next week?"

"Yep," she says, "I'm really looking forward to it."

"Well, you are in for a real treat."

"I'm hoping so." She smiles into the phone.


*July 12, 2014*

"Do you see her?" Grant asks Skye and Fitz as they all stand at the back of the auditorium, Grant and Skye's fingers intertwined together. They are all craning their necks above the large sea of people, trying to locate Sara.

"No." Fitz says, "I can't spot her."

"Neither can I," Skye says, "She's so small that she gets lost within the crowd."

"Tell me about it," Grant says. The three of them continue looking for Sara, before Grant finally spots his daughter, also looking around the auditorium for the three of them. "Oh, there she is," Grant says to Skye and Fitz. "Sara!" He calls out into the crowd, waving his hand into the air to try and catch her attention.

Sara looks up in their direction and smiles, "Dad! Skye! Uncle Fitz!" She rushes over to them and jumps straight into her dad's arms, hugging him tightly.

"You were great out there, Sara," he tells her, placing a kiss to her cheek.

"Thanks daddy. Uncle Fitz?" She turns her head towards her Uncle.

"Do I really have to say it, Sara? You were absolutely remarkable."

"Thanks. Skye, what did you think?" She looks to the woman she admires and has a hopeful smile on her face.

"I think that you did very well," Skye smiles at her, "You have a real talent for dancing."

"You really think so?" Sara asks with a happy smile.

"I know so," Skye tells her. "Now, it could just be me, but I think that we should go out and celebrate."

"Can we dad?" Sara asks, looking at him expectantly.

"I don't see why not," He says. "A great performance deserves an even greater reward."

"Can we get ice cream?"

"Of course. There's nothing better."

"Yes!" Sara exclaims. She jumps out of her dad's arms and begins making her way to the front door of the auditorium.

"Sara!" Grant calls after his daughter, but to no avail. He turns to his friend, "Fitz?"

"Uncle Fitz is on it," he replies, giving a small salute and then begins chasing after his niece.

Skye lets out a small laugh, "He really is into this whole Uncle thing. I love it."

Grant smiles, "Yeah. And Sara really loves him, so it all works out great in the end."

"That's really great," she smiles up at him. She grabs his hand in her own, linking their fingers together again, "Now, let's go and get some ice cream."


"Hey Fitz?" Grant speaks up as he walks out of Sara's bedroom, "Would you mind staying with Sara for a little while? She's already asleep, but I want someone here in case she wakes up or something. I'm just going to go and take Skye home."

"Yeah, no problem man," Fitz claps him on the back, "and if you don't come back home tonight, I think I'll know the reason as to why. Just be sure to be careful, yeah?"

Grant's eyes go wide, "Really Fitz? I can't believe you're actually trying to have this talk with me."

Fitz shrugs, "If I don't do it, then who's going to?"

Grant sighs, "Whatever. Thanks again for this man."

"Like I said, it's no problem. I don't have work in the morning. Now go, take your girl home, and possibly stay there. If ya want."

"Goodbye Fitz!" Grant calls as he walks towards the front door and out to the car.


"Here we are," Grant says as he pulls into the driveway of Skye's parents' house. He shifts the car into park and turns it off, proceeding to climb out of his side of the car. He walks around to the other side of the car, opening Skye's door to allow her to step out.

"Hey, thanks for coming to her show tonight," Grant says to Skye as they approach the front door of her house; Skye pulls her keys out of her purse.

"It was no problem; I had a lot of fun," Skye tells him, unlocking her front door. "Sara is really talented."

"Yeah, she is. She was really happy that you came, you know. She really likes you."

"And I really like her too; she's a pretty great kid."

"I really mean that, though. I've dated a few other girls before, and Sara was never, well, she never acted the way she does around you, around them."

"Well I'm honored." She tells him.

"I'm just worried," he says quietly, "that if things between us don't work out, she's going to be hurt the worst. And I don't want to do that to her."

"Hey," she says, placing a hand on his cheek, "you have nothing to worry about. Because I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon."

"Really?"

She smiles and nods her head, "You're stuck with me."

"I think I can live with that," he smiles.

"That's good," she says, stepping closer to Grant. She runs her hands up his chest as she bites her bottom lip between her teeth, looking up at him through her eyelashes. With one swift movement, not wanting to wait any longer, Grant grabs her wrists in his and pushes the both of them backwards into her house, turns them around and pushes her back up against the door, slamming it shut.

Before either of them can say anything else, Grant crashes his lips against hers, desperate, hungry, needing more. He traces his tongue across her bottom lip, asking for entrance which she gives him just a moment later. Using one of his hands, Grant grabs Skye's hips and pulls her body as close to his own as he can, deepening the kiss.

Skye kisses him back after she gets her bearings, pouring her own passion and energy into the kiss. When he finally releases her other wrist, she uses it and her other hand to run her fingers through his hair, while both of his hands continuously pull at her hips, wanting her closer.

"I really should get back to Sara," Grant says as he attacks Skye's neck in hungry kisses, leaving his mark.

"Fitz is there," Skye moans out, tilting her head back to give him more access to her body.

"And I don't think your parents will be too happy about us doing this here. Especially your dad," he says as he kisses back up the trail he just made.

"I'm a grown woman," Skye says, jumping up to wrap her legs around his waist, "Plus, mom and dad are both working late, so what they don't know won't hurt them."

Grant smiles against the hot skin of her neck, "I like the way you think," he says slowly into her skin, sending shivers up Skye's spine, making her moan again.

"Why don't we move this to the bed in my room?" Skye suggests, wrapping her arms around his neck to pull him closer.

Grant looks up at her and smiles. He places his hands on her thighs, holding her in place before he turns around and carefully walks them up the stairs. Skye points out which room is her own and he walks them into the room, and to the bed, all the while maintaining contact with her lips.

When he reaches the bed, he leans them down slowly, allowing Skye's back to touch the soft mattress. While kissing her deeply, he runs his hands down her sides, until he reaches the hem of her shirt. Slowly, he moves his fingertips underneath of the hem, teasingly drawing small circles on either of her hips with his thumbs.

"Grant," Skye whispers.

Smirking, Grant uses both of his hands to lift Skye's shirt up and over her head, tossing it to the floor behind him. He pulls back for a mere moment to admire the sheer beauty of the woman beneath him. "What are you staring at?" Skye asks him, confused.

"You are so beautiful," he tells her honestly, "and I thank the stars every night that I was the one you chose to get those tickets."

She smiles at him, "Then why don't you show me just how thankful you are," she says, grabbing his head in her hands and pulling him back down to her, pressing their lips together.

"I think I can do that," he says against her lips.


*July 13, 2014*

Skye's eyelids flutter open slowly, the bright sunlight coming in from the window, shining directly onto her. As she wakes up, she reaches her arms out to stretch, when she feels something wrapped tightly around her body.

Confused at first as to what could be in her bed, the memories of the night before come rushing back to her mind and she can't help but smile and then blush just a little. Turning slowly, she looks to see none other than Grant Ward, her boyfriend, lying beside her.

"Good morning," Grant says, his eyes still closed.

"Morning," Skye whispers back, a smile on her lips.

Grant opens his eyes and looks at Skye, seeing the way that the sunlight hits her just right, making her look like an angel. "So," Grant says.

"So," Skye repeats.

"Last night happened," he tells her.

"Yeah, it did," she smiles.

"You were really great, by the way," he tells her. "Really great."

"Likewise," she smiles. "Especially that part when you…"

"So you liked it?" he asks her.

She shakes her head, "Immensely. What about when I…"

"That was fantastic," he says. "I didn't know that was even possible."

"Well, it is possible."

"And I'm glad that it is," he smiles, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear.

He pulls her closer and shifts down, resting his head gently on her body, right below her bra covered breasts. He holds her close, listening to her heartbeat. Skye smiles down at him, gently running her hands through his hair. He smiles at the gesture, tilting his head slightly to place a kiss to her smooth skin, letting his lips linger for a short moment.

A soft buzzing noise breaks the both of them out of their happy world. Grant lifts his head off of Skye's body to look around, trying to deduce where the sound is coming from.

"What is that?" Skye asks him.

"I think it's my phone," Grant replies. Climbing off of the bed, he walks over to where his pants were shed onto the floor the night before. Reaching into one of the pockets of his pants, he pulls his phone out, seeing Sara's picture on the caller id. Hitting the answer call button, he holds the phone up to his ear. "Hey bear," he says into the phone. "Good morning."

"Morning, dad. Where are you?"

"I stayed at a friends' house last night," he tells her.

"Did you stay at Skye's house?"

"Why—why would you think I stayed at Skye's house?" He asks his daughter, while tossing his eyes up to look at Skye.

"That's what Uncle Fitz said."

"Uncle Fitz told you," he replies with a sigh.

"Yeah. I got up and you weren't here, but Uncle Fitz was. So I asked him where you were, and he hesitated, but then he said Skye's house."

"He's right, bear. I'm at Skye's house."

"When are you going to be home?"

"I don't know. I figured I'd just stay over here for a little while longer, give you some quality time with your Uncle."

"Really?"

"Yeah," he smiles.

"Thanks daddy."

"You're welcome, bear. I'm going to hang up now, okay?"

"Okay. Love you."

"I love you too."

Hanging up the call, he slips his phone back into his pants pocket, letting them fall back onto the floor. Turning around, he makes his way back over to Skye's bed, crawling back onto it and immediately pulling Skye into his arms.

"Was that Sara?" Skye asks him as he resumes his previous position of laying his head on her chest.

"Yeah," he replies.

"And she knows you're here?"

"Mm-hmm."

"She doesn't know why, does she?"

"Not that I know of," he tells her. "Then again, she is a lot smarter than she lets on."

"Okay, cause I mean, I'm fine with her knowing that we're dating, but if she knew that we just had sex, that'd probably scar her. For a while."

"Yeah, you're right." He tilts his head up to look at her, "So, Sara is going to be spending some quality time with Fitz today, which means we have many, many more hours to ourselves. What do you propose that we do today?"

Skye smiles down at him, "Hmmm…" she leans down and ghosts her lips across his, "I'm sure we'll think of something."

Chapter Text

*July 27, 2014*

“That was so much fun,” Sara says, as she walks over to the car, Grant and Skye following closely behind her. “I’ve never been mini-golfing before. And it was glow in the dark, too.”

“Well I’m glad that you had fun,” Skye says as Grant unlocks the car and they all climb inside. “My dad used to bring me here a lot when I was about your age. It was one of our favorite things to do together.”

“That must be why you’re so good at it,” Sara says with a smile.

Skye waves off the compliment, “Nah. I’m probably average at best.”

“How come you don’t come golfing with your dad anymore?” Sara asks as Grant starts the car and pulls out of his parking space.

“Well, we’re both usually pretty busy,” Skye explains. “Plus, it’s not that easy for me to go out in public and just have a good time anymore. People are always coming up and asking me for my autograph and a photo.”

“Is that why you took so long when you went to use the bathroom?” Sara asks. “Because people were stopping you for a picture?”

“Yep.” Skye replies. “But I don’t really mind it all that much. I love making my fans so happy. It makes me even happier.”

Sara smiles, “Did you get asked for pictures when you came to my recital?”

“A few,” Skye tells her. “Most of the people there were adults, so there weren’t as many people asking in the beginning. But afterwards, when we were waiting for you, a few kids recognized me and asked for a picture.”

“Oh. So everywhere you go, people are always asking for pictures or autographs? And you can’t go out in public as much as you used to because of that?”

Skye nods her head, “Pretty much.”

“Wow. Being famous sounds like a lot of work.”

Skye and Grant both chuckle at Sara’s very true statement.

“It can be at times,” Skye tells her, “But you know what makes it all worth it?”

“What?”

“Getting to see a smile one each of my fans faces when they meet me for the first time. Or reading all the sweet comments when I post a picture online. Or seeing all the likes on a new video that I post. Even the smallest gift that a fan will send me because they felt like it. That’s what makes everything worth it. Getting to make people happy with my music.”

“Kind of like me?”

Skye smiles, “Exactly like you.”

“Cool. Hey dad?”

“Yeah, bear?”

“When we get home, can we play Monopoly? I wanna play it with Skye.” She looks over at Skye, “Dad and I love Monopoly. We play it a lot.”

“You know, I think I’ve ever only played Monopoly once. And it was when I was really little. So I got bored pretty quickly.”

“I don’t get bored,” Sara says proudly. “And I’m really good at Monopoly too. I always end up with more money than dad. He always gets upset when I take his money.”

“Now that sounds like something I definitely have to see,” Skye smiles over at her boyfriend.

“It’s not as exciting as it sounds,” Grant informs her. “And I don’t really get upset, Sara. Just a little disappointed that I keep losing to a kid.”

“You do too get upset,” Sara says back, “You almost cried one time because I had all the railroads and you kept landing on them and had to pay me a lot of money.”

Skye lets out a laugh, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a grown man almost crying during Monopoly. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it either.”

“And you’re not gonna get the chance,” he says, “Because we aren’t going to play Monopoly.”

“Come on, dad,” Sara pleads, “Please. I promise I won’t steal all of your money and make you almost cry.”

“I don’t know,” Grant says, trying to hold back a smile.

“Please? I really wanna play with Skye.”

“Yeah Grant,” Skye chimes in, “You wouldn’t deny me the chance to play Monopoly with Sara, would you?”

Grant pretends to think. “Hmm…” he says after a minute, “Alright. I guess we can play Monopoly when we get home.”

“Yes!” Sara pumps her fist in the air, “Thanks daddy!”

“Yeah,” Skye smiles, “Thanks Grant,” she leans forward, pressing a kiss to her cheek.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that,” Sara says plainly from her place in the back.

Grant and Skye both smile and laugh.


 

“You landed on Short Line Railroad. That’s another 200 dollars for rent, daddy,” Sara says to Grant as they sit on the living room floor playing Monopoly.

Grant sighs, grabbing the last two of hundred dollar bills, and passes them over to Sara.

“Thank you,” Sara smiles, adding the money to her growing pile.

“Is that a tear?” Skye teases her boyfriend, leaning forward slightly and ducking her head to look at his face.

“Stop it,” Grant mutters, leaning back against the bottom of the couch behind him.

“You know I’m just teasing you,” she smiles at him, placing one hand on his shoulder and rubbing it gently.

“I know,” he smiles, reaching up to grab her hand in his. He brings the back of her hand to his lips and places a soft kiss to it, before dropping their entwined hands into his lap.

“Okay,” Skye says, turning her attention back to the board, “I believe it is now my turn, right?”

“Yep,” Sara smiles. “Here,” she hands the dice over to Skye who happily takes them. She rolls them around in her hand for a quick second while she glances over the board, before tossing them onto the game board.

“Seven,” she says aloud, looking down at the dice.

As she reaches forward to grab her piece, a knock at the door pulls them all from their game. Grant is somewhat glad for the interruption, because he is losing big time; he has his suspicions that Skye and Sara made a pact to gang up on him, but he can’t really be sure.

“I got it,” Grant tells his girls as he stands up from the living room floor, stretching out a bit before walking to the front door. Behind him, he can hear Skye and Sara whispering, and he shakes his head, sighing deeply.

With a smile still on his face, Grant pulls open the front door and the smile instantly falls from his face. “What are you doing here?” He asks the person in front of him.

“I’m in town for some important work stuff and I heard somebody say that you live around here. So I thought that I’d come by and say hey. So…hey!”

Grant narrows his eyes at the woman in front of him. “Wait here,” he tells her. He closes the door and quickly goes back to Skye and Sara.

“Who’s at the door, dad?” Sara asks. Grant doesn’t answer.

“Grant?” Skye says when she catches the hard look on his face, “Baby, what’s going on?”

“I need you to take Sara into the family room, okay?” He says to Skye. “And I need you both to stay in there until I come and get you.”

Skye nods her head, figuring it best not to argue with him, or question his request. She stands up from the floor, helping Sara up, and then ushers her down the hallway into the family room. They go over to the couch and Skye sits down on it, pulling Sara into her lap. She holds her close to her own body, wanting to protect her from whatever it is that Grant fears.


 

Back out in the living room, Grant makes his way back over to the front door and takes a deep breath, keeping the stoic look on his face, before opening the door once again. Stepping outside onto the porch, he pulls the door closed behind him. Facing the brunette woman in front of him, he narrows his eyes once more.

“Now, let’s try this again. Why are you really here, Miranda?” Grant asks the woman standing on his porch. He crosses his arms in front of his chest, leaning back against the front door. “And don’t give me any of that crap about you being here for work stuff. We both know how hard it is for you to keep an actual job.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she says to him, trying to put on the innocent act. “Is there something wrong with me coming back here because I want to see my boyfriend?”

Ex-boyfriend,” he emphasizes, “Remember? Just tell me why you’re here.”

“I want to see her, Grant.” She tells him. “I want to see Sara.”

“No.”

“No? What do you mean no?”

“I mean no. You can’t see her. I won’t allow you to.”

“Why not? She’s my daughter too.”

“Not for the last eight years, she hasn’t been. Because if I remember it all correctly, after she was born, you left her with me and skipped town because you didn’t want to be a mother. But you obviously didn’t realize that I wasn’t exactly too keen on being a single dad. Especially at such a young age, and with no idea what the hell I was doing.”

“That’s why I’m here,” Miranda tells him, taking a step towards him, “I came back for Sara. I’ve realized now that it was a mistake to just walk away like that. I’ve turned myself around and I’ve matured, Grant, and I want to be a part of my daughter’s life again. I want to see her grow up. I just want to be there for her.”

“Well that isn’t going to happen,” Grant informs her, crossing his arms across his chest.

“You can’t keep her from me, Grant!” She yells in his face, “She needs her mother!”

“Well she seems to have been doing just fine so far without one! She already has plenty of people in her life that love her and care for her.”

“Like that girl you’ve been going around playing house with?”

“What?” Grant asks, his brows furrowing.

“I’m not stupid, Grant,” she tells him. “I read the articles online. I’ve seen all the pictures of the three of you together.”

“Skye is my girlfriend,” Grant informs her, realizing who she is talking about. “Of course we’re going to hang out. Sara included. And Sara really likes Skye, she loves to hang out with her. And Skye loves to hang out with Sara too.”

“Well she isn’t her mother. She’s just a selfless slut who is probably just using you to get something. That’s what every single one of those stuck up rich girls do.”

“Don’t.” He stands at full height, looking down at Miranda. “Don’t you dare talk about her like that. She is far better than that. I will not have you come to my house and call someone I care about awful names like that, and accuse her of something that is unheard of for her to even consider. It’s unacceptable! And you were right when you said that she isn’t Sara’s mother. Because she isn’t, and we all know that. She’s just someone that Sara really looks up to and admires. Someone who really cares about Sara and wants what is best for her. She enjoys hanging out with Sara, and doesn’t see her as some type of burden. She’s even more than happy to go to Sara’s dance performances, even though she is in no way obligated to go. Skye hasn’t been in our lives for very long, but she’s already more of a mother to Sara than you have ever been.”

Miranda’s eyes narrow, “I want to see my daughter, Grant.”

“Well that’s too damn bad, because it’s never going to happen. You gave up that right a long time ago. Now leave my property before I call the cops and have them forcibly remove you.”

Miranda glares at him, “Fine. But this is not over. I will have my daughter, Grant. And I’ll do whatever I have to do to get her back.” She turns and stalks away angrily back to her car. Getting inside, she starts the car and drives away.

Grant watches as Miranda pulls out of the driveway and drives down the road, getting further and further from him and his daughter. After she is out of his sight, he turns around and walks back inside his house, making sure to lock the door behind him.

He makes his way down the small hallway, towards the family room. Opening the family room door, he steps inside, finding Skye and Sara sitting on the couch; Sara is huddled up on Skye’s lap, her face buried in Skye’s shoulder.

“Sara?” He says as he walks further into the room.

Sara’s head whips around and she immediately jumps from Skye’s lap and runs into her dad’s open arms. She hugs him tightly around the neck, burying her face into his shoulder. Skye stands up and walks over to them, gently placing a hand on Sara’s back and rubbing soothing circles against it.

‘What happened?’ Skye mouths to Grant, curious as to what had been going on just moments before.

‘Later,’ he tells her, ‘I promise.’


 

A little while later, after they both managed to calm Sara down, Grant puts on a movie for her in the family room, making sure that she is comfortable. Skye retrieves one of Sara’s blankets from her room, along with her favorite stuffed animal, and brings them both to her. They each place a kiss on the top of Sara’s head, and then move just next door, into Grant’s bedroom. Without needing to say a single word, knowing exactly what he needs, Skye moves towards the bed, climbing onto it and leaning slightly against the headboard. She gives Grant a small look and pats the bed next to her; he smiles and follows after her. He climbs onto the bed, lying back against the pillow. He opens his arms to Skye and she gladly accepts the invitation, curling up against his side. Resting her head on his chest, she tangles their legs together, wrapping her arms snugly around his torso. Grant rests his head on top of hers, tightly wrapping his own arms round her waist to hold her close.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Skye asks him softly after a moment.

Grant takes a deep breath, “That was Miranda,” he tells her. Skye remains quiet, allowing him the time to tell her at his own pace. “She just showed up here, out of the blue. I had no idea that she was even in town, or that she cared enough to bother coming here.”

“What did she want?” Skye asks carefully, though she thinks she might already know the reason.

“She wanted to see Sara,” he tells her, and she can feel his hold on her tighten just a bit. “But I told her no. I don’t want her anywhere near Sara.”

“I take it she wasn’t very happy.”

“No, she was not,” Grant chuckles, “She started yelling at me, and telling me that she has the right to see Sara. I reminded her how she gave up that right when she chose to just leave us high and dry.”

“How long did it take for you to get her to leave? I wasn’t really paying attention to how much time was going by.”

“It didn’t take very long. I threatened to call the cops on her if she didn’t leave my property.”

“That’s good,” Skye tells him. “And should you ever need the help, I know some really great lawyers that would be more than happy to help you out.”

Grant smiles, nuzzling his face in Skye’s hair, “Thank you,” he says quietly.

Skye tilts her head slightly to look up at him, “For what?”

“For just being absolutely amazing.”

Skye blushes, “Well, you’re welcome.”

“I’m serious, Skye. You truly are remarkable, and I’m so lucky to have found you. And when Miranda showed up, wanting to see Sara, I honestly got a little scared. And then she called you a horrible name, and I just, I lost it. She can yell at me all she wants, insult me, hit me, whatever, I don’t care. But I won’t have her attacking the two people that I care about the most in this world. I love you and if anything ever happened to you, I’d be absolutely devastated.”

When Skye registers what Grant said, her breath catches in her throat and she looks up at him with wide eyes, “What did you just say?”

“If anything ever—”

“No, before that. What did you say?”

Grant thinks for a moment before looking back at Skye, “I said I love you.”

“That’s what I thought you said, but I wasn’t sure.”

“Look, I’m sorry if I freaked you out or anything, I just—”

Skye silences him with a kiss, leaning up to press her lips flush against his. He responds, kissing her back and pulling her closer. Pulling away slightly, Skye smiles at him, “I love you too.”

Chapter Text

*August 4, 2014*

Pulling his phone out of his back pocket, Grant unlocks his phone and goes to his messages. He clicks on the most recent set, between him and Skye, and taps within the text box. He then begins typing his message to her.

Hey beautiful.

Less than a second later, he gets a reply, Hi :)

What are you doing right now?

He moves over to the couch and sits down, just as his phone goes off again.

Taking a break from a recording session. You?

Just dropped Sara off at Mike's for a play date with Ace. He picks up the TV remote and turns on the news, putting it on low volume.

Sounds like a fun time for the two of them.

Yeah. She's going to have a fun day. But I'm going to be completely bored for the rest of the day.

Aww. Poor baby.

Grant chuckles and types back a reply, I'm serious. I don't have any jobs to go to today, and Fitz is holed up at his restaurant all day. There's a big event or something else that's really important. Sara is at Mike's and you're in the studio. I'm all alone.

Setting his phone down on the arm of the couch, he waits for her to text back. Pulling his laptop onto the couch cushion beside him, he opens the lid and hits the power button, when his phone starts ringing. He glances over at it and sees Skye's picture lighting up the screen. He smiles and picks his phone back up, hitting the answer call button. As soon as he puts it to his ear, he hears Skye's voice through the speaker.

"You know, for a grown man, you sure are whiny."

"I am not," Grant protests, "I'm just really bored, that's all."

He hears her laugh, "Yes. So you said in your text. What about some of the people at the company you work for? Why don't you go hang out with those guys?"

"I don't really see those guys all that much. Plus, a lot of them are way older than me, so we probably wouldn't have that much in common anyway. I mean, besides construction and kids."

"So you don't talk to them ever?"

"Not necessarily. I do know who most of them are, because I've worked a few jobs with some of them. And I have managed to hold basic conversations with them, but I've never really clicked with any of them."

"Well then why don't you go out somewhere? Make some new friends?"

"But I don't want new friends," he says, and Skye really thinks that he sounds like a small child at this point.

"You are unbelievable," she tells him.

"But that's one of the reasons why you love me," he smiles into the phone.

She sighs, "Yeah. I guess it is."

Things are quiet for a moment, not an awkward kind of quiet, a comfortable one. "Hey," he speaks up after a moment, "I just remembered something."

"What?"

"Well, the fair is starting up this week at the pier. Sara and I were planning on going, like we do every year. Do you want to come with us?"

"I'd love to," she says excitedly.

"Awesome. And Fitz is coming with us, so if you want to, you can bring Jemma. Sara says that it's about time that they meet. And who knows, maybe they'll hit it off or something."

"Are you saying that because you know they're both from the UK?"

"Possibly," he smiles.

She just laughs, "Alright. I'll ask her and I'll let you know."

"Cool."

"Hey Grant? I have to go now. Break time's over, have to get back to work."

"Right. I'll see you later this week then."

"Yeah. Love you, bye."

"Love you too. Bye."


 

*August 6, 2014*

"Hey dad! Look at all of the cool rides we can go on!" Sara exclaims as Grant pulls the car into the parking lot near the pier. "I think that they got some new ones since last year."

"I know," he replies, "but you probably won't be able to go on all of the rides."

"I'm going to try and go on as many as I can. What about you, Uncle Fitz?" Sara looks to her Uncle as they all climb out of the car, "Are you going to go on any of the rides?"

"Well I suppose so," Fitz replies, closing his door. "Definitely not any that are too high, like the Ferris Wheel, because, well, heights. But I'm definitely going to play a few of the fair games that are here."

"Me too," Sara smiles as she walks up to him, "I want to win one of the big prizes this year."

"Well, you'll just have to try your hardest, bear," Grant smiles, locking the car and slipping his keys into his pocket. "Now then, shall we head over to the fair? Skye and Jemma should already be inside waiting for us."

"Jemma's here too?" Sara asks with a smile. Grant nods his head. "Yes!" She turns to Fitz, "I think you'll like Jemma, Uncle Fitz. She's really nice, and really pretty."

"I guess I'll just have to take your word for it until I see her," he smiles. "Now come on, monkey, let's go." He holds his hand out to her.

"I want a piggy back ride," she tells him instead.

"You do?" He smiles. She nods her head. "Alright," he turns around and bends down for her, "Hop on."

Sara smiles and hops up onto Fitz's back, wrapping her arms around his neck, and her legs around his waist. Standing up straight, Fitz grabs a hold of Sara's legs with his hands and then begins walking towards the front gate for the fair.

Grant just smiles and follows after his best friend and daughter.


 

"Have you spotted them yet?" Jemma asks Skye as they stand together just a few feet inside the entrance gate to the fair.

"Not yet," Skye says as she signs another autograph for a fan. She smiles at the kid as she walks away. "I've seen a bunch of kids who are fans of mine though."

"So I've noticed," Jemma says. "Do you think it was a good idea coming here? If you're going to be mobbed by children all day asking for your autograph or a photo with you, then you won't get to have any fun with Grant and Sara."

Skye sighs, "Relax, Jem. You know that I don't mind it, the fans are really sweet. And they usually know when to give me a little bit of space. I think." She smiles and lets out a small laugh.

"Oh!" Jemma speaks up, "Is that them over there?" She points to a spot on the other side of the gate.

Skye looks to where her best friend is pointing and gets a huge grin on her face when she sees Grant, Fitz, and Sara paying for their tickets. "Yes it is," Skye says, "Come on, let's meet them at the gate."

They link arms and begin walking towards the front gate to the pier. They stand and wait for Grant, Fitz, and Sara to step through.

As they step through the front gate, Sara smiles wide when she sees Skye and Jemma standing on the other side, waiting for them. "Skye! Jemma!" She exclaims, jumping down off of her Uncles' back, and making her way towards them. When she gets to them, she jumps up into Skye's arms, wrapping her in a hug.

Skye manages to catch her and lets out a laugh, "Hey, Sara. How are you?" She sets the young girl back onto the ground.

"I'm good," Sara smiles, "Hi Jemma," she waves up at Jemma.

Jemma smiles back at her, "Hello, Sara. Are you excited for the fair?"

Sara smiles and nods her head, "Uh-huh. I'm going to go on as many rides as I can. I'm not tall enough to ride all of them, but I'm going to ride all of the ones that I am tall enough for. And I'm going to try and win one of the big toys. I almost did it last year."

"Well I'm sure that if you just try your hardest then you can win one of the big toys," Jemma tells her.

"That's exactly what I told her," Grant says, approaching the three of them, Fitz at his side. He walks over to Skye and wraps an arm around her waist, his hand going to rest on her hip. He leans forward and presses a kiss to her lips, "Hey," he smiles at her.

"Hey," she smiles back, leaning into his embrace, wrapping her own arms around his torso.

"Jemma!" Sara speaks up, catching the woman's attention. "I want you to meet someone."

"Alright," Jemma says, letting Sara tug her the short distance over to where Fitz is standing.

"Jemma, this is my Uncle Fitz. Uncle Fitz, this is Jemma. She's Skye's best friend. And she's a model."

"Hello Fitz," Jemma smiles at him, holding her hand out to him.

He accepts her hand, "Hello Jemma," he smiles at her. "You're a model?"

Jemma nods her head, "Yes. Skye is the one who got me into it. I don't know why though, because there are many other girls who are way better at it than I am."

"Oh, I'm sure that's not true," Fitz says, "The only thing I know about being a model is that you have to be at least somewhat good looking so people want to hire you, and I mean, you're gorgeous, so as far as I'm concerned, you're doing great."

Jemma ducks her head a bit to hide the blush creeping up to her cheeks, "Thank you, Fitz. You're too kind."

"I'm only stating the truth," he says back. "And uh, call me Leo. It's my first name."

"If it's your first name, then how come Grant and Sara call you Fitz?" Jemma wonders.

"When I was in culinary school, that's what all of the instructors called me, they called everyone by their last name. Since then, I just have people call me Fitz."

"So I'm one of the lucky few who get the privilege of using your given name?" She asks him, a small smile on her face.

Fitz smiles back, a slight blush on his cheeks this time around, "Um yeah, I guess so." He rubs the back of his neck nervously. "Hey, uh Jemma, would you like to go up on the Ferris Wheel with me?"

"I would love to," she smiles at him.

"Great," he beams. "Follow me." He begins leading her away towards the Ferris Wheel.

"Looks like they really hit it off," Skye says to Grant.

"I knew they would," Grant smiles. "It was destined to be."

Skye laughs, "Destined to be? Really?"

"Of course," he says.

"And didn't you tell me that Sara is the who wanted Fitz and Jemma to meet?"

He shrugs, "Details, details," he smiles down at her, quickly dipping his head to give her a kiss.

"Dad! Skye!" Sara exclaims. "Can we go and do stuff now?"

Grant and Skye break apart from their kiss to see Sara looking up at them expectantly. She has a wide smile on her face, and her hands are clasped together behind her back.

"Alright, bear," Grants says, looking down at his daughter, "what do you want to do first?"


 

"Okay, you've got more chance, bear," Grant says to Sara, holding the last tennis ball out to her. "Make this one count."

Sara smiles and takes the tennis ball from him, turning back to the booth in front of her. Holding the tennis ball in one hand, she sets her eyes on the stack of milk bottles in front of her. She takes a moment to really study them, trying to figure out how best to throw the ball and where to throw it. When she thinks she's figured it out, she holds the ball back away from her body, and then throws it forward, releasing it and letting it fly towards her target.

"I did it!" She exclaims as she watches all of the bottles topple over, falling to the floor. She quickly turns around to face her dad and Skye, "Did you see that? I knocked them all over!"

"Good job, Sara," Skye smiles at her, "We knew you could do it."

"Great job, little missy," the woman behind the booth says with a smile on her face. "Which prize would you like?"

Sara takes her time looking at each of the larger prizes, trying to decide which one she wants. "That one," she finally decides, pointing to a large stuffed monkey sitting on the top shelf.

"Alrighty then," the woman says, grabbing a small step ladder in order to reach the monkey. When she has it, she hands it over to Sara, "Here you go."

"Thank you," Sara smiles, taking her new stuffed monkey from the fair worker.

"You're welcome," the woman smiles. "Enjoy the rest of your night," she calls out to Grant, Skye, and Sara as they make their way from the booth.

"What are you going to name your monkey?" Grant asks his daughter as they walk along the pier.

"Hmm…I think I'll name him, Sir Leopold."

"Sir Leopold?" Grant repeats.

"Yeah," Sara nods her head, "Like Uncle Fitz. His first name is really Leopold, and he calls me monkey. And I think Leopold sounds best with Sir in front of it. So I'm going to call my monkey Sir Leopold."

"I like it," Skye smiles, "Sir Leopold the monkey. It's got a pretty nice ring to it. Good name choice."

"Thanks. Can we get some cotton candy now?"

"I don't see why not," Grant says, "We are at the fair, after all."

"Yes!" Sara exclaims. "I'll meet you over there." She turns in the direction of the cotton candy machine and takes off running down the pier, dodging and weaving in between all of the people on the pier as she goes. Grant and Skye just laugh to themselves and then follow Sara's path to the cotton candy.


 

Pulling her phone out of her pocket, Skye quickly unlocks it, going to the Instagram app. Clicking on the new photo icon, she waits for the camera to load. Once it does, she holds it up in front of her, aligning the view just how she wants it. When it's framed up exactly how she wants it, she snaps the photo, holding it down in front of her to get a good look at it.

In the picture, it shows Grant and Sara, both of them with their backs to her, leaning against the wooden railing of the pier. Grant has one of his arms wrapped around Sara's back, the other leaning on the railing right next to him. Sara has one hand resting on the railing, the other clutching onto the arm of her stuffed monkey, Sir Leopold. She is looking down into the water, and Grant has his head bent down slightly, whispering something into her ear. The sun is setting in front of them, casting a beautiful glow onto the two of them.

Smiling at the photo, Skye clicks in the caption section, typing in the box. My two loves. 3

Clicking the upload button, she waits for a quick moment for it to finish. When it does, she closes out of the app, locks her phone, and slips it back into her pocket. She walks over to Grant and Sara, standing on Grant's other side.

"Hey," he says to her, "what took you so long?"

"Ran into a few fans who were leaving for the night but wanted a picture," she tells him. Leaning up, she presses a quick kiss to his lips. "Thanks again for bringing me to the fair," she smiles at him. "I had a really fun time. More genuine and meaningful fun than I've had in a long time."

"Thanks for coming with us," he smiles back. "I know I had a really fun time with you as well. And I'm sure Sara did too."

"I'm tired," Sara speaks up, leaning on the railing, her cheek resting on the wooden banister. "Can we go home now?"

Grant smiles at his daughter and picks her up, holding her in his arms. Sara lets her head rest on top of Grant's shoulder, her eyes beginning to droop closed. Skye takes Sir Leopold from Sara's grasp, so that she doesn't accidentally drop him as they're walking.

"We should probably find Jemma and Fitz," Skye tells Grant as they begin walking back towards the entrance/exit of the fair. "Jemma was my ride here."

"I can take you home," Grant tells her.

"You can?"

"Of course," he says, "Besides, Fitz texted me a while ago. He and Jemma left already. They took her car and went somewhere."

Skye smiles, "Seems like it really was a good idea to introduce the two of them."

"That it was," Grant replies, a smile on his face as well. "But you know what sounds like a really good idea right now?"

"What?"

"Taking Sara home, putting her to bed, and then getting some of my own rest."

"You're absolutely right," Skye agrees, "I'm definitely getting tired, too. It was a very fun evening, but now I'm super exhausted and ready to fall asleep in my very comfy bed."

"Well don't fall asleep before we get to your place, okay?"

"Why? Don't think you'll be able to carry me inside?" She teases him.

"No. I just don't want you to be mad at me for possibly accidentally waking you up."

"Fair point," she says as they reach Grant's car.

Grant unlocks the car doors, opening the back one and buckling Sara into her seat. Skye opens the opposite door, setting Sir Leopold on the seat right next to Sara. The two of them then climb into their own seats, Grant in the drivers' seat, Skye in the passenger seat. Grant puts the key in the ignition and starts the car, pulling out of his parking space and out onto the road.

Chapter Text

*August 7, 2014*

"Hey Skye," Phil says as he enters his daughters' bedroom, "Where were you last night?"

"What?" Skye asks, looking up from her laptop.

"Last night. You were supposed to meet me, your mother, and Nick for dinner. We were supposed to be discussing some things for your career. You didn't show up to the restaurant, though."

Skye's eyes go wide, "Oh my gosh. I'm so sorry dad. I was out all night and I totally lost track of what time it was. I didn't get back in until really late."

"Where were you?"

"Down at the pier for the fair." She shrugs.

"Who were you with?" He asks her.

"Why does it matter?" She asks, curiously.

"Because I'm your father, and I'd like to know who my daughter is spending all of her time with. Now tell me, please."

"Fine," she sighs, "Do you remember that guy who I chose to win the concert tickets a while back? You weren't at the show, but I think I told you about him."

"I think I remember hearing about him."

"Well, it's him. His name is Grant, and we've been dating for a few months now. You met him very briefly that one time when he came and picked me up. And he was at the Fourth of July party, which you weren't at, so you haven't actually gotten to meet him properly."

"How come I didn't find out sooner that the two of you were together?"

Skye shrugs, "I don't know. Our faces have pretty much been plastered all over the internet since I posted a picture of the two of us. I mean, we didn't really want to tell anyone just yet, because we wanted to keep things kind of low-key, just for us, you know? But then Jemma went and posted a picture of the two of us kissing at the Fourth of July party, and people started asking questions. So I posted a picture of the two of us, and since then, everyone knows that we're together. It's kinda weird that you don't know, considered how much people have been talking about it."

Phil sighs, and sits down on the edge of Skye's bed, "Are you forgetting that I try to stay off of the gossip sites and all those things? I don't like to see what people have to say about my baby girl. Especially if it's negative."

"Oh, right."

"Listen sweetheart, I understand that your personal life is personal, except for when it makes it into the news," he gives a small chuckle, "But uh, I just wish that you'd share these kinds of things with me and your mom. We're your parents."

"I know. And I'm sorry. I should have told you two, but it's just, this relationship, it's different. It's special. I love him."

"You love him?" Phil asks his daughter, "Are you sure?"

Skye nods her head, "Absolutely. He's really nice, and funny, and he treats me really well. The way that you and mom always told me a man should treat a woman. He respects me and cares about me, and he loves me too."

"He sounds like quite the catch," Phil smiles.

Skye smiles back, "He really is. And dad? I'm really sorry I didn't tell you and mom."

"It's fine, Skye," he assures her, "Your mother and I would just like to know about the people in your life, that's all. Especially the ones you happen to love."

"I know. And I promise that I won't keep things like this from you again."

"That's all I ask," he smiles. "Also…"

Skye groans, "Daaad."

"What?" He asks, feigning confusion. "All I was going to say is that I think you should bring this fellow over to dinner sometime. I would really like to meet the man that has captured your heart, and I'm sure your mother would as well."

"Okay. But uh, if you're going to meet him, there's someone else you're going to meet as well."

"Who?"

"His daughter."

"His daughter." Phil repeats.

"Yeah," Skye replies, "She's 8, her name is Sara, and she's super sweet."

"I take it she's the reason he entered your ticket contest?"

Skye nods her head, "Mm-hmm."

"Okay then," Phil says, standing up from the bed, "How does next Friday at 6, sound?"

Skye smiles up at him, "It sounds great. I'll let him know right now," she reaches behind her and grabs her phone, unlocking it to shoot Grant a quick text message. Phil smiles and walks out of his daughters' bedroom, leaving her alone once again.

Hey. Dinner with my parents next Friday at 6. That okay with you? She hits send and then waits a few minutes for a reply.

Really? Whose idea was it?

My dad. He wants to meet you.

Okay. At your place?

Yeah. That's okay with you, right?

Yeah. I guess so.

Awesome. :) And bring Sara too. I want them to meet her as well. Because you two are most definitely a package deal.

Alright. I'm sure Sara will love to meet them too.

Cool. Then I guess I'll see you here next Friday.

Yes. I suppose you will. :)


*August 15, 2014*

"How do I look?" Grant asks for the fifth time as he adjusts his tie in the bathroom mirror. "Do I look okay?" He turns his body towards his phone, allowing Skye to see his outfit over FaceTime.

"You look fine, Grant," Skye assures him, finishing putting on her mascara. "I promise you."

"What about me?" Sara asks, stepping into the bathroom doorway.

"You look great, bear," Grant smiles down at her.

"Thanks dad," Sara smiles back, "Skye?"

Grant picks up his phone, holding the phone up so that Skye can see Sara's outfit, "You look very beautiful," Skye smiles.

"Thanks," Sara smiles. "I'm sure that you look pretty too."

"Why thank you," Skye says, putting her mascara back into her makeup bag, zipping it up. "Now, you two should probably head out soon. You don't want to be late for dinner."

"No we do not," Grant says back. "Sara, go get your jacket and shoes on, please."

"Okay." Sara turns and heads out to the living room to find her jacket and shoes.

"Do we really have to do this?" Grant asks, turning back to his phone.

"Yes we do," Skye tells him, moving over to her bed and lying down on it, holding her phone up above her, "My parents really want to meet you. So we're going to have dinner with them, and then I'm going to stay the night with you and Sara."

He sighs, "Fine. But just so you know, I'm not a huge fan of wearing suits, so as soon as we get back here, I am taking this thing off."

"And I will gladly help you with that," she says to him with a wink, "but only if you promise to behave yourself at dinner."

"I'm a grown man, Skye," he says, "of course I'll behave myself."

"I know," she smiles, "just reminding you to do so. And remember to just be your handsome, charming, self, okay?"

He smiles, "Okay."

"Good. I'm going to hang up now so that you and Sara can head out."

"Alright. I'll see you in a little bit. Love you."

"Love you too." Skye pulls the phone close to kiss the screen and then ends the call.


Reaching the front porch of Skye's parents' house, Grant lifts one of his fists to knock on the door. He clears his throat, and nervously adjusts his suit jacket.

"Relax, daddy," Sara says from beside him. "They're going to like you."

"Easy for you to say," he says back. "At this age, you still have the cuteness factor working for you. I actually have to impress them." Sara just shrugs, turning back to the door just as it opens.

Skye is standing in the doorway, a smile on her face. "Hey guys."

"Hey," Grant smiles at her, stepping forward to press a quick kiss to her lips.

"Hi Skye," Sara smiles.

"Hey Sara," Skye smiles down at her. "Come on inside." She steps aside, allowing the both of them to step through the front door.

"Wow," Sara says as she and Grant step through the front door. She looks all around the inside of the spacious house around her. "It's so pretty." She turns to Skye, "This is your house?"

"Well, technically it's my mom and dad's house, but I live here too."

"Cool," Sara smiles.

Grant chuckles at his daughter, wrapping his arm around Skye's waist, "I love seeing her so enthralled by everything," he says quietly to Skye.

"Me too," she replies.

"Be careful, Sara," Grant calls out to his daughter, watching as she inches her way towards a vase sitting on a side table.

"I know, dad," Sara calls back.

Grant smiles, "I just really hope she doesn't break anything," he tells Skye, "because I definitely cannot afford to pay for any damage done here."

"I know you can't," Skye smirks.

"Was that supposed to be a joke about how poor I am compared to you?" He questions, turning to face her, a grin on his face.

"Maybe," she says back, letting out a laugh at the pout on his face.

"Well it's a good thing I love you then," he tells her, pressing his lips to hers.

She kisses him back, "I love you too."

"Skye?"

At hearing her name, Skye turns to see her mom at the top of the staircase, "Hey mom," she says, a large smile still on her face.

She watches her mom descend the stairs, and make her way towards them. "Hello sweetheart," she says, wrapping her daughter in a hug. Pulling away from the hug, she notices Grant standing there, somewhat awkwardly. "And who might this be?"

"Mom," Skye starts, reaching her hand out to Grant, "this is my boyfriend, Grant Ward. Grant, this is my mom, Melinda May-Coulson."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Coulson," he holds his hand out to her.

"The pleasure is mine," she smiles softly, "and please, call me Melinda."

"Right," Grant smiles, "of course."

"Daddy! Daddy! This house is so cool! I love it here!" Grant looks past Melinda to see Sara running towards him. Completely ignoring Melinda, Sara stops right in front of Grant and Skye, looking at both of them with a wide grin, "Skye, after dinner, can we go exploring around your house?"

"Maybe," Skye smiles, "But only if you are really good for the entire evening."

"Yes!" Sara exclaims, pumping her fist in the air. "You're the best!" She steps forward and wraps her arms around Skye in a hug. Skye smiles and hugs her back.

"Sara," Grant says to his daughter when she ends her hug with Skye, "come here."

Sara steps over to her dad and looks up at him, "Yeah?"

"Turn around," he instructs. She does so, and notices Melinda standing in front of her, an amused smile on her face. "Sara, this is Skye's mom, Melinda. Melinda, this is my daughter, Sara."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Melinda," Sara says, holding her hand out for Melinda to shake.

Melinda smiles and accepts Sara's hand, "The pleasure is all mine, Sara. You seem like a very nice young lady."

Sara shrugs her shoulders, "I guess so." Melinda just chuckles.

"Where's dad?" Skye asks her mom, curious as to why her father is not in the room with them.

"He was still in his office when I checked in on him earlier," her mother tells her.

"But I am not in there anymore," Phil says, walking into the entryway. "Hey Skye," he greets his daughter, wrapping her in a hug and kissing the top of her head.

"Hi daddy," she smiles. "Dad, this is Grant Ward, my boyfriend, and his daughter, Sara. Grant, Sara, this is my dad, Phil."

"It's very nice to meet the both of you," Phil smiles at Grant and Sara. "Now then, shall we head into the dining room?" He places one hand on the small of his wife's back as the two of them walk into the dining room.

"I want to sit by Skye," Sara announces as the three of them follow behind Skye's parents. "Can I, dad?" she asks.

"I don't see why not," he replies.

Sara smiles wide, grabs Skye's hand in her own, and pulls her to one side of the table. Grant follows closely behind them, pulling the chair out for Skye, allowing her to sit down. Once she has sat down, he turns to find Sara standing by her chair, grinning up at him. Grant chuckles to himself before stepping forward and pulling Sara's chair out for her, with a little bit of some extra flare, just for his daughter.

When she is seated, he moves to the other side of the table, taking a seat in the space directly across from Skye. Phil and Melinda move to their spots at either end of the table, Phil pulling Melinda's chair out for her, like the gentleman he is.

Once everyone else is seated, Phil heads into the kitchen to bring out the main dish. Bringing it back out, he sets the dish down on the dining room table. "Skye, I made that special Peruvian beef that you love so much."

Skye smiles when she sees the meat lying on the silver platter in the center of the table, "Yes!" She turns her attention to Grant and Sara, "Dad learned how to make this stuff when he and my mom went to Peru right after they got married. He won't tell me how to make it, but it is absolutely delicious."

"It smells really yummy," Sara pipes up.

"And it tastes pretty good, too," Skye tells her.

"Alright, enough talking about the food," Melinda speaks up, "let's eat."


"So Grant," Phil speaks up during the dinner, when the conversation dies down a little bit, "What do you do for a living?"

"Dad." Skye warns.

"It's fine, Skye," Grant assures her. He turns his head to look at Phil and opens his mouth, "I work in construction."

"And are you self-employed, or do you work for a specific company?"

"I work for a company. It doesn't pay me super well, but it's enough to pay the bills, keep food on the table, and clothes on our back." He smiles at Sara across the table.

"That's good," Phil says. "What's your degree in?"

"I have my Associate's degree in Construction Technology."

"Only an Associate's?" Melinda questions.

"Yes, Sara was born not too long after I graduated high school, and well, the circumstances changed, and I had to care for Sara by myself. I moved out here to stay with my grandmother, so that she could help me out. I worked at a coffee shop in the mornings and in afternoons I went to school. I also did some of it online. Not long after I graduated I got the job that I have now, and I've been there ever since. I've had to do a lot of jobs to make the money that I do now, and I've been meaning to go back and further my degree, but I really haven't found the time to go and do so."

"Well I'm sorry to hear that," Phil says.

"Don't be. It may have been tough, but it's been good. We've made a pretty good life for ourselves, right bear?" He says in Sara's direction.

She nods her head vigorously, "Yeah. Dad even signed me up for dance class, even though he can't always pay the money for it. So he pays whatever he can and then does repairs and things for my teacher around the school and her house to cover the extra cost, and I get to dance."

"You dance?" Melinda asks the young girl sitting next to her.

Sara nods her head, "Mm-hmm. Daddy and Skye say that I'm really good."

"Well maybe you'd like to show us something after dinner," Phil smiles.

Sara smiles and turns to look at her dad, "Can I dad?"

"Of course you can," he smiles.

"But only if you finish your dinner," Skye adds in. Grant nods his head in agreement.

"Okay," Sara says, and then quickly begins to finish her food.

"Slow down, Sara," Skye laughs from beside her, "Don't eat too fast or you might choke."

"Sorry," Sara says with a mouth full of mashed potatoes.

"Don't talk with your mouth full, either." Grant tells his daughter.

Phil and Melinda watch the exchange between the other three people in the room, and then look back up at each other and smile, a knowing look passing between the two of them. The look goes unnoticed by the others.


"Thanks again for dinner, Melinda," Grant says as they make their way to the front door.

"You're welcome, Grant," she smiles at him. "We're just glad that you and Sara were able to come over."

"I'm glad too," he smiles back.

"Alright," Skye announces her presence, entering the front room, "I'm ready to go." She has changed into a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, a small bag hanging off of one of her shoulders. She steps towards her mom, pressing a kiss to her cheek. "Love you mom."

"Love you too, sweetheart. Did you already say bye to your father?"

"Yeah," Skye replies, "He said to be safe, and all that stuff."

"Okay," Melinda smiles, "I guess I'll see you later."

"Yep. See you later," she grabs Grant's hand in hers, pulling him towards the door. "Bye mom."

"Bye sweetheart."

Grant and Skye make their way out to the car, where Sara is already in the backseat waiting for them. They both climb into the car and put their seatbelts on. "Alright," Grant speaks up, "who's ready to go home?"

"I am," Sara says, letting out a yawn.

Grant chuckles, "Okay then. Let's go home."

Chapter Text

*August 23, 2014*

Hearing her phone ring from the table beside her bed, Skye leans over to pick it up. Seeing Mike's face pop up on her caller id, she smiles and holds the phone up to her ear.

"Hey Mike," she smiles into the phone.

"Hey Skye. How are you?"

"I'm doing well. What's up?"

"Well, Ace said that he wanted to have some kind of party before school starts up again, and we decided on having a pool party barbeque."

"Sounds like fun," Skye says.

Mike chuckles, "Yeah. Anyways, Ace asked me to find out if Sara would be interested in coming to the party."

"I'm sure that she'd love to go. When is the party?"

"Saturday afternoon, around 3."

"Okay. I'm not sure if she already has plans that day or not, but I will find out and let you know."

"Great. I'll talk to you later, Skye."

"Yep. Bye." Pulling the phone away from her ear, she hangs up the call and goes to her recent calls list.

Clicking on Grant's name, she hits the call button and holds the phone to her ear, waiting for him to answer.

"Hello?" She hears him say.

"Hey handsome," she smiles.

"Hey gorgeous," he says back. "What's up?"

"Is Sara busy next Saturday afternoon?"

"I don't think so, why?"

"Mike just called and told me that Ace wants Sara to come over on Saturday at 3 for a pool party barbeque."

"Sounds like it'll be a lot of fun. Let me go ask her."

"Okay." She waits for a moment as Grant finds Sara. Meanwhile, she turns her attention back to her computer reading through some more of her e-mails.

After a few minutes, she hears Grant's voice come through the speaker on her phone, "Skye?"

"Hey," she says back, sending a few e-mails into her trashcan. "Did you ask Sara?"

"I did. And she said that she would love to go."

Skye smiles, "Awesome. I'll let Mike know."

"Cool. Oh hey! You wanna go out sometime next week? There's a comedy club that just opened in town and I've been meaning to check it out. Do you wanna come with me?"

Skye frowns, "I would love to, but I can't. I'm really busy all of this next week. Everyone keeps nagging at me to work on the new album. It's frustrating, but I guess I can't really blame them. I haven't released a new single in a while, so they want me to write some more, record some more, pick a new single to release, all that jazz."

"Ah, alright. I understand."

"I'm glad that you do," she smiles into the phone. "Well, I should probably go now. I'll let Mike know that Sara will be there next week."

"Yes, and I have a few things I need to take care of as well. Love you."

"Love you too," she smiles and then hangs up the phone, setting it back down next to her.


*August 30, 2014*

"Sara, you ready to go?" Grants calls up the stairs towards his daughter.

"Almost!" She calls back.

Grant sighs, turning to go back to the couch when there is a knock at the door. He turns to it and unlocks the top lock, pulling it open. He smiles when he sees Skye standing on the porch.

"Hey," he smiles, moving to the side to let her into the house. "What are you doing here?"

"I figured I'd go with you to drop Sara off and then we could go and do something, just the two of us. It's been a while."

"That it has," he smiles down at her, pressing a quick kiss to her lips. "What did you have in mind?" He asks her when he pulls away.

Skye shrugs, "We can honestly do whatever. Just as long as I get to spend time with you."

"Well in that case," he says, "I think I have a few ideas," he reaches down, grabbing her hips in both of his hands, pulling her towards him. He leans down, capturing her lips in a searing kiss. He moves to deepen it when Skye pulls away, breathing somewhat heavily.

"Woo," she breathes out, "Save it for later, cowboy," she tells him, patting him lightly on the chest.

"If I must," he replies.

"Okay," Sara speaks up, descending the stairs, "I'm ready to go." She lands on the final step and smiles at her dad and Skye. "Hey Skye. What are you doing here?"

"I just thought I'd come along for the ride. And after we drop you off, your dad and I are going to go and do some things."

"Like a date?" Sara asks, tilting her head to the side.

"Like a date," Skye smiles.

"Cool. Can we go now?" She turns her attention to her dad. "I want to have as much time as I can in the pool."

"Of course," Grant smiles, "We were just waiting on you. Now let's go." He pulls the door open, allowing Sara to step out first, followed by Skye, and then himself. He quickly locks the door before turning and making his way to his car.


"Ace!" Sara exclaims when she sees her friend sitting on the front porch of his house. He's wearing a pair of Flash swim trunks and a plain blue t-shirt.

"Hey Sara," the little boy smiles at her, standing up.

"I like your swim trunks," she tells him.

"Thanks, Flash is my favorite. He's so cool."

"I like Black Canary," Sara says. "She's the best."

"That's cool," Ace replies. "Come on, the pool is in the back."

"Okay." She turns around to where Skye and Grant are standing on the sidewalk. "Bye dad, bye Skye." She waves to the both of them.

"Bye Sara," Skye waves back and smiles at her.

"Have fun, bear," Grant says as Sara follows Ace into the house. He and Skye turn around and start to make their way back to the car when a voice stops them.

"Grant! Skye!"

Looking back, they see Mike making his way towards them, a smile on his face. "Hey Mike," Skye smiles at her friend, stepping forward to hug him. "Ace and Sara just ran into the backyard."

"Yeah, I saw them." He looks up at Grant, "I'm glad Sara was able to come over. Ace really wanted her to meet some of his friends from school."

"That's sweet," Skye smiles.

"Yeah, that's pretty cool," Grant agrees. "It's too bad they won't be in the same class this year though, considering Ace is a year younger than Sara."

"It is too bad," Mike says, "But I'm sure they'll see each other at lunch and on the playground and whatnot."

Grant nods his head, "Yeah. You're probably right."

"Alright. Well, the party should be over at around 8. So I'll see you then."

"Awesome, thanks Mike," Skye smiles.

"No problem," Mike smiles back. "See you guys later," he waves at them before turning and making his way back into the house.

"And then there were two," Skye says, turning to face Grant and winding her arms around his waist.

"Yes there were," he smiles down at her. "Come on, let's go and have some fun of our own." He grabs one of her hands in his and leads her back to his car.


"You're going to love the pool that we have," Ace says as he leads Sara through the house and into the backyard. "It's really big."

"Even if it wasn't a big pool, I'm sure I'd love it. I love to go swimming."

"Me too," Ace smiles. "And the pool isn't freezing cold, so that's really good."

"Yeah," Sara replies, "I don't like when pools are freezing cold. It's never as much fun."

"No it's not."

"Hey Ace! Come get in the pool!"

Turning towards the pool, Ace smiles at all of his friends floating around in the water. "I'm coming!" He shouts back to them. "I was getting Sara!" He grabs Sara gently by the wrist and drags her over to the pool sitting in the middle of the backyard. "Guys, this is Sara. Sara, these are some of my friends from school. That's Bryce, Penny, Megan, and Matt. And you met Molly and Ben at the Fourth of July party."

"Hi," Sara smiles nervously, waving to all of the kids in the pool.

"Hi Sara," Molly smiles happily at her, "Are you going to get in the pool?"

Sara nods her head at the other blonde girl, "Yeah. Just give me a minute." She walks over to where there are some chairs set out in the grass. She sets her bag down on one of the empty chairs, and slips her sandals off, setting them under the chair. She pulls off her t-shirt and shorts to reveal a dark blue and black stripped, one-piece bathing suit underneath. She lays her shirt and shorts over the back of the chair and then turns back to face the pool.

Ace is already in the pool, talking and playing with his friends. Sara makes her way over to the pool, and climbs up the ladder to the top. When she reaches the top, she climbs over and then down into the warm pool water.

"Yay! Sara's in!" Molly exclaims, bobbing up and down excitedly in the water. "Now we can play."

"What are we playing?" Sara asks curiously.

"Marco Polo," Bryce answers. "And you're it."

"Really?" Sara asks the boy.

Bryce nods his head, his shaggy hair moving as he does so, "Uh-huh. So get in the middle and close your eyes. Count to ten and then start."

"Okay," Sara says, moving out to the center of the pool. She lets herself float in the center, closing her eyes. As she counts, she can hear everyone moving around the pool, getting further away from her and spreading out. "…8...9...10! Marco!"

"Polo!"


"I'm really glad you came to the party," Megan tells Sara as the two girls sit on their chairs, exhausted after their afternoon of playing in the pool and running around the backyard.

"Me too," Sara smiles. "It was really fun."

"Yeah. You're really good at Marco Polo."

"Thanks," Sara smiles slightly, ducking her head.

"Why are you ducking your head?" Megan asks.

"What?"

"When I told you you're really good at Marco Polo, you ducked your head."

"Oh," Sara says, "I don't know. I'm just not used to getting compliments from people. Except for my dad and my Uncle. And sometimes my dad's girlfriend."

"I'm sorry," Megan says with a sad smile.

"It's okay," Sara tells her. "It's not a big deal. I don't really mind."

"Still," Megan starts, "That's kinda sad that no one gives you compliments and things."

Sara shrugs, "I guess so."

Before either girl can say anything else, Mike enters the backyard, "Sara, your dad is here."

Sara beams, "Thanks Mike!" She stands up and picks up her bag, swinging it onto her shoulder. She looks at Megan. "Bye Megan."

"Bye Sara." Megan smiles, "Maybe I'll see you at school sometime."

"Yeah, maybe. Bye Ace!" She calls over to where Ace is still in the pool with Bryce.

"Bye Sara!" He shouts back.

"Bye Sara!" Bryce says as well.

"Bye," she says back to Bryce. Turning towards Mike and the house, she makes her way inside and to the living room. When she gets there, she sees her dad standing by the front door, waiting for her.

"Hi daddy!" She smiles as she walks up to him.

"Hey bear," Grant smiles back. "Did you have a good time?"

Sara nods her head, "I had a lot of fun."

"Well I'm glad." He looks up at Mike. "Thanks again for having her over."

"No problem," Mike smiles, "She's a really great kid. And like I said before, Ace is the one who invited her."

"Alright, well, we should probably get going. I think it's about time for bed," he says to Sara.

"Okay. Is Skye in the car?" Sara asks.

"Yep. She's gonna stay the night tonight because she was super busy all week."

"Awesome," Sara smiles. "Let's go." She grabs Grant's hand and pulls him towards the front door of the house, and out to the car.

"Hey Skye!" Sara smiles and waves to Skye when she gets closer to the car.

"Hey Sara," Skye smiles at the girl. "Did you have fun with Ace?"

"Yep," Sara replies, climbing into the back of the car. "Molly and Ben were there too. I met them at the Fourth of July party."

"Oh yeah," Skye smiles. "I know Molly and Ben. They're really sweet."

"Ben is really funny."

"He gets it from his dad," Skye tells her.

"Cool," Sara smiles.

"Okay," Grant speaks up, buckling himself in and starting the car, "Who's ready to go home?"

"I am," Sara answers. "I had a lot of fun, but I'm really tired."

"So am I," Skye adds. "Today was very exhausting."

"What did you guys do while I was at Ace's?" Sara asks her dad and Skye. "I'm exhausted because I was swimming most of the night. Why are you exhausted?"

"That's…a really good question," Skye says, looking over at Grant with wide eyes. She silently conveys to him that she wants him to explain to his daughter.

"We just did some boring adult stuff," Grant eventually says, holding his breath, "Nothing you'd be interested in."

"Oh, okay," Sara says, turning her head to look out the window.

Grant lets out the breath he was holding and looks over at Skye with a smile. Totally rocked that, he says with eyes. She definitely bought it.

Chapter Text

*September 3, 2014*

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Lazily flipping over onto her side, Sara reaches out from underneath her cocoon of blankets and slaps her hand down on the alarm clock sitting on her nightstand, and then yawns into her pillow. Reluctantly, she pulls the covers off of her body, and swings her legs off of the bed so that she is sitting on the edge. After a moment, she stands up from her bed, stretching her arms above her head and yawns once more.

She walks over to the dresser at the foot of her bed, seeing that clothes that Skye had helped her pick out the night before. She picks up the pair of tan capris and the flowery shirt, quickly putting them on and then brushes out her hair with her favorite hairbrush that she keeps on her dresser.

Once she is fully dressed, she makes her way out of her bedroom and down the stairs, her backpack in her hand. When she gets all the way downstairs, she hears voices coming from within the kitchen and smiles slightly to herself.

Setting her backpack in one of the chairs in the living room, she walks into the kitchen and sees her dad and Skye making breakfast together, music softly playing from the radio. The two of them are dancing with each other and laughing as they cook the food on the stove. Sara smiles at the sight. She loves seeing her dad so happy.

"Morning," she speaks, catching their attention.

They both stop dancing and turn and smile at her. "Morning, bear," Grant smiles at his daughter.

"Morning, Sara," Skye smiles, before turning her attention to the stove. "Did you sleep well?"

"Yep. What's for breakfast?" Sara asks, pulling herself up onto one of the stools at the counter.

"Pancakes, eggs, bacon, hash browns, and orange juice," Skye announces, flipping over a couple pieces of bacon on the stove. "You hungry?"

"Very," Sara replies with a wide smile.

"That's good. Because breakfast is done." She places the last of the breakfast food into their dishes. She picks up the platter of pancakes and the dish of bacon, carrying them both over to the table. Grant picks up the bowl of eggs and the bowl of hash browns, carrying them to the table as well.

"Sara, will you grab the orange juice out of the fridge please?" Skye asks.

"Sure," Sara hops off of the stool and goes over to the refrigerator. She opens the door and pulls out the container of orange juice off of the top shelf, shuts the door, and carries the carton over to the table. She sets it down in the center of the table and then takes her seat. Grant and Skye do as well and then they all grab food, dishing it out onto their own plates.

"Hey Skye," Sara speaks up, spooning some eggs onto her plate. "After breakfast will you braid my hair for me?"

"I would love to," Skye replies, smiling over at Sara. Sara smiles back.

"Hey," Grant speaks up, "Don't I always do your hair on the first day of school?"

"Usually," Sara replies, "but you're not very good at doing hair."

"Oh," Skye laughs, "I think you just got burned by an eight year old."

"Sorry daddy," Sara shrugs, taking a bite of her pancakes.

Grant just chuckles and shakes his head, "Yeah yeah. Now eat your breakfast so we can get ready to leave. You don't want to be late for your first day of school."


"So are you excited for your first day back?" Skye asks Sara from her spot in the passenger seat of Grant's car.

Sara shrugs from the backseat, "I guess so."

Skye turns and looks at her, "Come on, Sara. I know something's bothering you. Most kids are usually really excited for their first day of school."

Sara sighs, "I just don't like going to school."

"Why not?" Skye asks, though she's pretty sure she already knows the answer.

"Because no one likes me."

Skye's heart breaks a little at hearing that, even though she already knew it was coming. "I'm sure that's not true," she tries to be positive.

"It is. No one talks to me unless they have to. They all think I'm weird. But I don't know why they do."

"Well that's their loss, you know," Skye tells her honestly. "If they can't see how awesome you are, then they're really missing out on knowing a great girl."

"You really think so?"

"I know so," Skye smiles. "I've known you for a while now, Sara, and I've learned that you are very fun to be around. You have so much energy and excitement all the time no matter what you are doing. You just have to believe in yourself. Believe that you're awesome, have confidence in yourself, and soon enough, someone else will start to believe that you're awesome, and then before you know it, you'll have made a new friend."

"Really?"

Skye nods her head, "Yep. But you also have to put in the extra effort of saying hello to people and introducing yourself. Even if they might already know who you are."

"Okay, I think I can do that. I just wish that Ace could be in my class. And Megan, Molly, and Ben."

Skye smiles, "I know you do, sweetie. But you'll probably still see them around the building. So you have at least four friends already at your school, right?"

"Yeah."

"Good. Now, are you ready for your first day back?"

Sara smiles bright, "Yep."

"Excellent," Grant says with a smile. "Now give me a kiss." He leans his cheek over, allowing Sara to give him a kiss on the cheek.

"You too, Skye," Sara says.

"Oh, of course." Skye leans her cheek out and Sara places a quick kiss on it, making Skye smile.

"Do you want one of us to come in with you?" Grant asks his daughter.

Sara shakes her head, "No thanks. I can do it."

"Okay, have a good day."

"I'll try," Sara replies, opening her door. "Bye dad! Bye Skye!" She calls as she climbs out of the car and heads towards the front of the school, a smile on her face.

"Bye Sara!" Grant calls back, waving at his daughter.

Sara waves back and then around, making her way to the front entrance of the school. Opening the front door she walks inside the school, nervous for her first day.


Walking in the front door of her classroom, Sara looks around, taking it all in. There are groups of kids standing around the classroom talking with each other, while other kids are already sitting in their desks ready for the day. Sighing, she walks over to the center of the classroom searching for the desk with her name tag on it. When she finds the correct desk she sits down in her chair, placing her backpack on the grey carpet underneath of her desk. She looks around the room, trying to find someone she can go up to and start a conversation with. She spots a few girls standing off to the side talking with one another. She takes a deep breath and is about to stand up and go over there when she hears someone call her name. Turning around, she sees the teacher standing by the door of the classroom, a young girl with tan skin and jet black hair standing next to her.

"Sara," the teacher says again in her direction. "Could you come here please?" Sara stands from her desk and makes her way over to where her teacher is standing. "Sara, this is Josie. She's new to the area and to the school. She is going to be sitting next to you in class and I was hoping that you could be her buddy, show her around school and things like that."

"Okay," Sara says with a smile. She turns to Josie, holding her hand out, "Hi, I'm Sara Ward."

Josie accepts her hand, "Josie Vazquez."

"Come on," Sara says, "I'll show you where you're going to sit."

"Okay," Josie says, following Sara over to the desks.

"This is your desk," Sara points to the desk next to hers and then her own, "and this one is mine." She smiles at her.

Josie smiles back, "Okay, thanks."

"You're welcome," Sara says, and then sits down at her desk. Josie follows suit, sitting down at her own desk, hanging her backpack on the back of her chair.

"Alright class," the teacher says as she makes her way to the front of the classroom, "Time for class to start, please find your desks and have a seat."

As everyone walks over to their desks, Sara leans over to Josie, "I think you're really going to like this class," she whispers. "I had Ms. Nolten last year too. She's really fun."

"Cool," Josie smiles, "thanks."

"You're welcome."


Making their way down the hallway after school with their class, Sara turns to face Josie. "Josie," she speaks up, "where did you live before you moved here? You never told me."

"Montana," Josie replies. "My dad's job transferred him here. He moved out here a few months ago to get settled in. My mom, sister, and I waited until our old house was sold. We got here a few weeks ago."

"That's cool," Sara says, "I've lived here my whole life. Well, my dad says it wasn't until I was already a few months old, but I don't remember where I used to live before we lived here. He didn't tell me why we moved here, but I don't really care. I like it here, and I'm sure that you will too."

"I hope so," Josie says as they make their way down the stairs. "Is it true that celebrities walk around town all the time?"

"Sometimes," Sara tells her, "It depends on where you are, though. And what the celebrities are doing. Because they can be really busy some of the time, so they aren't out as much, and not all of them like going out all the time because it can be hard to have fun when people are always swamping them for pictures and autographs. But most of them still go out anyways because they love to see their fans and make them happy."

"You seem like you know a lot about being famous," Josie tells her with a small laugh.

Sara smiles knowingly, "I have my sources."

"Well I wanna try and see Skye walking around; she's my favorite singer ever."

Sara's smile widens, "Mine too!"

"Really?" Josie asks and Sara nods. "What's your favorite song of hers?"

"Shake It Off," Sara replies without hesitating, "What about you?"

Josie thinks for a moment, "Probably, Lips Are Movin."

"Ooh, I really like that one too."

"Did you know that she wrote it about her ex-boyfriend? I don't remember what his name was, but I remember reading about how it was a really big deal. I think he cheated on her, and it was really bad."

"Oh yeah. I remember hearing about that."

"I don't like the song because it's about someone cheating. I like it because it's really catchy, and Skye sings it really well; she is such a good singer."

"She is," Sara agrees. "She's really nice too."

Josie's eyes go wide, "You've met her?"

Sara nods her head as they exit the back doors of the school, "She's dating my dad."

"What?!" Josie exclaims as they walk down the few stairs. "You're lying."

"I'm not," Sara says back with a smile, turning the corner and starting down the sidewalk towards the front of the school, "They've been dating since June."

"Wow, seriously?" Sara nods her head. "Man, that is so awesome. What's she like in person?"

"She's really nice. And even prettier than her pictures make her seem, and she's kind of funny too. She's really fun to be around. She's just like a normal person, except pretty much everyone in the world knows who she is."

"Wow. You're lucky."

Sara shrugs, "I guess so."

"Have you even been to any of her concerts? Or gone to SHIELD Studios?"

"I've been to one concert, which is when we met; it was the day before my birthday. And then I've been to the studio a couple of times. This year my dad and I got to go to the Fourth of July party that they have every year."

"Really? Was it any fun?"

"It was really fun. The food was really good. And there were a ton of people there. And the fireworks show that they had was really cool."

"Sounds like it was a lot of fun."

"It was," Sara tells her. "Maybe next year you can come with us. I'm sure they won't mind another person being there. They're all pretty cool about those sorts of things."

"Really?"

"Yeah," Sara smiles, "we're friends. I mean, I kind of just assumed because we've been hanging out all day and you're really nice. We are friends, right?" Sara asks nervously.

Josie nods her head and smiles as they reach the front of the school, "The best."

"Awesome," Sara smiles.

"Sara!"

Turning away from Josie, Sara looks up to see her dad standing just a few feet away, waving a hand in the air to get her attention. "That's my dad," she says to Josie. "I have to go now. But I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yep, see you tomorrow," Josie smiles.

Sara smiles back and then turns towards her teacher, "Ms. Nolten," she says. "My dad is here." She points over to where her dad is standing.

Ms. Nolten looks over her shoulder and sees Grant waiting. She turns back to Sara, "Okay, Sara. See you tomorrow."

"Uh-huh, bye." Sara smiles at her teacher before running over to her dad.

"Hey bear," Grant says as Sara makes her way over to him.

"Hi daddy," she smiles, walking up and hugging him.

Grant hugs her back, "How was school?" He asks her as the two of them make their way away from the front of the school and towards the car.

"It was better than I thought it would be," she tells him.

Grant smiles down at her, "That's great, Sara."

"Yeah. And I made a new friend."

"You did?"

Sara nods her head. "Yep. Her name is Josie. She's new to California so Ms. Nolten asked me to be her buddy today and show her around. We like a lot of the same stuff. And she's really nice, too."

"That's awesome. See, Skye was right."

Sara smiles to herself, "I guess she was. Hey, where is Skye?"

"She told me earlier that she needed to go into the studio today," he says as he unlocks the car. "Apparently she had a new idea for a song, and she had to get it down before she forgot it."

"Okay," Sara opens her door and climbs inside.

Grant climbs into the driver's seat, closing his door and inserting the keys into the ignition. Grant's phone buzzes just as he's about to pull out of the parking space. Unlocking his phone to read the full message, he smiles. He types a quick reply and then slips his phone back into his pocket.

"Who was that?" Sara asks as Grant starts the car and back slowly out of his space.

"It was Skye," he replies. "She's done at the studio and wants us to pick her up."

"Okay."

"She also told me to tell you that she wants to know all about how your first day back went."

Sara smiles, "Cool. I have a lot to tell her."

Grant glances in the rearview mirror and smiles at his daughter, "Well then I guess we better go and get Skye."


"Hi Jerry!" Sara greets the man at the front desk when she and her dad enter the front doors of SHIELD.

"Hey there little lady," Jerry smiles back at her. "You here to see Skye?"

Sara nods her head, "We're picking her up."

"Well she's up in the booth. Third floor, room five. I'll let them know that you both are on your way up."

"Thanks Jerry," Grant miles at the man.

"It's what I do," he smiles back, picking up his desk phone.

Grant grabs Sara's hand in his own and they walk past the front desk, heading towards the elevator that will take them up to the third floor.

On their way to the elevator, Sara happily greets a few more employees of the studio. They all smile back at her, happy to see her there.


As they enter the front room of the recording booth, Sara smiles when she sees everyone sitting in it. "Hi Clint! Hi Natasha! Hi Skye!"

"Hey Sara," all three adults chorus, smiles on all their faces.

"Hey beautiful," Grant smiles, walking over to where Skye sits, leaning down to give her a quick kiss. "You ready to go?"

"Yes I am," she responds, standing up from her chair. She grabs Grant's hand in hers, linking their fingers together. Sara makes her way over to them and grabs Skye's other hand in her own.

"Then let's go," Sara says, "I have so much to tell you."

Skye smiles down at her, "And I can't wait to hear it all."

"Maybe we can have ice cream when we get home, and then I'll tell you everything," Sara suggests. "Is that okay, dad?"

Grant smiles, "I don't see why not," he responds.

Sara beams and pumps her fist in the air, "Yes!"

Skye laughs and looks back up at Clint and Natasha. "We all good with the song, then?"

Clint nods his head, "I'm going to stay here for a little bit to finish cleaning it up. We're releasing it tomorrow afternoon, so feel free to let your fans know whenever you want to. I know it'll be kind of short notice, but you haven't released anything in a while, so I don't think anyone will really mind."

"Awesome," Skye smiles.

"And we're releasing it on YouTube," Natasha tells her. "Also, what picture do you want to use for the single cover? Something from the last shoot you did?"

Skye nods her head, "Yeah."

Natasha clicks through her laptop, pulling up all of the pictures from Skye's most recent photo shoot. "Here are all the pictures from that shoot." She turns the laptop so Skye can see it.

Skye releases Grant's hand, and uses that hand to scroll through the pictures. "Hmmm…let's use a fun one." She keeps scrolling down until she finds the section of pictures she wants. She selects a couple of pictures and switches between them, trying to decide. She narrows it down to two. "Sara," she says to the little girl, "Which picture should I use? The one on the left, or the one on the right?"

Sara studies both of the pictures in front of her for a minute. "That one," she points to the image on the left side of the screen. In it, Skye is standing against a white backdrop, only her upper body being shown. She's wearing a light blue top, with a white jacket over top. Her hair is down, and slightly waved. She has a wide smile on her face and is making a heart shape with her hands right in front of her chest. "I like that one best."

"Me too," Skye smiles at her. "Use this picture," Skye says to Natasha, standing up to her full height again.

"You got it," Natasha smiles, making a note of which picture to use.

"Okay then," Skye says, grabbing Grant's hand again. "Is that everything?"

"I believe so," Natasha smiles. "You are free to go."

"Awesome," Skye smiles. She looks at Grant and then at Sara, "Time for us to go."


"Alright," Skye says as she and Sara sit down on the couch together, each of them carrying a bowl of ice cream in their hands. "Tell me about your day. Did you have fun?" She scoops some ice cream into her mouth.

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. I had Ms. Nolten as my teacher last year for second grade, and I think she got even more fun this year."

"That's been known to happen," Skye tells her. "With some people, when they get older, they get more fun."

"Yeah. And we have a class pet too!"

"You do? What is it?"

"It's a hamster. His name is Bruiser McCrusher."

"Well that's an interesting name," Skye says, taking a bite of her ice cream.

"Johnny named him," Sara states as if that explains everything.

"I see. What else did you do today?"

Sara thinks for a minute, "Um…" she pushes her ice cream around a bit, "we started a writing assignment toady. Even though it was only the first day of school, Ms. Nolten likes to give us a writing assignment at the beginning of the year and then one at the end of the year, to see how much we improved."

"That's very smart of her."

"Mm-hmm. And she does the same thing with math. We took a short test, to see how much everyone remembers from last year."

"Sounds like your teacher really knows what she is doing."

"She does," Sara tells her. "She's really nice, and fun."

"Well she sure sounds like it. But now for the big question, did you make any friends today?" Sara smiles and nods her head slowly. Skye beams, "Sara! That's so great," she excitedly pulls her into a hug. "I told you that you'd make a friend today, didn't I?"

"Yeah, you did," Sara smiles.

"Tell me more," Skye says, eager to know about this new friend in Sara's life.

"Her name is Josie Vazquez," Sara explains. "She just moved here with her family because her dad's job transferred him here. She sits next to me in class, and Ms. Nolten asked me to be her buddy because she's new."

"That's really great, Sara."

"Yeah. But you know what's the coolest thing?"

"What?"

"We both have the same favorite singer."

"Really? Who?" Skye fights back a smile.

Sara giggles, "You."

"Is that so?"

Sara nods her head, "Uh-huh. She really likes your song Lips Are Movin."

"Ah, yes. I remember writing that one. That was a pretty quick one to write."

"Skye?"

"Yeah?"

"Josie said that Lips Are Movin is about your ex-boyfriend. Is that true?"

Skye sighs sadly, "Yeah, it is. We dated for quite a while; until I found out that he was cheating on me almost the entire time. It really hurt me, so I put it down in a song."

"Oh, I'm sorry."

Skye smiles at her, "It's okay, Sara. Sometimes those kinds of things need to happen. Because they help turn us into the people we become. They help make us stronger, and see things differently."

"Oh, that makes sense."

"I'm glad."

"I have another question," Sara says.

"And I hope that I have an answer," Skye replies.

"Do you write all of your songs based off of real things that happen to you?"

"Usually," Skye replies with ease. "Or sometimes I'll hear about something that has happened to someone else, or something that is happening in the world, so I'll use that to write a song."

"Cool. My dad said that you got an idea for a song this morning and you had to write it down before you forgot. Is that the song you finished when we showed up to get you?"

Skye nods her head, "Yep. I think it's one of my favorites." She smiles down at Sara.

"How come?"

"Because I wrote it about you," Skye tells her honestly.

Sara's eyes go wide, "You did?"

"More or less," Skye says. "I don't directly say your name in the song or anything, but it's based on you."

"That's so cool," Sara smiles wide. "I have a song written about me. Can I tell Josie tomorrow at school?"

"Of course you can," Skye smiles at her.

"Awesome." She turns around to face her dad, "Hey dad!" She calls out to him.

"Yeah bear?"

"Skye wrote a song about me!"

Grant smiles at her, "I heard. That's pretty neat, huh?"

Sara nods her head eagerly, "Very."

Chapter Text

*September 4, 2014*


 

@RealSkye: Today is the day! New single dropping this afternoon. Happy to say that I really love this one. Keep an eye out :)


 

"Hi Sara!" Josie exclaims with a smile when she sees the blonde girl approaching her at the front of the school.

"Hey Josie!" Sara smiles back, walking up to her friend and pulling her into a hug. "You ready for another day of school?"

Josie nods her head, "More than I was yesterday. Yesterday I didn't know anyone in my class, but now today I have a friend." She smiles at Sara.

Sara smiles back, "I know what you mean. Well, I knew pretty much everyone in class, but none of them were my friends. Now I have a friend."

The school bell rings, signaling that it's time to go inside to class. All of the students that are outside begin entering the building, saying goodbye to their parents as they do. Josie turns around and gives her mom a quick hug before turning back to face Sara.

"Where's your dad?" She asks as they make their way into the school building.

"He has a construction job that he had to go to," Sara explains. "He wasn't originally supposed to go, but then one of the guys that was working on it called in sick. So my dad was asked to help. He dropped me here at the front before going to his job."

"Oh, okay."

When they reach the classroom, they walk inside and go over to their desks, setting their backpacks on the carpet and sitting down in their seats.

"How are you doing on your writing assignment?" Josie asks Sara, turning to face her.

"Okay, I guess."

"I'm almost done with mine," Josie smiles, "And I think it's really good so far."

Sara smiles, "That's cool. Can I read it when you're done?"

Josie nods her head, "Sure. But only if I can read yours when you're done."

"Okay. But it probably won't be very good."

"How come?" Josie tilts her head in confusion.

Sara shrugs, "Because I'm not very good at writing."

"I'm sure that's not true," Josie tells her.

Sara just shrugs again.

Josie sighs and is about to say something when Ms. Nolten steps in front of the class and speaks.

"Okay everyone, time to start class."


"How much longer until school is over?"Josie groans as she and Sara collapse into their desks after they are finished with recess.

"Just a couple more hours, I think."

"Good. Because I want to go home."

"Didn't you tell me this morning how you were excited to be back at school."

"Yeah, but I really want to go home now."

"Why?"

"Because Skye is releasing a new single this afternoon, and I really want to be there right when she sends out the link." She's smiling wide.

"Oh, yeah. I can't wait for it either. She said that this one is one of her favorites."

"She did? Did she say why?"

Sara glances around the classroom, making sure that no one else is listening. She then leans towards Josie and beckons her closer with her finger. She takes one more look around before whispering to her, "Because she wrote it about me."

Josie's eyes go wide, "What?! She did?"

Sara nods her head with a smile, "Uh-huh. She said that she got the idea for it yesterday morning after she and my dad dropped me off at school. So she went to the studio to write it down and record it before she forgot it."

"Wow. That's so cool that she wrote a song about you."

"Yeah. She doesn't say my name directly in the song, but she said that it's mostly based on me, so that's pretty cool."

"Definitely," Josie smiles. "It must be pretty cool knowing Skye."

Sara nods her head, "It is. She's really awesome. Maybe you can come over sometime and meet her."

Josie smiles wide, "Really?"

"Yeah. Maybe we can have a sleepover next week. Not tomorrow, because I don't think it'll give my dad enough time. But you can come over next week and meet Skye. I'm sure she'd love to meet you too."

"Really?"

Sara nods her head. "She was pretty excited when I told her how you're my friend."

"Wow. Cool."

"So do you want to have a sleepover?" Sara asks her friend.

Josie smiles, "Sure. We can watch movies all night and eat tons of candy."

"And we can play some games too. My favorite one to play is Monopoly. My dad and I play it all the time. Sometimes Skye will play it with us too."

"I think I've played that before, but I didn't like it because it was confusing."

"Well I can show you how to play," Sara tells her. "It's pretty easy once you get going."

"Of course you think it's easy," Josie says. "You play it all the time."

"I promise you that it'll be easy for you too, once you get started playing it."

"If you say so."

"I do," Sara smiles.

"Okay then. I'll ask my mom today when I get home from school about the sleepover."

"And I'll ask my dad. But I'm sure that he'll say yes."

"Same with my mom. But I think she usually likes to meet my friends' parents before I hang out with them."

"Oh, okay. I'll make sure that my dad knows that."

"Sara, Josie."

Both girls turn their heads to see Ms. Nolten looking pointedly at the two of them.

"Yes Ms. Nolten?" They say at the same time.

"Can you finish your conversation later, please? It's time for class. You two should be working on your math assignments."

"Sorry Ms. Nolten." Both girls reply.

"Thank you." Ms. Nolten says before turning her attention back to the papers on her desk.

Sara and Josie turn their attention back to the papers sitting in front of them and pull their pencils out to finish their assignments before the day is over.


"Alright," Skye says as she sits on the couch in the living room. Grant is sitting on her right side and Sara is sitting on her left side. "This is it. Clint said that the video is already but he won't make it go live until I give him the go ahead. That means you two will be the first to hear before everyone else hears it." She keeps her attention on the computer screen sitting on the coffee table in front of the three of them, biting her lip nervously.

"Relax, Skye," Grant places his hand on her shoulder and rubs it gently. "Everyone is going to love your new song. I'm sure of it."

"How can you be so sure of that if you haven't even heard the song yet," she tells him.

"Neither have I," Sara points out. "But I know already that it's going to be a really great song."

"Thanks, Sara," Skye smiles at her.

"Anytime," Sara smiles back.

A second later, Skye's phone goes off on the table next to the computer. She picks it up and unlocks it, reading the new message. "It's from Clint," she informs Grant and Sara. "He used a DM on Twitter to send me the link to the video. Are you guys ready to hear it?" She asks Grant and Sara.

"Yeah," Sara says excitedly.

"Okay then." She sets her phone down and turns back to her computer. She opens up a new tab and goes to Twitter and then to her DM's. She selects the newest message, the one from Clint, and clicks the link for the new video. A new window pops up, redirecting Skye to YouTube. The video takes a quick moment to load before showing a single image on the screen. It is the picture that Sara and Skye had picked out the day before, the name of the song is written beside Skye's body, Fly.

The three of them sit quietly on the couch, listening to the music and lyrics flow through the speakers of the laptop.

In a moment, everything can change,
Feel the wind on your shoulder.
For a minute, all the world can wait,
Let go of your yesterday.

Can you hear it calling?
Can you feel it in your soul?
Can you trust this longing?
And take control,

Fly
Open up the part of you that wants to hide away
You can shine,
Forget about the reasons why you can't in life,
And start to try, cause it's your time,
Time to fly.

All your worries, leave them somewhere else,
Find a dream you can follow,
Reach for something, when there's nothing left,
And the world's feeling hollow.

Can you hear it calling?
Can you feel it in your soul?
Can you trust this longing?
And take control,

Fly
Open up the part of you that wants to hide away
You can shine,
Forget about the reasons why you can't in life,
And start to try, cause it's your time,
Time to fly.

And when you're down and feel alone,
Just want to run away,
Trust yourself and don't give up,
You know you better than anyone else.

In a moment, everything can change,
Feel the wind on your shoulder,
For a minute, all the world can wait,
Let go of yesterday.

Fly
Open up the part of you that wants to hide away
You can shine,
Forget about the reasons why you can't in life,
And start to try,
Fly
Forget about the reasons why you can't in life,
And start to try, cause it's your time,
Time to fly.

In a moment, everything can change.

"Wow," Sara says with wide eyes when the song finishes. "That was a really good song."

"You really think so?" Skye asks, biting her bottom lip between her teeth.

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. I think it might be my new favorite song."

Skye smiles, "Well I'm glad." She turns her head and looks at Grant, "What did you think? Did you like it too?"

"Nope," he shakes his head. Skye's face drops. "I loved it," he grins.

She narrows her eyes at him and shoves him in the shoulder, "Don't ever do that to me again. You had me worried for a second there."

He chuckles, "I'm sorry. I couldn't resist. But really, the song was amazing. It's one of my favorites as well."

"I thought you didn't listen to my music," she says to him.

"Not by choice. But Sara would make me listen to it all the time. Whenever a new song came out she'd always make me listen. Your songs are very catchy."

"Well I'm glad you think so," she smiles up at him."I just hope that everyone else enjoys it as much you two do."

"They will," Sara assures her.

Skye smiles down at her. She takes a deep breath, "Well, I should probably text Clint and have him make the video live so that I can tweet the link out." She picks her cell phone up once again, unlocking it to send a quick text to the engineer. Just listened to the song. Sounds great. Make it live. :) She hits send and then waits for his reply.

A minute later a new message comes through. Video is now live. Have fun. :)

Skye smiles and then scrolls down on the webpage that is open to hit the Share to Twitter button. A new, smaller window pops up, the link already pasted on the page. She deletes the highlighted words and replaces them with her own.

@RealSkye: The new video is up! It's a really good one. Have a listen. :) youtube.com/2EQMVTTW1Sk?list=PLC6BE9DDFB53BCD41

Hitting the Send Tweet button, the small window closes, showing the YouTube page once again.

"Can we listen to the song again?" Sara asks once Skye has finished tweeting out the link for the video.

Skye turns and smiles at her, "Of course we can."

Sara smiles, "Awesome." She turns towards the computer and presses the play button, waiting for the music to make its way through the speakers again.


"Hey dad?" Sara asks from her spot at the kitchen counter where she is drawing in a notebook.

"Yeah?" Grant replies from the kitchen where he is working on dinner.

"Can my friend Josie come over next Friday for a sleepover? I meant to ask you earlier, but I forgot."

"A sleepover, huh?" Grant asks.

"Yeah. We want to watch movies and eat candy. And I'm also going to show her how to play Monopoly. Because she said that when she played it before, she got really confused."

"Sounds like you two have a pretty good plan for your sleepover, then."

Sara nods her head and smiles, "Uh-huh."

"Next Friday, you said?"

Sara nods her head again. "She can come over right after school and then in the morning either we can take her home or her mom will pick her up."

"You really have this all planned out, don't you."

"Yep. And do you think Skye will be here for it?"

"Be here for what?" Skye asks as she enters the kitchen after having taken a shower.

"My friend Josie and I are going to have a sleepover next Friday, and she wants to meet you too. So I was hoping…"

"You're hoping that I can be here for your sleepover to meet your friend." Skye finishes for her, leaning forward against the counter next to Sara.

"Only if you want to."

Skye smiles at her, "I would love too."

"Really?"

"Of course! I get to meet your new friend who just so happens to be a fan of mine. Perfect combination."

Sara smiles, "Cool."

"In fact, why don't I pick you two up from school that day? That way maybe she'll have some time to calm down from meeting me so that you two can enjoy your sleepover a lot better."

"What do you think, dad?" Sara looks up at Grant.

He shrugs, "Sounds good to me," he smiles.

Sara beams, "You two are the best."

Chapter Text

*September 12, 2014*

"Are you excited for your sleepover tonight, monkey?"

"Of course I am, Uncle Fitz," Sara says into her dad's phone as she lies on the couch in the living room.

"Well that's good. It's always good to be excited when you're going to have a friend over."

"That's why I'm excited. And guess what?"

"What?"

"Skye is going to pick me and Josie up from school so that Josie can meet Skye because she's a big fan just like me."

"Well that's nice of her."

"Yeah, it is. Josie is really excited."

"As she should be. Now, I have a question for you."

"What is it?"

"What would you say if I offered to make some of my Chocolate Oreo Truffles for you and your friend?"

Sara's eyes go wide, "Yes!" She exclaims. "Yes yes yes! Those are the best, Uncle Fitz!"

"I thought you might say something like that," he laughs into the phone. "It probably won't be until a bit later in the evening because I have to work later than normal tonight. But I promise that I'll come by with a batch of them for you. How does that sound?"

"Perfect," Sara smiles.

"Excellent. I'll bring those by later tonight."

"Yay! You're the best, Uncle Fitz!"

Fitz laughs, "Thank you, Sara. Well I should probably get going now. I need to get back to work."

"And I think I have to leave for school now."

"Alright. I'll let you go then."

"Okay. Bye, Uncle Fitz."

"Bye, Sara."

Sara smiles and hangs up the phone. She sits up on the couch and then stands up, walking to where her dad is in the kitchen.

"Here's your phone, dad," she says and holds the phone out to him.

He accepts the phone from Sara and shoves it in his pocket, "Thanks, bear. You ready to go?"

"Yep," Sara nods her head.

"Alright, go grab your bag and we'll head out." He smiles at her.

"Kay!" She bounces out of the kitchen to grab her backpack from the living room.


Making their way to the top of the play structure during recess, Sara and Josie talk animatedly to each other. They're mainly talking about their sleepover, and how much fun they are going to have.

"Sara! Josie!"

Turning their heads, the two girls see Ace making his way towards them, a smile on his face.

"Hi Ace," Sara waves to him as he climbs the last couple of steps to where they are at.

"Hi," Ace smiles. "What are you doing?"

"Just talking," Josie tells him.

"Oh, cool. Sara, do you want to come over tomorrow and hang out? My dad just bought a Wii and I wanted to know if you wanted to come over and play it with me."

"Sorry Ace," Sara smiles sadly. "Josie's spending the night tonight and I don't know what time she's going home tomorrow."

"Oh, okay."

"But maybe I can ask my mom if she's okay with me going over tomorrow," Josie speaks up. "That way Sara can go too. I love playing on the Wii."

"Cool." Ace smiles. "So you're having a sleepover?"

Sara nods her head, "Yeah."

"Cool. Is your dad picking you up after school? I want to say hi."

"No, Skye's picking us up. She offered to, and Josie has never met her, so it all works out."

Ace turns towards Josie, "You're really going to like Skye. She's really fun."

"You know her too?" Josie's eyes go wide.

Ace tilts his head, "My dad is her bodyguard. Did you forget?"

"Oh, yeah. I forgot."

"It's okay," Ace says with a smile. "Sometimes I forget that other people forget."

"Wanna play with us until recess is over?" Sara asks Ace.

"Sure," he smiles. "Maybe Megan and Bryce want to play too. I'll be right back."

"Okay," Sara smiles, watching as Ace makes his way back down the play structure.

"Come on," Josie says, making her way down after Ace, "let's go play."

"I'm coming," Sara calls, following closely behind her friend.


Josie bounces nervously on her heels as she and Sara wait outside the front of their school when the school day is over.

"Why are you bouncing so much?" Sara asks her friend.

"Because I'm about to meet Skye. She's my favorite singer and I've always wanted to meet her. Now I'm going to. This is crazy."

Sara giggles, "I felt the same when I met her. But she was really cool."

"You better be right."

"I am," Sara smiles.

"Sara!"

Looking up, Sara smiles when she sees Skye standing just a few feet away, waving her hand in the air with a smile on her face.

"Ms. Nolten," she says to her teacher, "My dad's girlfriend is here to pick up me and Josie." She points to where Skye is making her way over to them.

"Hi there," Skye says when she reaches them. "I'm Skye," she holds her hand out to the other woman. "I'm here to get Sara and Josie." She immediately grasps Sara's hand in her own, like she has done so many times before, ignoring the whispers of recognition between the other students around them.

"Right, of course. I'm Ms. Nolten, their teacher."

Skye smiles at her, "Well it was great to meet you."

"You too," Ms. Nolten smiles.

"Alright," Skye looks down at Sara, "You ready to go, sweetie?"

Sara nods her head, "Yep. But first you have to meet Josie."

"I knew we were forgetting something," Skye smiles. She turns her head to look at Josie and smiles at her, "You must be Josie." Josie nods her head silently. "I'm Skye. But guessing by the look on your face, and your speechlessness, you already know that." Josie nods her head again.

"Josie," Sara nudges her friend, "Say something."

"Hi," Josie squeaks out.

Skye laughs a little, "Hi. Are you ready to go?"

Josie nods her head, "Yeah."

"Excellent. The car is just over there," she points down the sidewalk a little ways. "Let's get going."

"Skye?" Josie speaks up as they make their way towards the car. "Can I ask you something?"

"Of course you can," Skye smiles at her.

"Okay, cool." Josie says and then goes quiet.

"Well?" Skye prods gently.

"I can't think of a question now," Josie admits.

Skye laughs quietly, "Well take your time. There's no rush." They reach the car and Skye unlocks the doors.

"Okay, um…" Josie thinks as she climbs into the back of the car. "What was it like the first time you performed on stage?" She grabs the seatbelt and buckles herself in.

"Good question," Sara comments as she climbs in after Josie and buckles herself in.

"Very good question," Skye says as she puts the key in the ignition and turns it on. "Let's see," she thinks for a moment as she backs out of her parking space. "My first performance. I believe that I was opening up for someone, I think it was for Bucky Barnes."

"Ooh!" Josie speaks up, "I know who he is! He's cool."

"Very," Skye smiles. "It's too bad that he doesn't perform much anymore. His shows are always really fun, just like the one where I opened for him. It was a very fun show to do, and everybody who was there loved me. It was really energetic and the crowd was very welcoming." Skye smiles fondly at the memory as she makes a left turn.

"What was your favorite performance you've done?"

"Ooh, good one. I actually have two favorites. Last year when I went on tour I had a show at Madison Square Garden in New York. That was a blast. The crowd was so big and very energetic, it was awesome."

"What's the second?"

"The show I played here in June when I met Sara," she glances at Sara through the rear view mirror and smiles at her. Sara smiles back.


"Hi daddy!" Sara exclaims as she enters through the front door to see Grant sitting on the couch watching the news.

"Hey, bear," he smiles at her. "How was school?"

"It was good," she walks over to him and plants a kiss on his cheek.

"I'm glad." He looks past Sara to see Josie standing by the door. "Hi Josie," he smiles. "Good to see you again."

"You too, Mr. Ward," Josie smiles.

"Oh, no," he says. "Please call me Grant. You're a friend of Sara's, and I want you to feel comfortable when you're here."

"Okay, thanks Mr. War—Grant."

"Great. Now why don't you two go on and do whatever it is that you want to do."

"Dad, can we have pizza for dinner?"

"Order or homemade?"

"Homemade, of course."

Grant chuckles, "Alright. You two go and hang out. I'll call you down when the pizza is ready."

"Awesome. Thanks dad!" Sara smiles before turning towards Josie. "My room is this way," she gestures towards the stairs. The two girls make their way up to Sara's room, leaving Grant and Skye down in the living room.

"Hey handsome," Skye says as she makes her way over to him. She sits down next to him and leans over to place a kiss on his lips. "How was your day?" She tosses her feet up into his lap, relaxing back into the arm of the couch.

"It was okay," he tells her, beginning to massage her feet for her. "Finished a job I've been working on for the last couple of days. Then I came home and did some laundry and the dishes. I cleaned up the house a bit because of Josie coming over and then I checked Facebook. What about you? How was your day?"

Skye sighs happily. "Pretty good. Did some writing in the studio for a little while this morning. Then I went to lunch with Jemma and did some online window shopping with her before I picked up Sara and Josie."

"Seems like we both had pretty good days, then."

"Seems like it." She smiles at him. "I just think I need to relax now."

He smiles back at her, "I think I have a better idea." He grabs hold of her feet and gently pulls on her, bringing her closer so that she is almost sitting in his lap.

She smiles knowingly, "Oh really."

He nods his head, "Mm-hm." He leans towards her.

"Sara and Josie are upstairs," she reminds him.

"We'll just have a bit of fun then," he tells her. "And if things get a little too…heated," he ghosts his lips over hers, one of his hands finding its way to the small piece of skin peeking out between her shirt and pants, "then we'll move it to the bedroom."

Skye closes the small distance between, attacking his lips with her own, pulling herself up into his lap.


"Wow. I really like your room," Josie says as she enters Sara's room.

"Thanks," Sara smiles, moving over to sit on her bed, pulling her legs up underneath of her. "I don't have another bed in here, but we can both sleep on the floor, that way it's the same."

"Okay, cool." Josie sets her backpack down on the floor by Sara's bed and sits down next to her. "So, what should we do first?"

"We can watch a movie," Sara suggests.

"What movies do you have?" Josie asks.

"I don't know all of them off of the top of my head. They're downstairs in the family room, with the big TV."

"How big is your TV?" Josie asks curiously.

Sara shrugs, "I don't know. It's big though. I like to watch action movies on it, because they look really cool on the big TV. We also have Surround Sound, so when we turn it on everything is really loud. It's awesome."

"Sounds cool," Josie smiles.

"It is," Sara smiles back. She stands up from the bed, "Come on. Let's go find a movie to watch. I'll let you pick which one to watch because you're the guest."

"Thanks," Josie says.

"You're welcome."

The two girls make their way down the stairs, still talking to one another as they go. When they reach the bottom, they both immediately stop and stare in shock. Skye is straddling Grant's lap, their lips locked together. Her hands are dug into his hair, while his hands are on her hips, holding her as close as possible.

"Dad! Skye!" Sara exclaims, immediately shutting her eyes and holding her hands over her closed eyes. Josie closes her eyes as well.

Grant and Skye quickly break apart at hearing their names, breathing heavily. Skye buries her face in Grant's shoulder due to the embarrassment of the situation.

"Hey girls," Grant says. "What are you doing down here? I thought you were going to hang out upstairs."

"We want to watch a movie," Sara tells them, cracking one eye open to make sure it's safe. Then she opens both eyes.

"Okay," Grant says. "You know where the movies are."

"Yeah, okay." She grabs Josie's wrist and drags her through the house to the family room.

"I cannot believe that just happened," Skye mumbles against Grant's shirt. Grant just chuckles. Skye sits up straight and hits him in the shoulder, "Stop laughing. It isn't funny."

"It actually is a little funny," he tells her. She narrows her eyes. "You did warn me, but I just couldn't control myself," he smiles up at her. "Especially when you look like this."

"Like what? I didn't dress up all special or anything. I don't think I even put any make up on today."

"And that's what makes you extra beautiful," he grins at her.

"You're such a kiss up," she says, resting her forearms on his chest.

"Nah. I just tell it like it is."

"Well, that telling like it is thing has earned you some brownie points."

"And when can I cash in these brownie points?" He asks mischievously, letting his hands roam her backside.

She bites her bottom lip between her teeth and leans down towards his ear. "Later," she whispers, before pulling back and climbing off of his lap. She stands in front of him and fixes her hair and clothes. "Because right now there are two little girls in this house and I don't want to risk scarring either of them any more than they already are."

Grant sighs, "Fine." He stands up in front of her and wraps his arms around her waist, "What else would you like to do, then?"

"Mm…we could watch a movie ourselves." She suggests, wrapping her own arms around his neck.

"All the movies are in the family room," he reminds her.

"I have Netflix and my tablet with me," she tells him. "What do you say? Want to watch a movie before we make the pizza?"

"Sounds good to me," he smiles.

"Awesome," she steps over to the side table where she put her bag and pulls out her tablet.

Grant sits back down on the couch and stretches out along the length of the couch to make himself comfortable. He lies his head on the arm of the couch, folding one arm up underneath of his head for some extra support. Skye unlocks her tablet and goes straight for Netflix, sitting down and getting comfortable while she waits for it to load. She lies down right next to Grant, letting her head rest on his chest and her legs tangle with his. She folds up the tablet cover into its kickstand position and lets it sit on her stomach.

"What do you want to watch?" She asks him, tilting her head up so that she can look at him.

"I don't know, what is there?"

"Here's a better question, what kind of movie do you want to watch?"

"I don't know, I'm not really picky. Honestly though, I'm used to the kinds of things that Sara likes to watch. She likes a few action movies, but it's mostly that romantic stuff that you see advertised all the time."

"How about we watch Star Trek?" She suggests. "The one with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto."

"You want to watch Star Trek?" He asks, furrowing his brows.

"Yeah," she replies. "I've seen it before, and I really enjoyed it. It's so cool, they way that they did the alternate timeline from the original series. Because since they have the new timeline going on, they have free reign to do pretty much anything if they decide to keep making more Star Trek movies. They don't have to stick to exactly what it's like in the original series."

Grant just stares at her.

"What?" She asks him.

"Are you a Trekkie? Because I'm going to admit right now that it would be extremely attractive if you are a Trekkie."

"Sorry, baby. I'm not a Trekkie. But I did grow up watching a bunch of the original series, because my dad is a pretty big Trekkie. I'm just not as into them as he is. But I really love the new movies that they made. They're really good."

"I completely agree," he smiles. "Let's watch Star Trek."

"Good choice," she smiles back at him. She turns back towards her tablet and locates the first Star Trek movie, selecting it and hitting play. She makes the movie full screen and then relaxes back, letting the opening credits roll.


"Sara! Josie!" Skye calls from the kitchen, "Time for dinner!" She and Grant dish out two slices of pepperoni pizza onto two different plates, setting them on the kitchen table.

A minute later, Sara and Josie emerge from the family room, laughing with wide smiles on their face.

"What's so funny?" Grant asks the two girls.

"We were watching Cool Runnings," Sara explains as she and Josie sit down at the table. "I love that movie."

"That is a pretty funny movie," Grant replies with a smile. "Sanka is definitely the funniest."

"Yeah he is," Sara smiles, taking a bite of one of her slices of pizza. "Thanks for making the pizza, dad," she says after she swallows.

"You're welcome, bear."

"Did you really make this?" Josie asks after swallowing a bite of her pizza.

"Yes we did," Grant smiles as he and Skye make their way to the table, each of them holding a plate with two slices of pizza. "Do you like it?" He sits down in a chair across from Sara and Skye takes the one next to him in front of Josie.

Josie nods her head enthusiastically, "I think I like it better than Dominos pizza."

"Why thank you," Grant smiles at her. "I'm sure that Sara's Uncle Fitz will be very happy to hear that. It'd his recipe after all, and considering that he's a professional chef I'm sure it'll make him very happy to hear that you think his pizza is better than Dominos."

Josie smiles back at him before digging back into her pizza.

"Hey dad?" Sara speaks up, getting ready to start on her second piece of pizza. "Today at school Ace asked me and Josie if we wanted to go over to his house tomorrow and play. His dad just bought a new Wii, and he wants us to come over and play it with him."

"Isn't Josie's mom coming to pick her up in the morning from our house?" Grant asks.

"I can call my mom and ask her," Josie tells him. "She's usually okay with me going to my friends' houses. Especially now because I haven't made as many friends since we moved her during the summer. So I think she'd be okay with it. But I can call her and make sure."

"Alright," Grant says. "After dinner you can call your mom and ask her if she's okay with it. If she is, you girls can over after breakfast tomorrow."

"Okay," Josie says and then takes another bite of her pizza.


"Josie's asking her mom," Sara says as she walks into the living room, sitting down on the couch in between her dad and Skye. "Thanks again for dinner, dad."

"You're welcome, bear," he leans down and kisses the top of her head. "Skye helped me make it."

Sara turns her head to look at Skye, "Thanks, Skye."

"No problem, sweetie," Skye smiles at her, "It was fun."

"Has Josie been having fun?" Grant asks his daughter.

Sara looks back up at him, "I think so. We've only watched movies so far, so it's hard to tell. But I think that we're going to play Monopoly later."

"Okay, just make sure you put everything away when you're done with it, alright?"

"I will," Sara smiles.

"Good." Grant smiles back.

"My mom said it's okay," Josie enters the living room with a smile on her face. "She said that I can go to Ace's house tomorrow."

"Yay!" Sara smiles happily. She jumps up from the couch and goes over to Josie, "Now come on, let's go finish watching Cool Runnings. And then I can teach you how to play Monopoly."

"Okay," Josie smiles. She turns and follows Sara out of the room and back to the family room to finish their movie.


"I don't see how you like this game so much," Josie says as she moves her piece along the gameboard.

"Park Place," Sara reads off the board when Josie lands. "Do you want to buy it?" She asks Josie. Josie shakes her head. Sara reaches forward and picks up the dice, shaking them in her hands, "I don't know why I like it so much," she tells her friend. She tosses the dice onto the board, "I just do." She picks up her piece and moves it the designated number of spaces. "My dad taught me how to play when I was little. We love to play it together, and now Skye plays with us sometimes too." She looks down at the board, "Indiana Avenue."

"I think I have that one." Josie says, looking through her small stack of properties. "$18, please." She holds her hand out to Sara. "Did your mom ever play Monopoly with you?"

Sara shakes her head, "No." She hands the right amount of money over to Josie.

"How come?" Josie takes the money and sets it in her pile.

"I don't have a mom," Sara says simply. "I don't know who she is."

"Your dad doesn't talk about her?"

Sara shakes her head, "No. But I don't think he wants to. I've tried asking my grandma and grandpa about her before, but they always dodge the question. I don't think anyone likes talking about her."

"That's too bad," Josie says. "Everyone should get to have a mom. Mom's are fun because they love you and care for you and protect you and a whole bunch of other stuff."

"My dad does that stuff," Sara says. "And Skye does too. She's like a mom should be."

"You're right," Josie smiles. "And now it's my turn." She picks up the dice and rolls them across the board.


"Hey, Sara," Grant peeks his head into the family room where Sara and Josie are playing their game of Monopoly. "Someone is here to see you."

"Who is it?" She asks, looking up from the game.

"Uncle Fitz."

Sara's eyes go wide and she smiles, "The truffles!" She jumps up from the floor and rushes past her dad and into the living room. "Uncle Fitz!" She exclaims, jumping up into his arms when she reaches him.

"Hey, monkey," Fitz laughs as he catches Sara in his arms, hugging her tightly. "How are you?"

"Good," she replies as he sets her back down on the floor. "Did you bring the truffles? You promised."

"Of course I did," he smiles. "They're right here," he holds out a plastic container towards Sara.

Sara smiles brightly, "Yes!" She immediately takes the container from him and pulls the lid off, grabbing out a truffle and taking a bite out of it. "So good," she smiles around a mouth of chocolate. "Thanks, Uncle Fitz."

"You're welcome, Sara," he smiles. "Where's your friend at?"

"I'm right here," Josie says as she enters the living room, stopping beside Sara. "I'm Josie."

"Hi, Josie," Fitz smiles at her. "I'm Sara's Uncle Fitz, it's a pleasure to meet you."

"You too," Josie smiles at him. "What's in the box?" She asks, looking at the container in Sara's hands.

"Those are my famous Chocolate Oreo Truffles," he tells the young girl.

"They're really good," Sara smiles at her friend. "Try one," she holds the container out.

Josie reaches inside and pulls out a truffle, taking a bite out of it. She takes a moment to chew it and then swallows it. She looks up at Fitz with a huge smile, "These are awesome."

"Excellent," Fitz smiles. "I'm glad that you like them."

"Me too," Josie says, eating the rest of the truffle.

"Well, you two enjoy your treat. I have to go now."

"You can't stay for a little bit?" Sara asks her Uncle.

"Afraid not, monkey," he looks at her sadly. "I had a long and busy day at work, so I'm going to go home and rest now."

"Okay, I love you." She steps forward and hugs him around the middle.

"I love you too, Sara," he hugs her back. "Don't eat too many of those truffles tonight, you hear me?" he says when he pulls away. "Otherwise you two will be up all night and your poor dad won't get any sleep."

"Okay, Uncle Fitz." Sara says. "I promise we won't eat too many," she looks over at Josie and giggles as discreetly as she can. Josie giggles back. Sara turns back to her Uncle, "Bye, Uncle Fitz."

"Bye, Sara. I'll see you later, yeah?"

"Yep," she smiles at him. She and Josie turn around and make their way back into the family room, the truffles tucked safely in Sara's arms.


"Hey Mike." Sara says when she enters the house, Josie right behind her.

"Hey Sara," Mike smiles at the girl. "Who's this?" He looks over at Josie.

"This is Josie. She goes to school with me and Ace."

"Well it's very nice to meet you, Josie."

"You too, Mister."

"Call me Mike," he says back.

"Okay."

"Where's Ace?" Sara asks.

"He's downstairs in the basement getting the Wii set up for you girls to play it with him. You can go on down."

"Cool. Thanks Mike," Sara gives him a quick wave before leading Josie down the stairs at the back of the house.

"Hey Mike," Skye says as she approaches the door.

"Hey Skye," Mike smiles at her as he pulls her into a hug. "How are you?"

"I'm good. How about you?"

"I'm alright. Where's Grant?"

"He's keeping the car running. He and I are going to go and walk around town a bit while the girls are here hanging out with Ace."

"Have fun with that. Just don't try and get mobbed to death. I really don't want to try and find another person to protect. You're enough work as it is."

Skye rolls her eyes, "Oh you know you love it."

"Maybe." He smiles.

"So, what time should I come and get the girls?"

"We'll give them a couple hours. How does two o'clock sound? I'll even feed them lunch, so you don't have to worry about that."

"Sounds perfect," she says back with a smile. "I'll see you at two."

"Yep. See you then." He smiles at her as she walks away from the house and back towards where Grant is sitting in the car at the edge of the curb.


"Let's play Just Dance 2015 now," Sara says as she sorts through the few games that Ace has for the Wii. "I wanna try that game."

"Okay," Ace walks over to her and removes the game disc from the case, inserting it into the Wii console. "I'll play it with you first and then Josie can play winner, if that's okay with you two."

"Fine with me," Josie smiles from where she sits on the couch. "Sara?"

"Sure," Sara smiles. She picks up one of the Wii remotes from the charging dock and slips her wrist through the strap, moving to stand in front of the TV. Ace picks up the other remote and moves to stand next to Sara.

When the game is loaded up, Ace starts scrolling through the song options. "You can pick the song, Sara."

"Are you sure?" She asks him.

He nods his head, "Yeah."

"Okay," she looks at the screen as he slowly moves through each song choice. "Let's do that one," she tells him when he lands on a song. "Let's dance to Happy."

"I love this song," he tells her as he selects the dance.

"Me too," she says back as the song loads.

Once it's loaded, they get ready for the song to start and then begin the dance. They both watch the screen intently, trying to follow the moves as best as they can as the song plays.

When the song ends, they wait for the results to be shown on the end screen.

"You won," Ace says when the results appear.

"But just barely," Sara replies. "You almost beat me."

"And now it's my turn," Josie interrupts, standing up from the couch. "Remote, please," she says to Ace, holding her hand out. Ace removes the remote from his wrist and hands it over to Josie before sitting down on the couch. "Can we dance to Black Widow?" She asks Sara.

"Sure," Sara smiles at her.

"Awesome," Josie points her remote at the screen and selects Black Widow from the song list. She clicks on the song and then she and Sara get ready as the song loads up. Once it does, the two girls dance together, trying to match every move that the person on the screen does.

"Wow," Josie says when the song finishes, "That was kind of a hard one to dance to."

"Yeah," Sara says. "Wanna do it again?"

"Definitely," Josie smiles. She quickly turns her head to look at Ace, "Is that okay?"

"Sure," he says with a smile.

"Cool," she smiles at him and then turns to the screen, selecting the replay button for the song. The song loads up and the two girls get ready to dance again, vowing to do better the second time around.


"That was so much fun playing the Wii with Ace," Josie tells Sara as the two girls sit in the back of the car on the way back to Grant and Sara's house.

"Yeah it was," Sara agrees. "We have to do that again soon."

"Yeah we do," Josie smiles. "And guess what."

"What?"

Josie leans in closer to Sara to whisper to her, "I think that Ace likes you."

Sara's eyes go wide, "What? No he doesn't. Only as a friend."

"Nuh-uh," Josie shakes her friend, "He definitely likes you. And not just as a friend."

"Did he tell you?"

"He didn't have to," Josie tells her friend. "I just know."

"That's impossible," Sara replies. "Unless he told you, then you can't know."

"I can to," Josie defends herself. "And I can tell that Ace likes you."

"You're crazy," Sara says, sitting back in her seat.

"Only a little bit," Josie replies with a smile. "But I'm not crazy about this. He let you win at almost every game you played together, and he never told you no. He likes you."

"No he doesn't," Sara insists.

"Fine. If you don't want to believe it then that's okay. But I'm telling you that he likes you."

Chapter Text

*October 31, 2014*

"Morning, bear," Grant says to Sara as he enters the kitchen, looking through the cabinets for something to eat for breakfast.

"Morning, dad," Sara replies around a spoonful of cereal.

"So," Grant begins as he puts the coffee pot on and then grabs a box of cereal down off of the top of the refrigerator, "Are you ready for your class Halloween party and the Serpentine today?"

Sara nods her head excitedly and then swallows the bite of her cereal, "Very. I can't wait to see Josie's costume. She said that it's really cool. She won't tell me what it is yet, but that's okay. We both agreed to keep our costumes a secret and then surprise each other at the party. And she's never done a Serpentine before, so I told her all about it, and now she's really excited to do it."

Grant smiles, "Sounds like you both have this all figured out then."

Sara nods her head again, "Yep. And is it still okay that Josie comes Trick-or-Treating with us tonight?"

"Absolutely," Grant smiles. "Make sure she knows what time we're going to pick her up tonight."

"Okay." She smiles back.

"Oh," Grant says, "I just remembered, Skye is going to pick you up after school today because I have a job that I have to go to, okay?"

"Okay."

"Good. Now finish your breakfast and then finish getting ready for school, please."

"Yes, dad." Sara says.


 

"Hey Josie," Sara says as she enters the classroom, going straight over the pair of desks where Josie is.

"Hi Sara," Josie smiles from her seat. "Are you ready for the class party?"

"Uh-huh." Sara sits down in her chair, setting her backpack under her desk. "Guess what I brought as my treat?"

"What?"

"Chocolate Oreo Truffles."

Josie's eyes go wide and she smiles big, "Really? Awesome."

"And you know what makes these ones even more special?"

"What?"

"I helped Uncle Fitz make them and instead of regular Oreos, we used the Halloween Oreos. The ones with the orange cream inside them."

Josie smiles, "Really?"

"Yep."

"That's so cool. I bet they taste even better than the other ones we had."

Sara nods her head, "I tried one when we made them. They're really good."

"I can't wait to eat them," Josie bounces excitedly in her seat.

"Okay class," Ms. Nolten speaks up from the front of the classroom, "please take your seats."

All of the rest of the students in the classroom shuffle about, finding their seats and sitting down. Once the class is quiet, Ms. Nolten speaks up again.

"Alright. As you all know, today is Halloween, which means that we will be having our class party. It won't be until after lunch recess, so I trust that you all can keep it together until then." She smiles at the students. "During the party we'll also be having the Serpentine," the kids smile and cheer. Ms. Nolten smiles and chuckles, "So when we get back here after recess we'll need to get ready for that. Meaning you'll all get out your costumes and go change into them. And I hope that you all remembered that masks and weapons of any kind aren't allowed. Now, time to start the day."


 

One by one, the students all file back into the classroom after lunch recess. They all make their way back to their desks, digging through their bags to get their Halloween costumes out.

"Okay everyone," Ms. Nolten speaks up from where she is standing by the classroom door. "Get your costumes together please and then head on out to the bathrooms to change. Quickly now, please."

Sara digs inside her backpack, finds her costume and pulls it out, holding it tightly in her arms. "I'm so excited for the Serpentine," she says to Josie.

"Me too," Josie replies, pulling her own costume out of her backpack.

"It's always so much fun," Sara tells her. "Especially because Mrs. Wallis is the one who leads us around, and she's the coolest."

"Yeah, she's pretty fun."

"Come on," Sara says, "Let's go to the bathroom and change. I can't wait for you to see my costume."

"Same," Josie smiles. Then the two girls turn and make their way back towards the door of the classroom and then over to the bathroom to change.


 

"What do you think of my costume?" Sara says to Josie as they stand inside the classroom after having changed. She's wearing black leotard, a pair of fishnet stockings, black boots, and a black leather jacket. Her light blonde hair is hanging loose down her back. "I'm Black Canary." She takes a moment to get into a fighting stance; her hands balled into fists in front of her, and then relaxes.

"You look cool," Josie smiles. "Do you know who I'm dressed as?" She's wearing a pair of tan jeans, with black boots that go up her calf; a moss green long sleeved t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows. She has on a brown leather vest with a black belt buckled across her middle. Around her neck is a black choker necklace, and then a gun holster hooked around her leg, the gun is absent from it. Her dark hair is tightly curled and hanging loose down by her face.

"No idea," Sara says.

"I'm Zoe, from the show Firefly. She usually has a gun in the holster here, but we can't bring weapons."

"Cool. But what's Firefly?"

Josie's eyes go wide and her mouth drops open, "You've never seen Firefly?"

Sara shakes her head, "No."

"Oh it's awesome. It takes place in the future and it's about this group of people who fly around in this ship and do all sorts of random jobs to get money. And they're basically a big group of thieves, who are also fugitives kind of, but they're all really cool."

"It sounds cool."

"It is. Next time that we have a sleepover we can watch it."

"Okay," Sara smiles.

"Okay class." Ms. Nolten claps her hands twice to get everyone's attention. All of the students turn to face her. She smiles at all of them, "It's time for our party." Everyone cheers excitedly. Ms. Nolten laughs, "I know that it's pretty exciting. Now, if you brought a treat to share with the class, please get it out and set it on the table at the back of the classroom, and then return to your seats."

Sara smiles wide, turning towards her backpack and pulling out the plastic container of Oreo Truffles. She turns towards Josie and holds the container up, smiling at her, "Chocolate Oreo Truffles."

"Yummy!" Josie grins. "I wanna eat them all right now."

"You have to save some of them for everyone else in the class," Sara tells her. "You can't deny them of the awesome taste."

Josie sighs, "You're right."

Sara smiles. "So, what did you bring as your treat?"

Josie reaches into her bag and pulls out a plastic Ziploc bag full of different Halloween shaped sugar cookies. "My mom and I made them last night. They're all different Halloween shapes."

"Awesome," Sara smiles. "I can't wait to try one."

Josie smiles back, "I ate a couple of them last night and they're really good." The two girls turn and walk towards the table at the back of the classroom, set their treats down on the table and then make their way back to their seats to sit down.

Once all of the treats are on the back table, Ms. Nolten speaks, "Okay everyone. You should all have a paper plate and a paper cup at your desk. Please line up by the table and get some food and something to drink. But please be careful, we don't want any messes, or we might have some unwanted critters in here tonight." She throws all of the students a smile as they stand up and make their way towards the back table, eager to start in on the festivities.


 

All of the students are happily munching away on their assorted treats and goodies, talking and laughing with one another.

"Happy Halloween!"

Looking up, they all turn their attention to the classroom door to see one of their crossing guards, Mrs. Wallis, parading into the room. She has a long line of students trailing in behind her. Mrs. Wallis is dressed as a giant bumble bee, and has a wide, happy smile on her face. She's a medium height, slightly plump woman, and has short grey hair.

All of the kids in the classroom watch with glee as the parade makes its way around their classroom, weaving through and around all of their desks.

When the end of the parade gets near, Ms. Nolten speaks up, "Everyone get ready to line up!"

One by one, each of the students stand from their desk and join in at the end of the parade line. They're all smiling and laughing as they make their way from their classroom and move towards the next. They march all around the school building, going through each and every classroom, the office, the library and the cafeteria.

After they have made their way through each classroom of the school and everyone has paraded through, showing off their costumes, they parade back through the classrooms in reverse. As they go back through each classroom, all of the students from that particular class take their seats once again and continue eating their snacks from their party.

"That parade was so much fun," Josie says as she and Sara take their seats again after having finished the parade. Both girls still have large grins on their faces.

"I told you," Sara says back giddily. "The Serpentine is always super fun."

"Yeah. It was really fun. But you know what's going to be even more fun?"

"What?"

"Going Trick-or-Treating tonight," Josie smiles.

Sara smiles back, "Definitely. I can't wait to get all that candy."

"Me too," Josie agrees. "My mom says I can't eat all my candy in one night though. I have to make it last."

"My dad says the same thing. Apparently I could get sick if I eat too much in one sitting."

"It's happened to me before. Last year I ate too much candy at my friends' birthday party and when I got home I threw up that night because I was sick. Never ate that much in one time again."


 

"Today was so much fun," Sara smiles as she and Josie pack up their things from the class party.

"Totally," Josie says, shoving her costume into her backpack. "I think that this school is way more fun than my old school. I mean, I miss my friends back home, but this school is way cooler. We never had fun parties like these."

"Well then you really picked a good school." Sara smiles at her.

"Hey, is your dad picking you up today?" Josie asks as she puts the remaining cookies into her backpack.

"No," Sara answers. "Skye is."

"Really? Why?"

"My dad has a construction job that he has to go to today. But he'll be back in time for us to go Trick-Or-Treating. We're going to come by your house and pick you up around 7:00. Then we're going to go Trick-or-Treating in Skye's neighborhood. She's coming with us."

"Okay. I can't wait to see Skye again."

Sara smiles, "She can't wait to see you again too."

"Really?"

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. I told her how you're coming Trick-or-Treating with us tonight, and she got pretty excited. She and my dad are both pretty glad that we're going to hang again."

"How come?"

"Cause I've never really had friends over before. I mean, I've got Ace, but I like having a friend to hang out with who's a girl."

Josie smiles at her, "I'm glad I'm your friend."

"Me too," Sara smiles back.

"Okay class!" Miss Nolten speaks up. "Time to line up at the door so we can leave."

"Come on," Sara says to Josie, picking up her backpack and swinging it onto her back.

Josie picks up her own backpack, putting it on one shoulder. Then she follows behind Sara to get in line at the classroom door.


 

"Sara!" Skye calls out over the crowd of parents and students to get Sara's attention.

When Sara turns towards her, she gets a large smile on her face. "Skye!" She quickly turns to face Ms. Nolten, waiting as she finishes talking with another parent. "Ms. Nolten," she speaks up.

"Yes Sara?" The woman replies.

"My dad's girlfriend is here to get me." Sara points over to where Skye is waiting for them. Ms. Nolten glances over her shoulder to where Sara indicates. She smiles at Skye before turning back to Sara. "Okay Sara, I'll see you on Monday. Be safe tonight, okay?"

"I will," Sara smiles at their teacher before looking at Josie, "I'll see you tonight, Josie."

"Okay, bye."

"Bye!" She waves to her friend before she makes her way over to where Skye is standing.

"Hey Skye!" Sara smiles when she reaches the older woman. She immediately wraps her in a hug.

"Hey Sara," Skye returns the hug. When she pulls away from the hug, she smiles down at Sara, "So, are you ready to go?"

"Yep!" Sara smiles.

"Awesome," Skye smiles back, holding her hand out to Sara. "Let's go."


 

"I love trick-or-treating!" Sara smiles wide as she and Josie make their way down one of the many streets of Skye's neighborhood.

"Me too!" Josie smiles back. "And we've got so much candy already. All the really good stuff, like King Size candy bars, and Share Size candy, and lots of it, too."

"Didn't I say that this was a good idea to come to my neighborhood instead?" Skye speaks up from behind the two girls. "This is where all of the good stuff is at."

Both girls turn to look at her. "Definitely," Sara smiles. "This was such a good idea."

"Look!" Josie exclaims, pointing to a house just a ways in front of them with its light on.

"There's another one. Come on, Sara." Both girls smile at each other and then take off at a run towards the house.

"Careful!" Grant shouts after them with a smile on his face. Skye lets go of Grant's hand, choosing instead to wrap one arm around his waist while he wraps one of his arms around her shoulders. "Thanks for coming with us tonight," he says to her, gently running his hand up and down her arm.

"Thanks for inviting me," she says back. "If you hadn't invited me, I would have been stuck at home handing out candy with my parents, and that would have resulted in a couple of kids recognizing me and asking for an autograph. Either that or I'd be at some stupid party thrown by one of my so-called friends in the industry, and that means that there'd possibly be a chance that I'd get very drunk and make some not-so-great decisions."

"Have you ever gotten drunk before and made some pretty bad decisions?" He asks curiously.

She lets out a large sigh, "Unfortunately, yes. It was the cause of many of my problems in my last year of high school, and then afterwards as well. I got involved with the wrong kind of people when I first started my music career and made some of the worst decisions I've ever made. Thankfully though, I have left all of that behind me."

"Yes," he replies, "thankfully. Because now, now you are a much more mature, good decision-making, happily in a very committed relationship type of woman. And I'm very glad that I'm the extremely lucky guy who gets to be with you." He smiles down at her.

She smiles back up at him with tears in her eyes. "You're always saying the sweetest things to me. Which makes me very happy that I am the lucky woman who gets to be with you too."

He leans down and presses a quick kiss to her lips. "Come on," he says when he pulls back, "We should probably catch up to the girls."

"Yes we should," she smiles.

Chapter Text

*November 10, 2014*

Sitting in the living room and messing around on his computer as the morning news plays in the background, Grant hears his phone go off next to him on the couch. Glancing over at it, he sees Skye's picture pop up on his caller ID.

Smiling to himself he picks up his phone and answers the call, holding the phone up to his ear, "Hello beautiful."

"Hey handsome," he hears Skye reply.

"What's up?" He asks her.

"Well I have a favor to ask of you. There's this thing on Friday night, it's a really, really big event. I was invited to attend, but I don't want to go to it by myself. Would you, maybe, want to come to it with me?"

"That depends. What kind of event is it?"

"A movie premiere."

"A movie premiere?" He repeats, as if he hadn't heard her correctly.

"Yeah."

"Why did you get invited to a movie premiere? That's not usually the kind of thing that a singer gets invited to. Is it?"

"You wouldn't think so. However, when said singer has a song that is used in the movie, then that singer gets invited to the movie premiere."

"You have a song in a movie? What movie is it?"

"It's called A Disappointing Homecoming. It's about a soldier who has to walk across the country to get home after he's discharged from the war because of an injury. That's all I really know about it. And that it's an adaption from a book; I read the book synopsis a while back but never actually read the book. But anyways, I had totally forgotten about this movie premiere until Natasha called to remind me about a dress fitting that I have next week for it."

"Oh, okay. When did you do a song for a movie?"

Skye lets out a puff of air, "Oh man, I don't really remember. It was a while ago. Actually, I think it was sometime right before we met. I mean, I didn't write the song specifically for the movie, but the producer, I think it was the producer, heard it and asked if they could use it in their movie."

"Well that's very cool for you."

"Thanks. So do you want to come with me? Be my date?"

Grant smiles into the phone, "I would love to be your date."

"Awesome. You are the absolute best."

"I know I am. Now, is there anything important that I need to know for this event?"

"Not really. Just wear a suit of some kind. You don't have to be too dressed up because you won't be walking the carpet with me. Though I will not object if you get super dressed up. While I'm walking the carpet and getting interviewed, you'll wait along the side and then meet up with me before we go into the theatre to watch the movie. And there is an after party too. Those are usually pretty fun."

"Okay. So what time is the premiere?"

"I can't remember off the top of my head, but I will text you as soon as I find out."

"Thank you. Do you want me to pick you up, or are you going to come and get me? Or is your driver going to take us?"

"Mack is going to take us to the premiere and to the party. But can you meet us at the Studio?"

"I can definitely do that."

"Awesome. After the party Mack will take us back to the Studio, and then from there, you and I will go back to your place."

"Oh really now."

"Yep. That's not a problem for you, is it?" He can hear her smiling through the phone.

"Not at all."

"Good. Oh, I just remembered something. What are you going to do about Sara that night?"

"Oh right. Well I guess I can see if Fitz will watch her for the night. I'm sure she'd love to go and spend some time with him."

"Sounds like a plan. Then I guess I'll see you on Friday."

"Yes you will. This'll be my first Hollywood premiere and after party. Even though I won't be walking down the carpet with you, I am still looking forward to attending."

"You're the best."

"So you've said," he smiles.

"Alright, I should probably go now. I love you."

"Love you too," he smiles and then hangs up his phone, turning back to the news.


 

"Hey Sara," Grant says as he enters the dining room while Sara is sitting at the table doing her homework. "I meant to tell you earlier, but this Friday, Skye and I are going to a really important party," he moves over to the table and stands in front of her. "So do you want Rebecca to watch you that night? Or Uncle Fitz?"

"Uncle Fitz!" Sara exclaims with a smile on her face.

He chuckles, "I figured you'd say that. I called him before you got home from school and told him that he is getting some quality time with his favorite niece on Friday night."

"I'm his only niece, dad," Sara reminds him with a smile and a roll of her eyes. "But can I go over to his house instead of him coming over here?"

"I think that should be fine," Grant tells her. "I'll text him a bit later and let him know that."

"And can Jemma hang out with us too?" Sara asks.

"You'll have to ask her that, but I'm sure she'd love to hang out with you guys."

"Okay," Sara smiles. "How long is your party?"

"I'm not sure," Grant replies, moving in to the kitchen to get a drink of water. "But Skye said that it might get done pretty late."

"Really?"

"Yep. We're going to a movie premiere."

Sara's eyes go wide, "You are?" Grant nods his head. "For what movie?"

"She said that it's called A Disappointing Homecoming. It's adapted from a book, and apparently Skye has a song in it so she gets to go and I get to be her date."

"Wow. That's pretty cool. So you're going to be done really late?"

"Probably. I don't know how long the movie is. But there is an after party that we're going to also."

"Okay. Well if I fall asleep at Uncle Fitz's house, you can just leave me there. You don't have to come and get me until tomorrow."

"Is that right," he says, walking over to the table.

Sara nods her head, "Uh-huh."

Grant smiles, "I'll think about it," he replies, "Now finish your homework."


 

*November 14, 2014*

"Wow," Grant says to no one in particular as Mack pulls the car up to the arrival area at the theatre. "This place is packed."

"Oh yeah," Skye smiles. "I've already done a couple of red carpets for when I released my first albums and attended a couple of awards shows, but I'm still excited."

"I'll bet," Grant replies, watching out the car window as people pass by, busy doing different things to make sure that the entire night goes off without a hitch.

"Alright you two," Mike says as he opens the door for them, "Let's go."

Grant climbs out of the car first, holding his hand out to help Skye from the car. She gratefully takes his hand and then intertwines their fingers together, pulling him towards the beginning of the carpet.

Mike walks closely behind them, ready to protect them from anything or anyone that might try to harm them. Or just if someone gets too close.

"And here is where we part," Skye turns to face Grant.

"Right here?" Grant asks for clarification.

She nods her head, "Yeah. I'm going to walk down the carpet, pose for pictures, do interviews, and all that jazz. And you, handsome man," she grabs the lapels of his suit coat, pulling him down a bit, "you are going to meet me at the entrance to the theatre."

"Okay," he says, "Good luck on the carpet."

"Thanks," she says, tilting her head back and leaning forward to give him a quick peck on the lips before letting go of his jacket and following the person in front of her to start her walk on the carpet.


 

"Alright everyone," the interviewer on the carpet says into her microphone, looking directly into the camera in front of her, "welcome back. I am joined now by Skye." She turns to look at Skye, "How are you doing this evening?"

"I'm doing great," Skye says with a smile into her microphone. "I'm really excited to be here."

"I can imagine so. Now, I heard that you have a song in the movie. Is that correct?"

Skye nods her head, "Yes. I do have a song in this movie."

"Can you tell us anything about that?"

"Not a whole lot, sorry. I haven't seen the movie yet so I don't know where my song is at in it. I just know that it's in there somewhere."

"Well that's still pretty exciting, knowing that one of your songs is appearing in a movie that is predicted to be a box-office hit."

"Yeah. It's pretty cool. I'm really excited to see the movie and hear my song in it."

"That's great. Is this your first movie premiere?"

"It is, yes. I've done a few other red carpets, but never for a movie premiere. So this is pretty exciting for me." Skye smiles wide.

"I'll bet. And did you bring a date with you this evening to share in the excitement with you, or are you flying solo for the night?"

"I did bring a date, actually. He's off somewhere waiting for me to finish up here so we can go inside and watch the movie." Skye smiles at the thought of Grant.

"Well good for you. Now, I'm getting the signal that it's time for you to go, but before you do, I just want to say that I really love your outfit."

Skye glances down at her dress, a simple pink dress that reaches down to her knees. It has cap sleeves and a small plunging sweetheart neckline. She looks back at the interviewer and smiles, "Thanks."

"You're welcome," the interviewer smiles back. "Well it's time for you to move on now. But it was really great getting to talk to you."

"You too," Skye smiles and then makes her way down the steps of the small platform and back onto the carpet.

She walks down the rest of the red carpet, posing for more pictures as she goes along. A huge, genuine smile is on her face the entire time.

When she gets to the end of the carpet, near the entrance to the theater, she sees Grant waiting for her.

"You looked good out there," he tells her with a smile. "A real natural on the carpet."

She smiles back, "Why thank you," she leans up and gives him a loving kiss. "You ready to go inside?" She asks him, reaching down to grab his hand in her own, linking their fingers together.

"I guess so," he gives her hand a quick squeeze.

"Good. Come on," she steps away from him and gently tugs on his hand to pull him towards the front doors of the theater.


 

"Uncle Fitz, do I really have to go to sleep?" Sara asks, as she lies on the couch in Fitz's living room. "I'm not even that tired. And anyways, it's Friday night. Daddy always let's me stay up as late as I want to on Friday nights."

"Well your dad isn't here, monkey," Fitz tells her as he sits down on the edge of the couch. He thinks for a moment and then speaks up, "I think I have an idea. You don't have to go to sleep." Sara perks up. "But you do have to lie down here on the couch." She deflates again. "It's getting late, Sara, so you don't really need to be running around and playing anymore. Do you want to watch some TV while you lie here?"

"Sure," Sara says, settling back into the couch, grabbing the blanket off of the back of the couch and wrapping it around herself.

"Alright," Fitz smiles and reaches over to the side table and picks up the remote, turning the TV on. He hands the remote over to Sara, "Here you go, monkey. You can put on whatever you want."

She flashes him a wide grin, "Whatever I want?"

"Actually, scratch that. Not whatever you want. Nothing that is too scary or intense or dirty for someone your age. I don't need your dad to be upset with me because I let you watch something inappropriate before you went to bed that resulted in nightmares or awkward questions."

Sara sighs, "Fine. I won't watch anything too scary or intense or dirty."

"Thank you," he smiles at her and then leans down to press a kiss to her forehead. "I'll just be over in the kitchen with Jemma if you need me for anything, okay?"

"Okay," she replies and then turns her attention to the TV, beginning to sift through the different channels available for her to watch.

Walking into the kitchen, Fitz sees Jemma pouring two cups of tea. He smiles as she hands him one, "This is exactly what I need," he gratefully takes the mug. "Thank you. I always forget how energetic Sara really is."

"It's no problem," she smiles at him as he takes a sip of the warm beverage.

"This is fantastic," Fitz smiles at her. "You are fantastic."

Jemma blushes, "Oh, you're just saying that."

"No Jemma, I mean it," he steps closer to her. "I've never met anyone else who I think is as amazing as you are. And I was uh, well I was wondering, if you'd uh, if you would…"

"If I would what, Leo?" Jemma prods slightly.

"Iwaswonderingifyou'dbemygirlfriend," he says quickly, his words getting mashed together.

Jemma smiles sweetly at him, "Well um, actually, I kind of thought I already was."

Fitz's eyes go wide, "Wait. You understood that?"

Jemma giggles, "Yes, I understood that."

"Oh," he says in amazement. "And uh, what did you mean when you said that you already thought you were?"

"I meant that I kind of already thought I was your girlfriend."

"You did?"

Jemma nods her head. "We have been hanging out together a lot lately and going out on dates and such. I guess I just sort of assumed that we were exclusive. Should I have asked you first, instead of just assuming? I'm really sorry."

"No, it's fine." He gives her a small smile.

"It is?"

"Yeah. I'm actually really glad that you already thought that," he says.

"Me too." She says somewhat quietly, stepping closer towards him. Fitz closes some of the distance between the two of them, setting his and Jemma's cups of tea down on the countertop next to them.

"Then I guess we're official, yeah?" He whispers to her, their lips just centimeters apart.

"Yeah," Jemma whispers back, a small smile on her face.

Leaning further in, Fitz connects their lips together, letting his hands fall to her waist. Jemma's hands find their way up to his neck, wrapping around it to bring him closer to her.

"Uncle Fitz!" Sara exclaims from the living room, breaking the two of them from their moment. "Your phone is ringing."

"Coming!" He calls back, not removing his gaze from Jemma's. She doesn't say anything, just looks at him sweetly. He gives her a small smile before turning around and making his way into the living room where Sara is lying on the couch holding his cell phone out to him. He takes it from her and hits the answer call button, holding it up to his ear.

"Hello?" He says into the phone.

"Hello," the person on the other end says, "Is this Leopold Fitz?"

"This is he."

"My name is Doctor Evans from the Los Angeles County Hospital. I'm calling about Grant Ward. I need you to come down to the hospital right away. I'm afraid that there's been an accident."

Chapter Text

"We're here for Skye Coulson," Phil announces when he and Melinda reach the receptionist desk in the hospital. Both of them are breathing heavily, having run as fast as they could from the parking garage to the front of the hospital.

"One moment," the woman behind the desk says and then begins typing away at her computer. After a quick moment she stops and looks up at them. "She's up on the third floor. Elevator is that way." She points towards a section just off to the side.

"Thank you," Phil nods his head at her once in appreciation and then grabs hold of Melinda's hand to drag her off behind him towards the elevators. When they step inside, Phil presses the number 3 button and waits as the doors close before letting go of his wife's hand to put his arm around her shoulders. "She'll be fine, Mel," he tries to reassure her, rubbing his hand soothingly up and down her arm.

"You can't be sure about that," she tells him and then gives him a small smile, "But thank you for trying."

When the elevator stops on the correct floor the doors open and both adults step out, quickly making their way down the hallway towards the waiting area.

"Phil, Melinda." The two adults turn their heads to see Jemma standing up in the waiting room, worry clearly written across her face. They both rush over to the young woman they view as a second daughter and envelop her in a hug, the three of them holding tightly to one another.

When they pull back, Phil speaks, "Jemma, what happened?"

Jemma swallows thickly before speaking, "We don't know exactly. The doctor called Leo earlier and asked us to come down. All we know is that Grant was driving and Skye was in the passenger seat. Some people saw their car after it crashed called it in. They think that they were hit, because of the condition the car was in. The medics arrived and then they were both brought straight here. That's everything we know right now."

"Have you heard anything on either of their conditions yet?" Melinda asks.

Jemma shakes her head, "No. We're still waiting for the doctor to come back out and talk to us."

"Jemma?" A small voice says. All three heads turn to see Sara curled up on Fitz's lap, his shirt balled up tightly in her tiny fist, "Where's my daddy?"

Jemma sighs and walks over to her, kneeling down so that she is at eye level, "You daddy was hurt very badly, Sara," Jemma tells the little girl. "Don't you remember? But the doctor's here are working as hard as they can to make him all better so he can come home to you."

"No! Uncle Fitz!" Sara starts crying, burying her face into her Uncles' shirt, "She's lying! Jemma's lying! I want daddy! Where's daddy?!"

Fitz frowns and rubs his hand up and down Sara's back, "Shh," he says, "I know you want your dad, Sara. But I'm afraid that Jemma is right. The doctors are with him right now; they are making him better so that he can come back home with you, okay?" Sara nods her head silently, but continues to sniffle.

Jemma stands up and runs one of her hands through her hair. She turns to look at Phil and Melinda, "She's been like that the entire time. She refuses to believe that Grant was actually injured."

"She's eight, Jemma," Melinda reminds the young woman, "She's confused and scared. Just give her some time."

"Yes," Phil agrees. "But in the meantime all we can do is wait, right?" Jemma just nods her head and returns to her seat next to Fitz.

Phil and Melinda each take a seat in two empty chairs next to each other. They intertwine their fingers together, trying their best to comfort each other in this difficult time.


"Family of Skye Coulson?" Phil, Melinda, and Jemma immediately stand up from their chairs at the mention of Skye's name.

"We're her parents," Phil says as he steps forward with Melinda. "What's going on? Is she okay?"

"Skye is fine," the doctor tells them and everyone in the room visibly relaxes. "She was very lucky. The side of the car she was on received the lesser of the impact from the crash. She only has a slight fracture of her ulna, in the forearm, a few cracked ribs, as well as a few cuts and bruises in a few different areas of her body, mainly her torso. But other than that she should be perfectly fine."

"Oh thank goodness," Melinda breathes out a sigh of relief, allowing Phil to pull her into a side hug.

"What about her boyfriend?" Jemma speaks up suddenly. "Grant Ward?"

The doctor's face falls. "Is Leopold Fitz here?"

"I'm right here," Fitz supplies from his spot in his chair, holding his hand into the air. "And before you ask, he only has his daughter and his grandmother. I'm on his emergency contact sheet, but you already know that because you called me. You can go head and tell us all what's going on though; I can assure you that he won't mind."

Doctor Evans sighs, "Very well then. Unfortunately, Grant was not quite as lucky as Skye was. Because he was on the driver's side, he took the brunt of the hit. He survived the crash, but just barely. When we brought him in he was barely alive, but we managed to stabilize him enough to get him through the surgery."

"What happened to him?" Jemma asks cautiously.

"Both of his legs were pinned when the car they were in spun and flipped over. We were able to repair the minimal damage that was done to his right leg, but unfortunately there was too much damage done to his left leg so we had to amputate it. He has a minor concussion from all of the rolling of the car which caused some swelling in the brain, which we were able to stabilize for now and we're hoping it will slowly start to go down. He also has a few cracked ribs as well as some major cuts and bruises along his abdominal area."

"Oh my goodness," Jemma says in shock, feeling the tears prickling at her eyes. She sinks back down into her chair and leans into Fitz as he manages to wrap one of his arms around her in comfort, while still holding onto Sara who is fast asleep.

"Can we go and see them?" Melinda asks the doctor, desperately needing to see her daughter.

"I can only take you back to see Skye right now, if you would like. But Grant has just been moved into the ICU to allow him to recover from his surgery and his injuries. We have him in a medically induced coma at the moment, and we'd like to keep him alone for a little while. Too much stimulus to his brain could hinder his recovery, so I'm afraid that you can't go and see him just quite yet."

"Thank you," Phil says to the doctor. "Please keep us updated on his progress."

"Of course. And I'll have one of our nurses come out and escort you to Skye's room."


Standing outside of Skye's hospital room, everyone looks through the window to see her lying completely still in her bed with a white blanket pulled up to her chest. Her eyes are closed.

"I'm going inside," Phil says, grabbing his wife's hand within his own, holding tight. "Are the three of you coming in as well?" He directs his question to Fitz, Jemma, and a still sleeping Sara.

"Oh," Fitz says, "I don't know, sir. This seems like such a, such a family thing to do…"

"Of course we we'll come in," Jemma smiles, squeezing Fitz's hand reassuringly.

"Great," Phil smiles briefly and then makes his way inside of Skye's hospital room, walking straight up to her bed. He stands over her for a moment and watches her rest peacefully, his mind flooding with memory upon memory of her as a newborn baby, sleeping soundly in her crib and in his arms.

"Daddy?"

Phil pulls himself from his thoughts and looks down to see Skye looking back up at him groggily. "Hey, baby girl," he smiles with tears shining in his eyes, taking her closest hand in his. "How are you feeling?"

"Like crap," she says, and then laughs for a moment before wincing.

"What's wrong?" Phil asks, worried about his daughter.

"Nothing," Skye tells him. "It just hurts to laugh."

"Well you did crack a few of your ribs," he tells her. "But uh, there are some people here who really want to see you."

"Who?" Skye asks.

Phil nods behind him and Skye looks to see four of the most important people in her life. "Mommy," she says with a smile, holding her good arm out to the older woman.

Melinda steps forward and carefully wraps her daughter in a hug, "Oh sweetheart. I'm so glad that you're okay."

"I am too," Skye smiles weakly.

Then she turns to face Jemma, Fitz, and Sara, "Jem. Fitz. Sara." She holds her arms out towards them.

Jemma and Fitz walk up to her bedside and Jemma immediately grabs Skye's hand in her own, while Fitz just smiles at her, holding Sara carefully in his arms. "You had us all worried sick," Jemma informs her. "We didn't know if you, if you were—"

"Hey," Skye cuts her friend off, "Stop that. I'm fine, okay? Just a little banged up is all."

Jemma smiles, "Yes. And you will be much better very soon."

"That's what the doctors told me. They said that I'm lucky I wasn't driving because the dri—" Skye's face suddenly drops. "Wait! Where's Grant?" She asks everyone in the room.

"He's in the ICU, sweetie," Melinda tells her daughter.

Skye's eyes go wide, "What? Why?"

"He was severely injured, Skye," Phil tells her. "They had to do an immediate surgery on him when he was brought in. They had a lot of damage to repair and they um, they had to amputate one of his legs."

"What?" Skye whispers, tears filling her eyes. "Take me to him, please. I have to see him."

"You can't right now," Phil tells his daughter. "The doctors put him into a medically induced coma because there was some swelling in his brain due to it being rattled around so much. And until they think that he's stable enough for people to go back and visit him, we can't."

"This is my fault," Skye mutters to herself. "It's all my fault."

"What?" Melinda asks suddenly. "Skye, do not blame yourself for what happened. It was a terrible accident and nothing could have prevented it."

"But that's the thing," Skye says, tears rapidly building in her eyes, "It is my fault. Grant was driving us to Fitz's place to get Sara after the party was over and we got into an argument. I don't even remember what it was about, I think it was about something that happened when we were getting ready to leave the party, but we were both yelling pretty loud and I'm sure that we both said some things we regret. He was looking at me and we were yelling at each other. Neither of us saw the headlights of the other car until it was too late. And when the car was flipping, he grabbed my head in his arms as best he could so that I wouldn't get hurt. He saved me from getting seriously injured, but now he's, he…" Skye trails off as the tears fall freely from her face.

"Hey now," Melinda steps forward and pulls her daughter into a comforting embrace, "Shh. It's okay."

"No, it's not," Skye says from within her mom's hold. "It's my fault. If I hadn't been stupid enough to argue with him while he was driving then we wouldn't be here right now. And Grant wouldn't be in the ICU, fighting for his life. And Sara," she says suddenly, remembering the sleeping girl in Fitz's arms. "He's all that she has. Besides his grandmother, but she's getting too old to care for a growing little girl. And her grandparents, but they don't live here. And oh my gosh! What if I just took away a little girls dad. I'm such a horrible person!" Skye drops her face into her hands and continues to cry, while both of her parents try and soothe her, trying to convince her that it isn't her fault.

"Sorry to interrupt," a nurse says, stepping into the room. "But I was told to come in and tell you that Grant Ward is stable now and ready for visitors."

Skye's head shoots up; tear tracks running down her face. "I can go and see him?" She immediately asks, without hesitation.

"Yes. But I'm afraid that you won't be able to talk with him because he is still in his coma."

"That's fine," Skye says quickly. "I just really need to see him."

"Very well then," the nurse smiles. "I'll be back in a moment with a wheelchair for you."

"Thank you," Skye smiles back as the nurse exits the room.

A moment later, the nurse returns to the room with a wheelchair and stops it by Skye's bedside.

"Mom? Dad? Will you help me?" Skye asks her parents.

"Of course, baby girl," Phil says, and he and Melinda help their daughter from her bed and into the wheelchair. Phil begins to push Skye when she stops him. "What is it?" He asks her.

"Sara," she says, "I'm pretty sure she wants to see her dad."

"She's still sleeping," Fitz points out.

"I really don't think she'll mind waking up if she gets to see her dad. And I'm sure Grant won't mind if we wake her up. If she gets to see her dad, it won't matter. And she'll probably fall right back to sleep, anyways. When she wants to sleep, she sleeps."

"If you insist," Fitz sighs heavily. "Sara?" He whispers gently into the little girl's ear. "Sara." He gently shakes her shoulder, "Hey monkey, do you want to go and see your dad?"

That catches her attention and Sara's eyes slowly begin to open, "Daddy?" She asks.

"Do you want to go and see him?" Fitz repeats. Sara gives a small smile and nods her head. "Good. Because Skye is going to take you to go and see him. But you won't be able to talk to him right now because he's asleep."

"Okay," Sara says quietly. Fitz smiles and then leans down to transfer Sara to Skye's arms.

"What happened?" Sara asks, noticing the bandages wrapped around Skye's torso, as well as the sling on her arm.

"I got hurt," Skye tells the little girl in her arms, "but I'm okay. I'll be fine really soon, just watch. But your dad got hurt more than me, so I think that we should go and see him to try and make him feel better. What do you think?" Sara smiles even bigger and nods her head. "Alright. Hold on tight, okay? But be careful." Sara nods her head again and wraps her arms around Skye's neck, holding onto her as Phil begins pushing the wheelchair once more, Melinda walking right beside them.


When they finally reach Grant's room at the ICU, the nurse allows Phil to push Skye and Sara inside but then instructs him wait to outside of the room because of the very strict ICU visitor policy.

"Daddy?" Sara calls out quietly when she sees her dad lying in the bed with his eyes closed and bandages all over his body. He has a few different tubes and wires attached to his body, leading to a couple of machines sitting around his bed. "Daddy?"

"He's still asleep, sweetie," Skye tells the little girl as they take their place next to Grant's bedside.

"When is he going to wake up?" Sara asks her, wanting to see her dad awake and happy again.

"I don't know," Skye tells her sadly. "It all depends on when the medicine they gave him wears off. It's a type of medicine that keeps him asleep to let his body fix the things that need to be fixed on the inside. If everything works like it should, then he should wake up in a few days."

"Oh," Sara says, looking down and starting to play with the hem of her shirt. Skye looks down sadly as well, hugging the small child to her as best as she can without injuring herself further. Looking up at her boyfriend lying in the hospital bed, it takes all of the strength that she has to not start crying. She wants to, oh how she wants to, but she decides that she needs to keep herself together for Sara's sake. She needs to be strong for the little girl that looks up to her in so many ways.

She desperately needs Grant to get better quickly and wake up. She doesn't know if she'll be able to go on for very much longer if he doesn't wake up. She needs him to wake up, he has to. If not for her, then for Sara.

Chapter Text

*November 18, 2014*

"I don't want to go to school today," Sara says from her place in Skye's lap. Her arms are wrapped gently around Skye's middle, her head resting on Skye's shoulder.

"I know you don't want to, Sara," Skye says, "but you need to. It's important for you to go to school, even if you don't really feel like going."

"But I want to stay here with you in case dad wakes up."

Skye sighs, shifting slightly in her chair and lifting Sara's head off of her shoulder so she can look at her. "How about this, if you go to school today and your dad wakes up while you're gone I'll have someone pick you up and bring you back here, okay?"

"Even if it's in the middle of the day?"

"Even if it's in the middle of the day," Skye repeats with a smile.

"Okay," Sara agrees somewhat reluctantly. "Who's going to take me to school?"

"Who do you want to take you to school?"

Sara thinks for a moment, "Can Bobbi take me?"

"I'm sure she'd be happy to take you. Let me call her and then you can ask her, okay?"

"Okay."

Grabbing her phone off of the small table next to Grant's bed, Skye unlocks it and goes to her contact list, finding Bobbi's name. She hits the call button and then holds the phone up to her ear.

"Hello?" Bobbi answers.

"Hey Bobbi," Skye says. "Sara's here and she has something she wants to ask you."

"Put her on then," Bobbi replies.

Skye smiles and hands the phone over to Sara. Sara takes the phone and holds it to her ear, "Bobbi?"

"Hey Sara."

"Hi. Um, Skye told me that I have to go to school today because it's important for me to go and I was wondering if you'll take me."

"Of course I will, sweetie," Bobbi tells her. "Are you still at the hospital?"

"Yeah."

"Okay. I'll be there in just a few minutes."

"Okay," Sara replies. "Um, my backpack is at home, though."

"That's okay," Bobbi tells her. "I'll get the key from Skye and we can stop by your house to pick up whatever it is you need. Sound good to you?"

"Yeah, I guess."

"Great. Then I'll see you in a little bit."

"Bye."

"Bye."

Sara ends the call and then hands the phone back over to Skye. "Bobbi is going to be here in a little bit to pick me up. She's going to take me home so I can get my backpack. Then she's going to take me to school."

"Okay. I want you to try and have a good day at school, alright?"

Sara sighs, "I'll try. But I can't make you any promises."

"As long as you try," she gives her a smile.

Sara smiles back and throws her arms around Skye's neck, hugging her tight. "I love you, Skye."

Skye smiles bigger and hugs Sara a bit tighter. "I love you too, Sara."


"Well, here we are," Bobbi says as she pulls into one of the parking spaces at the front of Sara's school and shifts the car into park. She looks over at Sara in the backseat to see her sitting quietly with a sad expression on her face.

"You have to walk me into the front office and check me in," Sara informs the older woman.

"Okay," Bobbi replies. "Let's go check you in then." She smiles at Sara before shutting the engine off and unbuckling herself.

Climbing out of the car, she waits as Sara also unbuckles herself and gets out of the car. Bobbi holds her hand out to Sara and she gladly takes it, needing the comfort. The two of them walk silently up to the school and then in through the front doors. Sara wordlessly leads Bobbi to where the office is at the front of the school and they both step inside.

"Hello," the woman behind the front desk says when she sees them walk in.

"Hi," Bobbi smiles kindly at her. "I'm here to drop a kid off for school. We're not too late, right? We would have been here sooner but I got a little turned around."

"It's perfectly fine," the woman assures Bobbi. "School just started about 10 minutes ago."

"Excellent," Bobbi smiles.

"I'll just need you to fill out this sign in sheet right here," the woman gestures to an open black binder with green paper inside of it.

Bobbi picks one of the pens out of the cup on the counter and scribbles down the information on the sheet. "Sara, what's your teacher's name and room number?"

"Nolten. Room 208," Sara replies automatically.

"Great, thanks." She scribbles down the last bit of information and then places the pen back into the cup. "Okay Sara," she turns to the girl, "I think you can handle things from here. If nothing changes before you get out of school I'll see you later, okay?"

"Are you going to pick me up?"

"Would you like me to?" Sara nods her head. Bobbi smiles, "Okay then. I'll pick you up after school."

"Bobbi? Um, will you walk me to my classroom?"

Bobbi glances up at the office lady, "Is that okay?"

"Of course," the woman smiles warmly.

Bobbi turns back to Sara, "Then I would love to walk you to your class." She holds her hand out and Sara takes it once again. Bobbi waves goodbye to, and thanks, the office lady before turning and making her way out of the office, Sara right by her side.


When they reach Sara's classroom, the door is open and the teacher is speaking. Bobbi steps into the classroom and silently catches the teacher's attention. Ms. Nolten acknowledges Bobbi's presence with a slight nod of her head before speaking to her class, "Okay everyone. Please get out your homework assignment from last night and we'll go over and correct those together."

As the students rifle through their backpacks for the specific paper, Ms. Nolten makes her way to the door of the classroom. "Hi Sara," she says when she sees her student.

"Hi," Sara says back with a small wave.

"We missed you in class yesterday," Ms. Nolten tells her with a kind smile. "I know that you don't have yesterday's homework assignment, so you can just follow along while we go over it, okay?"

"Okay." Sara says, somewhat quietly. She turns to look at Bobbi, "Bye Bobbi."

"Bye sweetie, I'll see you after school."

"Unless something changes before I get out," Sara reminds her.

"Absolutely," Bobbi smiles.

Sara gives Bobbi a quick hug before turning and making her way into the classroom towards her desk and best friend.

"Thank you for bringing Sara," Ms. Nolten says to Bobbi. "I'm Ms. Nolten, her teacher."

"I'm Bobbi, a friend of the family. And it was no problem. What time does school let out?"

"2:50. Our class comes out of the front entrance of the school."

Bobbi smiles, "Thanks."

"Not a problem. I'm glad that Sara has people now who are there for her when she needs them. I was her teacher last year as well and if this had happened last year, then I don't think she'd have done too well."

"I'm guessing you know about the accident then," Bobbi sighs.

"Yes." Ms. Nolten nods her head. "The principal informed me over the weekend, because Sara is my student. How is her father doing?"

"He's still in a coma. We're just hoping that he'll wake up soon. If we're lucky enough for him to wake up today before Sara gets out of school then I'll be back to get her. But if not, then I'll just come back when school lets out to get her."

"Okay. Well, I guess I'll see you later then."

"Yes," Bobbi smiles. "Sara," she calls out to the girl. "Try and have some fun, okay?"

Sara nods her head, "Okay."

"Alright," Bobbi breathes out. "I better go." She throws a smile to Ms. Nolten before turning and making her way from the classroom and back out to her car.


"Hey Sara," Josie says when Sara sits down next to her, placing her backpack under her desk.

"Hi," Sara replies, folding her arms on top of her desk and resting her chin on them.

"Are you oaky?" Josie asks tentatively. "I heard about your dad. How is he?"

"Still in a coma," Sara says, close to tears. "I wanted to stay at the hospital again today, but Skye told me that I need to come to school instead."

"I'm sorry," Josie says to her best friend.

Sara shrugs, "It's okay. She's right. I've been there every day since the accident. I just hope he wakes up soon. I want my daddy back."

"I hope he wakes up too. Your dad is really cool."

"Yeah, he is," Sara smiles softly.

"Sara," she hears Bobbi call her name. She turns her head to look at Bobbi. "Try and have some fun, okay?"

She nods her head, "Okay." She turns back to Josie and rests her head back on her arms. "I just want today to be over so I can go back to the hospital."

"I'm glad you're here though," Josie tells her. "You're my best friend, Sara. I missed you when you weren't here yesterday."

"I missed you too," Sara smiles at her.


The school bell rings, signaling the start of recess. All of the kids in the classroom stand from their seats and make their way towards the door of the classroom. They are all lined up and ready to go out to recess.

"Sara, are you coming out to recess?" Josie asks her friend as she makes her way to the classroom door.

Sara remains in her seat and shrugs her shoulder, "I don't know. Maybe."

Josie sighs, "Okay. Do you want me to stay inside with you?"

Sara shakes her head, "No. Go outside to recess. Please."

Josie frowns, "Are you sure?"

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. Go play. I'll be fine."

"Okay," Josie says, before slowly turning towards the door and lining up with everyone else.

"Sara."

Looking up, she sees Ms. Nolten standing in front of her desk, a sympathetic look on her face. "Are you going to be fine for a few minutes while I take the class outside?" Sara nods her head silently. "Okay, I'll be back soon." She gives Sara a small smile before turning to lead the rest of the class outside to recess.


Sara lifts her head off of her desk and looks over to where her teacher is sitting at her desk, working on something.

"Ms. Nolten?" She speaks up.

Ms. Nolten looks up at Sara, "Yes, Sara?"

"Um, can I use the phone so I can call my mo—so I can call Skye?"

Ms. Nolten smiles softly at her, "Of course you can, sweetheart. Do you know her phone number?"

Sara nods as she stands from her desk and makes her way to the classroom telephone, "My dad made me memorize it just in case."

"Alright. Be sure to dial 9 first."

"Okay, thanks."

Sara picks the phone up off of the dock and presses the 9 button before dialing the number for Skye's cell phone. She holds the phone up to her ear and waits as the phone rings.

A minute later she hears Skye's voice on the other end, "Hello?"

"Skye," Sara says, feeling the tears already building up in her eyes.

"Sara? What's going on? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Sara lies.

"Why don't I believe you?"

"It's recess, but I stayed inside. I wanted to call you and check on my dad," her voice wavers at the end of her sentence.

"Oh Sara," Skye says. "You remember that I said I would have someone come and get you if he woke up, right?"

"Yeah," Sara sniffles.

"Okay. But because you're on the phone, I guess I can tell you what the doctor told me just a little bit ago."

"What did he say?"

"He said that your dad is doing much better today. And if everything continues to go well, your dad should wake up in a couple of days."

"Really?" Sara asks, rubbing one palm over her eyes to wipe away her tears.

"Yeah."

"Okay. Thanks, Skye."

"You're welcome, sweetie. Now, how much longer do you have left for recess?"

"I don't know. I think it's almost over. I wanna come back to the hospital to be with you and dad." She struggles to keep her tears at bay.

"I know you do, sweetie. How much time do you have left of school?"

"Um," she glances up at the clock hanging on the wall behind her, "about two more hours, I think."

"Do you think you can survive two more hours of school?"

"I can try."

"And then when Bobbi picks you up and brings you back here, we can cuddle up and watch a movie or something. Sound good to you?"

"Yeah. Can we watch Mulan? It's my favorite and I haven't watched it in a while."

"Sure we can. I'll let Bobbi know to swing by the house so you can grab it. I already have my laptop here with me so we just need the movie."

"Okay. Um, I'm going to go now because recess is almost over."

"Okay, sweetie. I'll see you after school."

"Yeah. Bye."

"Bye."

Hanging up the phone, Sara throws a smile at Ms. Nolten before going back to her desk and sitting down.


"Okay class, please get your things and line up by the door."

Sara stands up from her seat and picks up her backpack, swinging it up onto both of her shoulders. She waits for Josie to get hers and then the two girls make their way to the classroom door and get in line.

"Are you excited to go back to the hospital?" Josie asks Sara as they stand by the door, waiting for the rest of the class to line up.

Sara shrugs, "I guess so."

"Are you going to come back to school tomorrow too?"

"Maybe," she says.

"Well I hope you do," Josie tells her. "It's more fun when you're here."

Sara gives her friend a small smile, "Thanks, Josie."

Josie smiles back, "You're welcome."

"Is everyone ready to go?" Ms. Nolten asks as she makes her way towards the classroom door.

A bunch of the students nod their heads, smiling up at their teacher.

"Okay, let's go then."


"Ms. Nolten," Sara speaks up when the class gets outside. "Bobbi is over there," she points to where Bobbi is standing just a few feet away waiting for her.

Ms. Nolten glances over her shoulder before looking back at Sara, "Okay Sara. I'll see you later."

"Bye," Sara waves at her before turning and making her way towards Bobbi. "Bobbi!" She exclaims, jumping up into Bobbi's arms.

Bobbi manages to catch the little girl in her arms and hugs her tightly, "Hey Sara."

Sara pulls back slightly from the hug and looks Bobbi in the eyes, "Can we go to the hospital now? Skye promised me that we can watch Mulan. But we have to go by my house first to get it."

"Yes, Skye told me all about your movie plans." Bobbi shifts Sara so that's she's sitting on her hip and then turns to make her way towards her car. "How was school?"

Sara shrugs, "It was okay. I just want to go back to the hospital and see my dad and Skye."

"I know you do, kiddo." Bobbi reaches her car and sets Sara down so she can dig out her keys to unlock the car.

When she finds them, she unlocks the car and she and Sara both climb in and buckle up. "You ready to go?" Bobbi glances through the rearview mirror at Sara.

Sara nods her head, "Yeah."

"Excellent," she smiles. Turning the engine on, she carefully backs out of her parking space and pulls out onto the main road.


"Skye!" Sara says happily as she enters her dad's hospital room. She drops her backpack just inside the door of the room and runs up to Skye, immediately climbing up into her lap.

"Hey, sweetie," Skye smiles and hugs Sara. "Did you survive the last couple hours of school?"

Sara shrugs, "I guess so. I'm just glad to be back here with you and dad," she lies back, resting her head on Skye's shoulder.

"I'm glad you're back, too," Skye says, hugging the girl and gently rubbing her back. "Now, did you bring the movie?"

Sara sits up quickly and smiles brightly, "Yep."

Skye smiles, "Awesome. Go grab it while I get my laptop set up." Sara climbs off of Skye's lap and goes over to her backpack to grab the DVD. Skye pulls the small rolling table that rests at the foot of the hospital bed over to where they are. She pulls her laptop out of its case and sets it down on top of the table. Opening the lid of the computer, she hits the on switch to bring the machine to life.

Sara walks back over with the DVD case, climbing back up into Skye's lap. She hands Skye the case and then leans back against her chest. Skye smiles down at her and then opens the case, inserting the disc into the CD drive on the right side of her computer. She waits for the media player to load, skips over all of the previews and then hits play, making the image full screen. She grabs the blanket that had been given to her the day before and pulls it over the two of them.

Carefully wrapping her arms around Sara's body, Skye leans back into the chair and holds Sara close to her body. She rests her chin atop Sara's head and smiles when Sara relaxes further into her, letting out a deep sigh.

Skye tilts her head down and places a gently kiss to the top of Sara's head before returning to her previous position and giving all of her attention to the movie playing in front of her.

Chapter Text

*November 21, 2014*

"I'm so sorry, Miss Coulson. We did absolutely everything we were able to do, but unfortunately he didn't make it through the night."

"No. You're—you're lying."

"I'm very sorry."

"Stop! Okay? Just stop saying that. I know you're not actually sorry. You probably didn't even really try and save him; you just stood there and let him die."

"I can assure you that we did everything we possibly could. Sometimes these things happen and it's completely out of our control. Sometimes people don't recover from such serious damage as he had."

"No! He can't be gone! You have to bring him back! He has a daughter! Did you even think about that at all? Did you? Did you even think about his daughter when you just let him die?!"

"Like I said, we did everything we could to try and save him."

"No! Grant! No!"

Startling awake from her deep sleep, Skye looks around at her surroundings trying to remember where exactly she is. That's when her gaze falls on Grant lying in the hospital bed next to her, still asleep. All of the tubes and wires are still attached to his body. She takes in his appearance and how peaceful he looks in his sleep.

"He's still fine." She quickly turns her head to see Fitz sitting in the chair at one end of the room. "Just in case you were wondering."

"How long was I asleep?" Skye asks him, letting a yawn escape past her lips.

Fitz shrugs, "Well, you slept here overnight again. The nurses and doctors wanted to wake you up and send you home. Multiple times, actually. But I told them to just leave you, that you weren't really causing any trouble for anyone here."

She gives him a small smile, "Thanks, Fitz."

He smiles back, "Anything for a friend."

"Where's Sara?" Skye asks, looking around the room for the little girl in question. "Wasn't she here last night?"

"She stayed with your parents last night," Fitz tells her. "She wanted to stay here with you, but your mom assured her that she'd get a better night's sleep in an actual bed. So she slept there last night."

"Good," Skye nods her head. "She needs to get proper sleep."

"So do you."

Skye sighs, "I appreciate your concern Fitz, but I'm okay. If I wasn't here I wouldn't be able to sleep. I'd be up all night worrying about Grant. It's a little bit easier for me to sleep knowing he's right here, even if he isn't awake."

"I get it, I do. You just looked kind of uncomfortable in that chair all night."

"Well, it's the best I can get right now."

Fitz's phone beeps in his pocket and he pulls it out to see a new text message. "It's Bobbi," he tells Skye as he opens the message and reads it. He types back a quick response before pocketing his phone again. He looks up at Skye, "Bobbi is bringing Sara up here before she takes her to school. I guess she doesn't want to go to school, again, but your mum convinced her to go. I honestly don't know how though, Sara can be pretty stubborn when she really wants to do something."

"My mom has always had a way with the stubborn ones," Skye says, shifting in the chair. "I mean, she raised me."

Fitz lets out a chuckle, "Yes. I've heard some of those stories from Jemma."

Things are quiet for a moment between the two friends, the steady beeping of the machine monitoring Grant's heartbeat and other important vitals filling the room. A moment later there is a knock on the door to the room. Fitz and Skye both turn to see Bobbi standing in the doorway, Sara sitting comfortably on her hip.

"Hey," Bobbi smiles at Skye, seeing her awake. "You sleep well?"

Skye shrugs, "As well as I can in a hospital chair." She turns her attention to Sara, "Hey Sara. Heard you slept over at my parents' house last night."

Sara nods her head, "Melinda made me."

"Well I'm glad she did," Skye tells her honestly. "Growing little girls need to sleep as comfortably as possibly every night."

"I know," Sara sighs. "It was hard to sleep though. I missed you and dad." She lifts her head to look up at Bobbi, "Can I go sit with Skye now?"

"Of course you can," Bobbi smiles softly, and then sets Sara down on the floor.

Sara makes her way over to Skye, climbing up into her lap and resting her head on the older woman's shoulder. Fitz stands up from his chair, "Well, I'll leave you ladies alone here. I was only in here in case he woke up while you were out," he says to Skye. "But it seems that my job here is now finished."

"Bye, Uncle Fitz," Sara waves at him.

"Bye, monkey," he smiles, gently running his hand over her hair.

"You'll let us know if he wakes up, right?" Bobbi speaks up.

"Of course," Skye assures her with a smile.

"Great, then we'll leave you three be. Sara, I'll be back in a little while to take you to school, okay?" Sara silently nods her head before snuggling closer to Skye. Bobbi and Fitz both turn and make their way from the hospital room, leaving Skye and Sara to be alone with a still sleeping Grant.

"Skye?" Sara speaks up after a quiet minute. "When is my dad going to wake up?"

"I don't know, sweetheart," Skye replies, smoothing some of Sara's hair back out of her face. "Hopefully soon, though. I don't like not being able to see his eyes, and hear his voice, and see his smile."

"Me too," Sara replies, "I want him to wake up now. I don't want him to be hurt anymore. I don't like it."

Skye can hear the tears beginning to build in Sara's voice and holds her closer, "I know, Sara. I don't want him to be hurt anymore either." She places a gentle kiss to the top of Sara's head, closing her eyes as she rests her head atop Sara's.

"Hey bear."

Both Skye's and Sara's heads shoot up in alert at hearing the raspy voice call out, their eyes instantly going towards Grant.

"Daddy!" Sara exclaims with a smile, sitting up straighter in Skye's arms.

"How are you?" Grant asks his daughter, putting on a smile just for her.

"I was scared," Sara admits.

"You were?"

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. Because I was with Jemma and Uncle Fitz and then he got a call that said you got hurt and we came here but I didn't see you or Skye. Skye woke up first, but you were still sleeping. When we came back to see you, you were asleep and you didn't wake up for a week."

"Well I'm awake now, aren't I?" Sara nods her head. "Alright then, nothing to be scared about anymore." He smiles at her. "Now come here, let me get a hug from my favorite girl." Sara smiles and then carefully climbs out of Skye's lap and up onto the hospital bed. She lies down on Grant's right side, the side that is closest to Skye, wrapping her small arms tightly around his neck, burying her face in the crook of his neck.

"I love you daddy," she says in his ear.

Grant wraps his right arm around her tiny body, hugging her as close as he can without causing any pain to himself, "I love you too, bear."

Things are quiet for a moment as Grant can feel Sara getting slightly heavier, letting him know that she must have fallen asleep, her breathing evening out as well.

"I think she's asleep," Skye points out.

"I think so too," he says, looking up at her.

Skye smiles at him. "Hey," she says with tears in her eyes.

He smiles back at her. "Hey," he says quietly. "How are you? Are you okay?"

"Am I okay? You are the one lying in the hospital bed right now. You are the one who was in a coma for an entire week. You could have died in that car accident, Grant. And it's my fault." She begins silently crying again.

"Hey," he says somewhat quietly, not wanting to disturb Sara, "what happened that night was not your fault. You weren't driving the other car. You didn't hit us."

"I know. But I started the argument. If I hadn't been so stupid, we wouldn't be in this position."

"What are you even talking about?" He asks her.

"It's my fault we were arguing. I'm still a little fuzzy on what exactly we were arguing about, but I know that if we weren't arguing, you would have been paying attention to the road. Then you could have seen the other car coming and you might have been able to swerve out of…"

"Skye," Grant says, removing his hand from Sara's back and reaching it up to cup Skye's cheek, "Relax. Please. We can't go back and undo what happened."

"But if we could," Skye says, "would you?"

"Of course I would," he replies. "Maybe then I'd still have my leg." He sighs, looking down at the lower half of his blanket.

"How'd you know?" She asks him. "You were asleep for a week."

He drops his hand from her face, replacing it with one of her hands, "When you're in a coma you can still hear everything going on around you. I just wish that they could have salvaged my leg. I hate that they had to chop it off. Life is going to be so much more difficult, especially at work, and people are going to be looking at me weird. And Sara…" He trails off, glancing down at his sleeping daughter.

"Grant," Skye says, catching his attention. "It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, okay? I don't care if you only have one leg now. And I don't think Sara will either. We both love you because of who you are; the fact that you have a missing body part now doesn't matter to me. And I'm positive that it won't matter to Sara, she's just glad to have her daddy back. And I am going to be with you through every step of your recovery, okay? We both have many weeks to recover and you do not have to be alone through any of this. I am always going to be by your side."

Grant smiles at her and squeezes her hand gently, "Marry me."

Skye looks taken aback, "What?"

"Marry me, Skye."

"Did you just-are you sure you don't still have some damage to your brain?"

He chuckles, "I'm perfectly fine, Skye."

"You just asked me to marry you."

"I know I did."

"Why?"

"Life is short and unpredictable, Skye. The accident just helps to prove that. We were really lucky; you and I. Things could have turned out way worse than they did. I could have died. And I realize now that I don't want to spend another minute in this life without you officially by my side. I know I don't have a ring or a romantic setting, but I love you. Isn't that enough?"

"You're really asking me this?"

"I am," he nods his head. "So, will you marry me?"

"No," she says and Grant's face immediately falls.

"Oh," he says. "I get it. That's fine. I just thought—"

"Wait." She says, cutting him off. "It's not that I don't want to marry you, because um, I kind of do…"

"Then why'd you say no?"

"I just, I just don't think now is the right time."

"Really?"

"Yeah. We've only been together for about five months and I just don't think this is the right time. With everything that has just happened, and taking time to recover and heal, I think it'll be a little overwhelming. I'll tell you what though, let's get through both of our recoveries and deal with everything involving the accident first. I just want to make sure we're both in the right frame of mind when we commit to this. That it isn't because we just went through this huge ordeal. And then, when this is all over, when everything is good, if you still want to marry me, ask me. I don't care how you ask me or where you ask me, just as long as you do. And I promise you that I will say yes."

"When this is all over and dealt with?" He asks for clarification.

"Yes. And I will be by your side every day through your recovery."

"You promise?"

"I promise."

Chapter Text

*November 22, 2014*

"Alright, Mr. Ward," Doctor Evans says as he enters Grant's hospital room, a clipboard in his hands and a smile on his face. "You are being released today."

"I am?" Grant asks happily.

The doctor nods his head as he pulls his rolling stool closer and sits down on it. "Yes. I'm not going to put you on bed rest or anything like that, but I am going to limit how much you move around."

"Okay. That's fine."

"Don't be doing anything too extreme or rigorous, because it could cause some more damage to your brain or your ribs and we do not want that. Take things easy so that it gives you a chance to let things heal properly, but you're still allowed to move around and do smaller things. Do you have someone at your home that can help you out during the day?"

"Yes," Grant replies, looking right at Skye. "That's fine with you, right?" He asks her.

She smiles at him, "Of course it is," she says, squeezing his hand.

"Great," Doctor Evans smiles. "Now, like I said, you need to take it easy at home. It'll take about six weeks for your ribs to heal. Yours as well, Miss Coulson," he looks at Skye.

She nods her head, "Got it."

"It's also going to take about 6 to 8 weeks for your fractured ulna to heal, so be extra careful when helping Grant; we don't want it to get damaged any more than it already is."

"Be careful with my ulna," she holds her right arm in the air. "Check."

He turns back to Grant, "Now, in a few days I'll have you come back in so we can run some tests; make sure everything is healing the way that it should. I'm also going to send you to another facility after the Thanksgiving holiday, to get you fitted for a prosthetic leg."

"A what?" Grant's eyebrows shoot up. "A prosthetic leg?"

Doctor Evans nods his head, "Yes. But until that time, we'll be providing you with either a wheelchair or a pair of crutches for you to get around."

"Okay," Grant breathes, still trying to wrap his head around the idea of having a prosthetic leg. "So, what time am I being released?"

"You just have to fill out some paperwork and then you can leave," Doctor Evans smiles.

"Thank you," Grant says to the doctor, giving him a small smile.

"Of course," the doctor stands from his chair. "I'll just go and get your discharge papers. I'll be back in a moment." He leaves the room and Grant turns his head to look at Skye.

"Are you excited to be getting out of here?" Skye asks him.

He shrugs, "I guess so. I just hate that I won't be able to do very much at home."

Skye rests her hand on his cheek, looking directly in his eyes, "You'll be fine," she assures him. "It's like I told you yesterday, I'm going to be with you throughout your entire recovery, helping you out in every way I can."

He just smiles at her, "I love you."

She smiles back, "I love you too."


"You know, the movies make using crutches look so much easier than it actually is," Grant points out as he struggles just a bit to get the hang of his new walking aid.

"Well you could have picked the wheelchair," Skye informs him as they walk out of the front doors of the hospital towards the parking lot.

"I know," he replies, "but I do not want to be confined to sitting down all day every day."

"Yes, I realize that. But I don't want you to work yourself harder than you have to. Especially while you're still healing. You heard what the doctor said."

"And I really appreciate your concern, I do. But don't forget that the doctor told you to take it easy, too."

Skye rolls her eyes, "Yeah, I know."

"Good. Because I don't want you working too hard either. Even though you're going to be helping out even more than you already were, I don't want you to exhaust yourself, Skye. Okay?"

"I promise I won't overwork myself," she smiles at him.

"Thank you," he smiles back, leaning down for a quick kiss.

They spend the rest of their walk to the car in a comfortable silence, Skye shortening her stride just a tad, so as to keep herself next to Grant as he maneuvers his crutches. Once they reach the car, Skye unlocks the door and helps Grant get into his seat, before depositing his crutches into the back seat as best as she can with an injured arm.

"Okay," she says as they both get strapped into their seats, "let's get Sara from my parents and then go home."

"Thank goodness," he breathes out, "I hate hospitals."

"Good to know," Skye smiles. She sticks the car key in the ignition, turning the engine on. Slowly backing out of the parking space, Skye makes her way back out onto the main road and begins driving towards her parents' house.


Pulling up to the front of her parents' house, Skye shifts the car into park and cuts the engine. Climbing out of the car, she walks around the front of the car to the passenger side.

She opens the back door of the car, pulling Grant's crutches out and then hands them to him as he begins pulling himself out of the car.

"You good?" She asks him as he steadies himself.

He nods his head, "Yeah. I think so."

"Alright. Let's go."

The two of them slowly make their way up to the front porch of the house.

Once they reach it, Skye grabs the spare key out of the planter on the banister and unlocks the house, pushing the door open.

She lets Grant enter the house first and then steps in behind him, closing the door and locking it. "Hello?" Skye calls into the house. "Mom? Dad? Sara?"

A second later, running feet can be heard on the hardwood flooring as Sara comes running into the front room. "Dad! Skye!" She exclaims, skidding to a stop in front of them with a large smile on her face.

"Hey bear," Grant smiles down at his daughter. "Did you have fun with Skye's parents?"

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. Phil showed me a bunch of his Captain America stuff and Mel showed me how to do Tai Chi. We watched a movie, too, while we had lunch."

"Sounds like you had a good day, then," Skye smiles.

"Yep," Sara smiles. "I like hanging out with Phil and Mel."

"What happened to calling her Melinda?" Grant asks curiously.

Sara shrugs, "I don't know. I like Mel better."

"Me too, kiddo."

Turning around, Sara sees Melinda entering the front room, a small smile on her face.

"Hey mom," Skye smiles at her mother.

"Hi sweetheart," Melinda wraps her daughter in a hug. "Were you okay driving here?" Melinda asks when she pulls away from the hug, gesturing to Skye's arm.

Skye nods her head, "Yeah. I was fine. Thank goodness it doesn't inhibit me from driving. The seatbelt was a little uncomfortable because of my ribs, but that's to be expected."

"Same," Grant speaks up. "That seatbelt was not the most fun thing to wear. But I wore it, because it's the right thing to do."

"That it is," Phil says as he joins the group. "Seatbelts save lives."

"Preaching to the choir, dad," Skye replies. "Hey, can we sit down for a few minutes and rest?"

"Of course you can," Phil smiles at Skye and Grant. The group of them all move into the living room, Grant and Skye sitting down on the couch. Phil and Melinda sit down on the couch across from them, and Sara squeezes herself in between Grant and Skye.

"How are you feeling, Grant?" Melinda asks.

Grant takes a deep breath and then winces from the pain in his ribs. "About like that," he says.

"Are you okay, dad?" Sara asks him with concern in her eyes.

He smiles down at her, "It's just my ribs, bear. They still hurt every time I take a deep breath."

"Oh."

"So," Phil speaks up, "what is the situation with work going to be like? You obviously can't work with just one leg, right?"

"Yeah. You're right," Grant replies. "I'm not sure what work is going to be like now. My boss called me this morning when he heard that I woke up. He wanted to check on me and make sure I was doing alright."

"Well that's nice of him," Melinda smiles.

"Yeah. And he told me I can take as much time as I need to recover. Obviously not too much, though. And he said that I'll be on paid leave while I'm recovering. But once I'm doing better, he wants me to go in and talk with him."

"Let's hope it's good," Skye says to him.

"Yeah, let's hope so."

"Skye," Sara speaks up, "how long until your cast is off?"

"Um, the doctor said about 6 to 8 weeks, I think. So depending on how much time it actually needs to heal, it could be off either right after Christmas, or right after the New Year."

"Okay. I guess that's good."

"It's very good," Skye smiles. "It'll mean that my arm has healed properly and is all better."

"Okay. Can we go home now?" Sara asks, leaning into the back of the couch.

Skye smiles at her and then looks up at Grant. "What do you think, Grant? Should we go home now?"

"Most definitely," he smiles down at Sara.

Sara smiles back and jumps up from the couch, "I'll go grab my things." She turns and runs from the living room and upstairs to the room she'd been staying in.

"Thanks for watching her," Grant turns his attention to Phil and Melinda. "I really appreciate it."

"She's a sweet girl," Melinda replies. "We were more than happy to take care of her for you. And we'd be happy to do it again, wouldn't we, Phil?"

"Absolutely," Phil nods his head. "It was great having a kid around the house again. Haven't had that in quite a while."

"No, we haven't." Melinda smiles. "Any time you need us too, Grant, we'll be happy to take care of Sara for you."

"Well I'll be sure and take you up on that offer," Grant smiles at the two of them as Sara comes back into the room, her backpack hanging on her shoulder.

"I'm ready to go home," she announces.

"Alright," Grant stands from the couch, using his crutches to help him stand and then tucks them under his arms. "Sara, say goodbye," he nods his head in the direction of Phil and Melinda.

Sara steps over to where Phil and Melinda are sitting. She pulls the both of them into one hug, "Thanks for taking care of me," she tells them.

"Of course, sweetheart," Melinda replies. "You can come over any time you want, okay?"

Sara nods her head against them and then pulls back, smiling. "Bye." She waves at them.

"We'll walk you all to the door," Phil speaks up as he and Melinda stand from the couch.

"Thanks," Skye smiles at her parents.

The group of five makes their way to the front door, Phil and Melinda staying behind Grant, Skye, and Sara.

When they reach the door, Skye pulls it open and then turns around to look at her parents. "Bye," she steps forward to hug them.

"Bye, sweetheart," Phil says. "Let us know when you get home, alright?"

"I will," Skye says as she pulls away from the hug.

"Bye Phil, Bye Melinda," Grant smiles at the two.

"Bye Grant," Melinda smiles back at him. "Take it easy, okay?"

"I will," he nods his head.

"Bye Phil, bye Mel," Sara steps forward and hugs them both around the legs again.

"Bye Sara," Phil hugs her back. "You take care of your dad, okay?"

Sara nods her head.

"Alright," Skye speaks up, "let's get going." She holds the door open, allowing Grant and Sara to step through. She throws one last smile and wave at her parents before stepping through the front door and closing it behind her.


"Alright," Skye breathes out as she walks into the bedroom. "Sara is in bed and falling asleep. Took me a little while to convince her to actually go to sleep though." She walks over to the bed and climbs on top of it, sitting up against the headboard, "She didn't want to go to sleep because she's afraid you won't be here when she wakes up. That you'll be back in the hospital and still in a coma."

Grant sighs, shifting so he is lying closer to Skye. "I feel so bad for putting her through that," he admits, resting his head in her lap and tucking one arm underneath of her legs.

Skye slowly threads her fingers through his hair. "It's not your fault," she reassures him.

"I know," he says, "I just wish there was something I could do to make her stop feeling so sad and scared."

"And that makes you a really great dad," she tells him. "But there really isn't anything you can do. Except be there for her if she needs you. Eventually she'll come to terms with everything and she won't be so scared anymore."

"You always know what to say," he lifts his head up to look at her.

She smiles down at him, "I take it that's one of the reasons why you love me?"

He nods his head, "One of many."

"Hmm. Well I guess sometime you'll have to tell me all of the reasons why you love me." She leans down and presses her lips to his.

"I guess I will," he smiles against her lips. He pulls away and Skye lets out a big yawn. "But some other time. Because right now, you need to sleep." He shifts off of her lap and lays his head down on his pillow.

"That sounds like a great idea," Skye responds, sliding down the bed until her head is resting on top of her own pillow. Turning onto her side, despite the pain in her side, she looks over at Grant to see that he has his head tilted so he can look at her. She just smiles at him. "I love you so much," she says softly.

He smiles back, reaching out for her hand. He entwines their fingers together, "I love you too."

Sighing contently, she scoots closer towards him on the bed, wrapping her body carefully around his. She lays her head on his bare chest, her ear resting right above his heart, listening to the steady beating of his heart. She holds him as close as she can, closing her eyes tightly.

Grant doesn't say anything about how he can feel how tightly, yet gently, she is wrapped around him. Or how he can just barely hear her counting his heartbeats under her breath. He doesn't mention any of it in that moment. He knows she needs the tangible affirmation that he is really there, alive, still with her. So instead, he just wraps his own arms around her, allowing himself to succumb to the sleep.

Chapter Text

*November 24, 2014*

Making her way up the front steps of Grant's house, Skye pulls out the key he had given her just a couple of months prior and inserts it into the lock. Pushing the door open, she steps inside. "Grant!" She calls into the house. "I'm back!" She deposits her keys into the basket by the door, setting her purse and shopping bags down as well, and toeing off her shoes by the door.

A second later, she sees Grant hobble into the room on his crutches. "Hey," he smiles at her.

"Hey," she smiles back, leaning up to place a kiss to his lips.

"Where were you?" He asks her.

"I just went out and did some shopping with Jemma after I dropped Sara off at school." She tells him as the two of them make their way to the couch. "Then we went and got a late lunch. We both really needed it."

"Good for you."

Skye collapses down onto the couch cushions and lets out a sigh, "I just really wish the police would contact us already. I mean, they've already talked to me before, while you were still in the hospital, about how they're pretty sure the wreck wasn't an accident, but they never said if they found anything that could help them find out who actually did this."

Grant sits down next to her on the couch, laying his crutches on the floor in front of the couch. "Hey," he starts, grabbing both of her hands in his, "it'll be fine. The police will figure out who did this."

"I know," she sighs. "It's just, with every day that goes by without this person being caught, that's just another day where they could possibly hurt someone else. Even though it's only been a couple of days it still makes me really nervous."

"I know. I feel the same way." He glances over at the clock and then looks back to her, "It's almost time for Sara to get out of school. Why don't you go and pick her up and then when you get back we'll all have some ice cream and play Monopoly."

Skye looks over at him and smiles, "I think that sounds like a really great idea." She stands up from the couch and presses a kiss to his cheek. She grabs her purse and keys from the side table, stepping to the door when her phone goes off in her pocket. She pulls her phone out and looks at the caller ID. "It's my dad," she tells Grant, pressing the Answer Call button. She holds the phone to her ear, "Hey dad, what's up?"

"Skye, you and Grant need to get over to my office."

"Why? What's going on?"

"The cops think they may have found the person who hit you two."

Skye's breath catches for a moment before she's able to speak again, "They did? Who is it?"

"They said they'll tell you when you get here."

"Okay, see you soon. Bye."

"Bye."

Skye hangs up her phone and looks at Grant, "That was my dad. He said we need to get over to his office."

"Did he say why?" Grant asks, looking up at her.

"The police think they may have figured out who hit us."

"Then let's go," Grant says hurriedly, grabbing his crutches off of the ground and beginning to make his way towards his bedroom to change into something more appropriate before they head out.

"Grant, wait."

He turns around to look at Skye, "What?"

"What about Sara?"

Grant thinks for a minute. "Call Fitz and see if he can pick her up. If he can't, then call Jemma. If she can't, call Bobbi or whoever else will get her."

"Okay," she says, pulling her phone back out of her pocket and dialing Fitz's number.


Entering the front doors of SHIELD Records, Skye and Grant make their way straight up to the front desk, stopping for just a minute in front of it.

"Hello, welcome to SHIELD Records. How can I be of assistance?" The man at the desk says, not looking up at them.

"Jerry, it's me," Skye says to him.

The heavy set man looks up from his computer. He has light gray hair covering his head and he smiles when he sees Skye, the smile reaching all the way up to his eyes, "Oh. Hello Skye, Grant. Phil is expecting you in his office. Go right on up."

"Thank you!" Skye calls over her shoulder as she and Grant head towards the elevators. They step inside and press the button to go up to Phil's office. When the doors close, Skye begins lightly bouncing on her feet nervously.

"Relax, Skye," Grant says to her, placing one hand on her lower back and gently massaging it as best he can.

"I'm sorry," she says back, relaxing into his touch. "I'm just really anxious right now, and nervous. I just want all of this to be over. It's making me crazy that this person hasn't been caught yet."

"I know," Grant says, "but the police think they know who it is, right? That's a really good thing."

She smiles up at him, "I know it is."

The elevator dings, alerting them that they've arrived at the correct floor. The doors slide open and Grant and Skye both step off, beginning to make their way down the long hallway that leads to Skye's dads' office.

"Dad," Skye says as she and Grant turn down the hallway just outside of Phil's office. "What's going on? Who hit us? You said the police know."

"They think they do," Phil says to his daughter. "They're in my office right now. They just need to run the face by you and Grant, to see if either of you know the person."

"Right," Skye says. "Come on," she motions to Grant and the two of them move towards her father's office. When they enter, they see two detectives standing in the middle of the room, speaking to each other in hushed tones.

"Hello," Skye says, catching their attention.

"Miss Coulson," one of the Detectives steps forward, extending his hand to her. "It's great to see you again."

"You as well," Skye smiles, accepting his hand.

"This is my boyfriend, Grant Ward. Grant, these are the detectives who spoke to me at the hospital. Detective Jeffrey Roland and Edwin Lane."

"Hello," Grant nods his head at the both of them. They nod their head back.

"So, my dad said that you have a face for us," Skye speaks up.

"Yes," Detective Roland says, opening a folder in his arms, pulling out a photograph. He hands it over to them, "Do either of you know this woman?"

Grant and Skye both take the photo from the Detective, looking at it. It's a slightly grainy photograph of a woman behind a car wheel, but the photo has been enhanced slightly to make it easier to see. It doesn't take Grant very long to recognize the face. "That's her," he says, his breath catching in his throat. "That's Miranda."

"Miranda," Lane repeats, flipping open his notebook. "Do you have a last name?"

Grant nods his head, "Yeah. Uh, Costello. Miranda Costello."

"Okay," Lane jots the name down. "And how do you know her?"

"She's my daughters' biological mother," he tells the two detectives. "She's the one who hit us?" He hands the photo back to the detectives.

Detective Roland nods his head, "We believe so. That photo we showed you was taken from a video some kids took that night. They didn't realize at first that they caught this on camera until just last night when they were combing through their footage. They had heard about the crash and when they put together when and where it was, they brought this to us."

"Wow," Skye breathes out. "That's amazing."

"We like to think so," Roland smiles. "Now Grant, you're sure that this is the woman you think it is?"

He nods his head, "Positive. I'd recognize her face anywhere."

"And do you have any idea why she would want to harm you?" Lane asks.

Grant speaks without hesitation, "Sara. My—well, our daughter. She wants Sara."

"When was the last time you spoke with Miranda?"

"She came by the house a couple of months ago. I had completely forgotten about it until now because I never saw her again after that. She came by the house and said she wanted to be back in Sara's life. She hasn't seen Sara since she was just a few weeks old and then she just showed up, thinking it'd be that easy." Skye takes his hand in hers and he gives her an appreciative smile. He turns back to the two Detectives, "After we argued for a few minutes I told her to leave my property or I'd call the cops and have them forcibly remove her."

"And did she leave?" Roland asks.

Grant nods his head, "Yeah. But she threatened me before she drove off."

"What did she say?" Lane asks.

"She said she would get her daughter back and that she'd do whatever she had to do."

"Sounds like motive to me," Lane points out, looking over at his partner.

Roland nods his head at his partner before speaking, "Do you have any idea on where she might have gone when she left your property?"

Grant shakes his head, "I'm sorry, no. I didn't even know she was in town, let alone where she'd be staying."

"It's fine," Lane assures him. "We'll find her."

"Thank you," Grant says, shaking hands with the detectives. "We really appreciate this."

"We're happy to help," Lane tells him with a smile. "We'll be sure to contact you when we find her. If you can think of anything else, please let us know." Roland removes a card from his pocket, handing it over to Skye.

"I'll see you out," Phil says, walking out of the room with the two Detectives. When they're out of the room, Skye turns to Grant and watches him for a minute.

"How are you feeling?" she asks him, placing a hand on his shoulder.

He sighs, "Honestly? I don't know. I just really hope they find her and she gets what she deserves."

Chapter Text

*November 25, 2014*

Detective Roland opens up the door to the Interrogation room, stepping inside and closing the door behind him. He walks towards the metal table in the center of the room, pulling the chair out and sitting down in it. He sets the file folder he has down on the table in front of him and looks up at the woman sitting across from him. "You've been busy, Miss Costello."

"Please, call me Miranda," she smiles flirtatiously at the Detective.

He ignores her request and her advance, "Do you know why you're here, Miss Costello?"

She just stares at him, not saying a word. He looks down and opens the folder, glances at it for a moment and then looks back up at Miranda. "You moved to LA six months ago, but before that you traveled a lot, moving around from place to place."

"Yeah. And the last time I checked, moving around a lot wasn't a crime."

"It's not," Roland agrees. "Unless you came here for a specific purpose. A purpose that involves causing harm to someone else."

Miranda shifts in her chair, "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Do you recognize this man and this woman?" He pulls out two photographs from his folder, DMV photos of Grant and Skye. He sets them down in front of Miranda and she takes a moment to look at the photos.

"That's Skye," she says first, pointing to Skye's DMV photo.

"You know her?" Roland asks, raising an eyebrow.

"I know of her," Miranda corrects him. "She's famous. A singer, I think. That's all I really know."

"And do you recognize the man?"

Miranda shakes her head, swallowing, "No. I've never seen him before in my life."

"That's funny, because he seems to know exactly who you are."

"Well, that's impossible," Miranda says, shifting in her chair again. "I've never met that man before."

"He told us you two have a kid together." Miranda stiffens. "Oh, that hit a nerve," he says, smirking and leaning back in his chair. "You have a daughter. But you haven't seen her in eight years. So you came back because you want to be a part of her life. But you tried to kill your ex because he wouldn't let you just jump right back into her life."

"I…" Miranda leans forward, beginning to defend herself, but changes her mind. She sits back in her chair and crosses her arms in front of her chest, "I'm not saying anything until I get a lawyer."

Roland sits forward, folding his arms on top of the table, "You see, that's not going to convince anyone you talk to that you're innocent."

"Well I am," she says, "I haven't done anything wrong."

"Oh really? So I'm guessing you didn't trespass on your ex-boyfriends' property, screaming at him, demanding to see your daughter. And then you didn't try and kill him and his girlfriend by T-boning their car, sending them rolling and crashing, which resulted in him losing a leg and being in a coma for almost an entire week. As well as his girlfriend suffering some minor injuries and being admitted to the hospital." He can see Miranda's face tighten with every word he says and he knows he's finally getting somewhere. "I'm guessing you didn't do any of those things, it was just someone who looked like you, trying to take Grant's daughter from him. But I'm also guessing you never considered trying to fight for at least joint custody. Or did you just jump straight to trying to kill someone?"

"I'd never win a custody case," she snaps. "I'm sure he'd just use that little bimbo of his to get the best lawyers money can buy and then they'd just attack me. Probably wouldn't even give me a chance to speak or try and defend myself."

"So you just tried to kill them because you figured it'd be easier to get your daughter to love you by killing her father and the woman she looks up to and admires, instead of trying to show her you care for her by fighting for her."

Miranda snaps, "I should be allowed to get to know her! She's my daughter, my little girl. I gave birth to her and it's about time she gets to know her mother."

"You're her mother and you want her back."

"Yes! I want her back! She's my little girl and I want her back! I did what I had to do to try and get her back!" Detective Roland just sits back and smiles. When Miranda realizes what she has revealed, her mouth drops open and she panics, "Wait! No! You tricked me into saying that stuff."

"It's too late for you now," he replies, standing up from his chair and walking over to where Miranda sits, pulling out his handcuffs. He makes her stand from her chair and pulls her arms behind her back, slapping the handcuffs on her wrists. "Miranda Costello, you are under arrest for the attempted murder of Grant Ward and Skye Coulson."


Watching as the officers lead Miranda out of the interrogation room and towards one of the desks to be processed, Skye tucks herself further into Grant's side.

"How are you feeling?" she asks him, tilting her head up to look at him.

He looks down at her, giving her a soft smile, "Better. Now that she's going away and won't ever be able to hurt us again."

"I know exactly how you feel," she sighs, resting her chin on his chest.

"This is all your fault!"

Turning their attention away from each other, Grant and Skye look to see Miranda struggling to get away from the officers holding her back by her arms and shoulders.

"You slut! It's your fault I don't get to see my daughter."

Realizing she is talking about her, Skye pulls away from Grant's hold, despite his protests, and makes her way towards Miranda, her eyes narrowed and one her hands clenched into a fist. "Excuse me?" she says through gritted teeth.

"You heard me," Miranda bites back. "Because of you, Grant isn't letting me see my daughter. She's my daughter, not yours. I am her mother."

Skye scoffs, "That's rich coming from you. Because I don't think I've ever seen you around her. I've never seen any pictures of you and Sara, either. I don't remember ever hearing about you calling to say hello to her. And I'm pretty sure she has no idea who you are."

"Because of you!"

"No. Not because of me. I didn't come into Sara's life until just this year and that was only because Grant is an excellent father who will do anything for his little girl. But you, you gave birth to one of the sweetest little girls I have ever met and then you just abandoned her. You obviously didn't care enough about her or you would have stayed and at least tried to be a good mother."

"You don't know anything about me!" Miranda shouts at her.

"You're right, I don't. But what I do know is that you made a big mistake when you left Sara. She is the sweetest, funniest, cutest, friendliest, most determined little girl I have ever met. And she had to grow up without her mother around because you were too selfish. She doesn't know anything about you, not even your name, and that is entirely your fault. If you want someone to blame for Sara not knowing you, then blame yourself." Skye turns to walk away back towards Grant when Miranda's shouts stop her.

"You may act like her mother, but you're not!"

Skye turns back towards her and steps closer, their faces just mere inches away from each other. "You're right. I'm not her mother. But honestly, I think we'd all have been better off if I was. I've acted more like a mother to Sara in the last five months than you have in the last eight years. And I can guarantee to you that Grant and Sara will completely agree with me."

Ignoring the rest of Miranda's shouts, Skye turns away and stalks back towards Grant, immediately wrapping her arms around his waist in a hug.

"That was really, really hot," he whispers into her ear as he hugs her back.

She just smiles into his shirt before turning to face the two Detectives in front of them.

"So what happens now?" Grant asks Detectives Roland and Lane as the uniformed officers lead Miranda to the elevator as she screams obscenities at Skye, each one worse than the last.

"Well," Detective Lane begins, "she's going to be staying down in Holding overnight and then tomorrow she'll be transferred somewhere else to await her trial. If everything goes the way it should then she's looking at life in prison. Then she'll be out of the way and she can never attempt to hurt you or your family again."

"Thank you so much, Detectives," Skye shakes both of their hands.

"It's what we do," Detective Roland smiles. "We're just glad you're all safe. I have a daughter myself and I know I'd do just about anything to keep her out of danger."

Grant nods his head, "Yes. Well, we're going to get going now. Thank you again, so much, for everything that you've done."

"It's no problem," Detective Lane smiles. "You two stay safe, alright?"

"We will," Skye smiles. "Thank you." She turns to Grant and smiles at him, "Come on, let's go home."


"We're back," Skye announces as she and Grant enter the front door of the house. She drops her keys into the basket by the door, closing the door behind them. "Hello?" Skye calls into the house.

Walking through the house, she goes to the sliding glass door in the dining room and looks out the window. She smiles when she sees Fitz, Jemma, and Sara all sitting out on the patio, talking with each other.

Sliding the door open, Skye sticks her head out the door. "Hey everyone," she smiles.

Sara's head snaps up and she smiles, "Skye!"

"Hey Sara," Skye smiles as she steps through the door. Grant carefully steps out behind her, making his way over to one of the patio chairs to sit down. Resting his crutches against the outside wall of the house he leans back in his chair and lets out a sigh of relief.

"Hi daddy," Sara walks up to her dad and gives him a kiss on the cheek and hugs him around the neck.

"Hey bear," he smiles at her, giving her a kiss on the cheek.

"So how did everything go?" Jemma asks impatiently from her seat next to Fitz in front of the fence.

"Everything went great," Skye replies, moving so she is sitting on the arm of Grant's chair. She drapes one of her arms over his shoulder, "Her trial is in a few days and if everything goes well then she's going to be put away for life."

"That's great," Fitz says. "So she can't try and hurt any of you again."

"No she cannot," Grant smiles.

"Who can't hurt us again?" Sara asks from her spot sitting on the patio.

Grant sighs. "Your mother," he tells her, deciding it'd be best not to hide the truth from her.

"My mother?" Sara furrows her eyebrows together.

"Yeah," Grant replies. "You don't remember her because she left us when you were just a baby. After she left I never saw her again and I didn't know where she was so I couldn't call her or anything."

"What about Grandma and Grandpa?"

"They didn't know where she went either. She left without telling them where she was planning on going. So they couldn't help me find her. After a little while, I realized she wasn't going to come back, so I moved us out here to stay with Gramsy. But do you remember all those months ago? When we were playing Monopoly and I told you and Skye to wait in the family room?"

Sara nods her head, "You were having a loud argument with someone outside."

"Yeah, I was. With your mom."

Sara's eyes go wide, "What?"

"She came back because she wanted to see you. But I told her she couldn't. She gave up her right to be your parent the day she left us. And if I let her be a part of your life again, I had no way of knowing if she'd just up and leave again. I couldn't put you through that. Not now. So I made her leave. But she was really mad at me."

"Is she the one who hit you and Skye while you were in the car?" Sara asks, having put the pieces together.

Grant nods his head, "Yeah. She was still really mad at me and she wanted you all to herself. So she tried to get rid of me so she could have you. But it wouldn't have worked anyways," Grant points out.

"Why?"

"Because if anything were to ever happen to me, you'd go and stay with either your grandparents or your Uncle. They would have full custody of you if something happens, not her."

"Oh," Sara says, not quite sure what to say. "And she's going to go to jail now? And she can't try and hurt you or Skye again?"

"That's right. If everything goes the way it should, then she's going to be in jail for the rest of her life and she won't be able to try and hurt any of us ever again."

"Okay," Sara says calmly.

"Okay?" Grant repeats.

"Yeah," Sara nods. "It's like you said, daddy. I don't know her. She may have had me, but she's never been here for me. She's not my mom. I don't need her."

Grant smiles at his daughter. He holds his arms out to her, "Come here." Sara stands up from the patio and walks over to her dad, hugging him. He hugs her back, resting one hand on the back of her head to hold her close. "I love you so much, bear."

"I love you too, daddy." She pulls back slightly and gestures for Skye to join in on their hug.

Skye smiles and shifts so she can hug the both of them without sitting awkwardly. "I love you, Skye," Sara says.

Skye smiles, "And I love you, Sara."

Chapter Text

*November 27, 2014*

"Dad! Skye! It's almost on!" Sara calls through the house as she turns the TV on and switches the channel to NBC. She moves over to the chair near the TV, sitting down to wait for the opening credits for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"We're coming, we're coming," Grant says, making his way into the living room. Skye is right behind him, the both of them still dressed in their pajamas; as is Sara.

Grant and Sara both sit down on the couch across from Sara, Skye curling into Grant's side as he lays his crutches on the floor in front of the couch. Grant wraps an arm around Skye, pulling her close and kissing the top of her head.

"It's starting!" Sara exclaims excitedly as the opening logo appears on the TV screen, the voiceover announcing the parade. Sara sits with her eyes glued to the screen, watching intently as the performances begin on the large green carpet in front of the Macy's store.


"They had a really good parade this year," Sara remarks as she turns the TV off.

"You think so?" Grant asks his daughter.

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. They did a really good job with this one."

"I agree," Skye smiles. "They had some really great performances this year. And the Broadway shows that performed first were incredible."

"Those were so cool!" Sara says. "Those dancers they had were really talented. I want to be as good as they are when I'm older."

"Well you just have to work hard and practice, bear," Grant tells her. "And then maybe one day you can be just as good as those dancers on Broadway."

Sara smiles at him, "Thanks daddy."

"You're welcome," he smiles back. "And hey, maybe one day you'll be dancing alongside them in the parade."

"That'd be so cool," Sara smiles at the thought.

"You know," Skye speaks up, "I almost got to perform in the parade a couple of years ago."

Sara turns towards her, her eyes wide, "You did?"

Skye nods her head, "Yeah. I guess they had me on some kind of list or something. They had contacted Natasha to ask if I would be interested in doing the parade if one of their other performers backed out."

"Wow," Sara says. "That's so cool. I wish you had done it."

"Me too," Skye smiles. "Maybe another time, though. Got to give other people their chance, right?"

"Right," Sara nods her head once. "I think it'd be so cool to be in the parade. To be on one of the floats and have people screaming your name as you perform. That'd be one of the coolest things ever."

"Performing live does give you a bit of a rush, even if not in a parade. Performing live is always really fun. Especially when the people sing along with you and get super excited."

"That's sounds like a lot of fun," Sara comments.

"Yes it does," Grant replies. "Now, what are the plans for the rest of the day?"

"We're going to my parents' house for dinner tonight," Skye tells him. "Mom wants us there at around 6, I think. I'll text her in a little bit and double check."

"Okay. I think that's all we really have to do today. So, what should we do until then?"

"We should watch a movie," Sara speaks up. "And play Monopoly too."

"That sounds like a fantastic idea," Grant says to his daughter. "Why don't you go pick out a movie and grab the game and I'll get some lunch going."

"Okay," Sara smiles, standing up from her seat and making her way into the family room to find a movie and the board game.


"This turkey is delicious, Melinda," Grant speaks up after swallowing a bite of his turkey.

"Thank you, Grant. I'm glad you like it." She smiles softly at him.

"It's some of the best I've ever tasted."

"Mom always makes really good turkey," Skye says, spooning some mashed potatoes into her mouth. "No one else's turkey can compare to it."

"You guys are too kind," Melinda tells them.

"It's really good," Sara pipes in. "Usually on Thanksgiving, dad, Uncle Fitz, and I have a turkey. Sometimes it tastes okay, but one year they burned it. So we went to KFC instead." Everyone at the table chuckles.

"I can't believe you remember that," Grant says to his daughter. "You were only five."

Sara shrugs and turns back to her dinner, scooping some corn onto her spoon.

"Hey, I have an idea," Phil says after a minute. "Why don't we go around the table and all say a few things we're thankful for."

"I think that's a great idea," Melinda replies. "Since it was your idea, why don't you start, Phil?"

"Alright," he straightens up in his seat, "let's see. I'm thankful for my beautiful wife and daughter, as well as our two new friends," he smiles over at Grant and Sara.

"I'll go next," Melinda says. "I'm thankful for having people I love to share the holidays with and for having my daughter still here with us." She smiles over at Skye. "Grant? Why don't you go next?"

"Okay," Grant clears his throat. "Um, I'm thankful for having been able to raise such a beautiful daughter," he smiles over at Sara. "And for having been so lucky as to find such a wonderful girlfriend," he looks over at Skye and smiles. Skye smiles back.

"My turn," Skye says. "I'm thankful for paramedics, doctors, policemen, and modern day medicine."

"Alright bear," Grant says to Sara, "your turn."

Sara thinks for a moment, "I'm thankful for my daddy still being alive, for having a new friend at school, and for getting to spend so much time with people I love." She smiles up at everyone.


"This has, by far, been one of the best Thanksgiving Day's ever," Grant tells Skye as they lie in bed together that night.

"You really think so?" she asks, tilting her head to look up at him.

He nods his head, "Absolutely. I mean, the last few years with Fitz and Sara have been great. I love the both of them a whole lot. But tonight was somehow even better."

"I know what you mean," she says back. "I think it was because of having each other there, maybe. I don't know for sure."

"No, you're right," Grant tells her. "It was definitely because we had each other," he smiles at her.

She smiles back, "Most definitely. And I'm sorry I didn't say I'm thankful for you. You know I am, right?"

"I know," he smiles.

"I just, most of all, I'm thankful to everyone who helped to keep you here with me. Because I don't know what I would do if I lost you."

He wraps his arms around her tighter, holding her closer to him. He drops a kiss to her head, "Hey, it's okay. I understand. I'm right with you on that front."

"Glad we're on the same page with that then," she smiles, leaning up to kiss him.

He kisses her back, "Me too. And I'm pretty sure Sara feels the same way."

She lifts her head up to look at him, "You think so?"

"I know so," he smiles. He reaches up behind him to the nightstand, grabbing a piece of paper off of the top of it, "This fell out of her backpack when I was hanging it up on the stairs. She wrote it at school, probably for a Thanksgiving assignment."

Skye shakes her head, "It's probably really personal. I don't want to…"

"Skye. It's fine. Just read it, I think you'll like it." Skye hesitantly takes the paper from Grant and holds it in front of her face so she can read it to herself.

Most people might think my daddy is the person I'm most thankful for. I love my daddy, but this year I have someone else I'm thankful for. My dad's girlfriend, Skye. Skye is a famous singer, but she's also more than that. I know she loves me and my dad, and I love her too.

First, she's always made me feel like I matter. Until this year I didn't really have any friends, but whenever I listened to Skye's music I felt better. I felt happy. It always felt like she was singing to me and that made me ever happier.

Second, she makes my daddy happy. My real mom was never in my life and I think my dad was sad about that for a long time. He went on dates with other girls but none of them ever lasted more than two dates. And he wasn't very happy with any of them. But then he met Skye when we went to one of her concerts and they started dating. And dad got happier. I've never seen him this happy and I like it.

Those are two of the reasons why I'm thankful for Skye. She makes me and my daddy really happy. Last week she and my dad were in a car accident and my daddy could have died. Skye was there for me and made sure I went to school even though I didn't want to. Even though she isn't really my mom, she acts like my mom. And I love that about her. I hope she stays around for a long time.

"Are you okay?" Grant asks his girlfriend, noticing the tears in her eyes.

Skye nods her head, "Yeah. I just, this is so sweet."

"I told you you'd like it," he smiles at her.

"You did. And I don't just like it, I love it. She is just the sweetest little girl and I'm thankful to be in her life just as much as she's thankful I'm in hers."

"Really?"

Skye smiles and nods her head again, "Most definitely. I never told anyone this, but right before I met you and Sara, I thought I was starting to lose my inspiration for writing songs and singing them. I mean, I knew I had a ton of fans who looked up to me and whatnot. But actually meeting Sara, and seeing how much my music means to her, that's something completely different. One of the best feelings in the world."

"Well I'm glad Sara could help remind you why it is you do what you do."

"Me too. Now go to sleep. I'm tired."

"I am too. Goodnight," he takes the paper from her and sets it back on the nightstand before settling himself into his pillow.

"Goodnight," Skye says back, planting a quick kiss to his lips before settling herself down for the night.

Grant just lies in the bed, waiting for her to finish moving around. When she does, he closes his eyes, lets his breathing even out, and falls asleep.

Chapter Text

*November 29, 2014*

"Hey Sara," Skye enters the kitchen to find the young girl sitting at the table, head bent down as she works hard on something.

"Hey Skye," Sara replies without looking up. "What are you doing?"

"Making some food for me and your dad," Skye answers, digging through the fridge for different food items. "What are you up to?"

"Working on my Christmas Wish List. The catalogs have a lot of really good stuff in them this year."

"Is that the Toys R Us catalog?"

"Yeah."

"Cool. I used to love going through those catalogs around Christmastime when I was your age."

"You did?"

Skye smiles and nods her head, "One of my favorite parts."

"They have a lot of really awesome stuff," Sara says, circling different items in the catalog, as well as writing them down on a piece of paper.

"They always do," Skye smiles. "What do you want the most for Christmas though?"

Sara thinks for a moment, "I don't know. I haven't really thought about it."

"Alright. Well then make sure to put some good stuff on your list so your dad and I have plenty of things to choose from."

"I will. What do you want for Christmas, Skye?"

"That's a very good question. I don't really know either," she walks out of the kitchen and stops at the table to smile down at Sara, "But I'm sure whatever you get for me, I'm going to love it." Sara gives her a small smile and then Skye turns, making her way down to the bedroom.

"Here you go," Skye enters the bedroom, carrying two plates with her, "one leftover turkey sandwich for the sick patient."

Grant accepts the plate of food but rolls his eyes, "I'm not sick, Skye. I just have a missing leg." He closes his book and sets it on the nightstand next to him.

"Having a missing leg is a type of sick," she tells him, climbing up onto the bed next to him. She settles herself against the headboard, curling into Grant's side as best as she can.

"Whatever you say," he tells her, popping a grape into his mouth. "What was Sara doing when you went out there?"

"Working on her Christmas Wish List," Skye answers him. "And Thanksgiving was only two days ago."

"Sara has always loved Christmas," Grant tells her. "She's always started her Christmas Wish List as soon as Thanksgiving passes. And she makes sure to let me know what she wants as soon as possible so I have enough time to go out and get whatever it is she wants. I usually manage to get her at least one or two of the things she wants."

"I see," Skye nods. "And do you have any idea of what you are going to get her for Christmas?"

"Not a single clue," he sighs. "It'll be kind of hard to top her birthday."

"Right," Skye smiles at the memory of their first meeting. "That was a very fun night."

"Yes it was. I just don't know how I'm going to top it."

"Well I'm sure whatever you get her, she's going to love it."

"I hope so."

"Speaking of which, I know where you stand on phones, that you don't want her to have one until she's a little bit older, and I totally get that. But where do you stand on iPods?"

"What about them?"

"Well, if it's okay with you, I was thinking about getting Sara one for Christmas. And before you say anything about how it's too expensive, or how I don't need to get one for her, Lance told me he knows someone who is selling one, brand new, for a really great price and I just think…"

"I think that's a great idea," he cuts her off.

She looks at him with a nervous smile, "Really? You don't mind?"

"Of course I don't mind," he tells her. "You're a part of Sara's life, Skye. If you want to get her an iPod, you can get her an iPod. I don't mind, honestly."

Skye smiles at him, "Good. Because I kind of already bought it."

Grant just smiles and shakes his head, "You really are something else," he says to her.

"I'm going to take that as a compliment," she says, stealing one of his grapes because hers are all gone.

"You should," he tells her, leaning down to press a kiss to her lips.


*December 1, 2014*

"Come on Grant!" Skye calls to her boyfriend from the living room. "We can't be late for your appointment."

"Do I really have to go?" Grant asks as he makes his way out of the bathroom, walking on his crutches.

"Yes you do," Skye tells him, "this is a very important appointment. They're supposed to be getting you your prosthetic leg today."

"That's the thing," he says, grabbing her hand in his and holding it tightly. "Do I really need a prosthetic leg? I'm sure I'll be perfectly fine without it. I mean, we have managed to make do without it in other aspects." He smirks, placing his other hand on her hip and pulling her closer.

She just smiles at him and wraps her arms around his neck, "That is true." She presses a single kiss to his lips. "But still. It'll be much easier for you to get around if you have a prosthetic instead of crutches."

He sighs, "Fine. Let's go."

She smiles and gives him one last kiss before pulling back, "Thank you." She grabs her keys out of the bowl by the door and pulls open the front door. She turns her head to look at Grant, "Come on, Grant. Let's go."

He sighs again, "Alright. I'm coming, I'm coming."


"And you're all set," the doctor in front of them says as he finishes clicking Grant's prosthetic into place. He sits up fully in his chair and looks at Grant, "Just a few quick notes before I let you go. You do not have to wear your prosthetic while sleeping, as it might become a bit uncomfortable. When you go to take a shower, or go swimming, or something else involving water, you'll need this," he pulls out something that resembles a plastic bag. "You just cover your leg with it, making sure it is tight against the top of the prosthetic, and then you'll be good to go with whatever you're doing."

"Okay," Grant says, taking the bag from the doctor. "Anything else I should know?"

"Yes. It's probably going to take a little while for you to adjust to having a prosthetic, but after a while, it will get easier to put it on, wear it and move around. You just need to use it little by little to get used to the feel of it. I would suggest using one of your crutches in the beginning, especially today, to help you get used to walking with a prosthetic, but so you have something to steady yourself in case you're a little unstable at first. Keep using your prescribed medication for the pain of your leg. That should help ease you into the slight pain of having a prosthetic."

"Thank you, doctor," Skye smiles at the man.

"Of course," he smiles back. "Now, if you have any more questions over the new few days, or weeks, or just whenever, just give me a call." He pulls out his business card and hands it over to Skye.

"We will," Skye replies, taking the card from him and slipping it into her back pants pocket. "Thank you." She stands up from her chair, grabbing Grant's crutches from the wall, and then helps him to stand up. She lets him lean on her for a moment, to allow him to steady himself, before handing one of the crutches over to him, holding the other one in her hands. He takes a moment to shift himself so he is leaning on the crutch for support.

Grant turns to look at the doctor, "Thank you," he smiles.

"You're welcome," the doctor replies. "Take care."

Grant smiles and nods his head. Turning back around to face Skye, the two of them begin to make their way out of the office and down to the car.


"Hi dad!" Sara smiles when she enters the house to see her dad sitting on the couch. Skye walks in behind her and closes the door.

"Hey bear," Grant smiles back. "How was school?"

Sara shrugs, "It was okay. Can Josie and I have a sleepover this weekend at her house?"

Grant thinks for a minute, "Hmm. I think that's doable. But remember you have dance practice Saturday morning. Your Christmas recital is coming up so you can't miss practice."

"I know," Sara says. "Josie's gonna ask her mom if she can take me there in the morning."

"Okay. If her mom is okay with it, you two can have a sleepover."

"Yay!" Sara exclaims. "Thanks dad."

He smiles, "You're welcome, Sara."

"How did your doctor's appointment go?" Sara asks as she sits down next to him on the couch.

"It went very well," Grant smiles. "I now have a prosthetic leg," he lifts up his pant leg, showing Sara his new tech.

"Whoa," Sara goes wide-eyed when she sees it. "That's kinda cool."

"You think so?"

Sara nods her head, "Uh-huh. You know why?"

"Why?"

"Because now you're part robot," she smiles at him.

Skye lets out a quick laugh at hearing the statement. "Okay, Sara," she says through her laugh. "Go grab a snack and get started on your homework, please."

"Okay," Sara stands up from the couch and grabs her backpack on the way to the kitchen table.

"How has your leg been holding up?" Skye asks Grant as she sits down next to him.

He lets out a sigh, "Pretty good. It's just a little weird having it."

"You'll get used to it," she tells him.

"I know. It's just different. I've had two legs my entire life, and now I only have one."

Skye shakes her head, "No. You still have two legs." She places one of her hands on his prosthetic, "One of them is just artificial. It doesn't mean you're any less than you were before."

He smiles up at her, "You're incredible, you know that?"

She just smiles back at him, "Doesn't hurt to hear it every once in a while."

"Well you are. Very incredible. You always know exactly what to say."

"It's a gift," Skye replies.

"Thank goodness," Grant breathes out happily, relaxing back into the couch.

Skye lies back, curling into Grant's side, resting her head on his chest. She breathes out happily. "So, what were you doing before I got back?"

"Not a whole lot. Just been watching the news," he gestures to the TV screen where the news is playing out at a low volume.

"Oh, okay. I think I'll watch with you."

He raises an eyebrow, "Really? You want to watch the news? I thought the news bored you."

She shrugs, "Maybe a little bit."

He chuckles, picking up the remote control, "Let me see if there's a movie or something on." He pulls up the TV guide and begins scrolling through the channels.

"Ooh!" Skye exclaims. "World's Dumbest is on!"

"What's that?" Grant asks her.

She sits up quickly and looks at him with wide eyes, "You've never watched World's Dumbest before?"

He shakes his head, "I don't think so."

"Oh, it's so funny. They have different categories for different episodes. Like, one episode will be World's Dumbest Criminals or World's Dumbest Drivers. Then they show twenty different clips of the dumbest people in that category, counting down to the number one dumbest person. And through the episode they have comedians talking about the clips. It's really, really funny."

"Sounds interesting," Grant says.

"Can we watch it?" She asks him.

He just looks at her for a moment. He sighs, "Fine. We can watch it."

"Yes!" She leans forward and kisses his cheek. "You're going to love this show. Which episode is this one?" She takes the remote from Grant and rolls over the episode, "World's Dumbest Daredevils. Oh, this is going to be a good one." She clicks on the episode and then relaxes back into the couch, her eyes fixed on the screen as one of the clips plays out.

Chapter Text

*December 5, 2014*

"Hey Sara," Josie smiles at her friend as she walks up to their desks.

"Hi Josie," Sara smiles back. "Are you ready for our sleepover tonight?"

Josie nods her head as she sets her backpack down and sits in her seat. "You can meet my sister Emilia."

"Cool," Sara smiles. "And I have all my stuff with me in my duffel bag. It's up by Ms. Nolten's desk."

"Why a duffel bag?" Josie furrows her brow.

"Because I have dance class tomorrow morning. And I need my leotard and my dance shoes."

"Oh, right. I forgot."

"It's okay," Sara smiles. "Do you want to come to the Christmas Recital?"

"When is it?"

"Um, a few days before Christmas, I think. I don't remember the exactly when. But I'll find out and then let you know."

"Okay. Cool."

The school bell rings, signaling the beginning of class, and both girls turn to face the front of the classroom, ready for class to begin.


"Ms. Nolten," Josie says, getting their teachers attention.

"Yes Josie?"

"My mom is here to get me and Sara."

Ms. Nolten looks over to where Josie's mother is and smiles at her. She looks back to Josie, "Okay, girls. Have a good weekend."

"We will," Josie smiles as she and Sara make their way towards Josie's mom.

"Hi Lisa," Sara greets her best friend's mother as they walk towards her.

"Hi Sara," Lisa smiles back at her. "How was school today?"

"It was okay," Sara replies.

"Yeah," Josie nods her head. "And no homework!"

"No homework!" Sara repeats with a large smile.

Lisa laughs quietly, "That's great. Now, who's ready for a sleepover?"

"Me!" Sara and Josie exclaim at the same time.

Lisa smiles, "Alright. Let's go to the car, then." She grabs Josie's hand in hers and Sara falls into step beside Josie as the three of them make their way towards the car.


The front door of the house swings open, drawing Josie and Sara's attention towards it.

"Em!" Josie exclaims when she sees her older sister enters the front room.

"Hey Jo," the older girl replies with a smile to her sister. "Who's your friend?" She asks, gesturing with her head towards Sara.

"Em, this is my best friend Sara. Sara, this is my big sister Emilia."

"Hi," Sara waves and gives Emilia a small smile.

"Hey," Emilia waves back. Then she looks at Josie, "Jo, is mom in the office?"

Josie nods her head, "Uh-huh."

"Awesome, thanks." Emilia turns from the room and makes her way further into the house. Josie smiles and then looks back at Sara.

"I like your sister," Sara states as she looks at the UNO cards in her hand. "She's pretty."

"Yeah," Josie smiles. "Mom says that next year she gets to wear makeup because she'll be in high school. Em is excited because she says it'll make her look prettier. But I think she looks pretty without makeup."

"Me too," Sara smiles. "Skye's pretty without makeup too. She doesn't wear a lot of makeup because she says she doesn't like the feeling."

"I tried makeup once," Josie says. "I got into my mom's makeup last year and put a bunch of it on cause I wanted to know what I'd look like with it on."

"Did you get into trouble?"

Josie shakes her head, "Not really. She helped me clean it off and then told me not to do it again. That when I'm old enough I can wear it."

"I haven't asked my dad when I can wear makeup."

"What do you think he'll say when you ask him?"

Sara shrugs, "I don't know."

"Oh, okay." Josie picks up her UNO cards and holds them in her hands. She glances at the deck and then at Sara, "Have you gone yet?"

Sara shakes her head and looks down at her cards, "I was thinking which one to put down."

"Well hurry," Josie says, bouncing slightly in her seat. "I have a really good card I want to use."

"Mine's better," Sara smiles, pulling a card from her hand and setting it face up on the pile. She looks up at Josie and smiles, "Draw 4. And I'm changing the color to red."

Josie's jaw drops for a moment and then it closes. She lets out a sigh as she reaches forward and grabs four more cards, adding them to her already big stack of cards in her hands.


Josie and Sara giggle quietly as they lay facing each other on the floor of Josie's bedroom.

"Did he really do that?" Josie asks. "Or are you just joking?"

"I'm not joking," Sara smiles. "He really did."

"That's really crazy," Josie smiles.

"I know," Sara agrees. She lays her head on her pillow and looks at Josie, "Can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

"Um, why are you my friend?"

"What?"

"I asked why you're my friend," Sara repeats, playing with the edge of the blanket on top of her. "Not a lot of people at school want to be my friend. Only some of the people in my dance class. And I don't see them every day. I was just wondering why you're my friend."

Josie thinks for a moment and then shrugs, "I don't know. I think you're really cool, I guess. We like a lot of the same stuff. And you were really nice to me on my first day."

"Oh, okay."

"That's not all though."

"It isn't?" Sara furrows her brow.

Josie shakes her head, "No. Sometimes you can't explain why you're friends with someone. You just are. That's you and me. We're friends, even if we can't explain why or how. We're friends."

"Best friends?" Sara smiles.

"Best friends," Josie smiles back.


"Girls, time to get up. Sara, you need to get ready for your dance class."

Sara and Josie both groan, their eyes still closed.

"Don't wanna," Josie mumbles into her pillow.

"Well that's too bad," Lisa says. "Get up."

Slowly sitting up, Sara yawns and stretches her arms above her head. "Morning, Lisa," she smiles sleepily at the older woman.

"Good morning, sweetheart," Lisa smiles back. "How'd you sleep?"

"Good."

"That's good. Well, I'll be downstairs getting breakfast ready. Make sure Josie gets up, please."

"I will."

"Thank you," Lisa smiles at her and then turns, making her way out of the bedroom.

Glancing down at her still sleeping friend, Sara smiles. She crawls out from under the blanket and moves over to where Josie is.

She kneels next to Josie and then leans down slightly, "Josie," she whispers. She reaches forward and gently shakes Josie's shoulder. "Josie, wake up."

Josie grumbles but rolls over onto her back, "Morning."

"Morning," Sara smiles, sitting back on her heels.

"What time is it?" Josie asks, rubbing her eyes.

Sara shrugs, "Your mom woke us up."

Josie rolls over and glances at the alarm clock sitting on her nightstand, "It's eight."

"My dance class is at 9:30," Sara says. "We should get up and get ready."

Josie sighs, "Okay." She throws her blanket off of her body and then stands up, going to her closet to find clothes for the day. Sara moves over to her duffel bag and pulls out her leotard, going out to the bathroom in the hallway to change into it.


"Hi Miss Debbie!" Sara exclaims happily as she makes her way towards the dance studio.

"Hello Sara," the older woman smiles from the doorway upon seeing her. "How are you?"

"Good."

"Excellent. Are you ready for rehearsal?"

Sara nods her head, "Uh-huh. I've been practicing the dances at home. My dad's girlfriend has been helping me."

"That's awesome," Miss Debbie smiles. "How is your dad holding up?"

"He's doing better. He has a prosthetic leg now."

"He does?"

Sara nods her head again, "Yeah. And it's really cool."

"That's great, sweetheart. Why don't you go in and get warmed up, okay? We'll be starting class in about 10 minutes."

"Okay," she turns around to wave to Lisa and Josie at the entrance of the building. Then she turns back towards the rehearsal room and darts inside.

"Hi Dylan," Sara greets one of her friends as she approaches the bench and sets her dance bag down.

"Hi Sara," the red headed boy smiles at her as he makes his way over to her. "How are you?"

"Good," Sara replies as she sits down to switch her tennis shoes for her ballet shoes. "I spent the night with my friend Josie last night. We're in the same class at school."

"That's cool. I'm staying the night at Evan's house tonight because my parents are leaving town for the weekend."

"Again?" she asks him. "Didn't they leave right before Thanksgiving?"

He nods his head, "It's another business trip."

"Where are they going this time?" she asks as she stands up from the floor.

"Connecticut, I think."

"How long are they going for?"

He shrugs, "I don't know. They said it all depends."

"Oh. Well are they still going to be here for the Christmas recital?"

Dylan shrugs again, "I don't know. They said they're gonna try. But Christmas is always a busy time of year for them so they might have to go on another trip. 'That's what we get for being in the advertising agency', my dad always says."

"I'm sorry, Dylan."

"It's okay," he tells her.

"Ooh!" Sara beams. "Maybe if your mom and dad aren't at the recital, you can borrow my dad and Skye."

Dylan furrows his brow, "What?"

"At the recital, you can borrow my dad and Skye. They'll kind of be your mom and dad for the show."

"Wasn't that in a movie?" Dylan asks. "Where the two people pretended to be the kids' parents for something?"

"Maybe," Sara says. "But my dad and Skye won't be pretending to be your parents, cause Miss Debbie has met your mom and dad. They'll just be there for you at the recital like a mom and dad."

"Oh, um, I'm not sure."

"Come on, Dylan."

"But shouldn't your dad be watching you in the recital?"

"He's been to all the others," Sara tells him. "This'll be Skye's first time watching the Christmas recital, but I know she'll say yes. She's really nice."

Dylan thinks for a moment before relenting, "Okay, if they say yes."

Sara grins from ear to ear, "Cool."

"Okay everyone!" Miss Debbie claps her hands twice to get everyone's attention. "Let's warm up together and then start the show from the top."

Sara smiles at Dylan and then moves over to get into her spot on the dance floor for warm ups.


"And run! 2, 3, 4, leap," Miss Debbie calls out to her class as they practice for their recital. The music fades out and the girls who had just leaped all perform their final moves. Miss Debbie claps her hands a few times, "That was much better, everyone. Eric and Hannah, your lift needs a little bit more work, but it is looking much better than last time. Emma, make sure you really extend your legs on that final leap. Other than that, you all did really, really well. Grab your things and find your parents, I'll see you all next time." She smiles at her class as they move towards the benches to grab their bags.

Once Sara has all of her things, she swings her bag up onto her shoulder and then makes her way to the door, stepping out.

Looking around, she sees Skye waving to get her attention. With a smile on her face, Sara makes her way towards Skye and wraps her arms around her in a hug.

"Hey sweetie," Skye smiles down at Sara as she hugs her back. "How was rehearsal?"

"It was really good," Sara smiles when she pulls back. "I'm so excited for the Christmas recital. It's always my favorite one. Are you going to come to it?"

"Would you like me to?" Sara nods her head. Skye smiles, "Then I'll be there."

Sara beams, "Cool." She grabs Skye's hand and the two begin making their way towards the exit of the building. "You're going to really like the Christmas recital," Sara tells Skye. "It's always really cool. At least, that's what dad says. I wanted to have a solo dance this year, but I didn't get it. Kayla did. Instead I have the duet with Mariah."

"Oh, well that's okay," Skye says. "I'm sure you're going to do a great job with your dance. And maybe next time you'll get the solo. You just have to work extra hard and do your best."

"Yeah," Sara sighs, "I know." They reach the car and Skye unlocks the doors, letting the two of them climb inside.

"Okay," Skye says as she starts the car. "Shall we head home?"

"Yep," Sara nods her head. "I'm really tired after dance. I think I might take a nap after lunch."

"Sounds like a plan," Skye smiles as she puts the car in reverse and backs out of her parking space.


"Did you know that Sara asked me if you and I would be pretend parents for one of the boys in her dance class?" Grant asks Skye as they get ready for bed.

Skye turns to look at him, "What?"

Grant smiles as he sits on the edge of the bed, "Apparently one of the boys in her class, Dylan, isn't sure if his parents are going to the Christmas recital because of work. So she asked me if you and I could be his fake parents in a way, to be there for him at the recital." He removes his prosthetic and sets in on the floor.

Skye smiles, "That's so sweet."

"Yeah," Grant replies as he pulls back the covers of the bed and climbs in. "I told her we would. I hope that's okay with you."

"It's perfectly fine," she smiles at him as she climbs into the bed.

"Really?"

She nods her head, "Yeah. This little boy should have someone there for him too. It was sweet of Sara to offer us."

He chuckles, "Yeah, it was."

"Does this boy know about Sara's offer for us to be his parents by proxy?"

"I have no idea," he replies. "If he doesn't, then I really hope he's okay with it. You can never be too sure."

"Even if he isn't okay with, it doesn't mean we can't still congratulate him at the end of the performance."

"That is very true," Grant nods his head. He looks at her with a smile, "I knew there was a reason I love you."

She smiles back, "I love you too." She leans forward and gives him a quick peck on the lips before sliding down in the bed so her head is on her pillow. "Good night."

"Night," he smiles, scooting down on his side of the bed to fall asleep.

Chapter Text

*December 7, 2014*

"You ready to go, bear?" Grant asks his daughter as he stands in the living room.

Sara pulls on her left shoe and then stands up from the bottom stair, smiling at her dad, "Now I am."

"Alright. Skye?" He turns slightly and calls into the house.

"Just a second," Skye calls back. A second later, she walks into the living room, pulling her hair up into a messy bun. "Okay, now I'm ready to go."

"Excellent," Grant smiles. "Time to go and find our perfect Christmas tree."

"Yes!" Sara exclaims, pumping both fists into the air. She looks at Skye, "I love finding the Christmas tree. We can't too big of a tree, though. Because it won't fit in the house."

"But we don't want a super tiny one either," Grant adds, "otherwise there won't be enough room for all the ornaments we're going to hang on it."

"Those are both very important things to keep in mind," Skye says. "Now let's go find a tree."

Sara beams and then pulls the front door open, darting straight towards the car.

Grant and Skye laugh to themselves as they follow behind Sara to get to the car.


Making their way down one of the aisles between the many different rows of trees, Grant and Skye hold hands and watch as Sara skips along ahead of them.

"This is one of my favorite parts," Grant says to Skye as he watches Sara go up to each tree and examine it thoroughly.

"Really?" She asks him.

He nods his head, "Yeah. She always gets so excited for everything about Christmas. Especially finding the tree. I love watching her eyes light up every year when she finds the perfect tree. It was even cuter, the first time I brought her here so we could get a tree, her eyes got so big when she saw all the trees. It was probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen."

"That sounds adorable," Skye smiles up at him.

Grant smiles, "It was."

She leans into his side a bit and tilts her head back to look at him. "You know what one of the things I love about you is?" He shakes his head. She smiles, "When you get all sentimental when talking about Sara. It's cute. But it also makes me wish I met you two a few years ago so I could have been there to see all the cute little kid stuff she did."

He smiles down at her, "Well then maybe we'll just have to start from the beginning? So you can experience all those cute moments."

"Grant Ward," Skye says as she looks up at him with a goofy smile. "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"

"That depends on what you think I might be saying," he grins.

She smiles at him and leans up on her toes to press a kiss to his lips. "I think it sounds like an excellent idea," she says against his lips. "Let's just wait a little while until we actually start trying, okay?"

"So, we'll practice for the practice?" He asks.

She rolls her eyes and lets out a small laugh, "If that's what you want to call it, yes."

"Good," he smiles, connecting their lips again.

"Dad! Skye!" Sara exclaims, running back towards them.

Grant and Skye pull apart and look down at Sara, seeing her with a wide smile on her face.

"Did you find a tree?" Grant asks his daughter.

She nods her head enthusiastically, "Uh-huh. It's perfect. It's a Douglas Fir tree and it's super pretty. It has lots of branches and they're really full, and it's not too tall, so it'll fit in the house, and it's awesome." Sara finishes her explanation, breathing heavily.

"You seem excited," Grant points out.

Sara nods her head, "Yeah."

"Then we should probably go and see this amazing tree you found," Skye smiles at her.

"Come on," Sara grabs Skye's hand and starts tugging her along through the tree farm. "It's this way."

Skye looks back and gives Grant a smile as she tries to keep up with Sara's fast pace.

Grant just chuckles and follows behind them, ready to see the tree his daughter picked out.


"Careful dad," Sara says as she and Skye stand off to the side as Grant pulls the tree down off the roof of the car.

"I know, but thanks," Grant says as he tugs on the trunk of the tree, coaxing it down off of the roof.

With one final tug, hard tug, Grant pulls the tree down, the trunk of it hitting the pavement with a small thud.

"Now bring it inside," Sara smiles, bouncing excitedly on her feet.

Grant glances over at his daughter, "I think I know what to do, bear. Why don't you go and make sure the tree stand is where it's supposed to be."

"Okay," she smiles and then makes her way up into the house.

"You need some help, babe?" Skye asks her boyfriend as she watches him wrestle a bit with the tree.

He shakes his head, "No. I think I got it. Thanks, though."

"Okay," she smiles. "I'm gonna go inside and wait with Sara."

"Okay," he says back.

Skye turns around and makes her way up into the house. She walks in the front door and sees Sara sitting on the floor by where the tree is going to be.

"Hey sweetie," Skye speaks up, catching Sara's attention.

Sara turns around, "Hi. Is dad bringing the tree inside?"

Skye nods her head as she sits down on the couch, "Yep. He should be in here any moment."

"Cool," Sara smiles. "I can't wait to hang the ornaments on it. It's one of my favorite parts."

"I always loved hanging ornaments on the tree," Skye says.

"My dad got me an ornament for each year. Usually it'd be an ornament to represent something that happened that year."

"That's so cool," Skye smiles.

"I've got the tree!" Grant announces as he steps through the front door.

Sara jumps up and runs over to him, "Yay yay yay!"

"Go sit with Skye while I set the tree up," Grant tells her.

"Okay," Sara moves over to the couch and climbs up next to Skye. She smiles up at her before turning to watch her dad set the Christmas tree into its stand.

"And the tree is up," Grant says a few minutes later, stepping back from the tree with his hands out in front of him.

"It looks awesome, dad," Sara says excitedly, jumping up from the couch.

"Thanks," Grant smiles down at her. "But do you know what'll make it look even more awesome?"

"Ornaments," Sara grins.

"That's right," he smiles back. "Go grab a box and get started," he nods his head in the direction of the few boxes sitting in the chairs.

Sara steps over to the boxes and begins pulling out ornaments to hang on the tree. Grant moves over to the couch and sits down next to Skye, draping an arm around her shoulder.

"I like the tree," she smiles at him.

"Thanks," he smiles back, leaning down to give her a kiss.

"Guys!" Sara exclaims from her spot standing by the tree, an ornament in each hand. "Come help me with the ornaments."

"We're coming, we're coming," Grant sighs playfully as he stands up from the couch, making his way over to the boxes of ornaments.

Skye remains on the couch for a moment, watching Grant and Sara interact with each other. She smiles to herself at the sight before standing up and moving over to help them hang the ornaments on the tree.

Chapter Text

*December 9, 2014*

"Hey Jerry," Skye smiles at the man as she approaches the front desk.

"Hello Skye," he smiles at her. "How's your day going so far?"

"Well, it's still pretty early, so it's going well so far. Dropped Sara off at school on my way here."

"That's great," he smiles. "Tell Sara I said hi, she's such a sweet kid."

"Yes she is," Skye smiles. "And I will be sure to tell her you say hello."

"Great. Nick is waiting for you up in the office."

"Awesome, thanks." She gives him a small wave as she walks past the desk and towards the elevator.

Stopping in front of the elevator, Skye presses the button to take her up and then waits for the elevator to arrive. She quietly hums a tune to herself as she waits.

Once the elevator arrives, she steps inside and pushes the button to take her up to Nick's office. The doors start closing and she hears a voice calling out to her.

"Wait, hold the door!"

Slipping her hand through the doors before they can close, Skye smiles when she sees who is running towards the elevator.

"Hey Lance," she says to the man as he steps through the doors.

"Hello," he smiles back at her. "What are you doing here?"

"Meeting with Nick. You?"

"Same," he replies.

"Oh cool. I wonder what it's about if he wants to talk to both of us."

"I guess we'll find out, won't we?"

"Yeah, I guess we will."

"Oh hey," Lance speaks up after a quiet moment, "how is your album going?"

Skye sighs, "It's going okay. I've got a couple of songs already recorded; I need some more, though."

"Well you think of them. You always do."

"Yeah, I suppose you're right. Which is something I don't say often, and probably won't say again for a very long time."

"See, that really hurts me."

"Oh you'll get over it," Skye tells him just as the elevator dings and the doors open. "Now come on," she says to him. "We have a meeting."

"Yeah, I'm coming." He steps out of the elevator behind her, "But only because I have to, not because you told me to."

"Stop acting like a child," she calls over her shoulder.

"I'm not acting!" He calls back.

"What is with all the shouting?" Fury asks as he steps out the door of his office.

"Sorry, Nicky," Skye smiles at the older man. "Lance over here is just being a whiner," she gestures over her shoulder with her thumb.

"Well come on inside," he steps aside to let the two of them inside.

"Alright Nicky," Skye says as she sits down in one of the chairs, "what's this meeting all about?"

"Yeah," Lance says as he sits down as well. "I was wondering the same thing."

"I'm glad you asked. I was thinking earlier, it's been a while since SHIELD has released any kind of holiday single or album. Then I thought, why not get my two top selling artists to do a holiday song together."

Skye and Lance glance at each other before looking back at Nick.

"You want us to do a Christmas song together?" Skye asks.

Nick nods his head, "Yes."

"What song are we going to do?" Lance asks. "Or are we going to write one of our own."

"I was thinking you could do something different," Nick tells them. "A medley of different holiday songs. I know someone who can help you put the songs together. He's very good at taking multiple songs and layering them together nicely."

"I think it sounds fun," Skye smiles and looks over at Lance.

Lance thinks for a moment. Then he sighs, "Yeah, alright. It could be fun."

"Excellent," Nick claps his hands together. "I knew you'd both say yes which is why I already told the guy to come down here today."

Skye smiles and shakes her head, "You are certainly something else, Nicky."

"Thank you," he says. He leans forward and presses a button on his desk, "Darcy, could you send Kurt in, please?"

"Sure thing, boss man," his young secretary's voice answers back.

"Is Kurt the guy you hired?" Lance asks.

"Yes," Nick replies with a curt nod of his head.

A knock at the door is heard next. Nick turns slightly towards the door and calls out, "Come in."

The door opens and a tall man with short curly hair enters the room. "Hey," he smiles with a small wave. "I'm Kurt Schneider; you must be Skye and Lance Hunter. It is such an honor to get to work with you. I'm a huge fan of both of yours."

"Hi," Skye replies with a smile. "Nick here says you're a genius?"

"I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a genius," Kurt says back, "but I am pretty good at what I do."

"Cool," Skye smiles. "When are we going to get started?"

"Whenever we can," Kurt replies. "Do you have somewhere we can work?"

"I know the perfect place," Skye tells him with a smile. "Come on," she stands up from the chair, picking her bag up off of the floor and swinging it up onto her shoulder. "Catch ya later, Nick!" She calls back as she walks out of the room, Lance and Kurt right behind her.

"So Kurt," Skye speaks up as the three of them make their way down the hallway, "how do you know Nick?"

"A friend of a friend," Kurt replies. "My friend heard Nick was looking for someone with my skills, so my friend gave Nick my information. Nick called me up and asked me if I wanted to help him out on a new song. And I happily agreed. Getting the chance to work for SHIELD Studios is like a dream come true."

"Then we're happy to help," Lance pipes up.

"Here we are," Skye smiles as they reach one of the recording booths. "One of the finest recording booths. Also equipped with comfy couches and sturdy tables on which to write music."

"Excellent," Kurt smiles. "Shall we get started?"

"Absolutely," Skye smiles, pushing open the door and stepping through it, allowing Kurt and Lance to step through as well.


"Hey beautiful," Grant says as Skye steps through the front door.

"Hey," she smiles at him as she toes off her shoes and sets her bag down. She moves over to the couch and sits down next to him, leaning her head on his shoulder.

"Long day?" He asks her with a smile.

"Sort of," she replies. "Nick wants Lance and I to record a Christmas song together."

"That's cool. Is that why you were in the studio all day? Writing a new song?"

"In a way," she tells him. "Nick hired a guy name Kurt to help us put together a medley of Christmas songs for us to sing."

"Sounds cool," Grant says.

"Yeah, I'm pretty excited. We've already got a few songs picked out and Kurt's working on the layout for the song."

"Awesome. I can't wait to hear it, I'm sure it'll be a hit."

"Thanks," she smiles at him.

"It's what I do," he smiles back at her. "Do you know when the song is going to be released?"

She shakes her head, "Nope. But my best guess is that it'll be released closer to Christmas."

Grant nods his head, "That does make sense."

"Yeah. And I'm going back in tomorrow so we can finish the arrangement of the songs and then hopefully start recording."

"Awesome. Well I hope everything goes well."

"Me too." She glances up at the clock on the wall and then looks back at Grant. "School's almost out."

Grant looks up at the clock, "That it is. Shall we go get Sara?"

"We shall," she smiles and stands up from the couch. Grant stands up as well and they both put their shoes on.

Skye grabs her keys out of the bowl by the door and then turns to look at Grant, "You ready?"

"Yep," he nods his head.

"Alright, let's go get Sara."


"Hey Sara," Skye smiles at the little girl as she makes her way towards them.

"Hi Skye," Sara smiles back. "Hi dad."

"Hey bear, you ready to go?"

"Mm-hmm." She reaches up for Grant's and Skye's hands and then the three of them begin walking to the car.

"So, how was school?" Skye asks.

"Good. We had our math test today."

"How did you do?" Grant asks.

"I passed. But I missed a few questions."

"That's okay," Skye tells her. "Just study up and you'll do better next time."

"Yeah that's what Ms. Nolten told me."

"And she's right," Skye smiles. "You just have to work hard and do your best."

"I know," Sara says. "How was your meeting today?" She asks Skye.

"It was good," Skye replies, "thanks for asking."

"You're welcome," Sara smiles.

"Do you want to know what the best part of the meeting was?"

"What?"

"Nick told Lance and I that we are going to be recording a Christmas song together."

"Really?" Sara looks up at her and smiles as Skye unlocks the car.

"Yep," Skye nods her head and climbs in the car.

"Awesome," Sara smiles as she climbs in the backseat of the car. "When can I hear it?"

"When it's released," Skye looks at her through the rearview mirror, "just like everyone else."

"Seriously?" Sara asks.

"Mm-hmm," Skye nods her head and backs out of the parking space.

Sara lets out a sigh and crosses her arms in front of her, sitting back against her seat.

Skye just smiles to herself and continues driving down the street back towards the house.

Chapter Text

*December 16, 2014*

"Dad," Sara speaks up as Grant pulls the car up to the front of the school, "don't forget. Tonight is Father Christmas."

"I know, bear. Now get moving so you aren't late."

"Okay. Bye dad, bye Skye," she leans forward and gives both of them a kiss on the cheek before climbing out of the car.

Grant waits as Sara walks inside the front of school before he pulls the car back out onto the street.

"What's Father Christmas?" Skye asks Grant as he drives down the road.

"You don't know?" He glances over at her.

She shakes her head, "Nope."

"Oh. Well it's really cool. The school does it every year at Christmastime."

"That's great. But I don't think you've told me what it is."

"Right. Well basically, it's a Christmas party of sorts for the kids who go to the school. But they can also buy presents for their family members too. Nothing is more than two dollars and they are constantly getting things donated throughout the school year from different people and places."

"That's really awesome," Skye smiles.

"Yeah, Sara loves it. And they have people called Personal Shoppers who help the kids while they're shopping if they need it. Then after they buy their presents, they can have them wrapped up so they're all ready to go."

"That's pretty cool. Is that all it is?"

Grant shakes his head, "No. They also have a craft center for the kids to make things. And there is a silent auction upstairs for the parents, along with pictures with Santa for the kids. Sometimes they even open up the computer area upstairs for the kids to use."

"Wow. This school really goes all out for Christmas."

Grant smiles, "I know. It's really cool of them to do. Because a lot of kids who go to the school don't have tons of money, so when you can buy something really nice for a dollar, you get super excited."

"And I take it Sara gets super excited too?"

Grant nods his head, "Extremely. She loves Father Christmas. And this year, she has more people to buy presents for. Usually it's just me, Fitz, Gramsy, and her grandparents. But now this year, she also has you and your parents. At least, that's what she told me."

"She's buying my parents each a present? That's so sweet. I know they're going to love whatever she gets them. They love having her in their life, they miss having a child around."

"Well then I'm glad Sara can fill that void for them."

"Me too."

"Hey, do you want to come with us tonight?" Grant asks Skye.

"To Father Christmas?" Skye asks for clarification.

Grant nods his head, "Yeah. I'm sure Sara would love to show around."

Skye thinks for a minute. "I think I can come. I'll have to double check and then I'll let you know."

"Great. So, to the studio?"

"Yes. Working on some more songs for the album. What are you doing today?"

"Going to a meeting with my boss. He just wants to check up on me, that kind of stuff."

"Okay, so will you be able to pick me up when I'm done at the studio?"

"Sure."

"Awesome. You're the best."

He grins, "I know."


"Come on, dad!" Sara calls back to her dad as she makes her way to the front of the school.

"Relax, bear," Grant replies with a smile. "I'm coming." He and Skye casually make their way towards Sara at the front of the school. "Are you ready?" he asks her.

She nods her head enthusiastically, "Uh-huh. I've got my money right here," she pats her pants pocket, a large smile on her face.

"Alright then, let's go."

Sara beams and then turns towards the front doors of the school, making her way through them and to the table set up in the front of the lobby.

"Hi Mr. Boyd!" Sara smiles and waves at the man sitting behind the table.

"Hello Sara," the man smiles back. "Are you excited?"

"Very," Sara smiles.

"Excellent. Well here is your number, number 43," he pulls a sticker off of a sheet and hands it over to Sara.

She takes it from him and sticks it to her shirt, "Thanks."

"You're welcome. I'm sure you know the drill. You can go down and do crafts, take a picture with Santa, and I believe the computer lab is open this year. But make sure to listen for your number group to be called so you can go shopping, alright?"

"I will," Sara smiles. She turns around to face her dad and Skye. "Come on," she says to them. "Let's go up to the computer lab. I want to show the typing game we use. I'm really good at it."

"Sounds like a plan," Grant smiles. "Lead the way," he says to Sara, gesturing inside the school.


"Now calling Numbers 41-50. Please come down to the gym to go shopping."

Sara's head shoots up from the computer monitor where she'd been showing Grant and Skye one of the websites she likes to use at school. "I'm Number 43, that's my group."

"Well you better get going then," Grant says. "Do you have your money?"

Sara nods her head as she stands up from her chair. "I'll come back up here when I'm done shopping."

"Sounds good," Grant smiles, watching as Sara makes her way out of the room and down to the gym.


Sara skips down the stairs, a happy and eager smile on her face. She hops down the last step and rounds the corner, coming to a stop in the small hallway outside the gym doors.

"Ace!" She exclaims when she sees the young boy standing near her.

"Hi Sara," Ace smiles when he sees her. "Are you ready to go shopping?"

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. I'm so excited."

"Me too," Ace smiles. "I can't wait to see all the stuff they have this year."

"Same," Sara smiles. "And I have so many presents to buy this year, so I'm probably gonna have to come back through a second time."

"Really?"

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. What about you?"

"Just once," Ace tells her. "I just have my dad, my aunt, and my cousin."

"Okay kids," one of the teachers of the school speaks up. "Are you all ready to go shopping?" All the kids in the hallway cheer. The teacher smiles, "Okay. And don't forget, there are personal shoppers here to help you find whatever you need. Now, shop away," she reaches over to the door handle and pulls the door open, letting the kids file inside the gym.


"Hi dad," Sara says as she approaches the computer lab again, carrying a brown bag of wrapped gifts.

"Hey, bear," Grant smiles at her. "Did you get all the presents you needed?"

"I think so," Sara replies as she sits down in the chair she'd been using earlier. "I didn't find a present for Phil, though. I couldn't find anything I thought he'd like."

"That's okay," Skye tells her. "Later we'll sit down and I can tell you all the different things he likes, maybe it'll give you some ideas."

"Okay, cool."

"So, bear," Grant speaks up, "what did you get for me?"

Sara furrows her brows, "I can't tell you, dad. You know that. You have to wait until Christmas to find out."

Grant sighs, "You're right. I'm sorry." He smiles at her. "Now then, what should we do next?"

"Can we go down and take pictures with Santa?"

"Of course we can," Grant smiles. "It's only one of the best parts of Christmas."

Sara smiles back, "Cool." She picks up her bag of gifts and stands up from her chair, "Okay, I'm ready to go see Santa."

"Excellent," Grant smiles. He holds his hand out to her, "Let's go."

Sara smiles back and grabs his hand, beginning to tug him down the hallway.


"Sara!"

Turning her head to the side, Sara grins when she sees Josie making her way up the back staircase.

"Josie!" She exclaims, making her way towards her best friend. The two girls hug each other excitedly when they meet.

"Did you go shopping yet?" Sara asks Josie.

"Yeah," Josie says. "My mom has my presents. I'm coming up to take a picture with Santa."

"Me too. Wanna take a picture together instead?"

"Sure," Josie smiles.

"Awesome!" Sara smiles.

"Sara," Grant says as he and Skye approach the two girls. "Are you going to get your picture with Santa?"

"Yeah. Josie and I are going to get one together." She holds her bag out to her dad and he takes it from her, holding it in his hand.

"Okay. You two should probably get in line then."

"Yes we should," Josie says. "Come on," she grabs Sara's hand and pulls her towards the line.

"Hello Grant."

Grant turns his head to see Lisa smiling at him. He smiles back, "Hello Lisa. How are you?"

"Very well. And you?"

"Doing better. The prosthetic is still taking some getting used to, but it's getting easier."

"That's great to hear," she smiles.

"Yeah. Oh! Lisa, I don't believe you've met Skye yet. Skye, this is Lisa, Josie's mom."

Skye steps forward and extends a hand, "It's great to finally meet you."

Lisa accepts her hand, "Likewise. I have to tell you, it's kind of nice to be meeting you, Josie is a huge fan of yours."

Skye smiles and laughs quietly, "Yeah, I know. The first time we met she was pretty starstruck."

"I'll be honest and say I didn't exactly believe her when she told me she met you. I thought she was just messing with me. Now I see she wasn't."

"Well she's a really great girl," Skye smiles. "You and your husband have done an excellent job with her."

"Thank you," Lisa smiles. She glances over at the two young girls standing in the line for pictures, "I like to think we've been doing a good job with her and her sister." She looks back at Grant and Skye, "I'm just glad she found a friend on her first day of school. She was pretty worried about no one liking her."

"Sara was the same way," Grant supplies. "Except she was like that pretty much every year. So she was very, very happy she found a friend in Josie." Grant looks over at his daughter chatting excitedly with Josie. He smiles.


"So did you have fun tonight, bear?" Grant asks Sara as the three of them enter the front door of the house.

"Yeah," Sara replies. "I got all the presents I wanted to get."

"Excellent," Grant smiles. "Why don't you put them under the tree and then get ready for bed."

"Okay." She moves over to the Christmas tree and kneels down in front of it. Digging into her brown bag, she pulls out each of the presents she bought and sticks them underneath of the tree.

Grant and Skye move over to the couch and sit down next to each other, relaxing into the cushions.

"Tonight was fun," Skye tells Grant as she leans into his side.

"Yes it was," Grant replies with a smile.

"I'm done," Sara announces as she stands up from the tree, empty brown bag at her feet.

"Great job," Grant smiles. "Now go and get ready for bed, please."

"Okay, goodnight." She steps forward and places a kiss to Grant's cheek, and then Skye's.

"Goodnight," Skye calls out to her as Sara makes her way up the stairs.

Once Sara is up the stairs, Grant lets out a content sigh. "Well," he speaks up after a quiet minute, "what do you say we go and get ourselves ready for bed?"

Skye tilts her head back and smiles at him, "Sounds like an excellent idea." She stretches up and presses a kiss to his lips before standing up from the couch and making her way towards the bedroom. Grant smiles at her retreating form before standing up and following her.

Chapter Text

*December 20, 2014*

Stepping up to the front of Josie's house, Sara knocks on the front door, waiting for it to open.

A moment later, the front door opens and Sara sees Josie's mom standing on the other side, a smile on her face. "Hello Sara," the older woman smiles.

"Hi Lisa," Sara smiles back. "Is Josie ready to go?"

"I think so. She's upstairs in her room. Go on up."

"Okay. Thanks." Sara steps past Lisa and makes her way into the house and up the staircase.

Reaching Josie's room, Sara finds the door open and she wraps her knuckles against the door frame. "Josie?"

Josie's head peeks out from around her closet door, "Hi Sara!"

"Hi!" Sara enters the room and walks over to where Josie is. "Are you ready to go?"

"Almost. It took me forever to find something to wear."

"It's just a Christmas party," Sara tells her.

"At Shield Studios," Josie adds. "I can't just wear anything to the party. Do you know who all is going to be there?!"

"Skye is. And Lance and Bobbi. Probably Jemma and Uncle Fitz too. And Nick, Phil, and Mel. And…"

"I didn't actually want you to answer," Josie interrupts her friend. "It was one of those kinds of questions you ask but don't actually want the answer to."

"A rhetorical question," Sara supplies.

"Yeah, one of those." She reaches down into her closet and pulls out her tennis shoes, slipping them onto her feet. She stands up straight and looks at Sara, "Okay. I'm ready to go."

"Awesome. Dad and Skye are in the car, let's go." The two friends link arms and then walk out the door of Josie's room, making sure to shut off the light and close the door.

"Bye mom," Josie says as she and Sara reach the bottom of the stairs.

"Bye Jo," Lisa says to her daughter. "Bye Sara."

"Bye Lisa," Sara waves to the older woman as she and Josie make their way down the steps and over towards the car.

Climbing inside the back of the car, Josie and Sara buckle themselves in and then sit excitedly in their seats.

"Hi Josie," Skye says through the rear view mirror as the car pulls away from the curb.

"Hi Skye," Josie smiles. "Hi Grant."

"Hi Josie," Grant smiles at his daughters best friend. "Are you girls ready for the party?"

They both nod their heads eagerly.

"That's good," Skye smiles. "Because this party is going to be some of the best fun you've ever had."


Walking through the front doors of SHIELD Studios, Grant, Skye, Sara, and Josie, make their way to the front desk. "Hey Jerry!" Skye greets the older man who is sitting behind his desk, a Santa hat adorning his head.

"Well hello there," Jerry smiles at them. "Are you four here for the Christmas party?"

"Yes we are," Sara smiles up at the man. "Jerry, this is my best friend Josie. Josie, this is Jerry. He's the head security guy here. He's really awesome."

"Oh, why thank you Sara. And it's nice to meet you, Josie," he smiles over the desk at the young girl.

"You too," Josie smiles back.

"Are you both excited for the party?" He asks Josie and Sara. They both nod. "Excellent. Well, you know where the party is, Skye. Go right on in."

"Thanks Jerry," she smiles at him as she leads Grant, Sara, and Josie, through the building. "Are you ready for the best Christmas party ever?" Skye asks the three of them as they all continue walking.

"I'm so excited!" Sara says, walking excitedly alongside Skye, their hands clasped together. "On the Fourth of July, Bobbi told me the Christmas party is always really fun. Even more fun than the Fourth."

"It is pretty fun," Skye says. "And you know what makes it even more fun?"

"What?"

"There is going to be a live performance from a few of us who are signed with SHIELD."

"Really?" Josie asks, wide-eyed. "Are you going to sing too?"

"Yes I am," Skye smiles at her.

"Cool," Josie says. "I've never seen you, or anyone else, perform live, so I can't wait."

"Neither can I," Grant speaks up. "Pretty sure the only person from this studio I've seen perform live is Skye."

"Same," Sara says.

"Well then all of you are in for a real treat, because all of the people who are performing tonight are all really good."

"Awesome," Josie smiles.


"Whoa," Sara and Josie say at the same time, going wide-eyed when they enter the large room in front of them.

"It's like Christmas exploded in here!" Sara exclaims happily with a smile. "I love it."

Grant and Skye both chuckle at Sara's observation. "I've always loved it too," Skye smiles. "It's very festive."

"There you guys are."

Turning to the side, they see Phil and Melinda making their way towards them, smiles on both of their faces.

"Hey mom, hey dad," Skye smiles at her parents, pulling the both of them into a hug.

"Hi sweetheart," Phil says back.

"Hi Phil! Hi Mel!" Sara exclaims, waving up at them.

"Hello Sara," Melinda smiles down at the girl.

"Phil, Mel. This is my best friend Josie. Josie, these are Skye's parents."

"Hello Josie," Melinda smiles at the girl. "How are you?"

"Good," Josie smiles. "I still can't believe I'm actually here at SHIELD Studios," she squeals.

"Well you better start believing it," Phil smiles. "We're very glad you're here."

"I invited her," Sara smiles proudly. "I told her that since she's my friend, I want her to be here with me so she can meet some of my other friends and have fun."

"Well that is very kind of you, Sara. Now I have a question for you, are you excited for Christmas?"

Sara nods her head eagerly, "Uh-huh. I love Christmas!"

"Me too," Josie smiles.

"So does Skye," Melinda tells the two girls. "When she was you girls' age, she used to try and stay up all night to see Santa."

"Oh, Sara has tried that too," Grant tells them with a laugh. "She never really made it very far into the night, though."

"Skye was a pretty stubborn kid," Melinda says. "She would try whatever she could to stay awake. She even tried eating all the cookies we made for Santa once because she thought it would give her the energy to stay up to see Santa."

"Let me guess," Grant says, "she crashed."

"Completely."

Grant and Sara both laugh, making Skye rolls her eyes. "Can we stop talking about my ridiculous childhood, please?"

"Oh but I love hearing stories about your childhood," Grant smiles down at her.

"Well then maybe I want to hear some stories about your childhood."

Grant tenses slightly before relaxing. "Maybe another time," he says with a smile that doesn't reach all the way up to his eyes.

"Alright," Phil speaks up, breaking the obvious tension in the room. "Sara, Josie, there are a bunch of other kids over there," he gestures to one area of the room. "I think they're doing crafts and playing some games. And they have snacks and things over there too. Plus, I think Santa is coming later tonight."

Sara's eyes light up, "He is?"

Melinda nods her head, "Mm-hmm. Why don't you two go on over and hang out with the other kids."

"Okay. Bye dad, bye Skye." Sara hugs them both before grabbing Josie's arm and running over to where the large group of kids is.

"As for you two," Melinda smiles at Grant and Skye, "the grown up party is all around you. Food and drinks are over there," she points to the wall behind them. "DJ is over there in front of the dance floor," she points to the opposite wall. "And then there is mingling."

"Awesome," Skye smiles. "Thanks mom. I think I'm going to go get a drink. You want a drink, babe?" She asks Grant.

"Yeah, sure."

"Okay," she grabs his hand and intertwines their fingers, "come on." She pulls him off towards the drink table.


"Bobbi!" Sara exclaims when she sees the older woman walking towards the large group of kids doing crafts.

"Hey Sara," Bobbi smiles back, walking over and pulling Sara into a huge. "How are you?"

"Good," Sara says. "You were right about the party. It's so much fun."

"See," Bobbi smiles. "I knew you'd enjoy it here. So, what are you all doing?" Bobbi asks, nodding with her head towards the table covered in craft items.

Sara grabs Bobbi by the hand and leads her over to the table, "We're all doing different things. Right now I'm making an ornament to put on the tree at home."

"That's a very good idea," Bobbi tells her.

"I'm coloring a bunch of pictures for my dad," Ace speaks up from his place at the table.

"Sounds fun," Bobbi smiles.

"I'm making something for my mom," Josie speaks up.

"I'm sure she'll love it," Bobbi smiles at her.

"Bobbi," Sara starts, "this is Josie, my best friend. I don't think you've met her yet. Josie, this is Bobbi. She's the one who brought me to school last month. She's married to Lance Hunter."

Josie's eyes go wide, "You are?"

"I am," Bobbi nods her head with a smile.

"Does he sing to you all the time?"

"Usually when I'm mad at him," Bobbi smiles. Sara and Josie both smile and giggle.

"Hi Bobbi!" A little dark haired boy speaks up from across the table. He waves enthusiastically at her.

Bobbi smiles and waves back, "Hi Nathan. How are you?"

"Good. You?"

"I'm doing very well. Thank you for asking."

Nathan gives her a toothy grin and then turns back to his project.

"Bobbi," Sara speaks up. "Do you want to make something too?"

Bobbi smiles down at her, "I would love to."


"Jemma!" Skye smiles wide when she sees her best friend walking towards her. "It's about time you showed up," she pulls Jemma into a hug. "For a while there I didn't think you'd actually show up."

"Of course I'm here," Jemma says to her. "This is the greatest party ever and I've been coming here since we were kids. There's no chance I'd miss it."

"Then what took you so long?"

"Oh, Fitz just had to finish up some things at the restaurant. So I waited with him until he was done."

"But now we're here," Fitz says. "And we're ready to have a good time."

"Well you showed up at the perfect time," Skye smiles at her friends. "I believe it's almost time for the performances."

"Oh excellent!" Jemma grins. "The performances always make me smile."

"Same here," Skye replies. "Now, I see Nicky trying to get my attention which probably means he needs me to get ready to sing. So I'll see you guys when I'm done," she leans up and presses a kiss to Grant's cheek, smiles at Jemma and Fitz, then makes her way over to Nick.


"Hello everyone," Nick Fury says as he stands atop the stage at the far end of the room. "I want to thank you all for coming to our annual Christmas party." Everyone cheers. "Alright, well, I hope you are all having an excellent time tonight. We're going to end this wonderful night with a few special performances, as we do every year." Everyone cheers again. "This first song you'll hear is a song that is being performed as well as heard for the first time ever. Tomorrow morning the song will be released online for the rest of the world to enjoy. Here to sing their new Holiday Medley, please welcome, Lance Hunter and Skye!"

Everyone cheers loudly as Skye and Lance make their way onto the stage, taking their places at the microphones set up on stage.

"How's everyone doing tonight?" Skye speaks into her microphone. Everyone cheers.

"That's excellent," Lance grins. "Shall we sing, then?" Everyone cheers again.

Lance and Skye both smile into the crowd before the music starts. After a few measures, Skye begins singing.

(Bold=Lance  Italics=Skye  Bold Italics=Both)

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Tiny tots  with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

I really can't stay
But baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away
But baby it's cold outside

The evening has been
Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice
I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice

My mother will start to worry
Beautiful, what's your hurry
And father will be pacing the floor
Listen to the fireplace roar

So really I'd better scurry
Beautiful, please don't hurry
Maybe just a little bit more
So

Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree for me
I've been an awful good girl
Santa baby,  and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, there's one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa cutie,  and hurry down the chimney tonight

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But they very next day, you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special

Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin', ring ting tinglin' too
Come on it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you
Outside the snow is fallin' and friends are callin' "yoo hoo"
Come on it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you

Giddy-up giddy-up giddy-up let's go, let's look at the show

We're riding in a  wonderland of snow
Giddy-up giddy-up giddy-up it's grand, just holdin' your hand
We're gliding along with a song of a wintery fairy land

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety two
Although it's been said many times, many ways
Happy holidays to you

As the final notes are played, everyone in the crowd cheers. Skye and Lance wave to the crowd as they make their way off of the stage.

"Skye!"

Skye barely has time to turn around before Sara is barreling into her legs, hugging her tightly. Skye laughs as she hugs Sara, "Hey Sara. I take it you liked the song."

"It was really, really good," Sara smiles when she pulls away from the hug.

"You're always really good when you sing on stage," Ace smiles up at Skye.

"Aww, thanks buddy," Skye smiles at the boy. "What did you think, Josie?" Skye asks the other little girl in front of her.

"That was so awesome," Josie grins. "Live performances are so much cooler when you're actually there instead of watching them through other people's videos on YouTube."

"I've always thought that too," Skye smiles.

"Well Skye," Fitz speaks up as he and Jemma approach the group, "you certainly are an excellent performer. Now I know why Sara was so excited about going to your show all those months ago."

"Thanks, Fitz. I'm glad you enjoyed the show."

"He not the only one who enjoyed it," Grant speaks up as he steps forward.

"Hey you," Skye smiles, stepping closer to her boyfriend. She wraps her arms around his neck and pulls him down closer, letting her fingers play with the small hairs on the back of his neck.

"Hey," he smiles back, wrapping his own arms around her waist.

"So uh, in case you don't know, I was singing the majority of that song for you."

"I know," he smiles. "You were looking right at me pretty much the entire time."

She smiles back and leans up to press a kiss to his lips. He smiles into the kiss.

"Hey Bobbi," Lance speaks up. "I was singing parts of that song for you too, you know."

Bobbi rolls her eyes and smiles, "Shut up, Lance."

He raises his eyebrows, "Seriously? I'm trying to be romantic here. But if you're just going to shut me down then you can forget about it." He crosses his arms in front of his chest and looks away from her.

"My goodness, you are such a child," she drags out. "I really hope our kid doesn't take after you in that aspect."

"I'm sorry," Skye speaks up, turning her head to look directly at Lance and Bobbi, "What was that?"

Bobbi turns back towards the small group to see everyone staring at her and Lance, their eyes all wide. "Oh, um, I haven't told you guys yet? I thought I did. But, uh, yeah, I'm pregnant. We found out a few weeks ago."

Skye's face breaks into a large grin and she steps towards Bobbi, pulling her down into a hug. "Oh my gosh! This is so exciting! Congratulations!"

"Thanks," Bobbi smiles at her friend.

"When did you guys decide to have a kid?" Skye asks as she pulls away from the hug and then moves back over to Grant.

"Um, it was actually while Grant was in the hospital," Bobbi explains, her eyes flitting over to Grant.

"Really?" Grant asks.

"Yeah," Lance speaks up. "We realized you never actually know how long your life can be, so we both decided seven years of marriage is long enough to wait to start a family."

"And it surprisingly didn't take very long for me to get pregnant," Bobbi adds. "So I guess that's a plus."

"Congratulations, Bobbi!" Sara exclaims, dashing forward to hug the older woman.

Bobbi laughs and hugs Sara back, "Thanks, Sara."

"Alright," Skye speaks up, "while I would love to stay more and talk about how wonderful your pregnancy is, because it is, I need to drag my boyfriend out to dance." She looks up at Grant and smiles, "Come on, let's go dance."

Grant smiles and follows her out to the floor, "Yeah, alright."

"I think a bit of dancing sounds like a good time," Fitz says. "What do you think Jemma, should we dance?"

Jemma smiles, "Absolutely."

Fitz grins as he takes Jemma's hand and leads her out to the dance floor.

"Hey Bobbi, Lance?" Sara speaks up.

"Yeah, sweetie?" Bobbi replies.

"Um, do you guys want to come to my Christmas recital?"

"We would love to," Bobbi smiles. "When is it?"

"It's on the 23rd. I was going to ask you earlier, but I kept forgetting."

"That's okay. And we will definitely be there."

Sara beams, "Awesome." She turns to Josie and Ace, "You guys wanna go dance?"

"Yeah," Ace smiles.

"Okay," Josie smiles as well.

The three kids make their way onto the dance floor and begin dancing to the music playing through the speakers.


"Ho ho ho! Are there any good little boys and girls here?"

All the kids in the room go wide-eyed and smile big when they see the white-bearded man in the red suit walking into the room.

"Santa!" A couple of the kids shout excitedly.

"Dad!" Sara looks up at Grant, "It's Santa! Phil said Santa was going to be here later, and it's later. So now Santa's here."

"I know, bear," Grant smiles. "I see him."

"Can we go and say hi?" Sara asks him.

"Of course you can," Grant tells her. "He is Santa, after all."

Sara grins and then turns towards Josie, "Come on, let's go see Santa."

"Okay," Josie smiles and then the two girls dart off towards where Santa is now sitting in a chair off to one side of the room.

"Who's in the suit?" Fitz asks Skye after a moment of everyone watching the kids all excitedly mob around the jolly old man.

"It's Jerry," Skye tells him.

"Jerry from the front desk?" Grant asks her.

Skye nods her head, "Yep. He's been donning the Santa suit for as long as I can remember."

"Ever since we were kids he's been in the Santa suit," Jemma tells the two men. "We didn't find out it was him until we were in high school, I think. Skye accidentally walked in on him changing out of his suit."

Skye's face goes bright red at the memory, "Jemma! Why did you tell them that?!"

Jemma just smiles and shrugs, leaning further into Fitz's embrace.

"You caught Jerry changing out of his Santa suit?" Grant asks with a small smile.

Skye sighs, "Yes. I didn't mean to, though. Jem and I were just walking around the building after the party got over and we heard some noises coming from one of the rooms nearby."

"So Skye, being Skye, wanted to go and see what it was. I told her we shouldn't bother whoever it was. But she insisted."

"I went up to the door and peered in through the window. That's when I saw Jerry in his boxers and a white t-shirt, he still had the Santa hat on his head. The rest of the suit was lying around him on the floor. I was so mortified, but I was also very thankful I didn't see him completely naked. I've known the guy my entire life, it would have been very scarring."

"Does he know?" Fitz asks.

"Goodness, no," Skye says. "I've never told him, I don't think I'd be able to look at him again if he knew. It'd just be too awkward."

"Right," Jemma says. "Because it isn't awkward already knowing you've seen him like that."

"I'm an adult now," Skye tells her. "I've gotten past it and have chosen not to let it affect my life."

"I for one," Grant speaks up, "think it's sweet of Jerry to dress up as Santa."

"Oh he loves it," Skye tells him. "I think dad told me once that the first year Jerry did it, he volunteered. I guess the guy who was originally supposed to play Santa backed out at just a few hours before the party, so they had to find someone on short notice. They were talking about it in the lobby, near Jerry's desk, and he overheard and then offered to do it. He loved it so much, and the kids were all super excited, and Nicky thought he did a really great job, so he asked Jerry if he'd like to do it again the next year. And the rest is history."

"Wow," Fitz says. "That's pretty amazing."

"Yeah," Jemma smiles, "Jerry really loves it here."

"And we love having Jerry here too," Skye smiles as she watches Jerry dressed as Santa interact with all the kids around him, a happy smile on his face.

Chapter Text

*December 23, 2014*

Bouncing nervously on the balls of her feet, Sara stands backstage of the auditorium, waiting for the Christmas recital to start. Leaning forward, she pulls the curtains apart just enough to peek through without being seen by anyone.

"What are you doing?"

Sara jumps at hearing the voice right behind her and turns around to find Dylan grinning like the Cheshire cat.

She narrows her eyes at him, "What was that for?"

He laughs and shrugs his shoulders, "I thought it'd be funny. And it was."

"Well it wouldn't be funny if I fell through the curtains and landed on the stage."

"I guess you're right," he says. "But why were you looking through the curtains anyways?"

"I was looking to see how many people are out there."

"And?"

"And there are a ton of people."

"Isn't that how it usually is?"

"I think so. But now I'm really nervous with all the people out there. What if I mess up and everyone laughs at me?"

"No one's gonna laugh at you," Dylan tells her. "And why are you nervous? You're never this nervous before a recital."

"Because I have a bunch of people here to watch me," Sara informs him.

He furrows his brow, "You do? Isn't it usually just your dad and your uncle?"

Sara nods her head, "Uh-huh."

"So who else is here?"

"My dad and my uncle, like always. But also Phil, Mel, Jemma, Ace, Mike, Bobbi, Lance, my mom, Josie, and Lisa."

"That's a lot of people," Dylan says wide eyed.

"I know. And I'm really nervous about dancing with all of them out there watching."

"Have any of them ever seen you dance before? Besides your dad and uncle?"

"Only Skye and Jemma. They both told me I did really well."

"Okay. So maybe everyone else will think you'll do good, too."

"Maybe," Sara repeats.

"Okay everyone," Miss Debbie speaks up, getting all the student's attention. "I'm about to go out and announce the start of the show, so everyone please get into your places for the top of the show. I want you all to do your absolute best out there, show your family and friends everything you've been working on. And most importantly, have fun," she smiles at all the kids.

She then dismisses all of the kids to go and get into their positions while she makes her way in front of the curtain to center stage.


"Oh this is so exciting," Jemma speaks up from her seat in between Skye and Fitz.

"You're going to love the show," Fitz tells his girlfriend. "The Christmas recital is always a fantastic one. They usually go all out for it."

"Fitz is right," Grant leans forward slightly in his seat to look at Jemma. "It's one of Sara's favorite recitals to do. She always practices extra hard on her dance moves for it."

"She told me she really wanted the solo," Skye says. "But she just has a duet this year."

"And I'm sure she'll do an excellent job with it," Phil smiles. "She's a very talented little girl."

"I would like to take credit for that talent," Grant smiles, "but I can't really dance." He lets out a small laugh.

The lights in the auditorium flicker on and off before going down. Everyone in the room turns their attention to the stage, watching as the dance teacher, Miss Debbie, walks out to center stage.

"Good evening," she smiles out into the crowd, "and welcome to this year's Winter Recital." The audience claps. "Over the past few months, these students have been working extremely hard on tonight's performance, learning some new dance moves as well as perfecting ones they already know. All of the students in tonight's performance are very excited to show you what they've been working on. And so, without further ado, please enjoy the show." She smiles and then walks back off of the stage as the curtains open, revealing the set of the stage.

It's a Winter Wonderland theme, with snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, a backdrop painted to look like snowy mountains, and a few fake trees covered in snow off to the side.

The soft music begins and a few students trickle onto the stage, starting the show.


"I think I see Sara," Skye whispers to Grant as she points to one side of the stage where a small group of kids are dancing together.

Grant looks to where she is pointing and then smiles, "Oh, yeah. I see her too. She's doing so well."

"Yeah," Skye smiles.

The two of them watch in rapt attention as Sara and another girl break away from the group, moving closer to center stage. Smiling brightly, they watch as Sara and the other girl perform their duet, subtly bowing at the end before moving off back to their group.

"She did so well with her duet," Skye says to Grant.

"I know," he smiles. Skye glances over at him to see him with a large smile and tears in his eyes. She can't help but fall more in love with him in that moment.


Everyone in the audience watches attentively as the music continues to play and the kids dance across the stage. The final chords of the song play and a group of girls run across the stage and then leap. They all land in their final pose and then the music fades out.

After a quiet beat, the entire room bursts into applause and cheers, congratulating the students on their dance.

"Yeah!" Grant cheers. "Go Sara!"

Skye just smiles at him and then starts clapping and cheering herself.

All of the students file back onto the front of the stage in a single line across, clasp hands with one another and then take a bow.


Standing down near the back of the auditorium, Grant and Skye wait for Sara to make her way towards them. They're eagerly looking around through the crowd or people, trying to find Sara.

"Dad! Skye!"

Grant and Skye both smile when they see Sara running towards them with a big smile on her face. She immediately jumps up into Grant's arms, hugging him tightly.

"Oh, you did so good, bear," Grant tells her as he hugs her and spins her. Then he sets her back down on the floor, "I'm so proud of you."

"Thanks, daddy." She looks over at Skye, "What did you think Skye?"

"I think you did an amazing job," Skye smiles.

Sara grins, "Thanks. Where's everyone else?"

"They're all waiting outside," Skye tells her. "We figured it'd be easier to see them all outside instead of in here where it's still crowded."

"Okay. Oh, wait. You have to meet Dylan."

"Did his parents show up?" Grant asks.

Sara shakes her head, "No. They're out of town."

"Poor thing," Skye frowns. "Well where is he? I'd love to meet him."

"Yeah bear," Grant says, "where's Dylan?"

"Um, I think he's over by the doors. Come on," she turns around and makes her way towards the doors of the auditorium, Grant and Skye following close behind her.

"Dylan!" Sara exclaims when she sees her friend leaning against the wall right next to the door.

"Hi Sara," Dylan smiles when he sees Sara approaching.

"Hi," Sara smiles. "Dylan, this is my dad and Skye," she gestures behind her to where her dad and Skye are approaching.

"Hi," Dylan smiles and waves at the pair.

"Hello," Skye smiles. "You must be Dylan."

"Yeah," Dylan says. "Did you two like the show?"

"Very much," Grant smiles and nods his head.

"And you, Dylan," Skye speaks up, "you did an excellent job in the performance."

"Really?" Dylan smiles.

Skye smiles and nods her head, "Absolutely. Now come here," she holds her arms out to him for a hug.

Dylan hesitantly steps forward into Skye's arms, and then hugs her tightly around her middle. Skye hugs him back and places a kiss to the top of his head.

Grant smiles at the sight.

"Okay," Skye speaks up after Dylan steps away from the hug. "I think we should all go out to ice cream."

"Yes!" Sara exclaims, pumping her fist into the air.

"Dylan," Skye looks down at the boy, "would you like to come with us?"

"Um, I have to ask my aunt first, she's the one who brought me here."

"Where is she?" Skye asks.

Dylan shrugs, "I don't think she's here yet."

Skye furrows her brow, "She didn't stay for the performance?"

Dylan shakes his head, "No. But it's okay."

Skye frowns, "Do you know her phone number? Maybe we can call her and see if she'll say yes to you coming with us for ice cream."

"Okay," Dylan agrees.

Skye smiles at him and then pulls her phone out, unlocks it, and hands it over to Dylan. "We'll just be right outside the doors when you're done, okay?" Dylan nods his head and then begins dialing his aunt's number.

When he holds the phone up to his ear, Skye turns to Sara, "Why don't we go outside and say hi to everyone else while we wait for Dylan?"

Sara smiles, "Okay." She turns around and makes her way out the doors of the auditorium. Grant and Skye following right behind her, smiles on both of their faces.

"Uncle Fitz!" Sara exclaims when she sees her uncle standing in the large group of people just outside the doors.

Fitz turns and smiles when he sees Sara, "Hey there, monkey. Come here," he stoops down slightly and holds his arms out to her, allowing her to jump up into them. He hugs her tightly and spins her around, "You did so well up there. A fantastic job."

"Thanks," Sara grins at him. She turns her head to see Jemma standing next to them, a smile on her face. "What did you think, Jemma?"

"I thought you did an amazing job, Sara, just like you did at the last recital I went to. You are very, very talented."

Sara grins, "Thanks." She turns to face the rest of the group, "Did you guys like the show?"

"It was really good," Melinda smiles. "Watching you dance up there was even better than when you danced at our house for Thanksgiving."

Sara just smiles.

"You've got a real gift, Sara," Bobbi smiles at the girl.

"You think so?"

"I know so," Bobbi tells her.

"Thanks," Sara smiles.

"I know you told me you took dance classes," Josie speaks up. "But you didn't say you were so good."

"Thanks Josie," Sara smiles at her best friend.

"Skye?"

Turning her head, Skye sees Dylan walking outside, her phone held tightly in his hand. "Hey Dylan," she smiles at him. "What did your aunt say?"

"She said okay. And to text her the name of the ice cream shop so she can come pick me up," he hands Skye's phone up to her.

"Sounds like a plan then," Skye smiles at him as she takes her phone and slips it into her pocket. She turns back to the group, "Who wants to join us for some ice cream?"

"I'm obviously going," Fitz says. "It's tradition."

"Yes it is," Sara nods her head.

"I'll go too," Jemma smiles. "Ice cream sounds really good right now."

"That it does," Bobbi speaks up. "And now I really want some, like a lot."

Lance sighs, "I guess that means we're going then."

"I want ice cream," Josie says. "Mom, can we go?"

Lisa thinks for a moment and then smiles down at her daughter, "Sure. We can go, but not too much ice cream, okay?"

"Okay," Josie smiles.

"Ace," Mike speaks to his son, "you want to go with everyone and get some ice cream?"

Ace nods his head, "Yeah."

Mike smiles then looks up at Skye, "We're in."

"Phil, Mel," Sara speaks up to the oldest pair in the group, "are you guys coming too?"

"I don't know," Phil speaks up. He looks over at his wife, "What do you think, Mel? Should we go out and get some ice cream?"

Melinda looks over to see Sara nodding her head eagerly with a smile on her face. Melinda smiles, "I think ice cream sounds like an excellent idea."

Sara beams, "Yes!" She slides down out of Fitz's arms and lands back on the floor. "Dylan, you can ride in our car. Come on," she waves for him to follow her towards Grant's car. "See you guys there," Sara calls back to the rest of the group.

Grant chuckles as he watches Sara and Dylan walk away, "I guess that's our cue. See you guys all there. By the way, it's the ice cream shop just down the street from here." He reaches out and grabs Skye's hand in his, gently tugging her towards the car. The both give the group a wave before making their way towards the car.

Chapter Text

*December 25, 2014*

Groaning quietly as he slowly wakes up from deep sleep, Grant rolls over in the bed and wraps his arm around Skye's waist, scooting himself closer to her. Eyes still closed, he buries his face in her hair, breathing in her mesmerizing scent. A smile graces his lips when he feels Skye shift back closer to him.

"Morning, sunshine," he whispers into her hair and then presses a kiss to the back of her neck.

Skye groans, "No. Too early. Sleep." She turns around and buries her face into his shirtless chest.

Grant chuckles at her actions, "Well that's too bad, because it's Christmas morning. Sara is going to barge in here soon, jump onto the bed, and beg us to get up so we can all open presents."

"Too early," she repeats, her voice muffled by Grant's chest. "Still tired."

"And that's completely your fault." He tells her, sitting up slightly on his elbow. "We could have gone right to sleep after the movie was over last night. But you decided to jump me, telling me it was an early Christmas present."

Skye rolls over onto her back and looks up at him, "I didn't exactly hear you complaining about anything last night," she smirks up at him.

He tries suppressing a smile, "Yes, well, that's beside the point. All I'm saying is anyone who wants to sleep in on Christmas morning is crazy."

She smiles, "I must be crazy then. Now hush," she closes her eyes again, turns over onto her other side and buries her face deep into her pillow.

He just smiles and shakes his head at her, letting out a low chuckle. Glancing over at the alarm clock on the nightstand next to the bed, he sees the time, 6:59. "Two minutes, Skye," he informs her. "Two minutes and then Sara will be in here. And she will have no mercy in waking you up. I can promise you that." Skye grumbles into her pillow, not moving.

Two minutes later, right at 7:01 on the dot, the door to the bedroom swings wide open and Sara runs in, jumping up onto the bed. "Merry Christmas!" She exclaims, sitting up on the bed on her knees and bouncing slightly.

Grant sits up in the bed and smiles at Sara, "Merry Christmas to you too, bear."

"Merry Christmas, Skye!" Sara smiles down at her.

Skye turns her head slightly and opens one eye. "Merry Christmas," she mumbles back.

"Wake up, Skye," Sara says, climbing across the bed so she is sitting in between her dad and Skye.

"And why should I do that?" Skye asks her.

"Because it's Christmas!" Sara shouts excitedly. "And we need to open presents! And watch Christmas movies! And play games! And have fun!"

"And we're going to your parents house for dinner tonight," Grant reminds Skye.

"Yeah," Sara smiles. "You have to get up, Skye."

Skye sighs, "Fine. I'll get up and we can open presents."

"Yes!" Sara pumps her fist into the air.

Grant laughs, "Okay, bear. Go wait out in the living room. We'll be there in just a few minutes."

"Kay!" Sara jumps off of the bed and makes her way out of the bedroom.

When she's gone, Grant turns his attention to Skye, "Time to get up." He smiles down at her.

"I know, I know," she replies. She takes a moment to stretch her arms above her before throwing the blanket off of her. She stands up from the bed and walks to the closet, grabbing a pair of her flannel pajama pants and slips them on over top of her underwear. She slips a sports bra on underneath of her tank top, and then turns around to see Grant taking his time trying to fix his prosthetic leg into place. She furrows her brows when she sees him mumble something under her breath.

"Hey, you okay?" She asks him.

He sighs and looks up at her, "I can't get it on. I thought this was getting easier."

She steps over to him, "You need some help?"

"Do you mind?" He looks up at her with sad eyes.

She gives him a soft smile, "Of course not." She bends down and carefully helps him hook his prosthetic into place. "Hang on," she furrows her brow again, "what's this?" She gently runs her fingers over the ridge where his prosthetic meets his leg.

He hisses when she touches it. "It's nothing," he tells her.

"It doesn't look like nothing," she says back.

He sighs, "It's just some chaffing. It's been there for a while, I'll be fine."

"Why didn't you say anything when you first noticed it? Or call the doctor? Why didn't you say anything last night, I would have stopped if your leg was hurting."

"I didn't say anything, because I barely even notice it," he tells her.

"That's a flat out lie," she says. "There's no way you'd be able to just not notice something like that. Doesn't it hurt?"

"I get through it," he assures her. "And I'm sure I'll be fine until the holiday is over, then I'll get an appointment with the doctor to check things out."

"Promise?"

"Promise," he gives her a small smile.

"Good," she smiles back and then leans up to kiss him. Then she stands up and moves over to the closet, pulling out a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, tossing them to him.

He slips both clothing items on and throws her a smile, "Alright," he grabs her hand in his, "let's go open some presents."


"Are you guys ready to open presents?" Sara asks as Grant and Skye enter the living room. They take their places on the couch; Skye immediately curls into Grant's side, pulling her legs up underneath of her. Grant wraps his arm comfortably around Skye's shoulders, pulling her closer and dropping a kiss to the top of her head.

"Yes we are," Grant tells her. "But stockings first, remember?"

"Right," she says, turning towards where the stockings are sitting in one of the chairs. Picking up her dads' stocking, she hands it to him, "Here dad."

"Thanks bear," he smiles, taking the stocking from her.

"Skye, there's one for you too," Sara tells her, handing her stocking over to her.

"What?" Skye asks.

"A stocking for you," Sara repeats, setting the item in her lap.

Skye looks down at the stocking and then up at Grant, "What the..?"

"I guess Santa must have figured out you'd be here for Christmas," he smiles at her.

She smiles back, leaning forward to peck his lips. "Thank you," she whispers.

"Don't thank me," he tells her. "It was all Santa."

"Dad!" Sara exclaims, grabbing his attention. "Look!" She holds up a pair of multi colored, striped toe socks; she has a smile on her face.

"Nice," he says back. "You got some last year, too, right?"

Sara nods her head. "Santa brings me a new pair every year," she tells Skye.

"That's so cool," Skye smiles. "Toe socks are awesome."

"Yeah, they are," Sara smiles. "I love toe socks." She turns back to her stocking, pulling each of the items out, one by one, showing them to her dad and Skye as she does so. When she finishes, she smiles up at her dad and Skye.

"Your turn," Grant says to Skye. "Time to see what Santa brought you in your stocking."

"Alright," Skye says, sitting up a little bit and holding the stocking in her lap. She reaches inside, pulling out a pair of grey toe socks with black polka dots all over them. She smiles, "Toe socks!"

"Seems like Santa knows exactly what you like," Grant smiles at her.

Skye smiles back before pulling the last couple of items out of her stocking, some smaller things and a few pieces of chocolate. "I believe it is now your turn," she says to her boyfriend, turning to look at him.

"Okay," he grabs onto his stocking and leans it against his chest. Reaching inside, he pulls out a tube of Pirouette chocolate hazelnut wafers. "Awesome," he smiles, "Santa knows what I like." He finishes pulling the remaining couple of items out of his stocking. Once he finishes, he sets the stocking on the floor in front of the couch and looks at Sara. "Alright, bear. Time for the presents now."

"Yes!" Sara smiles. She makes her way over to the Christmas tree, looking at all of the presents underneath of it. "The presents from Santa first," she announces, grabbing three different wrapped gifts sitting in the very front. She looks at the tags on them and then hands one to her dad, one to Skye, and keeps the last for herself. She instantly tears into the paper, ripping it off to get to her present. When she sees what it is, she lets out a squeal. "Dad! Santa brought me Saving Mr. Banks."

"That's what you asked him for, right?" Grant asks.

"Yeah!" Sara smiles. "I love this movie! We're gonna watch it later."

"Sounds like a plan," Grant chuckles. "Let's see what Santa brought me." He tears the paper off of his gift, tossing it to the floor. "Oh cool," he smiles when he sees his present. He holds it up to show Sara. "James Bond. Dr. No."

"I think my dad has that one," Skye speaks up. "I've never watched it though." She looks down at her own present, tearing the paper off of it. She smiles when she sees the movie she received. "My Neighbor Totoro. I love this movie," she says. "I haven't watched this in such a long time. Santa definitely knows me well."

"Next presents," Sara speaks up, picking up the next wrapped present from under the tree. She reads the tag and smiles. "It's for me from Grandma and Grandpa." She sets the present down on the floor in front of her and begins to tear the paper off of it. A small, brown rectangular box sits in front of her and she pulls the lid off of it to find a pair of light pink ballet flats. Sara's eyes go wide when she sees the present and she smiles wide. "Yes!" She exclaims. "It's exactly what I wanted!" She holds the gift up for her dad to see, "Look dad!"

"I see it," he smiles. "That's from Grandma and Grandpa, right?"

Sara nods her head, "Yeah."

"You're going to have to send them a really nice thank you note," he tells her.

"I will," she smiles. "And I'm gonna send them a picture of me wearing them."

"Sounds good," he smiles.

Sara turns back to the tree to grab another present. "Dad, this one is for you, from me." She hands it up to him.

"Thank you," he smiles, taking the bag from her. He sets the gift bag in his lap, pulling the tissue paper out of the top of it. He peers inside and smiles at what he sees. He reaches inside and pulls out an unopened set of tools. He looks at Sara and smiles, "Thanks, bear," he smiles at his daughter. "I love it. Just what I need."

Sara smiles back at him, "Because your other tools are kind of old and breaking." She turns to the tree again, grabbing another present. "This one is for dad, from Skye." She hands the present over to her dad. Grant takes it from her, holding it in his lap. He looks over at Skye and smiles before tearing into it. He grins when he sees his present from his girlfriend. "To Kill A Mockingbird?"

"And it's a first edition. I know how much you love this book."

"I do love this book. But how did you even get a first edition?"

Skye shrugs, "One of the benefits of being kind of well known. I know someone who knows someone, and sometimes all it takes is a picture and an autograph to get what you want. I hope you like it," she says in regards to his present.

He smiles at her and leans down for a kiss. "I love it," he tells her when he pulls away.

"Skye," Sara says, getting the woman's attention. "This is one is to you from dad."

Skye takes the present from Sara, eagerly ripping into the paper to see what her boyfriend got her. She furrows her brows and then looks up at him, "A picture of the beach? What is this for?"

Grant smiles, "That is for you. Kind of."

She tilts her head in confusion, "You bought me a beach?"

He chuckles, "No, I didn't buy you a beach. But you and I are going away the weekend after you get your cast off. Seaside, Oregon, right on the beach. I mean, I know it probably won't be super warm out, but I think we deserve to have a weekend away, just the two of us, even if it will be a little chilly out."

She grows a huge smile on her face, "You are the absolute best."

"I know," he grins and then leans down to press his lips to hers.

"Okay," Sara interrupts Grant and Skye, picking up the next present from underneath of the tree. She reads the tag on it, "This one is from Skye, to me." She holds the present in her hands and smiles up at Skye. Skye has a nervous smile on her face as she watches Sara tear open her gift.

When she gets all of the wrapping paper off of the gift, Sara's eyes go wide and her mouth drops open. She quickly looks up at Skye, "Really?"

"Do you like it?" Skye asks.

Sara jumps up from her spot on the floor and runs over to Skye, hugging her tightly. "Thank you thank you thank you," she says.

"You're welcome," Skye smiles, hugging her back.

Pulling away from the hug, Sara turns to her dad, "Dad! Look what Skye got me!" She holds up the box of her new white iPod touch, 4th generation, and smiles wide.

Grant smiles at her, "I see it, bear. Do you like it?"

"I love it," she replies.

"Good. Now, I think there's a couple more presents under the tree."

Sara stands up and runs back over to the tree. She bends down and picks up one of the last presents from underneath of the tree. She looks down at the label, "It's for me, from Uncle Fitz."

She sits down on the floor and begins unwrapping her gift, eager to see what her uncle got her. She grins when she sees what's inside, "Dad!" She looks up at Grant, "It's a cookbook! He finally made me the cookbook I wanted! It has all the recipe's for the food Uncle Fitz makes me that I really like. This is so cool." She starts flipping through the pages, smiling at the colored photos of the different foods she enjoys eating and making with her Uncle.

"He made her a cookbook?" Skye whispers to Grant.

Grant smiles and nods his head, "Sara loves to cook with him. And they're always coming up with new foods. Sometimes he lets her cook in the restaurant kitchen with him when they're having a slow day."

"That's so sweet," Skye smiles.

"Yeah," Grant smiles at the sight of his daughter completely entranced by her present. "Hey bear," he speaks up to her, "I think there's another gift under the tree."

Sara turns her head to look and sees one last present sitting beneath the branches. She reaches back and pulls it out. "This one is from me, for you," she says to Skye, holding the present out to her.

Skye smiles as she takes the present from Sara, setting it down in her lap. Tearing the paper off of the gift, she finds a large fleece blanket folded up, sitting inside the wrapping paper.

"Do you like it?" Sara asks, rocking back and forth on her feet nervously. "I remember you said in an interview one time how you've always loved Harry Potter and I found this at Father Christmas. I thought it'd be nice for if you want something to snuggle up with. And now you have your own blanket for that."

Looking up at Sara, Skye smiles. "It's perfect," she whispers. "I'll definitely be taking it with me the next time I go on tour. Sometimes the tour bus can be kind of chilly."

Sara beams, "Awesome."

"Alright," Grant speaks up from his spot next to Skye, "time for the last present of the morning. My gift to you, bear." He smiles at Sara.

"But there isn't anything left under the tree," Sara tells him.

"That's because I couldn't exactly keep it there. It would completely ruin the surprise if I did." He stands up from the couch, moving out of the room and to the back door.

"Why is he going outside?" Sara asks Skye.

Skye shrugs, "I don't know. He didn't tell me what he got you."

A second later, a soft padding can be heard on the carpeted floor of the living room. Turning their heads to try and get a look at what is making the sound, both Sara's and Skye's eyes go wide at seeing what is coming their way.

"A puppy!" Sara exclaims, jumping up and running over to the small chocolate lab.

Grant enters behind the dog, smiling down at his daughter cooing over the tiny animal.

"You got her a dog?" Skye asks with a raised eyebrow.

Grant shrugs, "She's always loved dogs. She really takes after me in that aspect."

Skye just rolls her eyes and sighs, "You're such a sucker when it comes to her."

"I know," he smiles, moving to sit down next to her on the couch. He drapes his arm back over her shoulders, "Pretty sure I always have been." He glances over to Sara, watching as she lets the small dog climb all over her, "What do you think, bear? You like your present?"

"Yes!" Sara beams. "Is it a boy or a girl?"

"A boy," Grant replies.

"I love him so much!" Sara smiles wide, holding the squirming puppy in her arms.

"I'm glad," he smiles back. "What do you want to name him?"

"Um…" Sara thinks for a minute, "Buddy."

"Buddy?" Grant repeats, causing the dog to lift his head and look in Grant's direction.

Sara nods her head, "Yeah. I'm gonna call him Buddy."

"I like that name," Skye speaks up. "Buddy Ward. It's good."

"Buddy Ward," Grant tries it out. Then he smiles, "I think it's perfect."

"Come on, Buddy," Sara picks up the puppy and holds him close. "Let me show you your new home." Standing up from the floor, Sara leaves the living room, going off to show Buddy the different areas of the house.

"You know," Skye begins, "I actually think it was a pretty good idea getting her that puppy."

"Me too," Grant smiles, "I just really hope I'm not going to be the one having to take care of it. That's one of the main reasons I didn't get her one when she was younger. But now I think it's a great time. Plus, it'll help teach her some responsibility, which is a great thing, and it's never too early to learn how to be responsible and do things for yourself and by yourself. I had to learn that when I was younger than Sara, so I figured now is as good a time as any."

"I love when you go into major dad mode," Skye smiles up at him.

He smiles back at her, "You do?"

"Mm-hmm," she nods her head. "It's a good look on you."

"Good to know," he smiles back, leaning down to press a loving kiss to her lips.


"Dad! Skye!" Sara exclaims, making her way back into the living room later that day, Buddy trailing behind her. "I set up an Instagram now and I want the first picture I post to be of the four of us."

"Four of us?" Grant questions.

"Yeah. You, Skye, me, and Buddy," she smiles.

"Alright then, get over here," Grant gestures to the little space between him and Skye.

Sara smiles, racing forward and planting herself between her dad and his girlfriend. Skye leans down and picks Buddy up off of the floor, holding the chocolate lab in her arms. Sara holds her iPod up in front of all of them. "Smile," she tells them. All three of them smile and Sara taps the capture button, waiting for a quick moment as the picture gets taken.

Pulling her iPod down, she looks at the photo and smiles at it. Grant's and Skye's faces are pressed together above Sara's head. Grant and Sara have huge smiles on their faces. Buddy's face is turned up, trying to lick Skye's cheek. Skye has the hint of a laugh on her face.

Tapping on the photo, she tags Skye's face in the picture. Then she clicks in the caption button, and types.

Merry Christmas everyone! :)


"Merry Christmas!" Grant, Skye, and Sara all exclaim when the front door to the house opens in front of them.

On the other side, Phil and Melinda stand with large smiles on their faces. "Hey guys," Phil smiles. "Come on in." He steps aside and allows the three of them to step into the house.

"Hi mom, hi dad," Skye greets both of her parents with a hug.

"Hi sweetheart," Melinda smiles at her daughter. Then she turns towards Grant, "Hello Grant," she smiles kindly at him.

"Hey," he smiles back.

"Hi!" Sara pipes up from her place. She's looking up at Phil and Melinda with a large smile on her face.

Phil chuckles, "Hello Sara. And Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas," she smiles back. "Did you and Mel have a good Christmas morning?"

"As a matter of fact, we did," Phil smiles. "It was a bit strange not having Skye here for the first time in her life, but hey. Life goes on."

"Yes it does," Skye tells her father. "But we're all here now, so that's all that really matters."

"I brought you both a present," Sara tells the two adults as they all move into the living room.

"Well that's very sweet of you," Melinda smiles. "We have a present for you as well."

Sara beams, "Cool."

Grant chuckles, "Alright Sara. Why don't you give them their presents?"

"Oh, yeah." She reaches into the brown paper bag she brought with her and pulls out two different boxes, one of them flat and rectangular, the other one a simple cube shaped box.

Phil and Melinda happily accept their presents from Sara, holding them in their laps to open them. Phil opens his first, tearing the paper off of the box and pulling the lid off.

"Oh wow," he smiles, pulling the single sheet of paper out of the box.

"Skye told me how much you love Captain America," Sara explains. "I couldn't find anything I wanted to get for you at Father Christmas, so I drew you that instead."

"I love it, Sara," Phil smiles at her. "Thank you."

"You're welcome," Sara smiles back. She turns to Melinda, "Your turn."

"Alright," Melinda smiles and then turns her attention to her present. She peels the wrapping paper off of it and then lifts the lid off of the box. She smiles when she sees what's inside, a small white ceramic flower vase, along with a small assortment of colors and a couple of paint brushes. "Oh, I love it." She looks up at Sara, "Thank you so much."

"You really like it?" Sara asks.

"I really do," Melinda smiles at her.

"Cool," Sara grins. "I remembered all the flower vases I saw when I was here for Thanksgiving. Then I saw this kit at Father Christmas and I thought we could paint it together and then you can put your favorite flowers in it."

Melinda smiles brightly at her, "I think that sounds like an excellent idea."

"You know what I think sounds like an excellent idea?" Skye speaks up. "Dinner."

"I think you're absolutely right," Phil says, setting his drawing back in the box and placing the box on the coffee table in front of him. "Let's all head into the dining room." He stands up from the couch, as does Melinda, and they all make their way into the dining room.

"Hey Phil?" Sara speaks up as they reach the table.

"Yeah, munchkin?" Phil responds.

"What's for dinner?"

"Chicken," he tells her. "The best chicken ever. I made it and it's delicious."

"You're so full of yourself," Melinda smiles as she moves towards her chair.

"His chicken is pretty good though, mom," Skye points out.

"I can't wait to eat it," Sara smiles as she sits down across from Skye, next to Melinda's spot at the end of the table.

"Well you won't have to wait much longer, because I am going to go and get it right now," Phil smiles and then makes his way into the kitchen to retrieve the bird.

"How was your Christmas morning?" Melinda asks when Phil leaves the room.

"It was awesome," Sara smiles. "Dad got me a puppy."

"He did?" Melinda raises an eyebrow and glances over at Grant.

Sara nods her head, "Uh-huh. His name is Buddy. He's a chocolate lab and he's really cute."

"He sounds like a good dog," Melinda says.

"He isn't yet," Sara tells her. "Because he's just a puppy. So he has to learn. But I'm gonna teach him."

"And I'm sure you'll do an excellent job," Melinda smiles.

"The bird is done," Phil announces as he walks back into the room. He sets the tray down on the table, "So, what are we talking about?"

"Dad got me a dog for Christmas," Sara informs him. "His name is Buddy."

"He must be a pretty good dad if he got you a puppy," Phil smiles. Sara smiles and nods her head.

"You know," Skye speaks up, "you guys were pretty good parents too. And I'm fairly certain I asked to have a puppy quite a few times as a kid. How come I never got one?"

"Do you want to tell her, or should I?" Melinda asks her husband. Phil shakes his head. Melinda turns back to Skye, "Sweetie, you were way too reckless as a kid. Always all over the place. If we had gotten you a puppy when you were a kid, we would have ended up taking care of it."

"Then why not when I was older?" Skye asks.

"Middle school you were a little better, but not by much. And high school, you were much better, still a bit reckless, but you were hardly ever here. Once you could drive, we hardly saw you at the house. You and Jemma were usually out somewhere. If you had a puppy then, we would have ended up taking care of it."

"Okay, well there's that," Skye says.

"It's okay, Skye," Sara speaks up. "Buddy can be yours too," she smiles at her.

Skye smiles back, "Thanks, Sara."

"You're welcome. Can we eat now? I'm hungry."

Everyone at the table laughs.


"That chicken was delicious, dad," Skye tells him as she sets her fork down on her plate.

"You thought so?" Phil asks.

Skye nods her head, "Absolutely."

"I loved it too," Sara tells him. "Really yummy."

"Well thank you," Phil smiles. "Now then," he stands up from the table, "I'll just get these dishes done and then we can all do something together until you three have to leave."

"Grant and I can take care of the dishes, dad," Skye tells him.

"Are you sure?"

Grant nods his head, "Absolutely. You made an excellent dinner. Let us clean up. You, Melinda, and Sara can all go into the living room."

"We'll join you when we're done," Skye tells him. She stands from the table and begins gathering up the dishes. Grant follows her lead.

"Well okay then," Phil smiles. "Ladies," he looks at Melinda and then Sara, "let's go into the living room. And Sara, Mel and I still have to give you your present."

"Cool," Sara smiles. "I wanna show you guys my pictures of Buddy, too." She jumps down from her chair and quickly makes her way into the living room, Phil and Melinda following closely behind her.


"Hey, babe," Grant says to Skye as he enters the dining room from the kitchen, drying his hands off on a towel. "I finished putting the last of the dishes in the dishwasher and turned it on."

"Great, thanks," she smiles at him. "Now come here," she waves him over to where she's standing in the entryway between the dining room and the living room.

"What's up?" He asks her as he steps up behind her, wrapping his arms around her and resting his chin on top of her head.

"Look," she gestures slightly with her head to what's happening in front of them.

Grant looks through to the living room and smiles at the sight before him. Phil and Melinda are sitting close together on the couch; Sara perched on Melinda's lap. Sara's showing them something on her iPod and Phil and Melinda are both watching and listening attentively.

"I think she likes having all their attention," Skye says to Grant as she leans back into his embrace.

"And I think they like having a small kid in their lives again," Grant replies in regards to Skye's parents.

"Yeah," Skye smiles. "Oh, how's your leg?" She asks him.

"It hurts a little," he tells her. "But I'll be fine until we get home."

"Are you sure? You don't want to take it off for a little while?"

He shakes his head, "No, it's fine."

"Grant—"

"I said it's fine," he snaps. Then he sighs, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to snap."

"It's okay," she says with a shake of her head. She pulls away from him and leans back against the doorframe, crossing her arms in front of her, "It's my fault, I shouldn't have pushed."

"No," he shakes his head, "it's not your fault. Don't ever think like that. I guess I'm just a bit sensitive when it comes to my prosthetic."

"I'm sorry, I didn't realize," she tells him. "I promise we won't talk about it for the rest of the night."

"Thank you," he smiles and then leans down to press his lips to hers.

"You're welcome," she smiles back, pushing off of the wall to wrap her arms around his middle in a tight hug.


"So bear, did you have fun today?" Grant asks Sara as he tucks her into bed.

Sara smiles and nods her head, "Yeah. Today was really fun."

"Well I'm glad," Grant smiles.

"Did you see how Mel and I painted her flower pot?" Sara asks him.

Grant nods his head, "I did. You both did a really great job with it."

"Thanks. Mel said she's gonna put some flowers in it and then put it up somewhere so everyone who goes to their house can see it."

"And I'm sure everyone who sees it will love it," Grant smiles at his daughter. "Did you remember to tell Phil and Melinda thank you for present?"

"Yeah, they got me this really cool art kit, because I guess Skye told them how I love to draw. The art kit is really, really cool."

"I'll bet it is," Grant smiles.

The soft padding of small feet on the carpet pulls Grant and Sara's attention towards the door.

"Buddy," Sara smiles when she sees her puppy entering the bedroom.

"Does Buddy like his bed?" Grant asks his daughter as they both watch Buddy sniff around the room.

"I think so," Sara tells him. "He hasn't slept in it yet, so I don't know. Can he sleep in my bed with me?"

"Sorry, bear," Grant says to her. "Buddy needs to get used to sleeping in his own bed. Maybe after a few weeks when he's a bit more comfortable, then he can sleep in your bed."

Sara sighs, "Okay."

Grant smiles at her, "Now, get some rest, you've had an exciting day." He leans down and presses a kiss to her forehead, making sure she has her favorite stuffed animal next to her. "Night, bear," he smiles as he stands up from the bed.

"Night, daddy," Sara smiles back. "Night, Buddy," she says to the dog. Buddy yips back in response, settling himself down into his own bed in the corner of Sara's room.

Grant makes his way to the door of the bedroom, flipping off the light. He stands in the doorway of the room, watching Sara for just a moment with a smile on his face.

"Hey dad?" Sara speaks up, breaking Grant from his thoughts.

"Yeah?"

"This was the best Christmas ever."

Grant smiles, "It certainly was."

Chapter Text

*December 31, 2014*

"Are you girls excited for tonight?" Grant asks as he makes his way into the kitchen.

Sara smiles and nods her head, "I'm so excited. I love watching the ball drop and seeing all the singers performs. It's so cool." She scoops up another small bowl full of dog food and drops it in Buddy's dish.

"It's even cooler up close," Skye smiles from behind the kitchen counter where she's mixing together the batter for pancakes.

Sara's eyes go wide, "You've seen the ball drop in person?"

Skye smiles and nods her head, "Mm-hmm. When I was younger my mom and dad took me to New York for Christmas vacation. We stayed for New Years too, and went to Times Square to watch the ball drop. It was really cool."

"It sounds cool," Sara says.

"Maybe someday the three of us can go to New York for New Years," Skye suggests as she turns towards the stove. "I think it'd be really fun for us."

"That's actually not too bad of an idea," Grant says.

"Good," Skye smiles, pouring the first of the batter into the frying pan.

"Okay," Grant claps his hands together once, "plans for the day. We're going to eat those delicious pancakes when they're done, Sara is going to take Buddy on a quick walk around the block, and then we're going to go out and get a few more things so we can better celebrate the New Year."

"When we get home from the store can we play Monopoly?" Sara asks.

"Of course we can," Grant smiles. "It's only the best game ever."

"Yeah," Sara smiles.

Grant smiles at her and then turns towards Skye. He moves closer to her and wraps his arms around her middle, resting his head on her shoulder. "Mm," he breathes in, "smells good."

"Well, pancakes are one of the most delicious foods ever."

"I wasn't talking about the pancakes," he whispers in her ear, dropping a kiss to the side of her neck.

Skye smiles as Grant peppers a few more kisses to her neck. "Not now," she says quietly to him, gently shaking her shoulder to get him to stop.

He sighs and pulls back, keeping his arms around her, "Fine. Then what can I do right now."

"You can grab a few eggs and mix up some scrambled eggs," she suggests.

"I guess I can do that," he presses a kiss to her temple before stepping to the fridge.


"We need to get some cider first," Sara says as she walks through the front doors of the grocery store, Grant and Skye right behind her.

"Lead the way," Grant smiles at his daughter as he grabs a basket from the stand just inside the door.

Sara smiles back before starting her trek through the store to locate the cider.

Grant and Skye grab hands and lock their fingers together to follow Sara through the store.

"Which flavor of cider?" Sara asks Grant and Skye when they reach the aisle.

"What do we usually get?" Grant asks.

"Apple, I think," Sara responds. "Can we try something new?"

"Sure," Grant nods his head. "But get an apple cider too, just in case you don't like the other flavor you pick."

"Okay," Sara says, turning back towards the wall of cider. "Here's the apple," she carefully sets the glass bottle into the basket. "And for the other one, I think I want cran-apple." She grabs the bottle off of the shelf and sets it in the basket as well. "What next?" She asks Grant.

"I think we need some kind of hat or something," Skye speaks up.

Sara grins, "Yeah! I think they're this way," Sara tells him as she turns and makes her way from the beverage aisle in search of the party favors.

Grant and Skye dutifully follow after her.

"Should we get hats or glasses?" Sara asks once Grant and Skye are next to her.

"Why not both?" Skye suggest with a smile.

"Can we dad?" Sara asks eagerly.

"Sure," he smiles. "Get a hat and pair of glasses for the three of us."

"And Buddy?"

"If he'll wear them. He's just a puppy, so he might not want to."

"That's okay. I'll get them anyway, just in case he will." She reaches forward and grabs four pairs of glasses as well as four celebratory hats off of the shelf, tossing them into the basket.

"Alright," Grant speaks up, looking at the items in the basket, "I think we have everything we need. Time to go check out."

"I'll find an open register," Sara tells him and then makes her way towards the front of the store.

"I guess we should follow her," Grant says.

"Well if we want to buy this stuff then we probably should," Skye smiles at him before pulling him out of the aisle.


"That'll be $17.34," the young man behind the register says.

Grant reaches into his wallet and pulls out a twenty dollar bill, handing it over to him.

"Has anyone ever told you that you like that one singer?" The young man asks Skye as he digs in the cash register. "The one who sings Shake It Off?"

Skye holds back a laugh, "No, not really."

"Well you look exactly her," the boy says. "Here's your change," he hands the bills and coins over to Grant.

"Thank you," Grant accepts the money, slipping it into his pocket. "Bear, grabs the bags please."

"Okay," Sara smiles and then grabs the bags off of the conveyor.

"Are you a fan of the girl who sings Shake It Off?" Skye asks him.

The boy smiles, "Oh yeah. I don't usually tell people though; a lot of my friends like to make fun of me for it."

"Well that's too bad. You shouldn't be ashamed of liking an artist."

"Yeah, I know."

"What's your favorite song by her?"

"I don't know. I like a lot of her old stuff from when she first started out. I also really like whenever she does acoustic sets, probably more than anything else. Like that song she recently put out, Fly. It's a really good song, but I also think it'd sound really good acoustic as well, maybe even better. But that's just my opinion."

"You certainly sound like you know what you're talking about."

The boy shrugs, "I'm really into music and stuff like that."

"Hmm," Skye nods her head. "Are you going to major in music at school or something?"

"I'm thinking about it. But what I'd really like to do is get a job or an internship at a major record label. To get to see the inner workings of how the industry operates, I think the behind the scenes stuff is more what I'd like to do."

"Well you seem to have a pretty big passion for this stuff."

"I do. I love music, every aspect of it."

"Then in that case, after the New Year, come by SHIELD Studios. Tell them Skye sent you and that you're interested in getting a feel for how the music industry works."

The boy's eyes go wide, "Wait, what?"

Skye smiles at him, "Thanks for the tips about my music." She turns around and grabs Grant's hand in hers, linking their fingers together. Reaching down to grab Sara's hand in her other hand, she leads the two of them out of the grocery store and back towards the car.


"Alright," Grant speaks up as he enters the living room, "I have the apple cider and the glasses."

"Let me help," Sara says as she jumps up from her spot on the couch and rushes over to Grant. She takes the three glass cups from him and gently sets them down on the coffee table. "Down, Buddy," she says to the puppy who is trying to lift himself up to reach the cider Grant just placed on the table.

"Almost time for the countdown," Grant smiles as he sits back on the couch next to Skye, draping his arm over her shoulders.

"I've always loved watching the countdown to the New Year," Skye smiles.

"Me too," Grant smiles. "It was always a way for me to kind of look back on the year and figure out what I wanted to change or do differently. Of trying to find ways to improve myself in the coming year."

"That's a nice way of looking at it," Skye says.

"Yeah," he smiles. "And I always try to make at least one or two resolutions."

"You see, I've tried doing that before, but it never really works out too well."

"Maybe you just didn't have the right motivation to get through your resolutions," he smiles as he leans closer to her.

"Guys!" Sara exclaims. "They're getting ready to drop the ball."

Grant and Skye lean away from each other and turn to face the TV screen again.

"I better pour the cider then," Grant says, moving forward on the couch to grab the bottle of cider. He twists the cap, pouring cider into each of the glasses. He picks up two of the glasses, handing one to Skye and then Sara. He picks up the last glass for himself and then leans back into the couch.

"There it goes!" Sara grins, pointing at the giant metallic disco ball dropping down along the pole.

All three of them watch with rapt attention as it slowly falls, the countdown timer flashing on the giant screen in the middle of Times Square.

"10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

Grant and Skye turn towards each other right as the clock strikes midnight, kissing each other happily.

"Woo!" Sara cheers excitedly as the ball hits the bottom and the fireworks start. Buddy jumps slightly from the loud noise of the fireworks and then begins to whimper. "Happy New Year daddy!" Sara smiles as she bounces over to the couch, standing right in front of the happy couple. "Happy New Year, Skye!"

"Happy New Year, bear," Grant smiles.

"Happy New Year, sweetie," Skye smiles at her.

Sara leans forward and hugs both Grant and Skye around the neck, placing a kiss to each of their cheeks. Then she pulls away and moves back over to her chair, sitting down in it to watch the performances on the screen, picking up her glass to take a drink.

"So," Skye says to Grant, "you have any resolutions yet?" She takes a sip from her cider.

"Maybe," he shrugs. "I'm still trying to decide. What about you?"

"I'm thinking my resolution will be trying to come up with new song lyrics about once a month. They don't have to be complete songs, just a beginning or an end or something."

"Really? Why are you making that your New Year's resolution? I thought the songs just flowed out of you," he smiles.

"They used to. Until I got into my slump not long before I met you and Sara. Now I'm getting more inspiration for songs, but sometimes I'm not particularly motivated to actually write them."

"So you figure with making it your resolution, it'll motivate you to actually write them."

"Basically," Skye nods her head. "Do you think it's a good resolution?"

He nods his head, "Yeah, I think it's a great one."

"Good. So have you decided what yours is going to be?"

He sighs, "Not really. The hardest thing about New Year's resolutions is actually coming up with the resolutions."

"Well I'm sure you'll think of something. Just don't wait too long to make one."

"I won't," he smiles. "And you know what?"

"What?"

"I have a feeling this is going to be a really good year," he smiles down at Skye.

Skye smiles back, "Me too."

Chapter Text

*January 2, 2015*

"Have you been having a good birthday?" Jemma asks over the phone.

"One of the best," Skye smiles into the phone as she lies back on Grant's bed.

"Oh really?"

"Mm-hmm. Grant and Sara woke me up this morning singing happy birthday and had made me breakfast."

"That's so sweet."

"Yeah, it was."

"What else did the three of you get up to today?"

"We watched some of my favorite movies, played some Monopoly, and had a picnic lunch in the backyard."

"That sounds very domestic," Jemma teases.

Skye rolls her eyes, "Would you stop?"

"Sorry, sorry."

"Thank you. And you know, even though I've been having a great time with Grant and Sara for my birthday, I am very excited for tonight," Skye says.

"Me too," Jemma replies. "It's been way too long since we've hung out just the two of us."

"Yes it has. And it only makes it better since it's my birthday."

"That it does. And I have our entire evening planned out."

"Please tell me we're going to do something fun."

"Of course we are," Jemma says, sounding slightly offended.

"Good. Because I do not want a repeat of two years ago."

"Okay first of all, it was not my fault they cancelled on us last minute. You know that."

Skye sighs, "Yeah, yeah."

"Good. And be at my place by five tonight. We'll have some dinner and then get our evening started."

"And what are we going to do?"

"Well that's for me to know, and you to find out."

"You're so mean to me," Skye fake pouts.

"Only because you deserve it some of the time."

"You're an awful friend."

"Yet somehow I can't seem to escape you."

Skye rolls her eyes, "Alright. I'll see you tonight."

"Yeah, see you then."


"That dinner was awesome," Skye says as she enters Jemma's bedroom. She hops up onto the bed and leans back on her hands, "So, what is the rest of the plan for tonight?"

Jemma moves to sit down in her desk chair, "Well, we can either stay here and watch movies while pigging out like we used to do as kids…"

"Or…"

"Or we can go to a club for dancing and drinking and then maybe get a tattoo while we're out."

Skye smiles, "That's more like it. And tattoos? Really?" She raises an eyebrow at her friend.

Jemma shrugs, "What? It's not like you don't have some already."

"I know. But you don't have any tattoos. I hate to tell you this, Jem, but getting a tattoo isn't exactly a walk in the park. They can be very painful."

"How do you know I don't have a tattoo? Maybe I got one and just never told you about it."

Skye raises an eyebrow, "Okay, first, you know I'd be super pissed at you if you got your first tattoo without me. And second, you tell me practically everything. There's no way you'd be able to keep something like that from me."

Jemma is quiet for a moment before letting out a sigh, "Fine. I don't have any tattoos. But recently I've been thinking about getting one."

"Have you told Fitz?"

"Why would I do that?" Jemma asks.

Skye shrugs, "I don't know. You two are dating, aren't you?"

"And that requires me to tell him everything I plan on doing? Especially if it's to my body?"

"Whoa, slow down. Relax, okay? I didn't mean anything by it. I just, well, I wasn't sure if he's seen you naked yet. Because if he has, he'd know you don't have any tattoos. I'm just really curious about how he'd react if he knew you were getting one. Because some guys think tattoos are unattractive. But other guys get really turned on by them."

"My sexual life is none of your business, Skye."

"So he has seen you naked," Skye smirks.

"I never said that," Jemma replies, a blush slowly creeping up her cheeks.

"But he has. Oh my gosh, does this mean you guys have done it? Please tell me you have."

Jemma is quiet.

"You have!" Skye squeals. "When?" Skye inquires further. Jemma stays quiet. "Come on," she pleads, "you can't just not tell me when. I need to know these things."

Jemma mumbles something incoherent.

"What was that?" Skye asks.

Jemma looks up at her, "I said Christmas Eve. He invited me over that night to have Christmas Eve dinner with him. After dinner we were on the couch talking and drinking this really nice wine he brought from his restaurant, and I leaned over and kissed him. He kissed me back, one thing led to another and then I woke up Christmas morning on the couch in his arms."

Skye's eyes widen and then a huge grin spreads across her face, "Jemma Simmons, I am so incredibly proud of you. You initiated your first time with someone. I am so, so proud." Skye wipes a fake tear from her cheek.

Jemma rolls her eyes, "Oh hush up. But back to earlier, you said tattoos turn some guys on. Is Grant one of those men? Because I know you two have slept together numerous times, so it's pretty much guaranteed he's seen them."

Skye smiles and lets out a small laugh, "Oh, he's seen my tattoos. And he loves all of them very, very much. I think it's one of his favorite parts about me. Whenever we do it he pays extra attention to each one. Like the first time saw the tattoo on my hip he went crazy. He started to—"

"Skye!" Jemma exclaims, cutting of her friends ramble before she has to bleach her brain. "I do not need to hear every explicit detail about your sexual relationship with Grant."

"So you can tell me about yours but I can't tell you about mine?"

Jemma furrows her brows, "That is…what? I didn't tell you any explicit details. Unlike you, I like to keep my private life private."

"Hey! I like to keep my private life private. You don't hear me talking to the paparazzi about how amazing Grant is in bed. Because he is absolutely fantastic. Oh my goodness. Like this one time when he—"

"Gah!" Jemma closes her eyes and holds her hands up. "Seriously, Skye?"

Skye rolls her eyes, "Fine. I'll stop talking about me and Grant having sex."

"Thank you," Jemma breathes out in relief. "Now then, shall we head out to our first stop of the evening?"

"Yes we shall," Skye smiles, "where are we going?"

"Only the hottest club in town, Providence."

Skye grins, "Oh, I love it there. I haven't been there in so long though."

"I know. Which is why I picked it."

"You are the best."

Jemma smiles, "I know."

"If we're going to a club," Skye says, looking at herself in the mirror, "we're going to need different clothes."

"Yes I know. Which is why I went to your house and picked out your favorite outfit to go clubbing in."

Skye's eyes go wide and she spins around to face Jemma. "Really?"

Jemma smiles and nods her head, reaching into her closet to pull out the outfit for Skye.

Skye squeals when she sees it and immediately takes it into her hands. "Hello, old friend," she smiles down at the outfit. "It's been a while. Let's hope you still fit."

"I'm sure it will," Jemma tells her. "Although, your cast will probably stand out quite a bit."

Skye glances down at her cast and frowns for a moment before looking back up at Jemma and shrugging, "So what? My cast is not the most important thing tonight. The most important thing tonight is that you and I have a ridiculously fun time."

"Yes," Jemma smiles. "Now go on, get dressed."

"Alright, alright," Skye smiles and then makes her way from the bedroom and into the bathroom to change.


"Hello ladies," the bouncer of the club says to Skye and Jemma as they approach the front of the club, forgoing the long line. "You here to get in?"

Skye smiles at him and nods her head, "That we are."

"Then I'm afraid you're going to have to get in line," the bouncer tells them.

Skye gives him a slight pouty face, "Come on, big guy. Don't you know who we are?" She gestures between herself and Jemma. Jemma just smiles kindly at him.

The bouncer looks back and forth between the two women. "Yeah, I know who you are. My daughter is a big fan of your music," he says to Skye.

"So…"

"So…back of the line. You may be a celebrity, but no special treatment. Not on my watch."

Skye huffs, "Fine. But I'll have you know—"

"Skye! Jemma!"

Turning towards the club door, Skye smiles at the man approaching. "Eric," she pulls him into a hug. "How are you?"

"I'm doing very well. How are you and your boyfriend? I heard about the accident."

Skye smiles kindly at him, "We're both doing a lot better now. Thanks for asking."

"Of course. And also, happy birthday."

"Thanks Eric, I can't believe you remembered."

"Of course I remembered your birthday; you're one of my best customers as well as a great friend."

"Glad to hear it," Skye smiles.

He smiles back, "So, what are you ladies doing out here tonight?"

"Celebrating Skye's birthday," Jemma informs him. "We're going to get tattoos a bit later."

"Good for you. And what are you doing before the tattoos?"

"Go drinking," Jemma tells him. "And maybe a bit of dancing."

"Where at?"

"We were hoping to get into your place, but your door guy won't let us through. So, maybe you can work some of your awesome club owner skills and get us inside?" Skye smiles hopefully.

Eric looks between the two women and then sighs. "Fine. I don't normally let people jump the line, but it's your birthday, and you're one of my closest friends. So I guess I can let you in."

Skye beams, "Yes! Eric, you are the greatest."

He smiles, "Thanks. Now come on," he gestures with his hand for the two women to follow him inside.

Skye and Jemma happily follow Eric towards the entrance of the club. Skye stops and turns towards the bouncer, "Hey, do you have a pen and piece of paper?"

"Uh, yeah." He pulls out his pen from behind his ear and then tears off the bottom of one of the sheets on his clipboard, handing them both over to Skye. "What for?"

"What's your daughter's name?" Skye asks him as she takes the two items.

"Jenny."

Skye smiles and then looks down at the paper, "Jenny. Your dad says you're a big fan. Thanks for loving my music. Keep being as awesome as I know you are. Love, Skye." She looks back at the bouncer and hands the paper and pen back to him.

He just smiles wide, "Wow. Thank you so much. This is going to make her go crazy and I'm going to be her favorite parent for the next year."

Skye laughs quietly, "It's no problem." She gives him a smile as she turns back towards the club and walks inside.


"Alright alright," the DJ on the stage speaks up. "How are you all enjoying your night?" Everyone in the club cheers. The DJ smiles, "Now that's what I like to hear. Okay, before I play another song, I heard something very exciting earlier. Word has it there's a birthday girl down there somewhere. One of the hottest celebrities of the time. Where are you at, Skye?"

Everyone cheers again as Skye blushes slightly and raises her hand into the air. "I'm over here."

"There she is," the DJ smiles. "Can we get a spotlight on her?" A moment later, a bright light is shining down on Skye, illuminating her to the crowd. "That's much better, so beautiful. Probably the most beautiful woman in the room."

"Stop sucking up Vinny!" Skye shouts. "You've been trying that since high school. I'm not going to date you!"

"Never say never," Vinny replies quickly with a small smile. "Okay, because it is your birthday today, we're going to play a very special song for you. This is going to be a bit of a throwback for most of you in here tonight. I know you love this song, Skye, so don't even try and deny it." He hits a few buttons on his equipment before a song starts to play.

Skye's eyes go wide and then she starts laughing when she recognizes the song. "Oh my gosh!" She shouts. "I can't believe him. It's Bye Bye Bye! I used to be obsessed with this song."

"I know, Skye," Jemma replies.

"Come on, let's go dance." She grabs Jemma's hand in hers, taking another swig of her beer and then pulls her best friend onto the dance floor.

"Happy Birthday, Skye!" Vinny shouts over the music.

"Thank you," she calls back and continues to dance with Jemma.


"Ooh, here it is. This is the shop I go to," Skye tells Jemma as they approach the tattoo parlor.

"Really? It looks kind of…"

"Relax, Jem," Skye says to her best friend as she places a hand on her arm. "It's fine. The guy who works here is totally chill. And his artwork is incredible."

"Alright. Let's go in, then."

Skye grins, "Awesome. Come on." She grabs Jemma's hand and then pulls her towards the front door and into the shop.

"Hey Katie!" Skye greets the girl behind the counter.

The girl looks up and smiles, "Skye, hey. It's been a while. You here for another tattoo?"

Skye smiles, "Of course. And my friend Jemma is going to be getting a tattoo as well. Her first ever."

"Well then it's a good thing Marco is in tonight."

Skye smiles, "I was really hoping you'd say that."

Katie chuckles, "Let me go see where he's at." She stands up from the desk and makes her way into the back of the shop.

"I take it Marco is really good?" Jemma speaks up.

Skye turns towards her, "He's the best. And he's also the only one I trust to do my tattoos."

"Then I guess I'm okay with this."

"You're the one who suggested we get tattoos," Skye reminds her.

"Yes, I did, unfortunately."

Skye rolls her eyes, "Relax. It won't be that bad. Just get something small that doesn't have a lot of color. It'll be less painful that way."

"There's my favorite customer."

Skye turns towards the back of the shop and smiles at the man approaching, "And there's my favorite tattoo artist."

"Well I better be your favorite," Marco grins. "Otherwise we're going to have a serious problem."

"Don't worry. You're still the best."

"Good. Now, what can I do for you this evening? I assume you're getting a tattoo."

Skye nods her head, "Yes we are. This is Jemma, it's her first time getting one."

Marco turns to Jemma and smiles, "Well welcome to my shop, Jemma. Glad you decided to choose me to give you your first tattoo."

"Well, I didn't exactly have a choice. Skye's the one who dragged me here."

"It's my birthday," Skye tells Marco. "She suggested we get tattoos without actually finding a shop to go to. So I told her about your place."

"Well thank goodness for that. And happy birthday," he smiles at her.

Skye smiles back, "Thanks."

"So, what are you ladies going to get?"

"I'm not quite sure," Jemma replies. "I'm a model, so it can't be anything too flashy or too exposed."

"Something pretty simple and easy to hide, got it. Any idea of where you want it?"

Jemma shakes her head, "No, sorry."

"That's alright," he smiles. "I'll think of something. And for you, miss Skye?"

"I'm thinking about getting an anchor. With my boyfriend's name inside of it."

"Putting your boyfriend's name in ink," Marco says. "Isn't that a little risky?"

Skye shrugs, "For most people, maybe. But I don't plan on letting this one go anytime soon."

"Alright. Where do you want it?"

"On my chest. Right on the middle."

Marco raises an eyebrow, "Really now?"

"Yeah," Skye smiles. "My boyfriend really loves my other tattoos, so I figure this one will really drive him crazy."

Marco chuckles, "You really are something else."

"Tell me something I don't know," Skye grins.

"Alright, well, let me go in the back and draw up a sketch for you Skye, and see if I can find something to suit your fancy, Jemma."

"Thanks Marco," Skye smiles at him as he walks into the back of the shop.

"I'm kind of nervous about getting a tattoo," Jemma tells Skye.

"You'll be fine," Skye assures her. "Just be sure to take deep breathes, and don't focus on the pain."

"And that'll help?" Jemma asks.

Skye nods her head, "Absolutely. When I got my first one, I talked to Marco the entire time, telling him about some of my plans for a few songs. The tattoo was over pretty quickly."

"So if I get something small and then talk the entire time, it'll feel like no time at all has passed?"

"I guess so, yeah."

"Excellent. How long is it going to take him to get those drawings done up? Because the longer I sit here, the more nervous I get."

"Relax, Jem," Skye says to her. "He should be done soon, he's a pretty fast artist."

"Okay, that sounds good," Jemma takes a deep breath.

"Do you want to just sit here in silence until he comes back out with the drawings?" Skye asks.

Jemma nods her head, "Yes, that actually sounds great. I think I just need to sit quietly for a little while."

"Then sit quietly is what we'll do," Skye smiles.


"Alright ladies," Marco walks back out into the lobby, "how do these look for ya?" He stops in front of Skye and Jemma, handing them each a sheet of paper.

"This is incredible," Skye smiles down at the anchor on the page. She looks up at Marco, "It's even better than I thought it'd be."

"I'm glad you like it," Marco smiles. "What about you, Jemma?"

"It's beautiful," Jemma tells him.

Marco nods his head, "A beautiful flower for a beautiful girl. I figured you'd like something a bit elegant, and I thought we could put it on the back of your neck. That way it'll be easy to cover up for photoshoots and whatnot. You like it?"

"I do," Jemma smiles. "This is so beautiful."

"I'm glad you think so," Marco smiles. "Now then, who wants to go first?"

"Jemma does," Skye speaks up quickly.

Jemma's head snaps towards her, "What?"

"You're going first," Skye tells her. "And don't try and argue with me, because if you go second, then it just gives you more time to chicken out."

Jemma sighs, "Fine. I guess I'll go first."

"Good. Now come on, let's go get you in that chair." She stands up and grabs Jemma's hand, pulling her towards the back where the tattoo chairs are at. "Lie down on your stomach and let Marco tattoo you."

Jemma sighs and lies down in the chair, moving her hair away from the back of her neck. She takes a deep breath, "Alright, I'm ready."


Lying on his bed, Grant is about to close his eyes and fall asleep when he hears a small trill from his phone, indicating a new text message. Rolling over, he picks up his phone and looks at the screen to see a new text from Skye. He slides his thumb across the screen and unlocks it, waiting for the message to load.

Hey there, handsome.

Hey. You having fun with Jemma tonight?

Tons of fun.

That's good. Now why are you texting me? Shouldn't you be enjoying your best friend time?

I have a special surprise for you.

For me?

Yeah.

Well what is it?

I got a new tattoo tonight.

He grins. Oh really.

Yep. You wanna see it?

Of course.

You like?

Smiling to himself, Grant clicks on the photo to enlarge it and then sucks in a breath when he sees it. It's a photo of Skye, smiling flirtatiously at him. She's wearing a button down shirt that's opened just enough to show off the valley between her breasts. A black and dark blue anchor is sitting in the space, his own name written across the inside bottom of it.

He taps inside the reply button and quickly writes a message back, Best thing I've seen all day.

I thought you'd think like that. :)

I do like it very much. It really suits you. :)

Glad you think so. You can have an up close look when I get home later ;)

Sounds like fun.

Oh it will be.

Chapter Text

*January 11, 2015*

"Morning, Skye," Sara greets as she enters the kitchen, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, letting out a small yawn.

"Hey Sara," Skye smiles at the young girl, pouring some coffee into a cup, and then two different travel mugs. "Did you sleep well?" Sara nods her head, pulling herself up onto one of the stools at the kitchen counter; she sets her elbows on the countertop, resting her chin in her hands.

"I thought something felt different when I didn't wake up with you beside me this morning," Grant says as he makes his way down the hallway from the bedroom and into the kitchen. "Morning, bear," Grant greets his daughter, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

"Hi, daddy," she smiles sleepily.

Walking into the kitchen, Grant wraps an arm around Skye's waist. Reaching around her with his other hand, he picks up his cup of coffee. "Thank you for the coffee," he presses a kiss to her cheek.

"You're welcome," she smiles, snapping a lid onto her travel mug and then the second travel mug.

"So," Grant says, leaning against the counter, "where are you off to this morning?" He takes a sip from his coffee.

"I have a meeting today with Nick, Natasha, and my parents. I don't know how long it'll be though; because I have no idea what it is they want to talk to me about."

"That's okay. Sara, Buddy, and I will hang out until you get back. Also, why do you have two travel mugs of coffee? Need an extra jolt this morning?" He smiles.

"No," she smiles, "one of these is for Jerry."

"Right," Grant nods his head.

"Okay," she says, picking up the two mugs, "I should get going now." She steps forward, giving Grant a quick kiss on the lips. She walks around the counter, pressing a kiss to the top of Sara's head. "I'll text you when I get there," she calls into the kitchen as she stands by the front door. She slips her shoes on, and then grabs her bag and her keys, sliding the bag onto her shoulder. Opening the door, she steps outside, "Bye!" she calls, and then shuts the door, making her way to her car.


Entering the lobby of the studio, Skye smiles as she greets the security guard sitting behind the front desk. "Morning Jerry!" She smiles at him.

"Good morning, Skye," he smiles back.

"This is for you," she holds the cup of coffee out to him. "It's probably cooled off a little by now, but it should still be pretty warm."

"Just the way I like it," Jerry smiles, taking a sip from the mug. He swallows the drink and then looks up at her, "Everyone is already waiting for you in Nick's office. Go on up."

"Thanks Jerry," she waves to him as she walks past the desk and towards the elevators. She presses the button to go up and waits for the door to open.

When the elevator doors open, she steps inside and presses the button for the top floor of the large building. The doors close and the elevator begins moving. Feeling her phone go off in her pocket, she pulls her phone out to see a text from Grant. Opening it up she finds a picture of him and Sara smiling into the camera, Buddy's face mashed between theirs. Loving and missing you already.

Smiling and shaking her head, she shoots them a quick reply, Love you guys too.

The elevator reaches the top floor and the doors open, revealing a few people standing on the other side. Slipping her phone back into her pocket, she steps out of the elevator, allowing the others to step on. As she makes her way to Nick's office, she greets a few of the people in the hallway taking a few quick moments to catch up with some of them.

"Skye?"

Turning around, she sees a young guy walking towards her, a small stack of papers in his hands.

"That's me," she replies. "I'm sorry if I don't remember you. Remind me of your name?"

"I'm Alex; we met at the store on New Year's Eve."

"Oh yeah," Skye smiles in recognition. "How are you?"

"I'm good," he smiles. "You?"

"Doing better. I'm getting my cast off this week, so that's exciting."

"That's great. Well, I came into the studio like you told me to do, told them you sent me here."

"And?" Skye prods.

"And they gave an internship. I'm getting college credit for it, so that's pretty cool."

"When did you start?"

"Beginning of the week. So far I've only been working with one of the booth engineers, but Mr. Fury said I'll get to try out all the different aspects here at the studio. Except for the actual singing part," he smiles.

Skye laughs quietly, "Yeah. So who's the engineer you're working with?"

"Matthew Carson."

"Ooh," Skye smiles. "He's a really great engineer, one of the best. Though I'd have to say I'm a bit partial to Clint Barton."

"I've heard of him," Alex says. "You've worked a lot with him, right?"

Skye nods her head, "Yep. He's pretty much the only engineer I've worked with, though I have branched out a couple of times. But I prefer working with Clint. It could be because he's like family, but I don't know."

"Well, I should probably let you go. You're probably here for a reason."

Skye shrugs, "Just a meeting with Nick, no big deal. What are you up to?"

"Just filling out some more paper work," Alex gestures to the small stack of papers in his hands.

"Sounds like fun," Skye says sarcastically. "I'll let you get back to your paperwork."

"Right. And I'll let you get to your meeting. They're probably waiting for you."

"Yes they probably are. Well it was nice seeing you again, and welcome to the family," she smiles at him as she turns and continues down the hallway to Nick's office.

When she finally reaches the office, she sees the door already open. She steps forward and knocks on the door frame, "Hey," she says to everyone in the room. "Sorry I'm late, I ran into a friend in the hallway."

"It's alright," Nick Fury greets her. "Come in and shut the door, please."

"Sure thing," Skye replies, stepping into the office and closing the door behind her. "So, what's up?" she asks, taking another sip from her coffee mug.

"Have a seat," Nick says, gesturing to one of the chairs across from his desk.

"I'm not in trouble, right?" Skye says, slowly lowering herself into the chair. "Because I promise you I haven't done anything to warrant me getting into any kind of trouble. I've actually been keeping a somewhat low profile in most aspects lately."

"That's what we want to talk to you about," her dad pipes up.

"What?"

Natasha sits up straighter in her chair and looks at Skye, "We want to schedule a tour for you. To put you back on the map and let people know you're still active in your career."

"But it's only been a few months since everything happened," Skye points out. "My fans understand that. And I put out that new song with Lance back during Christmas, so my fans know I'm still here, just dealing with things."

"We know that, Skye," Melinda says, "but we all still think it's a really good idea for you to do this tour."

"I know," Skye says. "And I have nothing against going on tour, I was just curious. I mean, I feel like I just went on tour not too long ago."

"That wasn't a tour," Natasha tells her. "It was just a few shows in the area."

"Yeah, I know. So, where are you guys thinking I go for this tour?"

"The United Kingdom," Natasha tells her. "You haven't been over there yet, and you do have a pretty big fan base out there. It's even starting to rival your fanbase here in the US. I've already been in contact with a few different venue owners over there, and they are happy to let you perform at their places."

"How long will the tour be?"

"We're thinking somewhere around three months," Natasha tells her. "We'll go all over the UK, playing shows in the larger cities. As well as a few meet-n-greets in some of the smaller towns. We're also thinking about doing a special promotion of sorts at each of yours shows. The first 50 people who buy a t-shirt will get to meet you after the show."

"I like that," Skye says with a nod of her head. "When are we going to start the tour?"

"We're thinking April," Natasha tells her. "I'm going to get in contact with some more venues and schedule shows with them. Once that is all taken care of, hopefully within the next few days, we'll release the tour information on your website."

"Okay," Skye says, taking a deep breath.

"Also," Natasha says, "we're thinking about having Lance join you on this tour."

"Really?" Skye furrows her brow. "What for?"

"We think you two make a really great duo," Nick speaks up.

"Plus, I don't believe he's done any major shows in the UK yet, either," Natasha adds. "Which is kind of weird, considering he was born and raised over there."

"Alright," Skye says, "I'll ask Lance if he wants to come with, but I'm sure he'll say yes."

"Great," Nick says. "Then I think that about covers it all."

"Okay then," Skye says, standing up from her chair. "Does this mean I can leave now?"

"Yes Skye," Melinda smiles at her daughter, "you can leave now. Be safe, okay? And text me when you get back to Grant's place."

"I will," Skye smiles at her mother. "Love you."

"Love you too."

"Bye guys," she waves to Nick, Natasha, and her parents, making her way out of the office and back down to the lobby to head back to Grant's house.


Walking in the front door the house, Skye toes her shoes off and then sends a quick text to her mom. Made it back safely. Love you. Hitting send, she shoves her phone into her back pocket, and sets her purse down on the small table next to her. Making her way through the house, she listens for any sign of Grant, Sara, or Buddy. Hearing a bit of noise coming from the family room, she opens the door and steps inside to see Grant and Sara sitting on the couch together, watching a movie. Buddy is curled up on the floor right against Grant's feet.

When he sees her, Buddy lifts his head up and immediately jumps up onto his feet, scurrying over to her. She smiles and bends down to pet the dogs' head, "Hi Buddy."

Standing up fully, she watches as Buddy goes back to his place on the floor, curling up next to Grant's feet again. "Hey guys," she smiles, walking over to the couch.

"Hey," Grant smiles at her, pausing the movie that had been playing on the screen. "How was your meeting?"

"It was good," Skye replies, taking a seat on the other side of Grant, immediately curling into his side. "Didn't take too long, thank goodness."

"What was it about?" Sara asks, picking Buddy up off of the floor and setting him in her lap where he curls up again happily.

"Well, starting in April, I am going to be touring in the UK for about three months."

"Really?" Sara asks.

"Yep," Skye nods her head. "They don't have all of the dates and venues set up yet, but Nat said hopefully within the next few days everything will be scheduled. And Lance is possibly going to join the tour, too. But I still have to ask him if he wants to join. Nick said something about the two of us being a great duo."

"So you're going to be gone for three months?" Grant asks for clarification.

Skye nods her head again, "Yeah."

"Can we come too?" Sara asks.

"As much as I would love for the both of you to come with me," Skye begins, "you still have school."

"I can bring some practice pages with me and do those," Sara suggests.

"For three months?" Skye raises an eyebrow.

"Well, um, I could come up with other stuff to do," Sara tries.

"Sorry kiddo," Skye smiles apologetically. "I think your dad will agree with me on this one. If the tour was in the summer I wouldn't hesitate in asking you guys to come with me, but unfortunately it's not. It's during the school year, so you need to stay here and go to school."

"Skye's right, bear," Grant agrees. "You need to go to school. But that doesn't mean we can't still talk to her on the phone or FaceTime with her."

"Exactly," Skye says. "I'll still talk to you guys whenever I get the chance to, but I'll be pretty busy performing and meeting fans. And then there is the time zone difference."

"But you'll still talk to us?" Sara asks.

"Absolutely," Skye smiles. "There's no way I'd be able to not talk to you guys. I love the both of you way too much, so it's going to be very difficult for me to be spending three months away from you."

"Then I guess we'll have to make the little bit of time we have left count," Grant says with a smile.

Skye smiles up at him, "That we will." She leans up and presses her lips to his. "But right now, let's finish this movie."

"Have you seen this one before, Skye?" Sara asks. "It's called My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

"You know what, I don't think I have."

"Well it's really funny," Sara tells her. "Dad, start it over, please. That way Skye isn't confused."

"And we wouldn't want that," Grant smiles, grabbing the remote control off of the arm of the couch. He holds it up to the DVD player sensor and starts the movie over. Settling back into the couch, wrapping one arm around Skye and the other around Sara, holding them close to his sides. He lets out a happy sigh and sits back, watching as the opening credits for the movie play out across the screen.


*January 17, 2015*

Pulling her phone out, Skye unlocks it and goes to her Twitter app. Once it loads, she taps on the New Tweet button, quickly typing a message to all of her fans. @RealSkye: Got a special surprise for all my fans over in the UK. Stay tuned. :) Closing out of the app, she grabs her laptop, pulling it into her lap.

Opening up a new browser, she types in the address for her website and waits for the page to load. Once it does, she clicks on one of the tabs at the top titled, TOURS. The new page loads and Skye smiles at the list of tour dates and places on the screen in front of her.

"Hey Skye."

Looking up from her computer, Skye sees Sara entering the room with Buddy trailing behind her.

"Hey Sara," she smiles at the girl.

Sara moves and sits down next to Skye on the couch, "How's your arm?"

Skye lifts up her arm and rotates it a bit, "It's doing much better, a little sore, but much better. It's great to have that cast off, though."

"That's cool. So what are you doing?"

"I'm about to post the information for my tour on Twitter."

"Oh, cool. Are those the dates and places?" She points to Skye's computer screen.

Skye nods her head, "Yep. Everything is all set, and now I just have to post the information and allow people to buy their tickets."

"Okay," Sara settles herself back into the couch, leaning her head on Skye's shoulder contently.

Skye smiles at the gesture before turning back to her computer, highlighting the link to the webpage, and copying it. Opening up a new tab, she goes to Twitter and hits the New Tweet button. She pastes the address into the box and then types. @RealSkye: Surprise to all my UK fans! @Lancelot & I'll be coming to you starting in April! Get your tickets before they're gone! :) Hitting send, Skye waits for the message to be sent before tapping inside the Tweet box again. She types another message, Also, the first 50 people at each show who buys a shirt will get a free meet-n-greet with me afterwards. Make sure you're first! :)

She hits send and then closes out of the Twitter tab and then her website. Her phone beeps a second later, alerting her to a new tweet from someone she follows closely. Glancing down at it, she smiles at the tweet.

@Lancelot: UK! I'm joining @RealSkye on tour this spring. It's going to be awesome! Get your tickets now!

Sliding her thumb across the screen and unlocking her phone, it immediately takes her to that specific tweet. She hits the reply button and types in a response. @RealSkye: @Lancelot This tour is going to be so awesome! Can't wait! She hits send, and then less than a minute later, she gets a response from Lance.

@Lancelot: @RealSkye Oh you know it, sweetheart. We're gonna take over the UK. :)

@RealSkye: @Lancelot you better believe it! The UK won't be able to handle us! :)

Closing out of twitter, Skye locks her phone again, setting it down beside her.

"Are you excited for your tour?" Sara asks her after a minute.

"Of course I am," Skye replies. "I've never been to the UK before, so I'm really excited about going. But also, I can't wait to meet as many of my fans as I can while I'm there."

"I'm sure you're going to have a lot of fun while you're there. I've never been there before either, but Uncle Fitz says it's really nice."

"Well I guess I'll have to take pictures of all the really cool places for you."

Sara smiles, "Okay."

Skye smiles down at her before turning back to her computer. Opening up her website once again, she clicks on the Tours tab and her eyes go wide. "Sara, look at this."

Sara turns her head to look at the screen and her eyes go wide too, "Some of the places are already sold out."

"Yeah," Skye replies, still dumbstruck. "You know, I don't think my US shows have ever sold out this quickly before."

"Guess they're all really excited to see you."

"Apparently," Skye smiles. "This tour is going to be amazing."

Chapter Text

*January 23, 2015*

"Alright," Grant says to Skye. "I think you have everything you need for the weekend."

"I think so too," Skye replies as she zips her suitcase closed. She lets out a content sigh as she looks up at Grant. She smiles as she steps closer to him, "Are you ready for our romantic weekend getaway?" She runs her hands up his back, underneath of his t-shirt.

He smiles and tightens his arms around her, "Oh, I'm definitely ready for this weekend. It's going to be amazing."

"Hmm. I'm going to hold you to that," she leans up and presses her lips to his.

"You better," he whispers against her lips. He pulls back and smiles down at her, "Now come on. Let's go say bye to everyone." He grabs her hand in his, grabs her suitcase off of her bed, and then pulls her from her bedroom and down the stairs to where her parent and Sara are waiting for them.

"Dad!" Sara exclaims and then collides with his legs.

Grant stumbles slightly and then drops Skye's hand so he can hug his daughter, "Hey bear. Are you going to miss us?"

"Mm-hmm," Sara nods her head against him.

"Well we're only going to be gone for the weekend. Then we'll be home again."

"Promise?" Sara tilts her head back to look at him.

He smiles, "Promise. Now why don't you say bye to Skye. I need to talk to Melinda for a minute."

"Okay," Sara says and then detaches herself from Grant. She walks over to where Skye is talking with Phil near the door.

Grant then makes his way to where Melinda is standing in the entry to the living room. He smiles at her, "Thank you, Melinda, for agreeing to watch Sara and Buddy while we're gone. Fitz was going to do it, but he said he's going to be really swamped at work this weekend."

"It's not a problem," Melinda waves him off. "Honestly. It's the least I can do for my future son-in-law," she smiles at him.

"If she says yes," he nervously rubs the back of his neck.

"I have every right to believe she will say yes. She loves you and Sara so much. Way more than anyone else she's ever been with. In fact, I don't think she's ever really loved any of her previous boyfriends. But you, Grant, you aren't like any of the boyfriends she's had in the past. I can tell that you really love her and I know you'll always treat her like she should be treated. As a parent, that's all you ever want for your child, to find someone who'll treat them right. Even though Sara is still pretty young, I'm sure you're already thinking about how you can terrify her future suitors."

Grant chuckles, "She's not dating until she's at least 30."

Melinda smiles, "Phil said the same thing about Skye when she was little. But you'll soon figure out you can't stop her from dating when she reaches that age."

Grant rubs his hand over his face, "And it doesn't help that she can be very stubborn at times. Just like her mother always was."

"Hmm, Skye was pretty stubborn as well."

"I can only imagine," Grant chuckles. "Oh, I can't remember if I told you, Sara starts school at 8:30 and then gets out at 2:50. You don't have to walk her inside, she knows where to go; just make sure she gets inside before you leave. And then after school you just have to wait outside the front of the school for her class. Her teacher will probably want to talk to you for a second just to be safe. I already told them you're picking her up, though. And she's usually really good about doing her homework, so you shouldn't have to worry about that. Skye and I should be back sometime Monday night, so we might come and get Sara when we get here, depending on how late it is."

"That's alright," Melinda smiles. "She's more than welcome to stay

"Hey Grant, you ready to go?" Skye asks him.

He looks at her over his shoulder, "Yeah. I'm ready." He looks back at Melinda, "Thanks again."

"You're welcome. Now go on," she gestures with her head to where Skye is waiting for him by the door.

He smiles and walks over to Skye, "You sure you have everything you need?"

"Yeah," she smiles. "Now let's go. I am so ready for the beach."


"Wow," Skye says in awe as she and Grant drive into the small town, "this place is so cute."

"You think so?" he asks her.

She nods her head, "Definitely."

"I'm glad you think so," he smiles at her before turning into the parking lot of their hotel.

"Aww," Skye smiles, "this hotel is super cute too."

"It does look pretty nice from out here."

She nods her head, "Yeah. I'm excited to go inside and look at it."

"Then what are we waiting for?" He turns off the car, "Come on." He hits the button to pop the trunk of the car and then opens his door to climb out.

Going around to the trunk of the car, Grant pulls it open the rest of the way and then lifts their luggage out of it.

"Here's your bag," he hands Skye her small suitcase.

"Thank you," she smiles, taking the bag from him. He grabs his own bag and then shuts the trunk, making sure the entire car is locked.

"You ready?" He asks her, shoving his car keys into his pocket.

"Of course I am," she reaches forward and grabs his hand, locking their fingers together. "Let's go check in," she gently drags him around to the front of the hotel and into the lobby.

"Hmm, cozy," Grant comments, looking around the main lobby.

"Yeah," Skye agrees, "I like it."

"Me too. Check in desk is over here," he motions with his head to the large oak desk standing near one of the walls.

The couple walks up to it and Grant smiles at the woman behind the desk. "Hi there. We're here to check in."

"Name?"

"Ward."

The woman taps a few keys. She looks up at him, "Grant Ward?"

He nods his head, "Yep."

"Alright," she looks back at her computer and taps a few more keys. "You'll be in room 209; here are your key cards." She hands him a small envelope.

"Thank you very much," he smiles.

"You're welcome. Enjoy your stay."

"We will," Skye smiles at her and then pulls Grant away from the desk to find the elevators.


"Come on, babe," Skye says to Grant as she stands in their hotel room at the end of the bed. "Let's go explore."

"I just drove for 15 hours," he tells her from where he's lying on the bed, one arm bent up underneath of his head. "Plus it's really late, I was kind of hoping to be able to just go to sleep."

"But I want to go explore," she replies.

"You want to go explore?" He asks her.

She nods her head, "Mm-hmm."

"Tell you what," he sits up on the bed, beckoning her over to him. She moves around the bed so she is standing next to the side where he's lying. He swings his legs around and then reaches out to grab her hands, pulling her closer. "Right now we get some sleep, because I am very tired after that car trip. Then first thing after we have breakfast tomorrow, we'll walk around and explore the town. Sound good to you?"

Skye thinks for a moment and then smiles, "Yeah, sounds good."

"Great," he lets out a small yawn.

"Wow, you really are tired."

"I told you," he smiles. "Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to go and get ready for bed," he stands up from the bed, dropping a kiss to the top of Skye's head before moving towards his suitcase to find his pajamas.


*January 24, 2015*

"Despite it still being the middle of winter, it's pretty nice out," Skye remarks the next morning as they step out the doors of the hotel.

"It is, isn't it," he replies, taking her hand and beginning their walk to explore. "And thank goodness for that. It would really suck to have crappy weather while at the beach." He looks both ways before the two of them cross the street.

"Yeah, that would definitely suck. Because then you wouldn't be able to have as much fun at the beach as you would want to."

"Then let's pray for consistently nice weather while at the beach," Grant says.

"Hi there, have you two ever been to Del Sol before?"

Stopping in their tracks, Grant and Skye turn to see a young brunette girl standing in the doorway of a small little shop on the corner of the street.

"Del Sol?" Skye asks, looking up at the sign hanging on the front of the shop. Then she looks back down at the girl, "What do you guys sell?"

The girl smiles, "If you want to step into my office, I would be more than happy to show you." She holds her hand out behind her into the shop.

Grant and Skye step past her and into the store. "This place is super cute," Skye smiles.

"I'm glad you think so," the girl says, walking past them and stopping next to a circular table with a purple light in the center of it. "It's my uncles' place. Now, if you would step over here," she gestures to the table, "I'd be happy to demonstrate our product for you."

"Okay," Skye says, holding onto Grant's hand and stepping up to the table. "Show us what you got."

"Well, every product in our store changes color in the sun."

Skye's eyes go wide, "Wait, seriously?"

The girl nods, "Yep."

"And you guys are open during the middle of the winter? When you think sunshine, you don't usually think wintertime."

The girl smiles, "That is true, most people don't associate sunshine and winter. However, because eighty percent of UV rays come through the clouds, our product still works even on a day like today."

"Huh," Skye nods her head. "I am even more intrigued by your product."

"Then allow me to demonstrate. Right here I have a simple t-shirt," she holds up a white t-shirt with a simple, yet fun, beach design on it. "It has a bit of black and grey in it, but no color," she begins to explain. "However, when I hold it up against the UV light right here in the table," she lays the front of the shirt over top of the table for a few seconds, "we have," she lifts the shirt up, "color."

"Wow," Grant says with a smile, "that's pretty cool."

The girl smiles and sets the shirt back down on the table, "I like to think it is."

"So how long does the shirt stay colorful?" Grant asks.

"For however long you're out in the sun for. Once you step out of the sun," she picks the shirt back up, "the color starts to fade."

"This is beyond cool," Skye smiles. "How does it work?"

"It's actually a crystal called spectrachrome that's infused in all our products. Del Sol designed their technology after NASA's original concept with spectrachrome. What Del Sol did with the crystal, is they took color and put it in the center of the crystal so when it hits the sun, the crystal opens up and the color pops out. Then once it leaves the sun, it closes back up and the color fades."

"Whoa, that's actually really amazing," Skye says.

"Yeah, I was pretty amazed the first time I saw what all this stuff did."

"Grant!" Skye exclaims with wide eyes, turning slightly to look at her boyfriend.

"What?"

"We should get something here for Sara. She'd probably love something like this."

"You're right. She probably would." He looks at the young girl in front of them, "What do you have for a nine year old girl?"

"We have an array of things a little girl that age might enjoy," the girl says. She begins leading them around the shop, "We have different pieces of jewelry over here on this wall; necklaces, bracelets, earrings, that sort of stuff. We also have some t-shirts on these racks over here, some pretty cute ones. We have tote bags; those are always a big hit. Sunglasses and hats too. But probably our biggest hit of all is the nail polish."

"Nail polish?" Skye asks. She smiles, "Tell me more."

The girl smiles back, "We have a lot of different choices in nail polish." She picks up a bottle off of the shelf and holds it up, "The color inside the bottle is what it looks like when you're out of the sun, and the color that's on the cap is what it'll look like when you're in the sun."

"Neat," Skye smiles.

"The polish is $10 a bottle, although we do have a special promotion going on right now. Buy two, get one free. I'll let you two look around a bit. My name is Gillian, if you have any more questions, don't be afraid to ask."

"Awesome, thanks," Skye smiles at her as she steps back over to the front door of the shop.


"Did you find something to your liking?" Gillian asks Grant and Skye as they step out of the shop.

"Yes we did," Skye smiles, holding up the bright pink plastic bag. "We got her a package of hair clips."

"Good choice," Gillian smiles. "A little girl I know loves those."

"Then I guess we made a good decision. Thanks for inviting us inside."

"Of course. Enjoy the rest of your day."

"Thanks, we will." Skye gives the girl a wave as she and Grant make their way down the sidewalk towards the beach. "Ooh, look!" Skye exclaims after a minute of walking. "A candy store." She looks up at Grant, "Let's go inside."

"Alright, yeah, let's go."

Skye grins and then pulls him towards the candy shop. Her eyes go wide when she steps across the threshold, "Oh my goodness. This candy store is amazing."

"There certainly is a lot of candy here," Grant muses.

"Hi there," the lady behind the counter speaks up, "welcome to The Buzz. Feel free to try a piece of our Salt Water. Just pick any flavor from one of the bins right over there."

Skye smiles at the lady before dragging Grant over to the taffy. "Look at all this taffy," she smiles, her eyes darting from bin to bin, trying to decide which flavor to try.

"I think I'm going to try a mango one," Grant says, reaching out to grab the small wrapped candy from the bin. He unwraps it and pulls the taffy from the paper, popping it into his mouth. He chews for a moment and then nods his head, "That's pretty good."

"Hmm, I think I'm gonna try this tropical one," Skye says, reaching down to pick up the candy. She unwraps the paper and sticks the chewy candy in her mouth. She chews it and then smiles, "Wow, this one is really good. We are definitely getting a bag of taffy. Then we're going to see what other types of candy they have here."

"Sounds like a plan," Grant smiles.


"Hey Skye?" Grant speaks up later that night as they lie on their hotel room bed watching the TV.

"Yeah?" She replies, looking up at him.

"Wanna take a walk along the beach with me?"

"That sounds really romantic," she smiles.

"Yes it does," he smiles back. "So, do you want to go?"

"Hmm, I don't know. It'll probably be pretty cold."

"Then put on the sweatshirt you bought earlier from that one store."

"Ooh, good idea."

"I tend to have them sometimes," he smiles.

She smiles back, "Okay, we'll go down to the beach, just give me a minute."

"Yeah, okay."

Skye leans up and captures his lips in a quick kiss before climbing off of the bed to make her way into the bathroom. Once she's in the bathroom, Grant moves off of the bed and over to his suitcase. He unzips it and digs down to the bottom, underneath all of his clothing, searching for the one item in particular he needs. Once he finds it, he pulls it out, opens the lid, and stares at the single piece of jewelry sitting inside it. He takes a deep breath, closes the lid, and shoves the box into his pants pocket, zipping up his suitcase again.


"Beaches are so pretty at night," Skye comments as they walk barefoot in the sand along the water's edge.

"Very," Grant replies. "But you're way more beautiful than any of the beaches in the world."

Skye looks up at him and smiles, a small blush creeping upon her cheeks, "You sure know the right words to say to make a girl feel great about herself."

He smiles back, "You're welcome."

"You know what I want to do right now?" she asks him.

"What?"

"Walk through the ocean barefoot," she grins.

"Then go do it," he encourages her. "The ocean's right over there."

"Hold my shoes," she tells him, handing her flip flops over to him. He happily takes the shoes from her, holding them with his own shoes. "Love you," she smiles, leaning up to press a kiss to his cheek before making her way towards the water.

Grant watches with a small smile on his face as Skye walks down to the water's edge, stopping for a moment to roll up the pant legs of her jeans before she walks further into the ocean. Pulling his phone out of his pocket, Grant slides the camera icon upwards, holding it up in front of him. There's just enough light left in the sky for him to capture his desired photo. Skye's back is to him as she stands in the water, her arms lifted above her head, the glow from the setting sun illuminating her silhouette.


"Skye," Grant calls out to his girlfriend dancing along the shoreline to the beat in her head. She looks over at him. "Come here," he waves her over to him.

She skips back over to him and wraps her arms around his neck, standing up on her toes to kiss him. "Thank you for bringing me here," she smiles at him. "We definitely needed a weekend to ourselves."

"I agree," he smiles.

"And dancing barefoot on the beach at night is just as much fun as I thought it would be."

"It looked like it. But now I have a very important question I need to ask you."

She unwraps her arms from around his neck and stands back on her feet, "Shoot."

"Okay, so uh, I know we haven't been together for a super long time, it'll be a year in June. But uh, we love each other a lot, and now that you're in my life, it's getting hard for me to imagine what it would be like without you in it. And I don't think I ever want to go back to a world without you in it." He reaches into his pants pocket and pulls a small velvet box out, then drops down to one knee.

Skye gasps as she watches Grant kneel down in the sand, holding a small ring box in his hand.

"Will you marry me?" He opens the lid of the box and holds it up to her.

"Yes!" Skye exclaims without hesitation. "Oh my goodness, yes!"

Grant smiles wide as he slides the ring onto her left hand, shoving the box back into his pocket. He stands up from the sand just in time for Skye to tackle him in a hug. They fall onto their backs in the sand, laughing together as the waves crash hard against the sand just a few feet away from them.

Skye lies on top of Grant, smiling down at him, her elbows propped up on either side of his head.

"We're engaged now," Skye smiles down at him.

"Yes we are," he smiles back.

"You know," she rakes her hand through his hair, "we should really be celebrating this, and there's only one way to properly do that." She leans down and gives him a quick kiss.

"Right here?" he asks with a raised brow. "On the beach?"

"Of course not," she smiles. "Back in our hotel room."

"Then what are we waiting for?" he grins.


*January 25, 2015*

Holding her left hand up in front of her face, Skye smiles at her newest accessory. She drops her hand, continuing to smile as she feels a pair of strong arms wrap themselves around her from behind.

"Good morning," she hears Grant say against her skin, pressing a kiss to the same area.

She places her hands on his arms and turns her head, looking over her shoulder at him, "Good morning. Did you sleep well?"

He nods his head, "Very."

"Me too," she stretches her head back and gives him a slow, chaste kiss. "I love you," she whispers when she pulls back.

"I love you too," he whispers back, smiling at her.

"Hey, you know what we should do now?"

"I have a few ideas," he grins, shifting slightly to pepper kisses along her neck.

She wriggles him away, "No. Not that. Something we didn't do last night."

"Well I'm lost."

She sighs, "We should take a picture."

"A what?"

"A picture," she repeats. "But you have to take it." She pulls away from his arms, sits up and crawls to the end of the bed, finding her shorts from the night before and pulling her cell phone out of the pocket.

"What? Why?"

"Because your arm is longer than mine and I want to show my ring off in the picture. But I can't exactly do that if I'm taking the picture, the angle would all weird and awkward." She crawls back towards him and climbs back under the covers, curling up next to him.

"You know what, because I love you, I'm not even going to try and understand any of that, so I'll just go ahead and take the picture."

She smiles at him before unlocking her phone and going to her camera app. She hits the button to flip camera and then hands her phone over to Grant.

"So, what exactly did you have in mind for this picture?" he asks her.

"We're going to kiss."

"What?" he asks with wide eyes.

"Oh stop," she rolls her eyes, "it's not like I don't have other pictures of us kissing on my phone or social media."

He sighs, "I suppose."

"Good. Now come here, handsome," she grabs his face in her hands, pulling him towards her. She presses her lips to his, making sure her left hand is lying perfectly on his cheek so it can be seen.

Grant reacts immediately, kissing her back with more passion. He almost forgets to press the button. Key word: almost. He manages to press the button, and when he does, Skye pulls away from, leaving him slightly dazed.

Skye takes the phone from Grant's hand, smiling at the picture he took. She closes out of the camera app and goes to her messages, selecting the conversation she'd been having with Jemma during the car trip on the way to the beach. She taps inside the text box, clicking on the camera icon. She selects the photo just taken from her Camera Roll, waiting as it opens. Then she types a quick message, Grant proposed last night! Figured I'd tell you first before I post it to Instagram. Also, I've already decided you're going to be my Maid of Honor. :) She hits the send button, waits for the message to send and then double taps the Home button, selecting the Instagram icon.

Once it opens, she hits the New Photo button, waiting for the camera to load. When it does, she clicks on the Camera Roll button, selecting the most recent photo from the list that pops up. Once it loads, she forgoes a filter, hitting the Next button. Then she taps inside the caption box, typing her caption.

Last night = Best. Night. Of. My. Life. <3

Chapter Text

*February 16, 2015*

"So that's the set list we came up with," Skye tells Natasha.

"After which," Lance pipes in, "she'll have me come back out on stage to say thanks and bye to the fans before we leave."

"Then we go off backstage and I go meet the 50 lucky fans who bought a shirt at each show."

"Sounds like a solid set list and plan," Natasha nods her head.

"Good," Skye smiles. "Took us a while to actually figure out which songs to perform and in what order. It's been a while since I went on tour last, and I haven't released a new album yet, so I figured I'd just do a mixture of my songs. Some of my older stuff as well as my newer stuff. Considering I haven't toured in the UK before, I thought it'd be a nice treat for my fans over there."

"Good idea," Natasha smiles. "When do rehearsals start?"

"Two days," Skye tells her manager. "And I think we'll be rehearsing almost every day for tour. Except I think weekends will be non-rehearsal days."

"Okay," Natasha nods her head again. "I'm going to schedule a couple of interviews for you two as well over in the UK. To talk about and promote the tour. Because even though a lot of your shows are already sold out, it's never a bad idea to promote it and yourselves."

"That is very true," Skye smiles. "What do you say, Lance?" She looks at her friend. "You up for a few interviews during the tour?"

"I'm always up for an interview, sweetheart."

Skye laughs quietly and then looks at Natasha, "Okay, Nay, go ahead and schedule some interviews. And please make sure you send me all the information for the interviews as soon as you find out. Don't let it be like what happened three years ago."

Natasha rolls her eyes and sighs. "That's what I get for letting my husband try and give you the information for your interviews," she mutters.

Skye laughs, "Alright, well, if we aren't needed for anything else, I think Lance and I'll just head out."

"Yeah, that's fine. I'll get this set list to your band, Skye, so they know what songs they need to prepare for."

"Awesome, thanks," Skye smiles. "We'll see you later, then."

"Yeah, see you later," Natasha smiles, already pulling her phone out.

Skye and Lance turn and make their way back out into the hallway.

"How excited are you for this tour?" Skye asks Lance when they reach the elevators.

"Pretty excited," Lance replies. "It'll be really great to get back home, even if it's just for a little while."

The doors open and they both step inside, Skye hitting the button for the lobby. "How does Bobbi feel about you leaving her for three month while she's pregnant?" Skye asks him once the doors close.

"Oh, she's coming with us."

"She is?" Skye furrows her brows.

Lance nods his head, "Yeah. I guess she's still able to fly on a plane even though she's pregnant."

"Cool," Skye smiles. "Are you gonna show her all your old stomping grounds?" She teases him as the doors slide open.

"She's already seen most of that stuff. I took her there when we were dating. She loves it there and is excited to go back and see everything."

"And I'm assuming your parents are excited to see her as well," Skye smiles.

Lance nods his head again, "They are. Ever since we told them they're going to be grandparents they've been practically begging for Bob and I to visit them. Or fly them out to visit for a bit."

"And are they excited to be grandparents?" Skye asks as she pushes open the front doors of the recording studio.

"Excited is a bit of an understatement," Lance chuckles as they make their way towards the parking lot. "Since my older sister has kind of sworn off having children, in a sense, I'm their only hope of having grandchildren."

"Oh yeah, I remember meeting your sister at your wedding. How is she?"

"She's alright, doing a lot of traveling. Though I did call her and tell her about the baby, she's happy to be an aunt."

"That's great," Skye smiles as they reach their cars. "Well, I guess I'll see you in two days for the first day of rehearsals."

"Yeah," Lance replies. "See ya." He gives her a small wave as he climbs into his car and then pulls out of the parking lot to go back to his house.

Skye smiles to herself as she climbs into her own car, starts the engine, and then pulls out onto the road.


"Hey, how did your meeting go?" Grant asks Skye when she steps through the front door.

"It actually went pretty well," Skye tells him as she moves to sit next to him on the couch. "Lance and I figured out a set list for the tour, which Nat is going to give to my bad so they know what songs to play. And she also said she's going to schedule some interviews for Lance and I while we're over in the UK, to sort of promote the tour."

"That should be fun," he says. "But aren't most of your shows already sold out? Why do interviews to promote when the tickets are already gone?"

"It's to make people aware," Skye tells him. "Because there are still people out there who've never heard of me or my music. So by doing these interviews over there to promote the tour, people who watch or listen to the interview get curious. Which in turn, leads them to Google search me and my music. Then hopefully they like it and wanna see me live. But because they can't due to tickets being all sold out, they can come to the free meet-n-greets that I'm doing. Then the next time around when I do a tour, those people will buy tickets to come see me live. And sometimes, if there are enough tickets in demand, we'll add an extra night so more people can see the show."

"Wow," Grant says, wide-eyed. "That is very well thought out."

Skye smiles, "Yeah. I like to think so."

Grant smiles back. "So," he takes a deep breath, "when do your rehearsals start for tour? You do have rehearsals, right?"

Skye chuckles quietly, "Yes, we have rehearsals. We start in two days, and we're going to be rehearsing quite a bit. Almost every day."

"Does that mean we won't be seeing much of you in the coming days?"

Skye sighs, "Unfortunately so. But when I get back, we'll spend so much time together you'll be sick of me," she smiles at him.

Grant smiles back, "I could never get sick of you."

"That's good. Because after I get back from tour, we're going to get married and you'll be stuck with me forever," she grins, leaning over to give him a kiss.


"Shake it off, shake it off!"

The band strikes the final cord as Skye hits the final note and makes her final pose.

After a second, Skye stands up straight and looks back at her bad, "That was awesome, guys. Let's take a break before we go through it again."

Setting her microphone back in its stand, Skye makes her way to the side of the room where her water bottle and phone sit. Picking up her water bottle, she takes a long drink from it and then sets it back down. She reaches out for her phone, unlocking it and going to her messages. Finding nothing new or of vast importance, she switches over to Instagram.

Opening up the New Photo button, she turns around and holds the camera up. "Hey guys!" she calls out to Lance and her band. All the guys look up to where she is standing, none of them smiling. Skye quickly snaps a photo and then pulls her phone down to look at it.

She laughs quietly at the picture; Lance is sitting on the floor against the wall with his legs out in front of him and his water bottle in his lap, her drummer Kyle is leaning forward over the top of his drum set with his head lifted up to look at her, her guitarist Neal and bassist Paul are leaning against each other's backs, and her pianist Mark is just standing behind the keyboard completely straight faced.

Hitting the next button, she forgoes a filter, hitting Next again. She taps inside the caption box and types, First day of tour rehearsals almost over. I think I wore them all out. #skyeuktour #tourrehearsals. She tags each of the guys in the photo and then hits Share.

Closing out of the app, she locks her phone again and sets it back down. Then she turns around and smiles at her friends.

"Alright guys," she walks back towards her microphone. "Last run through and then we'll call it a day."

All the guys quickly get back to where they're supposed to be, ready to play.

"Okay, starting from the top with Fly."

The music slowly and softly starts to fill the room.

Skye smiles as she begins to sing, "In a moment, everything can change…"

Chapter Text

*March 25, 2015*

"Happy Birthday, dad!" Sara shouts as she jumps up onto Grant's bed, lying on top of him to hug him around the neck.

Grant startles awake when Sara lands on top of him, his eyes shooting open. "Morning, bear," he smiles at his daughter.

Sara smiles back, "Morning, dad. Happy Birthday."

"Is that today?" he asks.

Sara nods her head as she sits up on the edge of the bed, "Yeah. Today's your birthday, dad."

"I suppose it is," he smiles. "So, what should we do today?"

"We should go back to sleep," Skye mumbles from beside Grant, her face half-buried in her pillow.

"Skye," Sara speaks up, climbing over her dad to sit in between Skye and Grant, "today's dad's birthday."

Skye takes a deep breath and rolls over onto her back, looking up at Sara, "Is it really?"

Sara nods her head, "Mm-hmm. So we should all go do something today. Whatever dad wants to do."

"I'm pretty sure you have school today," Skye tells her and then lets out a yawn.

"Do I have to go?" Sara asks.

"Yes you do, Sara," Grant tells his daughter. "School's important. But I'll tell you what, when you get home from school, the three of us will go out and do something together for my birthday."

"Really?" Sara smiles.

Grant nods his head, "Really. But only after you've finished your homework. Then we'll all go out and do something."

"Cool," Sara smiles. "I'm gonna get ready for school."

"Great," Grant replies. "I'll get up in a minute and get breakfast made, and then I'll take you to school."

"Okay," Sara smiles, leaning down to give Grant a kiss on the cheek. Then she leans over and gives Skye a kiss on the cheek as well before climbing off of the bed and making her way out of the bedroom.

Once Sara leaves the room, Skye rolls onto her side, and sidles up right next to Grant, rising up just a bit. "Happy Birthday," she whispers, ghosting her lips over his.

"Thank you," he smiles, lifting his head slightly to press their lips together. "Did you sleep well?" he asks her when he drops his head back onto his pillow.

She nods her head, "Very."

"Good," he smiles. "Do you have to go in and rehearse today for your tour?"

She shakes her head, "Nope. I gave everyone the day off so I can spend the day with you for your birthday."

He smiles at her, "You are the best."

She smiles back, "I know."

He lets out a laugh, "Alright, well, do you want some breakfast?" he asks her.

"I would love some."

"Great, cause I'm making pancakes."

"Mmm," Skye smiles, "I love pancakes."

"I know," Grant smiles, "now come on. Let's get up," he lifts his head to give her a final kiss before he sits up in the bed, grabbing his prosthetic to hook it into place. Then he stands from the bed and makes his way out of the bedroom and into the kitchen to start on the pancakes.


Stepping through the door of the house, Grant shuts and locks it behind him, toeing his shoes off by the front door. He sets his keys in the bowl next to him and then steps a bit further into the house.

"Skye?" he calls out. "Are you still here?"

"In the bedroom," she calls back.

Grant smiles as he makes his way through the house, down the hallway, and into the bedroom. "Hey, I dropped Sara off and I was wondering if you—what the…?" He stops in the doorway when he sees what's in front of him. Skye is sitting on the edge of the bed with her ankles crossed in front of her, wearing only a matching underwear and bra set; dark purple with black lace around the edges. Her hair is slightly waved and hanging down in front of her on either shoulder.

A smirk plays at her lips when she sees him stop and stare at her. "Happy Birthday," she says, bringing him out of his thoughts.

A small smile grows on his face, "Yes it is." He moves forward towards her, stopping when he is standing directly in front of her.

She tilts her head back so she can smile up at him, "Hi handsome."

"Hey beautiful," he reaches out and cups her face in both his hands, leaning down to capture her lips in a kiss. When he pulls away, he lets his hands drop down to her waist.

"I couldn't wake you up how I wanted to this morning, so I figured this is the next best thing," she gestures with her head to her attire.

Grant lets his eyes roam over her body for a moment before looking back at her, "Yeah, this is definitely the next best thing."

"I'm glad you think so," she grins. "Now let's get this shirt off of you," she lifts both of her hands up to the hem of his shirt, grabbing it in her hands and lifting it up above his head, then tosses it to the floor. She smiles at him as she runs her nails gently down his toned torso, smiling a bit bigger as he shivers. When her hands reach the hem of his jeans, she leans forward to press a single kiss right at the hemline. His eyes fall closed at the feeling of her lips on his skin. Slowly, Skye kisses a pathway up his stomach, while her fingers undo the belt looped through his jeans.

"Skye…" Grant whispers as she tugs his jeans down his legs.

"Shh," she says against the skin of his chest as she stands up from the bed. "It's your birthday," she whispers into his ear. He silently nods his head, swallowing thickly. Skye stands up on her toes as she kisses up the side of his neck, wrapping her hands around his neck and locking her fingers together.

Using her upper body strength, and Grant as an anchor, she lifts her body up and quickly wraps her legs around his waist, moving her lips to his mouth and kissing him deeply. She moves her hands from his neck and lets them tangle in the hairs on the back of his neck. He places his hands on her hips, to help hold her up.

"Skye," Grant groans into the kiss when Skye grinds her hips down on his.

She smiles against his lips, "Lie down."

Grant doesn't say anything in response, simply turns around and then sits down on the edge of the bed before leaning backwards to lie down. He moves up the bed so he's lying with his head on the pillow, breathing heavily as Skye kisses back down his chest and abdomen.

Skye moves her lips back up to his ear, "I am going to make this a birthday you'll never forget."


"Dad! I finished my homework!" Sara shouts into the living room from the dining room table.

"You finished all of it?" he calls back.

"Yeah," Sara replies, already gathering it up to put it back into her folder and then into her backpack. She stands from her chair and then makes her way into the living room, "Can we go out and do something now?" she asks him.

"I suppose we can," Grant says.

Sara grins, "Yay! Where are we going? It's your birthday, you pick."

Grant thinks for a moment, "Hmm. I don't know. What about bowling?"

"Ooh, that sounds fun," Skye speaks up from beside him. "I haven't been bowling in a long time. I think the last time I was bowling I was in middle school and I went with a bunch of friends."

"I love bowling," Sara smiles. "But I'm not that good at it."

"Neither am I," Skye tells her. "But that's okay; we'll just be playing for fun."

"Then it's settled," Grant smiles, "we're going bowling."


"How many more frames are there?" Sara asks from her place at the small table in front of their lane.

"Um," Grant sits up slightly to look at the screen, "I think this is the last one."

"Good," Sara nods her head. "Cause I stink at this."

"Hey, you're doing pretty good," Skye says as she makes her way back over to the table.

Sara just shrugs.

"Alright bear," Grant speaks up, "your turn."

Sara sighs, "Okay." She stands up from her chair and moves towards the lane, picking up a bowling ball as she does so. When she reaches the lane, she stands still for a moment, holding the ball in her hands as she stares down the pins at the other end of the lane.

"Hi."

Turning her head, Sara sees a boy who looks to be about her age standing next to her, a nervous smile on his face.

"Hi," she smiles back.

"I'm Peter."

"Hi Peter, I'm Sara."

"Um, my family is bowling in the lane right next to yours, and I saw you having trouble knocking pins down. Do you want some help?"

"You're gonna help me?" Sara tilts her head to the side.

Peter nods, "Yeah. I'm really good at bowling."

"I stink at it," Sara tells him.

Peter smiles, "Yeah, I know."

"Hey!" Sara exclaims. "You're not supposed to agree with me."

"Sorry," Peter smiles sheepishly.

"It's okay," Sara assures him. "But yeah, I'd like some help."

"Okay," Peter smiles, stepping closer to her.

"Skye," Grant speaks up from the table, "who's that boy talking to Sara?"

Skye looks to where Grant is gesturing with his head to see Sara and Peter standing close together and whispering to each other.

"I don't know who the boy is," Skye tells him. "But he seems to be helping Sara figure out how to bowl in a way that'll knock more pins over."

Grant scowls, "I don't like it. Make it stop."

"Are you serious right now?" Skye asks, raising one eyebrow. "She's eight, Grant, relax. And he's probably around the same age."

"Yeah, well, I don't like that he just came up to her and talked to her."

Skye sighs, "Relax, Grant. He's just helping her figure out how to bowl. Once we leave tonight, she'll probably never see him again."

"And what if he goes to her school, but she's just never seen him before. And now they're going to run into each other everywhere and then—"

"Grant! Calm down. I really don't think Sara has boys on her mind at eight years old."

"Well I'm sorry for being an overprotective dad," he grumbles, leaning back in his chair.

"Don't be sorry," she smiles at him. "And I think I remember telling you before that I love when you go into overprotective dad mode. It's very appealing."

He smiles at her, "Yeah, you may have said that before."

"And it still rings true," she smiles at him. "But, that doesn't mean you can go all caveman on Sara and not let her talk to boys. So just relax."

Grant sighs, "Fine."

"Dad! Skye! Did you see that?" Sara runs up to them with a happy smile on her face. "I knocked down five pins this time! Five!"

Grant smiles at his daughter, "That's great, bear. I'm so proud of you."

"Thanks," Sara smiles. "Peter helped me figure out how to hold the bowling ball and how to throw it so I'd hit more pins."

"Well that was very nice of Peter," Skye smiles. "Where is he?"

"He had to leave."

"Well that's too bad," Skye says.

"Yeah, it's awful," Grant says with a straight face. "But, after I take my last turn and the game is over, I think we should go get some dinner and dessert. What do you ladies think?"

"Yes please," Sara smiles.

"Absolutely," Skye smiles too.

"Great then," Grant smiles. "Let me just knock these pins down and then we'll go." He stands from his chair and walks towards the lane, picking up a bowling ball as he does so.

Skye and Sara just sit back at the table, starting a conversation as they wait for Grant to finish the game so they can leave to get food and then call it a night.


"Alright birthday boy," Skye speaks up as she and Grant get themselves ready for bed, "be honest. How was your birthday?"

Grant thinks for a moment as he pulls his shirt off, slipping on a t-shirt to sleep in. "It was a really good birthday," he smiles. "Better than some of the ones I've had in the past." He moves and sits down on the bed, unhooking his prosthetic and laying it on the floor. "I actually had a lot fun," he tells her, moving himself up on the bed so he's leaning up against the headboard.

"I'm glad you had fun," Skye smiles, pulling her hair up into a loose bun. She turns towards the bed and climbs on top of it, sitting on her knees next to Grant. "But what was your favorite part of your birthday?" she asks with a small smile.

Grant smiles back, "Oh, definitely the present I got from this incredibly beautiful woman. Her name's Diane and she is amazing."

Skye scoffs playfully and hits him in the shoulder, "Grant."

He chuckles, rubbing his arm, "Sorry, sorry." He reaches out for her hips and pulls her closer. She leans down, placing her hands on her shoulders to steady herself. He tilts his head back to look at her, "I couldn't resist. But you know you're the only woman for me, and you always will be."

"That's good to hear," she smiles, dipping her head to give him a kiss. She pulls away and looks at him, "Now let's go to sleep. I am really tired."

"Sounds like a great idea," he smiles, releasing her hips and scooting himself down the bed and underneath of the blanket.

Skye does the same, reaching over to turn off the lamp next to the bed. She rolls over onto her side and leans forward to give him one more kiss, "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," Grant smiles back, letting his eyes fall closed as Skye wraps herself around him and lets sleep overtake her.

Chapter Text

*April 6, 2015*

"Mmm, I don't want you to go," Grant mutters, his cheek resting comfortably on Skye's chest and his arms wrapped around her waist.

"I don't want to go either," Skye replies, running her hands through Grant's hair. "But I need to. Apparently if I want people to stay interested in my music, I need to go on tour."

Grant sighs, "I know. But do you really have to leave this morning? Can't you leave tonight? Or maybe tomorrow? Or not at all?"

"You don't know how badly I wish that was the case," she tells him with a small smile. "But no. I have to leave this morning. My first show is on Friday in Manchester. It'll take about thirteen hours to get there, and then I have to check into my hotel. And I'll need a little bit of time to adjust to the jetlag, so I have to leave this morning. Plus we have a radio show to do before the tour actually starts." She grabs his chin, tilting his head up to look at her, "But I promise you that as soon as I land at the airport in Manchester, I will call you, okay?"

"Okay," he smiles, leaning up to kiss her.

"Good," she smiles back. "Now, we should probably get up and make sure Sara is getting up as well. My flight leaves at 8:20 and we're meeting everybody there."

"Alright, alright," he moves off of her. He leans over the edge of the bed and picks up his prosthetic, beginning to lock it into place.

Skye stands up from the bed, grabbing the outfit she picked out the night before. After she slips into her black sweatpants, she feels a pair of hands land on her waist. Smiling, she turns around to see Grant standing in front of her in just his boxers. "You know," she begins, "you're kind of going to have to let go of me so I can finish getting dressed."

"Who said I want to let go?" He leans down to capture her lips in a kiss.

Rolling her eyes at him, she pulls back out of the kiss and pulls his hands off of her. "Get dressed," she says, poking him once in the chest.

He holds his hands up in the air, "Fine. I'm getting dressed." He moves around her to the closet, pulling out a pair of blue jeans and a plain grey t-shirt. Skye turns back to the closet, slipping on a tank top, followed by one of Grant's sweatshirts. "Is that mine?" Grant asks her when he notices the sweatshirt she's wearing.

"Yep. You don't mind, right?"

He shakes his head and smiles back, "It looks good on you."

"Thanks," she smiles. Turning around, she moves out of the bedroom, down the hall and into the bathroom. Brushing out her hair, she pulls it up into a messy bun.

"Morning."

Skye looks down to see Sara standing in the doorway to the bathroom, still in her pajamas. "Morning," Skye smiles at her. "How did you sleep?"

Sara shrugs, "Okay, I guess. Do you really have to leave today?"

"Your dad asked me the same thing," Skye tells her. "And just like I told him, yes, I have to leave. But I also told him I'll call as soon as I land in Manchester. Sound good with you?"

"Yeah."

"Great. Now go get dressed, okay? Then come back down and we'll all eat something before we have to head out."

"Okay," Sara replies, turning around to head back to the stairs and up to her bedroom.

Finishing up in the bathroom, Skye heads into the kitchen to start on breakfast.

She's just barely started on the food when she feels something pushing against her calf. Looking down, she sees Buddy with his nose pressed against her calf. She smiles down at the dog, "Hi Buddy. You hungry?" The dog barks in response. She laughs, "I thought so. Just give me a few minutes and then I'll get you some food, alright boy?" Buddy barks again.

Smiling, Skye grabs the remote for the radio that's attached to the bottom of the cabinet next to the sink. Hitting the power button, she sets the remote down and turns to the breakfast in front of her. She continues cooking while singing and dancing along to the music flowing through the speakers.

Grant, Skye, and Sara make their way through the airport together, keeping their eyes open for the correct gate to go to. As they are walking, they are stopped every once in a while by a fan of Skye's asking for a picture or an autograph. Skye is more than happy to agree to pose for a quick photo with each of her fans. Grant is holding Skye's carryon bag on his shoulder, her other suitcases already having gone through the front checkout counter. He smiles as he watches her interact with all of her fans, remembering when, not too long ago, his own daughter was in that position of being completely star struck.

"I love your song Fly," one little girl says, looking up at Skye with a wide smile. "It's my new favorite."

Skye smiles back at her, "I'm glad you love it. It's one of my favorites, too."

Glancing down at his watch, Grant checks the time. Stepping closer to Skye, he gently places his hand on her lower back, leaning down to her ear. "We need to get going," he whispers to her.

She nods her head at him and then turns back to the small group of kids in front of her. "I'm so sorry you guys," she says to them, "I have to go and catch my plane now. But it was really nice to get to meet you guys. Have a safe ride home, okay? Bye." She waves at them as she walks away, grabbing Grant's hand in her own.

"Bye!" The three kids exclaim, waving back at her.

Grant, Skye, and Sara continue walking, making their way through the airport, towards the correct gate.

"Well it's about bloody time you showed up," Lance says exasperatedly when he sees Skye, Grant, and Sara approaching the security line. "I was beginning to think I'd end up having to do this tour on my own."

Skye rolls her eyes at him, "Stop being so overdramatic, Lance. You would not have had to do the tour on your own. We all know that no one would show up if they found out it was just you."

"You see," Lance says, "that's really mean. Bobbi," he calls out to his wife, "did you hear what she said to me?"

"Let me guess," Bobbi walks over to the small group, one hand resting on her slightly protruding belly, "she called your fame into question again?"

"Yes. I'd be fine if it was just once or twice, but it's literally all the time."

"Well she's wrong," Bobbi smiles at him. "You are very famous, and I'm sure quite a lot of people would show up to the venues."

"Thank you," he says.

"Of course they'd probably leave as soon as they figured out it was just you and not Skye."

Lance's eyes widen, "Seriously?"

Bobbi laughs, "Relax, honey." She places a kiss on his cheek.

"Easy for you to say," he grumbles.

"Not really," she says back, gesturing with her other hand to her stomach.

"Hi Bobbi," Sara smiles up at the woman.

"Hey Sara," Bobbi smiles back down at the girl. "Are you here to send Skye off to her tour?"

Sara nods her head, "Yep. But I have to go to school as soon as she goes through the gate."

"Well that's okay," Bobbi says. "Because before you know it, she'll be back here and then you guys can all hang out again. Plus, you have a wedding to finish planning."

"I know," Sara sighs. "I'm just really gonna miss her."

"I'm gonna miss you too, Sara," Skye smiles down at the little girl.

"Really?"

"Of course I am," Skye tells her. "As soon as I get back, we'll have a girl's day, just you and me. How does that sound?"

Sara grins, "Sounds awesome."

Skye laughs, "I'm glad." She looks over at Lance and Bobbi, "We should probably get going now, huh?"

"Yes we should," Bobbi nods her head. "Come on," she tugs on Lance's arm, pulling him towards the security line. Phil and Melinda are already beginning to make their way through it.

Skye turns to Grant and Sara. "I guess this is it," she tells them. "I'll see you guys in June."

After a beat, Sara rushes forward and hugs Skye, "I'm gonna miss you, Skye."

Skye smiles and hugs her back, "I'm gonna miss you too, sweetie."

"Promise you'll call whenever you can?"

"I promise I will," Skye tells her, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

After another moment of hugging, Sara pulls away from Skye and quickly wipes away the few tears that had fallen down her face. Skye smiles down at Sara and then turns to Grant. She gives him a soft smile, "You gonna miss me?" she asks him quietly.

"I don't know," he says, holding back a smile. "For all I know, I could meet a super hot model this time around and get with her instead."

Skye reaches forward and smacks his shoulder, narrowing her eyes. "Not funny," she tells him.

He lets out a small chuckle, "Sorry, sorry." He reaches out and grabs her hips, pulling her towards him. She responds, reaching up to wrap her arms around his neck. "Of course I'm going to miss you," he whispers to her, their lips only mere inches apart. "How could I not?"

She smiles bigger, "Good."

"You're going to miss me too, right?"

She closes the distance between them and softly connects their lips. When she pulls away she looks him in the eyes, "Does that answer your question?"

He smiles back at her, "Maybe."

She rolls her eyes, "Well tough. Cause that's all you're getting until I'm done with my tour."

He groans, "Fine." He grabs her left hand and presses a kiss to her engagement ring. "Have fun on your tour, okay?"

She smiles at him, "I will. Only if you two," she glances down at Sara as well, "have fun also. And I want picture proof. That way I know you really are having fun."

"Only if you send us pictures too," Sara tells Skye, "that way we know you're safe and having fun too."

"Absolutely," Skye smiles. "I'll send you guys a picture of me in every city I'm touring in."

"Cool," Sara smiles.

"Okay," Skye says. "Well, I better hurry up. I don't want to miss my plane."

"No you do not," someone speaks up from behind her.

Skye whips around to see Mike standing in front of her, a smile on his face, "Mike, hey," she smiles at him, "I didn't know you were coming on the plane."

He nods his head, "Of course I am. Can't exactly go on a plane to another country without your favorite bodyguard, now can you?"

Skye smiles at him, "No. I guess not. What about Ace? Where's he staying while you're in the UK?"

"With his Aunt."

"Okay. Well, just give me a minute to finish saying bye."

"Alright," he says back, "I'll be over there," he gestures to the security line.

Skye turns back to Grant and Sara and looks at them. She steps closer to Sara and wraps her in a hug. Sara hugs her back tightly, not wanting to let go. "Bye, Skye."

"Bye, Sara," Skye says back. She pulls away and turns back to Grant. She wraps her arms around him and buries her face in his chest. "I love you," she says into his shirt.

"I love you too," he says back, kissing the top of her head.

When she pulls away, she wipes the few tears from her eyes and breathes in deeply. "Okay," she breathes out, "time to go. Oh! Sara, don't forget about your book report. It's your last one for the year, and it's worth a lot of points."

Sara smiles, "I won't forget."

"Good," she looks back and forth between the two of them. She reaches forward and grabs her carryon off of Grant's shoulder. She steps back and looks at the two of them, "Alright. Time for me to go. I'll see you in June." She turns around and makes her way to where Mike is standing on the other side of the security line.

Grant and Sara stand where they are, watching as Skye makes her way through the doorway. Just before she rounds the corner, she turns around and waves at them with a small smile.

Chapter Text

*April 9, 2015*

"Good afternoon to all of my lovely listeners out there," the radio show host speaks up. "Welcome back to Afternoons With Alice, I'm Alice. I'm also very happy because we have two special guests in the studio with us today. I mentioned them yesterday but I never actually told you who they were. So here's a little bit about them, they came here all the way from the states, and they are two extremely talented singers; the ever so lovely Skye and the incredible Lance Hunter. Welcome to the studio guys."

"Thank you," Lance smiles, leaning towards the microphone in front of him.

"Yeah thanks," Skye replies into her microphone. "It's really great to be here."

"Well we're all glad you two can join us. Now Skye, you and Lance aren't just here to go sightseeing, you're here for a very specific purpose."

"We are," Skye smiles.

"And would you be so kind as to share that purpose with our listeners."

"I would love to," Skye grins. "Lance and I are here for our first ever European tour."

"That is fantastic," Alice smiles. "You both must be very excited."

"Very," Skye nods her head. "It's my first time here in the UK, but Lance is actually from here."

"That's right, I am," Lance smiles.

"Where exactly are you from?" Alice asks.

"It's a bit of a smaller town," Lance says. "Not a ton of people live there, but enough to make it feel like home. And we're actually playing a show out there, albeit a bit smaller than our other shows, but it'll still be fun. And I'll get to spend some time with my family which I haven't done in a while."

"Yes, that'll be nice. Speaking of family, word has it that you're going to be a father soon."

Lance grins and nods his head, "I am, yes. My wife, Bobbi, is carrying our first child. And I'm very excited. I can't wait to be a dad."

"Well I'm sure you'll be a great one."

"Thank you."

"And Skye,"

"Yes?"

"I hear you have something exciting happening for you as well."

Skye smiles, "I do, yeah. After the tour is over, and the planning is all done, I will be getting married back home in LA."

"That's amazing, congratulations."

"Thanks."

"And I hear you'll also be getting a step-daughter with this marriage."

Skye nods her head, "I will, yeah. Her name's Sara, she's eight, and she's the absolute sweetest."

"That's great. And there's, not necessarily a rumor, but a theory of sorts, that the single you released last September, was written for Sara. Is there any truth to that?"

Skye hesitates for a moment before nodding her head, "Yeah, there is. I wrote that song because of Sara. She's the one who inspired it, but I guess you can say it's also written for all the people in the world who need it."

"Well that's great," Alice smiles. "And will you be singing this song at any point during your tour?"

"As a matter of fact, I am. It is a part of the set list for every show. I haven't performed it live yet, so I'm really excited."

"Well I'm sure you'll do a fantastic job."

"Thanks," Skye smiles. "We're really excited for this tour and to meet all the fans who come out to the shows as well as the meet-n-greets we're doing."

"Well I'm sure it'll be a pretty big turnout."

"I'm really hoping so. A lot of the shows sold out pretty quickly, so I'm taking that as a good sign."

"As you should," Alice nods her head. "Now unfortunately we're all out of time with you, but is there anything else you'd like to say to the fans listening in?"

"Yeah," Skye smiles. She leans closer to the microphone, "I'm so excited to be here and I can't wait to play some awesome music for you guys. Also, if you're going to a show and you're one of the first fifty people to buy a shirt, you get a free meet-n-greet with me after the show. And the separate meet-n-greets are free and open to everyone, so if you don't get the chance to come to a show, come to one of those. It's gonna be fun. I can't wait to meet as many of you as I can."

"And I'm sure your fans can't wait either," Alice smiles. "Alright everyone, that's it for Skye and Lance but be sure to catch them while they're in town. I'll be back in a bit with my next guest. Until then, here is Skye's latest hit, Fly." Alice hits a button on the computer in front of her and the opening notes for Fly come through the speakers.

Alice removes her headphones and smiles at Lance and Skye. "That was a great show you guys," Alice tells them.

"I thought so too," Skye smiles, removing her headphones.

"Yeah, it was great," Lance agrees, setting his headphones down on the table. "You're a great host, Alice," Lance smiles at her. "A lot better than some of the other lowlifes who used to be on the radio when I was a kid. A whole lot better."

"Well thank you," Alice smiles. "I'm glad you think so. And really, it was so great having you both here. If we could just get a photo real quick for our page before you two leave, that would be great."

"Of course," Skye agrees. "Come on, Lance." They both stand up from their chairs and make their way towards Alice. Alice stands up from her chair as well, moving towards one of the walls with the name of the radio station covering it.

Skye and Lance move to stand on either side of her, each of them wrapping an arm around her.

The engineer for the show makes his way over and stands in front of them, holding up Alice's phone. "Alright, one, two, three," he taps the capture button. Then he pulls the phone down and looks at the photo. He smiles up at Alice, Skye, and Lance, "Perfect."

Alice smiles wide, looking at Lance and Skye, "Excellent. I'll post it right away. Thank you both again, so much, for coming to the show."

"No problem," Skye smiles. "We had fun. And will we see you at the show?"

"You just might," Alice replies.

"Awesome," Lance smiles. "We should probably get going now, but it was really great to meet you and be on the show."

"It was great meeting the both of you as well. Have a good rest of your day."

"We will," Skye smiles. "You have a great day too."

"Thank you," Alice smiles and waves at them as they make their way towards the exit for the radio station.


"That was a lot of fun," Skye says to Lance as they make their way away from the radio station.

"It really was," Lance agrees.

"But you know what will be even more fun?" Skye smiles. "Doing a spontaneous meet-n-greet. Right now."

"Right now?" Lance raises an eyebrow.

"Well, not this exact moment. But we'll tweet out a location for somewhere around here, and tell whoever wants to go to meet us there in about thirty or so minutes. Then we show up, spend some time with the fans, and then get going to get ready for sound check."

"I guess that could be fun," Lance thinks aloud.

"Of course it'll be fun," Skye says, already pulling out her cellphone. "Let's see, where would be the best place to meet up?"

"Downtown Manchester," Lance tells her without hesitating. "There's a small park there."

"Sounds great to me," Skye smiles. She looks down at her phone and goes to Twitter. 1 hour. Park in downtown Manchester. Be there. :)

"There," Skye says, hitting send on her tweet. "All sent. Now we go and see who shows up to meet us."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah," Skye nods her head. "It'll be fun."

"Alright then, let's go if we want to meet these fans."

Skye smiles, "Awesome. Come on." She grabs his wrist and then tugs him towards the parking lot for the car.


"Do you think anyone will actually show up?" Lance asks as he and Skye sit on a park bench waiting.

"Of course," Skye smiles. "It's me. Not to be one of those singers, but people always want to meet me. And if they can do it for free, that's even better."

"But isn't it the middle of the afternoon? Won't most of your fan base be at home doing their homework and chores?"

Skye shrugs, "I guess we'll have to see who shows up then."

"Yes I guess we will," he gives a small smile before turning to look back in front of him.

"Hey," Skye speaks up after a minute, sitting forward, "do you think that's them over there?"

Lance sits forward as well, "Let me see. A group of about five pre-teens who are talking in hushed tones while looking all around them for someone. Yeah, I think that's them."

Skye grins, "Then let's go meet some fans." She stands up from the bench and then makes her way over to where her fans are. "Hi there," she speaks up as she gets closer.

The group of girls turns to face Skye and each one of them breaks into a happy and excited smile.

After a split second, all of the girls let out an ear curdling scream, making Skye cringe slightly with a smile on her face.

"I take it you all are fans," Skye laughs quietly as she approaches the girls.

"We absolutely love your music," one girl speaks up, stepping to the front of the group.

"Well I'm glad you do," Skye replies.

"We heard you on the radio," another girl speaks up. "We can't wait for your show tomorrow."

"Are you all coming out?"

"Yeah," the first girl speaks up. "We all bought our tickets together. Well actually, my dad bought them for us. My mum's taking us to the show because my dad has to work. We're so excited."

"That's so awesome," Skye smiles. "Where are you guys sitting?"

"Up in the balcony. I wish we were closer, but at least we'll be at the show."

"Yes, exactly," Skye nods her head. "Now what are all of your names?"

"I'm Annie," the first girl speaks up.

"Haylie," the second girl speaks up.

"My name's Angela," the third girl says.

"I'm called Marcie," the fourth girl tells her.

"And I'm Vanessa," the last girl announces. "We're all huge fans."

"And that makes me very happy," Skye grins. "So, should we all take a picture?"

"Yes please," Annie replies with a smile. "We can use my camera," she reaches into her pocket and pulls out her digital camera, turning it on.

"Alright, everyone gather in," Skye tells the girls, stopping down ever so slightly. She wraps one arm around Vanessa's shoulders, the other around Marcie's.

"On three," Annie says. "One, two, three," she smiles as she presses the shutter button, capturing the photo.

After the picture is taken, Annie pulls the camera down to look at the picture. "Oh," she frowns, "it's off center."

"Perhaps I could help you," Lance speaks up, walking towards the group.

"You're Lance Hunter!" Marcie exclaims, a wide smile on her face.

Lance nods his head once, "Yeah, that's me."

"We love your music too," Marcie tells him.

"Thank you," he smiles. "Would you like me to take the picture for you? That way it's all centered and everything."

"Please," Annie smiles, handing the camera over to him.

"Alright you lot," Lance says, taking the camera and holding it up, "get together." He waits as they all scoot closer. "And one, two, three," he presses down on the shutter button, taking the photo. When he pulls it down, he smiles at it, "It turned out great." He looks at Annie, "Here's your camera back."

"Thanks," Annie smiles. "Could we actually get a picture with you as well?"

"Of course you can," Lance smiles. "Skye," he looks up at his friend, "would you take the picture please?"

"Sure," Skye smiles. She takes the camera from Annie and then moves over to where Lance had been standing. She holds the camera up and waits for Lance and the girls to get into position. Lance is standing much like Skye had been; one arm draped over Marcie's shoulder, the other draped over Haylie's. "Alright," Skye smiles as she looks through LCD display, "smile big. One, two, three," she pushes down on the shutter button. She pulls the camera down and looks at the photo. She smiles, "I love it. Very cute." She hands the camera back over to Annie, "Here you go."

"Thank you," Annie smiles. "This is just so surreal," she says.

"What is?" Skye asks.

"Meeting you and Lance," Annie tells her. "I honestly never thought this day would happen."

"Well now it has," Skye smiles.

"Can I ask you a question?"

"Of course," Skye nods her head.

"Are you really getting married?"

Skye laughs quietly and nods her head, "I am. His name is Grant and he's super sweet."

"Wow," Marcie smiles. "Congratulations."

"Thanks," Skye smiles. "Do you want to see a picture of him?"

All the girls nod their head. "Yes please," Vanessa speaks up.

Skye pulls her phone out and unlocks it, going to her photos. She doesn't have to scroll very far before finding a good picture of Grant to show the girls. She taps on the photo and then turns her phone so the girls can see. "That's Grant and his daughter Sara. She's gonna be my step-daughter."

"So cool," Angela smiles. "Where was this taken?"

"At a bowling alley," Skye tells them. "It was for Grant's birthday and we went out bowling and then to dinner. That was a pretty fun night."

"I love bowling," Haylie smiles. "It's so much fun."

"It really is."

"Can we ask you a few more questions?" Haylie asks.

"Absolutely," Skye smiles.


*April 10, 2015*

Skye smiles out at the crowd as they cheer for her after she finished singing one of her songs. She holds the microphone up and waits for the cheering to die down just a bit.

"What a great start to my tour," she says. "Manchester, you guys are incredible. I really wish I could meet each and every one of you, and I'm sure I will eventually. I actually had the chance yesterday to meet a group of girls who are absolutely amazing. I had tweeted out a location during the afternoon after my radio show to see if anyone would show up. And five girls did." She smiles, looking out into the crowd, "They are super sweet and so nice and amazing. So Annie, Haylie, Angela, Marcie, and Vanessa, thank you so much for coming out to my spontaneous meet-n-greet yesterday. I'm so glad I met you all and I hope you're having fun.

Now for my next song, I'm going to need a very special out here to sing it with me, because it is a duet." The crowd cheers. "I'm sure you all know who he is. So Manchester, please welcome to the stage, Lance Hunter!" The crowd screams loud as Lance walks out onto the stage to meet Skye, the music for the next song already starting.

They both listen carefully for the correct beats and then begin the song.


The crowd screams loud as Skye finishes her final song. She smiles at the amount of love she's getting. She holds the microphone up and then opens her mouth to speak.

"Manchester, thank you so much for having me out here tonight. It's been a blast. Before I go, let's get Lance out here one more time." She turns and looks to the wings of the stage, smiling when she sees Lance walk out, waving to the crowd as he does.

"Thanks for having me here," he says into his microphone. "It's been amazing."

"It really has," Skye replies. "Unfortunately we have to go now, but it really has been great. Thank you so much, Manchester! You guys are incredible!"

The crowd cheers once more as the lights on the stage dim and then go out, allowing Lance and Skye to exit the stage.

"Wow," Skye breathes out when they reach the backstage, handing her microphone over to a stage hand. "That crowd really was incredible."

"They really were," Lance nods his head. "I don't know what it is about fans in other countries, but they're always way more into it than fans in the states."

"You're right," Skye nods her head. "Well, I get to go and meet the lucky fifty fans now, so I'll see you later back at the hotel?"

Lance nods his head, "Yeah, see ya."

"Bye," Skye smiles and watches him walk away.

Then she takes a few moments to gather herself together before she turns and makes her way to the area for the meet-n-greet.

Chapter Text

*April 18, 2015 (England)*

"Hey Skye," Lance speaks up as he enters through Skye's open hotel room door, making sure to knock on the doorframe first.

"Hey," Skye smiles up at him from her place on the bed.

"So, I'm heading out to one of the local clubs here in a bit. Bobbi's not coming for obvious reasons, so I was wondering if you wanted to join me."

"Sounds very tempting," Skye smiles. "I think I might just take you up on that offer."

"Excellent," Lance smiles. "Um, we'll be leaving at about 7:30, cause it takes a little while to get out there. And be sure to wear something appropriate for the club scene."

Skye waves him off, "Please, you don't need to educate me on proper club attire. I've been to my fair share of clubs and know how to dress."

"Alright, alright. Just be ready to go on time, yeah?"

"I'll be standing by the door waiting for you to come get me."

"No need to be that ready," Lance states. "Just um, just be dressed and whatnot."

Skye laughs quietly, "I know, Lance."

"Okay, cool. I'll see you tonight then."

"Yep. See ya then."

Lance gives her a small smile before turning from the room and shutting the door behind him.


"This is, by far, one of the best clubs I've ever been to," Skye remarks as she steps back to the bar, hopping up onto a stool next to Lance.

"You really think so?" he asks her.

She nods her head and takes a sip from her beer. She swallows, "Definitely. I mean, I know LA has some pretty nice clubs, especially Billy's club, but this one is really awesome."

"It is pretty awesome," Lance smiles. "I've never actually been here before, so it's a first for the both of us."

"You've never been here?" Skye furrows her brows. "Didn't you grow up in England though?"

"I did, yeah. But I was never old enough to come to this club. And by the time I was, I was already in LA trying to pursue my career. Plus, I've never been much of a club person, even in LA. Bars are more my speed, but I figured I'd give this one a go."

"Well look at you," Skye smiles teasingly, "branching out from your comfort zone. I'm so proud of you."

Lance rolls his eyes, "Yeah, yeah."

"No way! You're Skye, aren't you?!"

Turning her head to the side, Skye sees a young woman standing next to her, a smile of disbelief on her face.

"That's me," Skye smiles at her. "Are you a fan?"

"Huge," the girl nods her head. "I wanted to go to one of your shows, but they all sold out before I could get a ticket."

"I'm sorry about that," Skye says.

"It's alright," the girl replies. "My friend and I are planning to go to one of your meet-n-greets."

"That's awesome," Skye smiles. "I can't wait to see you both there."

"Thanks," the girl smiles. "I'm Lizzie, by the way."

"Nice to meet you, Lizzie."

"You too," Lizzie grins. "Um, can I get a quick picture please?"

"Of course," Skye smiles.

"Great," Lizzie smiles. She reaches into her back pocket and pulls out her phone. She turns to face Lance, "Could you take our picture please?"

"Sure," Lance agrees, taking the phone from the young girl. He holds it up and waits for Lizzie and Skye to be ready. "Alright," he says, "one…two…three." He presses the capture button on the screen and then pulls the phone down. He smiles and hands it back over to Lizzie, "There you go."

"Thanks so much," she smiles at him. She looks at Skye, "Thanks for the photo. Have a nice night."

"Thanks, you too."

"I will," Lizzie smiles before turning and walking away further into the club.

"See, how come you always get recognized and I don't?" Lance questions once Skye turns back around. "I mean, I'm from England. You're not."

Skye shrugs, "Maybe I'm just cooler than you."

"You're so hurtful," Lance says playfully.

"But you know you love it," Skye smiles. "Otherwise you wouldn't still be my friend."

Lance sighs, "Whatever."

Skye laughs quietly. "Well, I'm going to go back out on the dance floor. Care to join me?"

He shakes his head, "No. I'm not much of a dancer. Just ask Bobbi. I nearly made the both of us fall at our wedding. Tragic really. Thank goodness she's tall enough and was able to stop it from happening. Could have been fatal."

Skye snorts, "Okay, weirdo." She hops off of her barstool, "You sit here and be weird and unrecognized. I'll be out on the dance floor having the time of my life."

"Just be careful out there," Lance says to her. "A lot of creeps lurk around on club dance floors."

"I thought you said you wouldn't be out here," Skye calls back with a playful grin.

Lance shakes and laughs his head, turning back to the bar and taking a swig from his beer.


*April 19, 2015 (LA)*

Hearing his phone ringing beside him on the couch, Grant pauses the video he'd been watching and picks up his phone. He glances at the caller ID and then hits the answer call button; holding it up to his ear.

Before he can even open his mouth, he hears Fitz's voice come through the speaker, "Hey man."

"Hey Fitz," Grant replies. "What's up?"

"Um, so, Jemma showed me something a bit ago and she wasn't exactly sure what to do about it."

"What did she show you?"

"First, before you see it, do you ever read any of the gossip sites or articles about Skye and her career?"

"No, not really. I don't see the point in it."

"Oh, okay. Then you haven't seen it yet."

"Seen what?" Grant asks, slightly panicked. "Fitz, what's going on? What don't I know?"

"First, you have to promise me you won't freak out when you see it. It's late which means that Sara's most likely in bed. So you can't freak out."

He sighs, "Fine, I promise I won't freak out. Now what is it?"

"I'm going to e-mail you the link. Hang on."

"Okay, I'm waiting for it."

"Okay, um, I just sent it to you."

"Alright, one second," he rests the phone between his ear and his shoulder, logging into his e-mail. Once he does, he opens the latest e-mail from Fitz, finding a short message and a link to a website.

Please don't freak out.

Clicking on the link, Grant waits for the page to open. Once it loads, the website is revealed to be a gossip website.

The bolded heading at the top of the article catches his attention.

TROUBLE IN PARADISE?

New developments have very recently arisen that suggest well-known singer Skye is not as happy with her latest relationship as she makes it seem over all her social media outlets. Photos were posted online earlier today, [see below for photos] showing Skye locking lips with her old flame, Miles Lydon, at a nightclub. Lydon and the singer were in a relationship for quite a number of years before he was discovered to be cheating on her with one of the employees at SHIELD Studios. Shortly thereafter, Skye ended her relationship with Lydon, stating she "didn't want to be in a relationship with someone who would say he loved me one minute, and then turn around and sleep with someone else". But has Skye become a hypocrite on her own word? Is she giving in to the feelings she once had for the up and comer? And how does her family feel about this? Especially her fiancé?"

Staring at the article on the computer screen in front of him, Grant's face grows into a hard scowl. He scrolls down to the bottom of the page and regrettably looks at the photo. His scowl deepens.

"Grant?" Fitz's voice comes on over the speaker of the phone. "Are you there?"

"I have to go."

"Grant, hang on. Just—"

"I said I have to go," Grant says through gritted teeth, hanging up the call.

Looking down at his phone, Grant takes a few moments to debate his next move. Slamming the lid to his laptop shut, he moves it to the coffee table and turns his attention back to his phone.

He goes into his contacts, selecting the favorites section and hovers his thumb over the first number listed; Skye's number. He pauses for a moment and then holds the phone up to his ear, waiting for Skye to answer.

"Hey," he hears Skye's half-asleep voice in his ear after a few rings. "I know it's pretty late there and I wasn't planning on waking up for about another two hours. So your reason for calling better be really good."

"Are you cheating on me?" he asks without hesitating.

"What?" Skye asks, sounding more awake. "Wh-why would you think I'm cheating on you?"

"So you're telling me you didn't kiss a guy in the middle of a club in London?"

He hears Skye sigh, "You saw the article."

"Yeah, I saw the article. Jemma showed Fitz and Fitz sent it to me."

"Damn it! I was really, really hoping you wouldn't find that. I was going to tell you myself when I found the time. I'm going to kill Fitz for showing it to you."

"Why?" Grant asks. "Because you didn't want me to know you cheated on me with someone you used to be involved with?"

"Until I broke up with him because he cheated on me," Skye reminds him. "And I just said I was going to tell you myself what happened."

"But it still happened," he bites out.

"And I'm going to explain to you why it happened. But do you honestly think I'd turn around and do the exact same thing to you that Miles did to me? While we're engaged."

"I don't know," Grant says. "Why don't you tell me? The pictures that were posted are pretty clear."

"Pictures can be doctored," she tells him. "And they never have the full story, either. If you'll let me explain I ca—"

"No. I don't need the full details on how you were kissing another man."

"Grant, if you'll just—"

"No. I just, I need some time to think."

"Are we—are you breaking up with me?"

"I don't know," Grant sighs. "I just need to think."

"O—okay."

"I'll uh, I'll call you." He hangs up his phone, tossing it onto the cushion next to him. Leaning back into the couch, he lets out a deep sigh, running his hands down his face.


*April 20, 2015 (England)*

After Grant said he needed time to think and then hung up from their phone call, Skye just remained on the bed in her hotel room, sitting against the headboard and staring into nothingness. Her phone still up by her ear, she can't move. It feels like she can barely even breathe.

Once she regains her ability to actually function, Skye pulls her phone down away from her ear. She quickly goes to her contacts, taps on the Favorites button and finds Jemma's number. She hits the call button and brings the phone back up to her ear. "Please pick up, please pick up," she whispers to herself with shaky breath.

She sits cross legged on her bed, bouncing her leg nervously as the phone continues to ring.

"Hello?" she hears Jemma's voice come through the phone a second later.

Skye opens her mouth to speak, but no words come out. Instead, she lets out a strangled cry as she covers her mouth, the tears beginning to flow from her eyes.

"Skye? What's wrong?"

"Jem," Skye manages to get out through her tears. "I really, really wish you were here right now. I need you."

"What's going on?" Jemma asks.

"I t-think Grant might b-break up with me," Skye cries.

"Oh my," Jemma says. "Give me one second." Skye hears some shuffling on the other end of the phone and then a faint, "Leo, I'll be out in the living room. Skye's on the phone. Just go back to sleep." Some more shuffling is heard before Jemma speaks clearly into the phone again, "Skye? Are you still there?"

"Yeah," Skye nods her head even though Jemma can't see, "I'm still here."

"Okay. Now, what did you mean when you said Grant might break up with you?"

"He—he said he saw the pho-photograph of Miles k-kissing me. A-and he—he got really mad. He accused me of ch-cheating on him. I t-tried to t-tell him what actually h-happened, but he w-wouldn't listen to me. I told him I was going to t-tell him what happened but he wasn't l-listening to me. Jemma, I don't know what t-to do!" Skye cries into the phone, buckets of tears running down her face.

"Oh, sweetheart," Jemma says. "I'm so sorry. What exactly did he say?"

Skye takes a few deep breathes to try and calm herself, "He said he needs time to think. But I'm re-really scared, Jem. We've never f-fought before. Except for that time when we got in the accident and I almost l-lost him because of it."

"You know that accident had nothing to do with you two arguing," Jemma tells her best friend. "It was caused because Grant's ex couldn't handle the truth about what was going on."

"Yeah, I know. But still, I'm really w-worried," she bites her bottom lip between her teeth, trying to stifle the new onslaught of tears forcing their way to the surface. "I don't want to lose him, Jem. I c-can't lose him. We're supposed to get married and—and the three of us are going to be a family. I'm f-finally at a p-place in my life where I love w-waking up in the morning because he's right there be-beside me. And I love being there for Sara whenever she n-needs me. It makes me so ha-happy. I can't have that taken away from me, J-Jem. I just can't." Skye sobs into her hand as she waits for Jemma to say something.

"Skye."

"Yeah?" Skye sniffles.

"I think this might be a conversation you need to have with Grant."

"You don't think I know that?!" Skye exclaims. "I tried to talk to him but he wouldn't listen to me. I don't know what to do."

"Maybe you should try and call him."

Skye shakes her head, "No. I uh, I don't think he'll pick up. He sounded really upset."

"Well then maybe you should wait for him to call you."

"But I don't want to wait, Jem. I need him to call me so we can talk. I love him. I can't lose him."

"I know," Jemma says quietly. "I really wish we were together for this," she tells Skye.

"Me too," Skye replies. "Because then we could eat buckets of ice cream and watch cheesy rom-coms on Netflix while we cry. And when I say 'we', I mean 'me'."

"Yes, I figured as much," Jemma laughs. "But since we're not together, we'll have to just talk like this."

"Yes we will," Skye nods her head.

"So, how is your tour going?" Jemma asks to try and take Skye's mind off of her problems.

Skye smiles, "It's going great. Nicky was right about Lance coming on tour with me. And the crowds are incredible. We've just barely started and I've already met some of the best fans ever."

"That's really great, Skye."


*April 19, 2015 (LA)*

"Is everything alright?" Fitz asks Jemma when she walks back into the room.

"I thought I told you to go back to sleep," Jemma says to him as she climbs back into the bed, setting her phone on the nightstand.

Fitz shrugs, "Tried to. But I couldn't."

"Oh, okay."

"So is everything alright? It kind of sounded like Skye was upset about something."

Jemma sighs, "I guess Grant called her about the photo and article. He accused her of cheating on him and wouldn't listen to anything she tried to say."

"Poor Skye," Fitz frowns. "Maybe I shouldn't have sent him the article this late at night. He wasn't thinking properly."

"I don't think the time of day would have mattered, Leo. He'd be upset no matter what."

"Yeah, I know. But still, maybe I shouldn't have sent it to him at all. It's not like it was my place to show him."

"He's your best friend," Jemma says. "You were just looking out for him. And I'm sure he would have found out sooner or later."

"Probably. But Skye's the one who should have told him."

"She said she was going to tell him. You just told him before she could. She's probably going to hurt you for that, you know?"

Fitz sighs, "Yeah, I figured as much. I feel really bad for her though, I don't think I like her being so upset."

"Neither do I," Jemma tells him. "She's like a sister to me. It hurts me that she's hurting this bad and I can't be there for her."

"I'm sorry. Is there anything I can do?"

"Honestly? I have no idea. Skye's pretty upset; she thinks Grant might leave her. That can't happen, Fitz. Skye's in such a good place with this relationship. If Grant leaves her it'll absolutely crush her."

"I don't think that'll happen, Jem," Fitz assures his girlfriend.

"And what makes you so sure?"

"Because Grant is head over heels in love with Skye. Everybody knows it. Once he remembers that he's in a relationship with such a fantastic woman, he'll stop and listen to whatever it is Skye has to say. And I'll make sure he does."

"You'd really do that?" Jemma smiles.

Fitz nods his head, "Of course I will. Grant's the closest thing I have to family out here. And Skye has become a great friend. I'd hate to see the two of them break up. And I also know it would take a great toll on Sara. I'd hate for my little monkey to be so upset over losing someone she's come to love so much."

Jemma smiles sweetly at her boyfriend, "I love you."

He smiles back, "I love you too." He leans forward and presses a kiss to her lips. "Now let's get some rest. I've got a big day at work tomorrow, and I have a feeling Grant is going to need me to vent to at some point."

Jemma smiles at her boyfriend and then buries herself deeper underneath of the covers, lying down on her pillow. She turns onto her side and then scoots backwards so she's lying right up against Fitz.

Fitz scoots himself forward as well, wrapping one arm around Jemma's waist to hold her close.

Jemma lets out a content sigh at the feeling of being wrapped in boyfriend's embrace and then closes her eyes, letting her body relax and fall into a deep sleep.

Chapter Text

"You ready for school Sara?" Grant asks his daughter as he makes his way into the kitchen for some coffee.

"Yeah," Sara says unenthusiastically from her seat at the dining room table, her empty cereal bowl sitting in front of her.

"Okay, then why are you just sitting there?"

Sara shrugs, "I don't know."

"Well put your dishes in the sink and then go brush your teeth, please. We need to get going soon."

Sara sighs, "Okay." She stands up from the table and carries her bowl and spoon over to the sink, dumping them both inside.

"Hey," Grant stops his daughter before she leaves the kitchen. "Are you okay, bear? Is something wrong?"

"I'm okay," she tells him.

"Are you sure? Because you know you can talk to me about anything that's bothering you."

"I'm fine," she says again, a bit more harshly than before. "Can I go brush my teeth now?"

Grant furrows his brows but nods his head, "Yeah. Go on."

Without a word, Sara turns and makes her way to the stairs, holding back the tears she can feel building in her eyes.


"Alright, here we are," Grant announces as he pulls the car up to the front of the school. He looks back at Sara through the rear view mirror, "Do you have everything you need?"

Sara nods her head, "Mm-hmm."

"Okay. I've got a pretty busy day at work today, but I'll try to be here to get you when you get out. But if I can't, I'll send Jemma to pick you up, okay?"

"Okay," Sara says.

Grant furrows his brows, "Are you really sure you're okay, bear?"

"I told you I'm fine, dad. I'm gonna be late," she leans forward to give him a quick half-kiss on the cheek before opening her door and jumping out of the car. She slams the car door closed behind her and takes off for the front doors of the school.


Making her way through the door to the classroom, long before the bell rings, Sara moves towards her desk and sits down in it. She hangs her backpack on the back of her chair and folds her arms, resting them on the top of her desk; she sets her chin in her arms.

"Good morning, Sara," Ms. Nolten speaks up when she sees Sara already sitting at her desk.

"Hi," Sara says back, not lifting her head.

Ms. Nolten steps over to the desk, concern on her face. She stoops down so she's eye level with Sara, "Are you okay, sweetie? You don't seem like your usually happy self that you've been all year."

"I'm just tired," Sara lies.

"Okay," Ms. Nolten nods her head and stands up straight. "If you need anything just come and talk to me, alright."

Sara doesn't say anything, simply nods her head.

Ms. Nolten moves back over to her desk as the bell rings, the other students beginning to filter into the classroom.

"Sara Sara Sara!" Josie exclaims as she rushes into the classroom and up to their desks.

"Hi Josie," Sara smiles unenthusiastically at her from her seat.

Josie sits down in her chair, "Hey, did you see the article that was written about Skye?"

Sara sighs, "Yeah."

"And do you know what actually happened?" Josie asks. "Did Skye really kiss her ex boyfriend? Did she think someone wouldn't notice? I mean, I know she's engaged to your dad now, but she had to have known what was going on, right? She had to have—"

"I don't know!" Sara shouts at Josie, turning quickly to face her, tears brimming her eyes. She lowers her voice to just a whisper, "All I know is my dad and Skye are fighting and I don't like it."

"Oh," Josie shrinks back slightly in her seat. "Okay."

Sara turns back around fully in her chair, resuming her position with her head on her arms on her desk.


"Alright class," Ms. Nolten speaks up when the class settles down after the bell rings to start class. "If you'll all get out your journals, we're going to do a bit of writing to start off our morning." She waits as the students all pull their journals out of their desks. "Now, today we're going to be writing about one of the saddest things that's happened to us. I know it's not fun to think about sad things, but sometimes it helps to write about a sad time in your life and how it made you feel. It could be when you lost your favorite toy, when you got into a fight with your best friend, when someone you know died. It could be anything you want to write about. And remember, I'm the only who's going to be reading these, so you don't have to worry. Just write about a time when you were the saddest, then when you're done, bring it up to me and get your books out for silent reading." Ms. Nolten finishes speaking and then turns back to her desk.

Sara sits silently for a moment, pencil in her hand, eyes staring down at the blank paper in front of her. She's internally debating what to write about. How she felt when her dad and Skye were in the accident, or how she feels right now.

Making her decision, Sara brings the tip of her pencil to the paper, and starts writing.


"Here's my journal," Sara says to Ms. Nolten as she hands her notebook to her.

"Thank you, Sara," Ms. Nolten smiles, accepting the notebook from her. Sara turns and makes her way back to her desk.

Ms. Nolten turns her attention to the pile of notebooks in front of her, finishing up reading the current one lying open.

When she finishes, she picks up Sara's notebook and opens it to the most recent entry.

I don't get sad a lot. My dad tells me I've always been happy, ever since I was a baby. But I've been sad a couple of times. The first time I remember being really sad was when my dad and Skye got into their car accident in November. I was really sad because I didn't know if my daddy was going to wake up or not. But he did, and so then I got happy again.

I'm also really sad right now. Skye is away on tour right now and I miss her. A lot. But I'm also really sad because I think my dad and Skye are fighting. I think it's because of a picture someone put up of Skye kissing her ex-boyfriend. My dad doesn't know I saw the article the other day. I don't know what happened, but it makes me really sad that they're fighting. My dad doesn't know, but I heard him on the phone with Skye after he saw the picture. He seemed really mad and I got scared. He yelled at her. I've never heard him yell before. But today he was just acting like nothing happened. I don't get it. Why isn't he sad still? Isn't he sad? Why isn't he acting sad?

I really hope dad and Skye don't break up, I'll be really, really sad if they do. They're supposed to get married and Skye is supposed to become my mom. I really want her to become my mom. I've never had a mom before. I hope they don't break up. I don't want them too.

Reaching up with one hand, Ms. Nolten wipes away a single tear that had fallen down her face.

Closing the notebook, she looks up to her class, her eyes landing on Sara. She's sitting with her head on her arms, a book lying open in front of her.

Standing up from her chair, she moves over to Sara's desk, squatting down beside her. "Sara," she whispers, "can I talk to you in the hall for a minute?"

"Okay," Sara replies, closing her book and standing from her desk. She moves to the classroom door and steps outside, waiting for Ms. Nolten.

"Keep working in your journals," Ms. Nolten tells the rest of the class when she stands up. "When you finish, just put them on my desk and get out your silent reading books." She walks over to the classroom door and steps out, shutting the door closed behind her.

She steps over to Sara, seeing her leaning back against the hallway wall, looking down at the carpet.

Ms. Nolten moves over so she's standing next to Sara, leaning back against the wall, and then opens her mouth to speak, "I read your journal entry."

"I know," Sara says quietly.

"Sara, are you okay? With what's going on between your dad and Skye? Because from what I read, you don't seem to be taking it too well."

"Something bad is gonna happen," Sara mutters.

"What do you say that?" Ms. Nolten furrows her brows.

"Because," Sara starts, tears building in her eyes, "the last time dad and Skye had a fight, my dad almost died. And now they're fighting again and I don't want anything bad to happen."

"Oh Sara," Ms. Nolten sighs, moving so she's standing in front of Sara, and then kneels down. She dips her head a bit so she can look at Sara's face, "I know you're sad and scared, sweetie, and that's okay."

"I don't want them to break up," Sara says, lifting her head to look at her teacher.

"Why not?"

"Because, my dad is always really happy with Skye. And she's really nice and she loves us a lot. They aren't married yet, but dad said she's already a part of our family, that she's the missing piece to our puzzle. She's supposed to marry my dad and be my mom now, but if she and my dad break up then she won't be my mom and I want her to be my mom. She'll be the best mom ever, better than the lady who was supposed to be my mom. Because she tried to kill dad and Skye. But Skye is way better than her and I want her to be my mom. I don't want her to leave us. Ever." Sara has tears rolling down her cheeks now, her breath slightly ragged.

Ms. Nolten has tears shining in her own eyes at hearing the little girls' confession.

"Oh sweetie, come here," she holds her arms open to the young girl, allowing her to step into her embrace. Sara wraps her arms tightly around Ms. Nolten's neck, burying her face in her neck and crying hard. Ms. Nolten just wraps her arms around Sara and rubs one hand up and down her back soothingly.

After a few moments of crying, Sara pulls out of the hug and uses her hands to wipe the remnants of tears from her cheeks.

"Do you feel better now?" she asks her student.

Sara nods her head, "Yeah, I think so."

Ms. Nolten smiles, "Sometimes it just helps to let it out."

"Thanks, Ms. Nolten," Sara says.

"Anytime, Sara. Now, do you think you're ready to go back into class? Or do you want to stay out her for another minute?"

"I think I'll go back inside now," Sara tells her.

"Alright," Ms. Nolten gives her a smile and then stands up. She moves to the classroom door and pulls it open, finding her class still sitting in their desks reading. She steps to the side and allows Sara to enter the room first, then walks inside and back to the front of the classroom.

"Are you okay?" Josie asks when Sara sits back down in her chair.

Sara nods her head, "Yeah, I'm okay."

"Okay."

"Josie?"

"Yeah?"

Sara looks down for a moment before looking back at Josie, "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For getting mad at you."

"It's okay," Josie gives her a smile.

"Okay," Sara smiles back. "Are we still friends?" she asks hesitantly.

Josie smiles wide and nods her head, "Best friends."

Chapter Text

*April 22, 2015 (England)*

"Skye, let's go, get a move on," Lance calls through her hotel room door.

"Go away," Skye mumbles into her pillow.

Lance sighs as he pushes open the door and walks into the room. "That's enough, alright? In a few hours that stadium is going to have thousands of fans waiting for you to get on stage and sing for them. So you need to get up and come to sound check."

Skye rolls over onto her back, "Why should I? We all know I can sing well enough."

"It's not a matter of knowing if you can sing or not, it's a matter of making sure all the equipment at the stadium is working fine. You know that. Now come on."

Skye shakes her head and then rolls over onto her side, pulling one of the pillows towards her and hugging it tightly.

Lance sighs again and moves towards the bed, sitting down on the edge. "This is about Grant, isn't it?"

"How'd you know?" she asks, not looking at him.

"Because I know you, Skye. I may not have known you since you were a kid like Jemma, but I've known you long enough. Plus, I know about the photo that was posted, which I'm sure someone showed to Grant, because pretty much everyone back home knows you two are an item."

"It was Fitz," Skye tells her friend.

"What?"

"Fitz showed him the picture," Skye explains, rolling onto her back to look up at Lance, tears shining in her eyes. "And then Grant called me and accused me of cheating on him with Miles. He sounded so angry, Lance," she whispers through her tears. "And I don't know if he still wants to be with me after this."

"Oh, Skye," Lance says sadly. "I am so sorry. Come here," he holds his arms open to her.

Skye immediately sits up in the bed and launches herself into Lance's arms, wrapping her arms around him and burying her face in his neck as she cries.

Lance wraps his arms around her and runs a hand up and down her back, not saying a thing, just letting her cry.

"Just let it out," he tells her. "Get all your crying out."

After a few minutes, Skye pulls away and wipes at her eyes with the palms of her hands.

"Feel better?" he asks her.

She nods her head, "Yeah, thanks."

"No problem," he smiles. "I know you probably would have rather had Jemma here, but I'm glad I could help."

Skye smiles back, "You did, thanks. And you're right, I would rather have had Jemma here, but only because we've always been there for one another when we're really hurting. But you know, you make a pretty good substitute Jemma. I mean, you're both British."

"Is that seriously all I'm known for?" Lance asks incredulously. "I happen to have a personality too, you now."

Skye smiles, "Yeah, I know." She moves across the bed and grabs her phone off of the nightstand, unlocking it and going to Instagram. She moves back over to Lance and sits beside him. She hits the new photo button and holds the camera in front of the both of them.

"Um, what are you doing?"

"I'm taking a picture of us, deal with it. Now smile."

Lance sighs for the third time in less than half an hour. He turns his attention towards the phone and smiles into the camera.

Skye taps the capture button and then brings the phone down in front of her.

"Cute," Skye smiles at the photo and then taps the Next button. In the photo she and Lance's faces are right next to each other, wide smiles on both of their faces.

Tapping inside the caption box she types, He's a pretty good substitute Jemma for when I need my best friend more than ever. Just wish we had time for Netflix and ice cream.

Tapping on the Tag Photo button, she tags Lance on his face and then Jemma in the corner. Then she shares the photo.

She sighs as she drops her phone onto the mattress and falls backwards, covering her eyes with her arms.

"I really don't want to go to tonight's concert," she says eventually. "Not with what's happening. It's all I can think about."

"Haven't you said before that when you're on stage, everything else just seems to fade away?" Skye nods her head. "Then what makes you think that won't happen here?"

"Because it's Grant," she says blatantly. "I'm in love with him and he's pretty much all I ever think about. And right now, I just wish I could stop thinking about him. I don't know if I'll be able to focus on anything else tonight."

"Well will you at least try? For your fans?"

She sighs, "Yeah, I guess so."

Lance smiles, "Excellent. I'll be downstairs with Mike and Ben, waiting to head out to the arena."

Skye nods her head, "Okay, I'll be down soon."

Lance smiles once more and then stands from the bed, moving towards the hotel room door.

When he leaves, Skye lets out a sigh before rolling out of her bed. She takes a quick look at herself in the mirror and frowns at how puffy and red-eyed she looks from crying so much.


"How are you doing tonight everyone?" Lance asks as he makes his way onto the stage a few minutes before the show is actually supposed to start.

Everyone screams loud.

"That's good," he smiles. "Now, I've got a very special request for you lot. She may hurt me for saying this, but Skye didn't really want to come out here tonight and perform because she's in the middle of a personal crisis, and she didn't think she'd be able to focus on all of you. So I figured we'd do something special for her. Do you want to help me?"

The crowd screams again.

Lance smiles, "Great, so in a few moments, Skye is going to rise up onto this stage to perform. But when she does, I need you guys to do something extra special. And don't worry about her hearing about our surprise, she's under the stage and currently can't hear a thing. Those undergrounds can be pretty sound proof sometimes.

"Now then, as soon as that elevator reaches the top, I need you guys to scream something as loud as you can for her. She needs to really know you're happy she's here. Think you can do that?"

Everyone cheers.

He smiles, "Good. Now, in order to do this properly, I'm going to split you into four sections, alright? Lower left half, lower right half, upper left half, and upper right half, straight through the center. You lot," he moves over to the left side of the stage and looks up, "are going to say 'We'. The next group," he looks to the other side of the upper section, "is going to say 'Love'. Then you guys," he looks to the group of people in front of him, "are going to say 'You'. And the last group," he looks to the other side of the lower section, "you're going to say 'Skye'.

"As soon as she steps out onto the stage, you're going to scream that as loud as you can. Let's practice real quick. When I point to you, say your word. Ready? Go."

He holds the microphone away from his mouth, out towards the audience, and points it at each of the sections.

"We!"

"Love!"

"You!"

"Skye!"

"One more time," Lance tells them and then points at each section again.

"We!"

"Love!"

"You!"

"Skye!"

Lance smiles, "That's really great guys. Absolutely perfect. I'm trusting you to do this on your own when Skye gets up here. So section 1, it's all on you to start it out. Wait five seconds and then start. But you all need to be absolutely silent as she rises up, alright? We're going to completely shock her with this, she won't see it coming. Think you can do that?"

Everyone screams.

Lance smiles again, "Great. I'm going to go into the wing and let the workers know to start raising Skye up. Remember, be completely silent. I'll see you in a few minutes." He grins and then turns and jogs off stage into the wing as the lights in the stadium dim.

"Everything good to go?" One of the stage workers asks him.

"I really hope so," Lance breathes.

"Should I tell them to bring her up now?"

Lance nods his head, "Do it."

The guy lifts his wallow talkie to his mouth, presses the button, and speaks, "Send her up."


"I really don't want to be doing this right now," Skye states as she sits back stage waiting to go out and perform.

"Don't be like that," Bobbi tells her friend. "Of course you do."

Skye shakes her head, "Not right now. I am really not in the mood to be doing this. I just want to go back to my hotel room, bury myself in the comforter, and watch awful old-time romance movies while crying my eyes out."

"Lance told me you already used him to cry on," Bobbi says.

Skye nods, "Yeah. He came to get me for sound check and I did not want to get up. Ended up hugging him and crying."

"He is pretty great for that," Bobbi smiles. "But I know you, Skye. I've seen you perform on stage dozens of times. You may say you don't want to get out there, but once you do, everything else is going to fade and you're going to get lost in the music."

Skye sighs, "I don't know, Bobbi. I'm really, really upset and out of focus right now. I just don't think I can do this. But I don't want to let my fans down either. They all paid money to see me perform."

"And that's what you're going to do. You love to make your fans happy, and right now, seeing you get out onto that stage, despite how you feel, is going to make them happy."

Skye sighs again, "Yeah, I know."

"Good," Bobbi nods her head once.

"Skye," someone walks up to the pair, "they're ready for you."

Skye takes a deep breath and stands from her seat, "It's now or never."

Bobbi gives her a small smile, "You'll be fine. Now go. Give them the best show of their lives."

Skye smiles before following the stadium worker towards where the stage elevator is that'll take her up.

Grabbing a microphone from a tech hand, she steps inside the box, placing her ear pieces into her ears, making sure they're comfortable.

She gives the worker a smile and a thumbs up, signaling for him to send her up. He presses a button on his control pad, and the elevator starts moving.

As the elevator moves towards the top of the stage, Skye furrows her brows in confusion when she can't hear any noise coming from the crowd.

But this is one of my sold out shows.

When the elevator reaches the top, Skye is met by complete silence and darkness, except for the single spotlight shining on her.

What the heck?

"We!"

"Love!"

"You!"

"Skye!"

Tilting her head in confusion, Skye shuts her eyes quickly when the lights in the audience area of the stadium shoot on.

"We!"

"Love!"

"You!"

"Skye!"

Opening her eyes, Skye can't help but smile when she sees the thousands of fans in the crowd smiling back at her.

"We!"

"Love!"

"You!"

"Skye!"

Feeling the tears building up in her eyes, she quickly wipes them away, not wanting to mess up her makeup.

"They're right, Skye. We all love you."

Turning to the side, Skye sees Lance walk out onto the stage, a smile on his face.

"Did you put this together?" she asks him.

He just smiles and nods his head, "Yeah. I figured you might need some motivation."

Skye smiles, "Well thank you." She pulls him into a quick hug and then lets him walk back off stage. She turns and looks back out at the crowd. "And thank you guys too," she smiles at them. "Thank you for that, I really, really needed it. But now, who wants to see a show?!"

The crowd screams at the tops of their lungs.

Skye laughs, "That's what I like to hear. This first song I'm going to sing was written for a little girl who is very near and dear to my heart and I'm missing her a whole lot right now. You may have already heard this one because it's my latest single," the crowd cheers. Skye smiles, "This is Fly."


"Wow," Skye breathes out as she stands in the middle of the stage, smiling out at the crowd. "What a show. You guys were insane! I loved it!"

The crowd cheers.

Skye smiles. "You know what we need to do now? Take a picture of this incredible crowd. You guys wanna do that?"

The crowd screams.

"Good. My camera guy Lou is way over there," she points upstage behind her, "so I need you to look over there and smile for him." She turns around to face the back of the stage and the moves closer to the edge of the stage. Smiling wide, she places one hand on her hip, raising her microphone into the air with her other hand.

After she gets the signal that the picture was taken, she turns back to the crowd.

"Thank you guys so much for coming out tonight. And thank you for the sweet welcome onto the stage. I couldn't have asked for a better crowd. Thank you so much! Be safe on your way home, goodnight!" She blows them all a kiss as the lights on the stage start to dim, allowing her the cover to get off stage.

"Hey, Lou," Skye speaks up to the man who took the photo. "Don't forget to e-mail me that photo, okay?"

"I'll do it right now," he smiles at her.

"Thanks," she smiles. She takes a deep breath, "Alright, time to go meet the fifty lucky fans."


Unlocking her phone, Skye goes straight for Instagram, hitting the new photo button. She taps the camera roll button and then selects the most recent picture on her phone. Hitting the next button, she taps inside the box and types, Such an incredible crowd tonight. Your energy was insane! And special thanks to lancelot for setting up that super sweet surprise with the crowd at the top of the show. I really needed it. :)


 

Chapter Text

*April 24, 2015*

"Grant," Fitz speaks up over the all of the excessive loud noise coming from everything going on around them in the bar. "I think you've had enough to drink now, mate."

Grant shakes his head, "No. I need more, I need to forget."

"No, you most certainly do not need to forget anything," Fitz tells him, taking his drink from him and setting it far out of his reach. "You need to get yourself together, Grant."

He swallows, "She lied. She cheated on me with that idiot ex of hers. And then she said she didn't. She lied right to me. I saw the picture, Fitz."

"Pictures never give the whole story," Fitz points out.

"Are you honestly going to take her side about this?" Grant asks with a shocked expression. "You're my best friend, Fitz, my best friend; you're supposed to be on my side with all of this."

Fitz shakes his head, "I'm not taking sides. I'm just trying to make sure you get all of the facts before you do something stupid."

Grant furrows his brows, "What?"

"You and Skye are perfect for each other, Grant."

Grant scoffs, "Apparently she doesn't think we are. Apparently she doesn't think we're good together if she went and made out with another man while she's in an entirely different country."

"Do you even know if that's what actually happened?"

"Doesn't matter," Grant mumbles, reaching for his drink.

"Yes, it does," Fitz insists, pushing the drink even farther away. He leans forward on his elbows, "You are the happiest I've ever seen you whenever you're with Skye, you know that? You've spent the last nine years of your life taking care of Sara and making sure she was happy. None of your relationships ever lasted because Sara always came first and none of those women could handle that. And I'm not saying that's wrong for your daughter to be your main priority, because it isn't. She's your daughter; of course she's going to come first. But now you've finally found someone who loves both you and Sara, and Sara loves her too. And you're actually in a place where you are the happiest you've ever been. I know that for a fact, because I've never seen you smile this much unless it was because of Sara. So why on earth are you so insistent that Skye cheated on you?"

"She could have anyone," Grant speaks up, still looking down.

"Huh?" Fitz furrows his brows. He sits up straight, "What are you going on about?"

"She could have pretty much anyone out there, Fitz," he looks up at his friend. "She's a worldwide famous singer who makes millions of dollars every year and she could have any other guy out there. Do you know how many guys probably drool over a picture of her on a daily basis? She could have anyone in the world and she picked me. And now she regrets saying yes to marrying me."

"Is that really what you think?" Fitz asks quietly. "Do you really think Skye regrets being with you? Because you clearly have it wrong, mate. She's crazy for you."

"Yeah? And just how do you know that?"

"Because of Jemma. She told me that after you and Skye went on your first date Skye called her immediately and started talking non-stop about how amazing she thinks you are. She's always calling or texting Jemma, telling her about how lucky she feels to be with you, because you're not just any other guy out there who's drooling over a picture of her. You're real, you treat her right, and you genuinely care for your daughter. That's why she's with you. That and because she loves you." Fitz pauses. "But I shouldn't have to be telling you all of this. You should be enough of a man to call Skye and talk things through. Really talk."

"You're right," Grant nods his head. "I'm gonna call her right now."

"Yeah, I don't think that's such a good idea at the moment," Fitz tells him.

"I'm perfectly fine," Grant says as he stands up from his stool, takes a step and then stumbles slightly. "Yeah," he looks over at Fitz, "maybe I should wait."

"Good plan," Fitz smiles and nods his head. "Now let's get you home."

"Sara," Grant speaks up. "I don't want her to see me like this. She hasn't said anything, but I know she's taking this harder than she's letting on. She can't—she can't see me like this. I don't want her to be more upset than she already is."

"Don't worry. It's late, she's probably asleep by now."

Grant nods his head, "Yeah, okay. Let's go."


Slipping the key into the lock of the front door, Fitz turns it and then pushes the door open. Stepping inside, he looks into the living room to see Rebecca sitting on the couch, the TV on in front of her at a low volume.

"Hey Rebecca," he speaks up quietly so as not to startle her too much.

Rebecca turns her head and smiles at him, "Hi." She uses the remote control and turns the TV off. "Did you guys have a good night out?" she asks.

"Somewhat," Fitz replies. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his wallet, handing Rebecca a twenty dollar bill, "Here you go."

"Thanks," she smiles as she takes the money and slips it into her back pocket. She stands from the couch and slips her shoes on, "Sara's in bed and hopefully asleep. She seemed a little sadder than usual tonight. Did something happen?"

"Grant and Skye are just going through some things and we're pretty sure it's affecting Sara more than she's actually letting on."

"Okay. Well I hope everything works out."

"So does everyone else," Fitz smiles. "Thanks again for watching Sara tonight."

"No problem," Rebecca smiles as she walks towards the door. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," Fitz replies. "Drive safe."

"I will," she says, walking towards her car.

"Goodnight, Rebecca," Grant calls to her from his place leaning against the front of the house.

"Goodnight," she looks over her shoulder and waves at him.

"Alright, Grant," Fitz breathes, stepping out onto the porch. "Let's get you into your bed," he moves over to help Grant stand up and walk into the house and down the hall to his bedroom.


*April 25, 2015*

Pushing open the door to Grant's bedroom, Fitz stays put for a moment, taking in the sight before him. Grant is lying face down on his bed in his same clothes from yesterday, a pair of jeans and a black Henley, the sheets and blanket tangled around his legs and his face buried in the pillow.

With a sigh, Fitz steps into the room and moves towards the bed, "Grant." No response. "Grant," he says a bit louder.

Grant startles in the bed and slowly lifts his head off of the pillow, "Wha…?"

"Good morning. How did you sleep?"

Grant closes his eyes and groans, "My head hurts like hell."

"Serves you right," Fitz says to him. Grant gives him a look. Fitz shrugs, "You would have drunk the entire bar last night if I gave you the chance."

"What? Why? Everything is still really fuzzy," he carefully flips himself over and sits up against the headboard, running a hand exhaustedly down his face.

"You were going on about Skye and the photo you saw of her at a club…kissing her ex."

Grant's jaw clenches and he nods his head, "Right."

"So um, do you remember anything I said to you last night? About what you should do?"

"Possibly. Most of the night is still one big blur."

"Well then let me sum it up for you. You confided in me about your insecurities about Skye not actually wanting to be with you. Then I told you to call her and talk about things like the mature adults you are instead of letting all of it fester and then burst like it did when you saw that photo."

"Okay," Grant says slowly. "So um, should I call her now?"

Fitz scoffs, "No, of course not. You need to sober up a bit more first so you're actually able to think clearly and have a meaningful conversation."

"Good idea," Grant nods his head.

"I know. Now, I'm going to go ahead and take Sara to Josie's for you because I don't think you're too capable of driving at the moment, and then I'm going to work. There's a glass of water and some aspirin on the kitchen counter for you. And there's also a fresh pot of coffee."

"Thanks, Fitz," he smiles appreciatively up at his best friend.

"Don't thank me until after you've called Skye and sorted everything out between the two of you."

Grant sighs, "Yeah, okay."

"Promise you'll call her?" Fitz asks as he makes his way towards the bedroom door.

Grant nods his head, "Yeah, I promise."

"Great, I'll see you later then." He steps out the door and makes his way back towards the kitchen. "Alright monkey," he claps his hands once, "dishes in the sink, teeth brushed, shoes on, and then out to the car."


Lying in her bed of her hotel room, Skye flips through the different channels on the large TV in front of her, letting out a big sigh when she finds nothing of interest to her.

Hearing her phone start ringing from its place on the nightstand, she rolls over and picks it up. Glancing at the caller id she feels tears immediately spring to her eyes.

Shutting off the TV, she hits the answer button on her phone and holds it up to her ear. "Why are you calling?" she asks curiously. "I thought you said you needed time."

"I did," she hears Grant's voice come through the speaker. "And now I want to talk."

"You didn't do enough talking last time?" she snaps.

"Please, will you just listen to me?"

She thinks for a moment, "Fine, I'm listening."

"Thank you," he sighs. "First off, I want to say I'm sorry."

"Sorry for what?" she asks him.

"For jumping to conclusions after seeing that photo, and for thinking you'd cheat on me with your ex. With anyone, for that matter."

"Thank you. But I have to know, why did you even think I'd cheat on you in the first place?"

He sighs, "I don't know."

She shakes her head, "No, don't give me that. I know there has to be a reason, Grant. I thought we were happy, damn it; I even said yes when you asked me to marry you. So please, tell me why you thought it was even remotely possible for me to cheat on you with the guy who broke my heart."

"I didn't think you still wanted to be with me," he says somewhat quietly.

"What?" she asks in disbelief. "Grant, why on earth would you think I don't want to be with you? I love you. Hell, I'm in love with you."

"And I'm in love with you too. But I don't know, I guess deep down I just had this inkling that you weren't actually here with me. That you were only with me until the next best thing came along for you. And then you'd leave me."

"You actually thought that?" she asks, choking up a little bit.

"Yeah," he says quietly again.

"Oh Grant," she whispers sadly. "Hang on," she tells him and then pulls the phone away from her ear. She looks down at it and hangs up the call, quickly opening up the FaceTime app. She immediately finds Grant's name and then hits the call button, waiting for him to answer.

A short minute later, Grant's face pops up on her screen. "Hey," she gives him a small smile.

"Hey," he says back.

"So you actually thought I'm just with you out of pity or something?"

He shrugs, "I don't know, maybe."

"Do you really think so little of me, Grant? Do you think I'd date you, fall in love with you, agree to marry you, and then leave you if I found someone else?"

He shrugs again, "Maybe."

"Why would you even think that?"

"Because you're you and I'm me."

She furrows her brows, "What is that even supposed to mean?"

"You're famous, Skye, worldwide famous, and I'm just a nobody."

"You are not a nobody."

He ignores her comment, "And you could have pretty much anyone else you want."

"But I don't want anyone else," she tells him honestly. "I just want you. From the moment we met, you're the only one I've wanted. And you'll always be the only one I'll want. Nothing is ever going to change that."

"Really?"

She nods her head, "Really."

"Then um, what was that picture all about? I know you tried to tell me about it before, but I wasn't exactly in my right mind and refused to listen to anything you had to say."

"Lance and I went out to a club," she begins to explain. "He invited me out so we could have some fun before leaving for the next show. I got a little tipsy, but not super drunk, and I went onto the dance floor. It all happened pretty quickly; he just grabbed my arm, turned me around, and kissed me. I shoved him away immediately, but obviously not quick enough if someone was able to get a picture of it. As soon as I saw it was Miles, I slapped him, told him to stay away from me, then found Lance and we left. I've even started the process of getting a restraining order against him. I just hope it goes through."

"So you didn't do it on purpose?"

"Of course not," she says. "I would never do that to you. A thought like that has never even crossed my mind since we've been together."

"Well I'm glad," he says. "Because I'd hate to lose you to another man."

"Well you never will," she smiles lovingly at him. "Because I'm yours," she holds her left hand up into view, showing off her ring, "and I always will be."

"You're still wearing it," he points out. "I thought you would have taken it off."

She shakes her head and drops her hand, looking down, "I wanted to, at first." She looks back up at him, "I was so mad at you and I wanted so badly to take it off. But I couldn't bring myself to do it."

"So does this mean you still want to marry me?" he asks with a hint of hopefulness in his voice.

"Most likely, just as soon as we finish talking."

"About what?"

"About pretty much everything. Something tells me that a very serious talk about our relationship is needed right about now."

"I figured as much," Grant sighs.

"Don't worry. We just need to talk and figure some personal things out. Things that I think we've been letting fester for too long."

Grant chuckles, "Fitz actually said something like that to me. That I needed to talk things through with you instead of letting everything fester."

"Smart man."

"Yeah," Grant nods his head. "And Skye?"

"Hmm?"

"I really, really love you."

She smiles softly, "I really, really love you too."


@RealSkye: Working on a brand new song. This one's extremely personal to me. Can't wait to unveil it when it's finished. #excitedyetnervous

Chapter Text

*May 2, 2015*

"Dad!" Sara shouts as she makes her way down the stairs and into the living room. "Dad!" She runs up to him and stops in front of the couch.

"What's up, bear?" Grant asks her, looking up from his computer.

"Go to YouTube," she tells him as she hops onto the couch to sit next to him.

"What for?"

"Skye posted a new video. She said on Twitter that it's a new song she just wrote. And then she messaged me and told me to make sure you watch it."

"Really?"

"Yeah," Sara nods her head.

"Okay then, YouTube it is," he smiles at her and then turns back to his computer. Opening up a new tab, he goes to YouTube. "You didn't sign out of your YouTube account, bear," Grant says to her.

"I know, sorry. But it's okay, because I'm already subscribed to Skye's YouTube channel. Both of them."

"She has two YouTube channels?" Grant raises an eyebrow.

Sara nods her head, "Mm-hmm. She has the one she started when she was just posting covers online in high school. And then she has her Vevo which is for all of her official videos and stuff."

"Good to know," Grant smiles. "Now, which channel do I need to go to?"

"Her first one. Roll over that arrow," she points to the Subscriptions section on the left side of the screen. He does so. "And then click on that channel, the one with the number 1 next to it," she points to the correct channel.

Grant clicks on the indicated channel and waits for the page to load.

"Is it this video?" Grant asks Sara, moving the mouse over the first video on the screen titled, Everything - Original

Sara nods her head, "Yeah, I think so. Click on it."

"Clicking on it," Grant says as he clicks the video and waits for it to open.

Skye's smile fills the screen as soon as the video starts. "Hey everyone," she waves into the camera. "So I'm sitting here in my hotel room right now with my awesome guitarist Ryan. Say hi, Ryan."

"Hey guys," Ryan smiles and waves to the screen.

"Okay," Skye speaks again. "So, for the last week or so, Ryan and I have been working on a new song that I'm really excited to share with you guys. But I'm also kind of nervous because this one is very, very personal to me. More personal, I think, than anything I've written so far. I wrote this for, and about, my amazing and incredible fiancé who is back home in LA while I'm out here touring. I love you so much, Grant, more than anything else. You really are my everything and I'm so glad I have you. You and Sara are my entire world and I honestly don't know what I'd do without you in my life. This one's for you, babe. I hope you like it."

She looks at Ryan and gives him a small nod of her head. He nods back and then begins strumming.

After a few measures, Skye starts singing, a small smile on her face.

You're a falling star, you're the getaway car.
You're the line in the sand when I go too far.
You're the swimming pool, on an August day.
And you're the perfect thing to say.

And you play it coy but it's kinda cute.
Ah, when you smile at me you know exactly what you do.
Babe don't pretend that you don't know it's true.
'Cause you can see it when I look at you.

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you, you make me sing.
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything.

You're a carousel, you're a wishing well,
And you light me up, when you ring my bell.
You're a mystery, you're from outer space,
You're every minute of my everyday.

And I can't believe, uh that you're my man
And I get to kiss you babe just because I can.
Whatever comes our way, ah we'll see it through,
And you know that's what our love can do.

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you, you make sing.
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything.

Skye stops singing and just smiles at the camera while Ryan has a small guitar solo.

So, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
So, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you, you make sing.
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything.

You're every song, and I sing along.
'Cause you're my everything.
Yeah, yeah

So, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
So, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Ryan strums the last chord of the song.

"Okay," Skye says into the camera once the song is over. "I hope you all enjoyed the song, it was a lot of fun for me to write it. Once we're back in LA after the tour, I'll most likely get into the studio to officially record it and then release it for you guys." She takes a deep breath, "Alright, well, we should probably go now, need to get some much needed sleep. But thanks for listening guys. And Grant, Sara, if you're watching this, I love you both so much, more than you already know. I miss you both a whole lot right now and I can't wait to see you soon. Bye." She blows a quick kiss to the screen before smiling and stopping the video.

"That was such a good song," Sara says after the video finishes.

"Yeah, it was," Grant smiles.

"Did she write that for you because of the picture of her and her ex-boyfriend?"

He nods his head, "Yeah." He furrows his brows, "Wait, how did you know about the picture?"

"I'm still a big fan, dad. I see everything posted about Skye. Even if I don't like what I saw."

"Right," he nods. "Well how come you didn't say anything to me?"

Sara shrugs, "I don't know. You were already really sad about it." she looks down.

"Hey," he lifts her chin up so he can look at her better, "I'm your dad, Sara. No matter how I'm feeling about anything, you can always talk to me, okay? Or even your Uncle. I'm sure he would've been more than happy to listen to you."

Sara nods her head, "Okay."

"Good," he smiles softly at her.

"So does that song mean you and Skye are still getting married?" she asks hesitantly.

He nods his head, "Mm-hmm. We had quite a lot of stuff to talk about, but we did. We talked for a while and figured some things out."

"That's good. Because I really like Skye, dad. You're always really happy when you're with her."

"I know, bear," he smiles. "That's why we talked about our problems so we can fix them."

"Okay. I'm gonna go outside and play with Buddy now. I think he really wants to go outside."

"Sounds like a plan," he replies.

Sara stands up off of the couch, making her way to the dining room to get Buddy out of his kennel to take him outside.

Picking up his cellphone, Grant unlocks it before going to his FaceTime app. Selecting Skye's name from the list, he waits for her to answer the call.

A second later, he sees her smiling face, "Hey handsome."

"Hey beautiful," he smiles back. "Sara and I just watched your new video. It was really good."

"You like the new song?" she asks hopefully.

"I love it," he smiles. "I'm not a huge expert when it comes to music, but I think that's one of the best songs I've ever heard in my entire life."

"I'm glad you think so," she smiles. "I wrote it for you."

"I know," he smiles back. "You mentioned that in the video once or twice."

"I just wanted to make sure you know it. I love you so much and you're the only one for me. Always until the end of time."

"Good. Because I feel the exact same way about you."

Chapter Text

*May 4, 2015*

"How are you gonna celebrate Mother's Day this year?" Sara asks Josie as they file back into the classroom after recess.

"My sister and I are gonna make my mom breakfast in bed," Josie replies. "Probably pancakes, bacon, and eggs, like always. Then we're gonna do whatever my mom wants to do during the day. Then at night my dad is gonna take my mom out to a nice dinner while my sister and I stay at home and watch a movie before bed."

"Sounds like fun," Sara smiles.

Josie smiles back, "It always is. What about you? How are you gonna celebrate Mother's Day?"

Sara shrugs, "Probably gonna visit my Gramsy in the morning like every year. And then I'm gonna call my Grandma over Skype to talk to her."

"That's cool."

"Yeah. I really miss my grandma, and she lives too far away to visit her all the time. So we talk on the phone and Skype as much as we can."

"Okay class," Ms. Nolten speaks up from the front of the classroom, getting everyone's attention, "since Mother's Day is coming up really, really soon, we're going to be making something very special today for our mothers. But before we start, I just want to remind you all that you don't have to have an actual mother in order to celebrate Mother's Day. You can give a gift and say thank you to your grandma, your aunt, your step-mom, even an older sister; someone in your life you view as a mother-type figure." She smiles at everyone. "Now then, let's get started."


"Hey dad," Sara speaks up from her spot at the kitchen table where she's doing her homework, "how long would it take for something to get to England in the mail?"

Grant looks up from the kitchen counter where he's chopping vegetables for dinner, "That's actually a pretty good question, bear. A question which I do not know the answer to at this moment. Although I'm guessing it'll probably take longer than if you were just sending something to your grandparents."

"Oh, okay."

"Why are you asking?"

"Because I want to send something to Skye for Mother's Day."

Grant smiles at the sweet gesture, "Alright. Well, since she's on tour right now and isn't in one spot for too long, I'll call her a little bit later and ask her where to send it so that she'll get it."

Sara smiles, "Thanks dad."

"You're welcome. Now finish your homework so you can help me with dinner."

"Okay," Sara turns back to her homework and quickly finishes the last of it.


Holding his phone up in front of him, Grant quickly checks what time it is in England and decides it'll be alright to call Skye. Going into his contact list, he selects Skye's name and hits the call button. He holds it to his ear and waits for her to answer.

"Hello, handsome fiancé of mine whom I love so much."

"Hey, Skye," he smiles into the receiver.

She takes a deep breath, "Oh you don't know how great it is to hear your voice right now."

"I'm guessing really great," he chuckles. "Are you having a good time out on tour?"

"The best. Everyone I've met so far has been super nice and really sweet."

"That's awesome. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself."

"I am. But I'm also extremely sad because I miss you and Sara a whole lot right now."

Grant smiles, "We both miss you too."

"Good. Now, what is your reason for calling me up at such an hour? Unless you called because you wanted to hear my extremely sexy voice."

He smiles, "I won't deny that your voice is very sexy at times. But unfortunately, that's not the reason why I called."

"Then why did you?"

"Because I have a very important question to ask you."

"It's probably not more important than asking me to marry you, but I'll bite. What is this question?"

"If someone wanted to send you a letter or a small package while you're away in the UK, where would said person send the letter or package?"

"Does this person happen to be you or Sara?"

"Yes," he confirms. "It's Sara."

"Aww, that's so sweet. As for where to send it, I'll see if Lance's parents are okay with it getting sent to their house. We're playing a show in his hometown in about a week or so, so hopefully it'll work out fine. I'll have Lance call and ask them."

"Okay. Cool."

"If his parents say it's okay, I'll text you their address. If not, then I'll figure something else out."

"You are the absolute best," he smiles into the phone.

"Mmm. Tell me something I don't know."

He chuckles. Then he lets out a large sigh, "I miss you."

"I miss you too. But there isn't much time left on tour. Soon enough we'll be back together. And then we can finish the planning for what is going to be one of the biggest events of our lives."

"I can't wait," he smiles.

"Me neither." Grant lets out a yawn. "Go to sleep," Skye instructs him.

"What?"

"Go to sleep, Grant," she says gently. "You sound like you need it. I'll talk to you later, okay?"

"Okay, I love you."

"I love you too. Bye."

"Bye."


*May 12, 2015*

"Hey Skye, here's that package Sara sent you."

Skye looks up from her laptop to see Lance standing in the doorway to the guest room of his parents' house, a small cardboard box in his hands. She beams, "Oh yay!" She sets her laptop down on the bed and jumps up, rushing towards him to take the box from him.

"Uh, you're welcome," he says with a blank look.

Skye looks back at him and smiles sheepishly, "Sorry. I'm just really excited to see what Sara sent me. Grant wouldn't tell me what it is because apparently he doesn't know." She sits down on the edge of her bed, "Oh, I meant to ask earlier. How does your mom like having you and Bobbi here at the house?"

"Oh, she loves it," Lance smiles as he sits down on one of the chairs in the room. "Although, I think she really only likes the idea of having her grandchild near more than her own son. Even if the kid isn't actually born yet."

Skye chuckles, "Well, go on and spend some time with your wife. I'm sure she probably wants someone near her so she can hit them whenever she feels like it."

"Oi, don't remind me. When the woman hits, it hurts like hell. But you're probably right. I have a few things I have to take care of anyways. I'll catch you later at the arena for sound check?"

"Yep, see you then."

Lance gives her a small smile before leaving the guest room and shutting the door.

Setting the package down on the bed, Skye carefully tears the tape off of it and opens the flaps, finding a folded piece of paper sitting on top. She pulls it out and unfolds it to read it.

Skye,

I kinda wish they had cards to give to people on Mother's Day who aren't actually your mom. But I guess it's okay, because you act a lot like my mom, so you deserve a Mother's Day card. But I made this one in class instead of buying one. :)

You've never celebrated Mother's Day as a mom before and I've never had a mom to celebrate Mother's Day with. Unless you count my Gramsy and my grandma. But they're my grandma's, not my mom. I wish you were here so we could celebrate Mother's Day, even though you aren't officially my mom yet. But that's okay. And I don't think this will actually get to you on Mother's Day, but I guess that's okay too. As long as you get it.

Ms. Nolten said a mom doesn't actually have to be a mom. It can just be someone who you see as a mom. And that's how I see you. I hope it's not weird. But I don't think so because when you marry my dad then you'll be my mom. And I can't wait. I really like having you around all the time.

Thanks for being there for me and dad all the time. You may not be an actual mom yet, but you should still be celebrated. Cause you're awesome. :)

Love,
Sara

P.S. I hope you like your present. I made it myself.

Wiping a few tears from her face, Skye sets the letter aside and pulls out a wrapped gift. She holds it in her hands and tears the paper off of it, wanting to see what's inside. Tearing the paper off of the gift, she gets teary eyes when she sees what it is. It's a small, hand painted rectangular picture frame. There's a small note attached to the back of it.

To Skye: Thanks for always being there for me. I love you. –Sara. May 2015

Pulling out her phone, Skye unlocks it and goes straight to Instagram. She hits the New Photo button and flips the camera so it's facing her. She lies back on the bed, grabs her fleece blanket from underneath of her and holds it up in front of the lower half of her face. She stares right into the camera and then captures the picture. Clicking on the Next button, she types a caption, Sometimes I really hate when the two people I love most are in a completely different country than me. But I'm keeping them close to me with my favorite blanket. Missing one of them a whole lot right now after receiving a super sweet letter and present. Love you bunches, Sara. Can't wait to come back home. :)

Chapter Text

*June 6, 2015*

Stopping in the doorway to Sara's bedroom, Grant sees her sitting at her table working on something; Buddy is lying asleep at her feet. Stepping into the room, he makes his way over to her. "Hey Sara," he says, catching her attention.

She looks up at him and smiles, "Hi dad."

He pulls out the other chair next to her and sits down, turning slightly so he is looking at her, "So, I have a request of sorts for you."

She turns to face him, "What is it?"

"How would you like to help me plan out a really big surprise for Skye?"

Sara smiles wide, "Really? What kind of a surprise?"

"Well, I was thinking that you could take a day or two off of school and we could go meet up with Skye during the last bit of her tour."

Sara's eye go wide, "You mean we're going to go to Europe?"

He smiles and nods his head, "Yeah."

"One question," Sara says.

"Shoot."

"Why are we going to Europe to surprise Skye? I really miss her, but why are we going to Europe?"

"I just think it'll be a really nice surprise for her. Her tour is almost up, and it's been three months since we've seen her. Also, celebrating your birthday in Europe sounds pretty cool to me. Plus, she's playing a show on the night we met a year ago. So I figured we'd go and surprise her for that."

"That's really romantic, dad."

"I thought so too," he smiles. "So, do you want to help me plan the trip? We have a bunch of arrangements to make."

"I'm so ready," she declares, jumping up out of her chair and racing from the room.

Grant chuckles and stands up from his chair, following his daughter downstairs.

...

"Okay," Grant says to himself as he looks at the webpage in front of him. "I want one-way tickets, because we don't know which day Skye is planning to fly back yet." He clicks on the One-Way tab at the top of the screen and waits for the screen to refresh. "Where do you want to go?" he reads off of the section on the page. He clicks in the From box, and types in LAX, clicking on the selection that pops up for the Los Angeles International airport. Then he clicks in the To box, and types in London, selecting London, Heathrow, United Kingdom from the drop down menu.

"How do you want to search?" he reads on the next section. He leaves the first selection checked, Price and Schedule, with the Number of Stops set to No Preference. "When do you want to go?" He sees as the next section. He clicks the first drop down menu, selecting June. Then in the second one he clicks 11, and in the third one, he clicks Early Evening. "Number of Passengers?" He leaves Adult selected as 1, and then clicks on Child, selecting 1. "What is your Fare Preference?" He leaves Lowest Fare selected. "Choose a Carrier." He selects American Airlines and American Eagle from the three different choices available. "Country of Residence." He leaves United States as the selection. "Promotion Code. I do not have one of those."

Scrolling to the bottom of the screen, he hits the blue Continue button and waits for the next page to load.

When the page finishes loading, Grant takes a moment to scroll through the page, looking at all of the different flight options. In the left hand corner of the top of the page, there is a small drop down menu. Clicking on it, he selects Total Travel Time as a way to sort out the flights. When it finishes, he looks at the first few options, carefully looking at them to make sure he gets the best one.

Finally having made his decision, he selects American Airlines Flight 6179, leaving LAX at 9:30 pm and arriving at LHR at 4:00 pm. The following page loads, and he puts in his and Sara's information required for their tickets. When he's done there, he hits the Continue button and then puts in his Credit Card information on the next page. He hits the purchase button and then waits as the transaction is being completed.

Once it finishes, he closes the lid of his laptop and sets it down on the couch next to him. Standing up from the couch, he makes his way into the kitchen where Sara is sitting at the kitchen table, writing stuff down in the notebook in front of her.

"How's your part coming, Sara?" He asks her.

"Really good," she tells him, without looking up. She finishes what she is writing, and then reads off of the paper to her dad, "Mel said she's going to pick us up from the airport whenever we land and then take us to the hotel. She said she'll already have a room booked for us, so you don't need to worry about it. Skye is performing at Wembley Stadium at 8:00 pm on the 13th. When the show starts, Bobbi is going to come to the hotel and get us and bring us to the show, that way Skye doesn't know we are there. We'll be waiting backstage until the end of the show. When Skye is doing her final speech to the crowd, that's when Lance will go back out and interrupt her, telling her he has a surprise for her. We'll be waiting in one of the wings backstage, and when Lance points to us, I'll go out first." She looks up at her dad, "Then you'll come out behind me to surprise Skye. She'll be really excited and when we go back to the hotel, I'll hang out with Lance and Bobbi and you and Skye can do whatever you want to. The next day, we'll all go out exploring London because it'll be my birthday and I want to spend the day with just the three of us. Then we'll join Skye on the last two shows, and then we'll come home and you guys can keep planning the wedding."

Grant just stares at his daughter in amazement, "You put a lot of thought into this, didn't you, bear?"

Sara smiles and nods her head, "Uh-huh. And I called everybody, so they all know not to say anything, not even hint at anything to Skye. I also told Mel you'll text her with all the information from the flight so she knows when to pick us up. And Uncle Fitz is gonna watch Buddy while we're gone so he won't be lonely."

"Good work, Sara," Grant smiles. "You were a great help."

"Thanks dad," Sara smiles, "I really hope Skye likes her surprise."

"I'm sure she will."


*June 12, 2015*

"Daddy! There she is!" Sara exclaims, pointing over to where Melinda is standing, waiting for them outside the security line. "Mel!" she shouts, waving her hand at the older woman.

"Hi Sara," Melinda smiles as Sara walks up to her. "Grant," she acknowledges him with a small smile and nod of her head. She turns her attention back to Sara, "How was your flight?"

"It was really fun," Sara smiles. "I got to watch some movies and have a hamburger."

"Sounds like you had a good time," Melinda chuckles. "Now, shall we get your luggage and then I'll take you to your hotel?"

"I like the sound of that," Grant smiles.

"Come on then," Sara speaks up, grabbing her dad's hand and then Melinda's hand. She begins to pull the two of them through the airport, "Hurry up! I want to see Skye."

Grant chuckles, "It won't matter how fast we move, bear. We still have to wait until tomorrow night to see Skye."

Sara sighs, "I know. But I'm tired so I want to go to sleep before we start doing everything."

"Okay, okay. Then let's go find our bags," he directs her towards the baggage claim.

...

"Sara," Grant speaks up, shaking Sara slightly from where she sits asleep in the backseat. "We're at the hotel."

"5 more minutes," she says, shifting in her seat. Grant sighs and looks over at Melinda.

She smiles softly, "I'll get her. You grab your bags."

"Thank you," he says. Climbing out of the car, he goes to the trunk and pops it open, pulls both his and Sara's bags out of the trunk, and then shuts it once again. Making his way back to the front of the car, he sees Melinda waiting for him, Sara asleep in her arms.

"You don't have to hold her, you know," he smiles. "Just wake her up and make her walk."

"It's fine," Melinda assures him. "Skye hasn't been this little in a long time. I kind of miss it." Grant smiles at her and then makes his way into the hotel, Melinda right behind him.

Approaching the front desk, Melinda shifts Sara slightly and then whispers to the woman, "Hello. I have another room here that was booked, but hasn't been filled yet. This is the man and little girl who will be staying there."

"What's the name?" The woman behind the desk asks.

"Coulson."

"One moment," the woman says, tapping a few keys on her keyboard. "Ah yes. Room 406." She reaches under the desk and holds two key cards out to Grant, "Here are your key cards. Elevators are right down the hall."

"Thank you," Grant smiles at her, taking both the key cards from her and slipping them into his back pocket. Then he and Melinda make their way over to the elevators.

...

Once they reach the correct room, Grant sets one of the bags down, pulling out one of the keycards and inserting it into the lock. Twisting the handle and pushing the door open, he allows Melinda to walk into the room. He walks in behind her, bringing the two suitcases with him. He sets the suitcases down just inside the door and looks up to see Melinda lying Sara down on top of one of the beds.

"Thanks for the help," he tells her gratefully.

"No problem," she smiles back, stepping back towards the door. "Well, I'll leave the two of you to get settled in for the night. See you tomorrow."

"Yeah. See you then."


*June 13, 2015*

"I'll get it!" Sara exclaims when there is a knock at the hotel room door. She turns the TV off and then hops off the bed and skips over to the door. Pulling it open, she smiles when she sees the tall woman standing on the other side. "Hi Bobbi!" she says excitedly.

"Hey Sara," she smiles down at the little girl. "Are you and your dad ready to go?"

"I am. But let me check on my dad. He's taking forever."

"I bet he is," Bobbi smiles as she enters the room, shutting the door closed behind her.

"Daddy!" Sara shouts through the bathroom door. "Bobbi's here. We need to go."

"I'm coming, bear," he says back and then opens the door and walks out of the bathroom. Stopping in front of the two other people in the room, he looks at them, "How do I look?"

Both Bobbi and Sara look him over for a moment. He's wearing his nicest pair of jeans, a black Henley, and a pair of his nicest shoes. He has a wide happy smile on his face.

"You look great, daddy," Sara smiles.

"She's right, Grant," Bobbi smiles. "If I wasn't married and pregnant, I'd convince Skye to let me have you for myself."

Grant smiles and rolls his eyes, "Thanks Bobbi." He turns his attention to his daughter, "Are you ready, Sara?"

She nods her head, "Yep. Can we go now? I wanna see Skye."

"Of course we can go," he smiles and nods his head.

"Alright then," Bobbi smiles, "let's go surprise your fiancée."

Chapter Text

"You guys have to make sure you're really quiet while walking back here, okay?" Bobbi tells Grant and Sara as she leads them down the long barren corridor leading to the large backstage area.

"Why do we have to be so quiet?" Sara asks curiously, being sure to keep her voice low as instructed.

"Because Skye is onstage performing," Bobbi explains. "And I know it's pretty loud out there with the music going and everything, but you never know. She might accidentally hear something and get curious. Then she might figure out you guys are here before we want her to know."

"Oh," Sara says, "okay."

The three of them continue their way down the corridor, eventually ending up backstage. "Here we are," Bobbi whispers, stopping in the entryway to the backstage area.

"Wow," Sara gapes at the large space in front of her. "This area is so much bigger than the one when we first met Skye."

"Yes it is," Grant agrees, amazed at the wide space before him.

"Follow me," Bobbi smiles. "But be quiet, okay?" Sara nods her head and Bobbi leads her and Grant further backstage.

When they reach the main area, Grant and Sara see a lot of people and equipment back there, the crew for the venue, as well as the tour, walking around and doing different things.

"Hi love." They all look up to see Lance walking towards them, leaning up to place a kiss on Bobbi's cheek when he reaches her. He stands beside Bobbi, wrapping one arm around her waist, resting his hand on the side of her baby bump.

"Hey," Bobbi smiles down at him. "How far along is the show?"

"Well, Skye is almost done with this song and then I go back on for one more with Skye joining me. Then I come back off so she can sing her last song."

"Awesome," Bobbi smiles. She turns to Grant and Sara, "After Skye sings her last song, Lance will go back out and introduce you two."

"Cool," Sara smiles.

"Alright everybody!" They hear Skye say from on stage. "What I want to know right now, is how many of you want Lance to come back out here and sing another song for you?" The crowd cheers as loud as they can.

"That's my cue," he smiles. "I'll see you in a few minutes," he turns and walks back to the stage wing entrance, grabbing his mic and waiting to go back out.

"That's what I thought," Skye says again. "Hey Lance? You want to come back out here and grace us with your presence again?"

"I'd be happy too, darling," Lance replies as he walks back out onto the stage. The crowd screams and he smiles. "Alright London," he says into his mic. "How many of you out there know a little song of mine called Shut Up and Dance?" The crowd screams again. "That's very good. Joining me on this song, will be the very lovely Skye."

"Thank you for letting me join in," she smiles.

"But I need you lot to sing along as well, yeah?" The crowd screams again. "Great then. Let's get this started."

The band begins the few opening chords. And then Lance and Skye begin singing together.

Oh don't you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me
I said, "You're holding back."
She said, "Shut up and dance with me."
This woman is my destiny
She said, "Ooh-ooh-hoo,
Shut up and dance with me."

Lance moves over to the left side of the stage, holding the mic up as he sings out to the crowd, a large smile on his face.

We were victims of the night,
The chemical, physical, kryptonite.
Helpless to the bass and the fading light
Oh, we were bound to get together,
Bound to get together.

She took my arm,
I don't know how it happened.
We took the floor and she said,

He and Skye make their way towards the center of the stage.

"Oh don't you dare look back.
Just keep your eyes on me."
I said, "You're holding back,"
She said, "Shut up and dance with me!"
This woman is my destiny
She said, "Ooh-ooh-hoo,
Shut up and dance with me."

Lance remains in the center while Skye moves over to the right, greeting the fans while Lance sings.

A backless dress and some beat up sneaks,
My discotheque, Juliet teenage dream.
I felt it in my chest as she looked at me.
I knew we were bound to be together,
Bound to be together

Lance makes his way to the right side of the stage to join Skye.

She took my arm,
I don't know how it happened.
We took the floor and she said,

"Oh don't you dare look back.
Just keep your eyes on me."
I said, "You're holding back,"
She said, "Shut up and dance with me!"
This woman is my destiny
She said, "Ooh-ooh-hoo,
Shut up and dance with me."

Oh, come on girl!

As the instrumental solo plays out, Skye and Lance make their way along the stage, waving to fans and touching hands, smiling the whole time.
The solo comes to a close and Lance brings his mic back up to sing, standing in the center of the center.

Deep in her eyes,
I think I see a future.
I realize this is my last chance.

She took my arm,
I don't know how it happened.
We took the floor and she said,

"Oh, don't you dare look back.
Just keep your eyes on me."
I said, "You're holding back,"
She said, "Shut up and dance with me!"
This woman is my destiny
She said, "Ooh-ooh-hoo,
Shut up and dance!"

"Don't you dare look back.
Just keep your eyes on me."
I said, "You're holding back,"
She said, "Shut up and dance with me!"
This woman is my destiny
She said, "Ooh-ooh-hoo,
Shut up and dance with me."

Ooh-ooh-hoo, shut up and dance with me
Ooh-ooh-hoo, shut up and dance with me

As the final note of the song plays, Lance and Skye stand at the center of the stage, big smiles on both of their faces as the crowd cheers for them. Turning to face each other, they embrace in a quick hug, Lance pressing a friendly kiss to Skye's cheek.

"Say goodbye to Lance, everyone," Skye says, waving to Lance as he walks off stage. Lance smiles and waves back.

When he gets backstage, he smiles as he walks up to Bobbi, Grant, and Sara.

"Every time you sing that song it makes me so happy," Bobbi smiles down at him, wrapping her arms around his neck.

"That's why I sing it, love," he smiles back at her, wrapping his arms around her waist. "I know how much you love your song."

"That's your song?" Sara asks, slightly confused.

Bobbi turns towards her. "Technically," she smiles. "That was the first of many songs Lance wrote for me. It was the beginning of a crazy journey, because he sang me that song and I was delusional enough to start dating him."

"See, you say you were delusional, yet you kept coming back every time we broke up."

"Like I said, delusional," she gives him a small, teasing smile.

"Yes well, I was stupid to ever break up with such a beautiful woman in the first place. Anyways," he says to Sara, "pretty soon after I met her, I knew she was something special. So I wrote that song and I sang it to her. After which, I told her I wanted to give the two of us a shot."

"Pleaded is more like it," Bobbi smirks.

"Yes, well, you were being rather difficult."

"I wanted to see how far you'd actually go."

"Well, whatever you did or said, Lance, it must have worked," Grant points out, smiling at the two.

"Yes it did. And I couldn't be happier with my life," he smiles up at his wife, one of his hands resting lovingly on her baby bump.

She rolls her eyes, "Stop being such a sap."

"Ooh!" Sara pipes up, her eyes going wide, "Skye's singing Shake It Off! That's the one she sang to me when we met her. Remember dad?"

"Yeah, bear," he smiles, "I remember."

"That night was so much fun," Sara smiles, remembering the night exactly a year ago when she met her idol and soon to be step-mom. "Shake it off, shake it off," she sings along with Skye, dancing slightly backstage.

Grant, Lance and Bobbi watch her, smiling and chuckling to themselves.

...

When the song finishes, they can all hear the crowd cheering and screaming at the top of their lungs.

"Thank you so much London!" They hear Skye say into her microphone. "You guys have been such an amazing crowd. And let's give another round of applause for my amazing friend Lance Hunter! Come on out here one more time, Lance."

Lance presses a kiss to Bobbi's cheek, flashes a smile at Grant and Sara, and then walks back out onto the stage, microphone in his hand once again. He walks over to Skye and wraps her in a side hug. Smiling, he turns to the crowd, "Thanks everyone for having me here as well. It was great to be able to get back to my roots for a little while."

"Alright," Skye says, "it's time for us to go now but—"

"Hang on," Lance interrupts Skye. Skye gives him a look like he's crazy. "Hang on just for a moment," he tells his friend. "I have a surprise for you."

She furrows her brows, "What?"

"Well, actually, it's from your fiancé, but I guess in a way it's from me too, because I'm the one out here telling you about it."

"Just get on with it," Skye tells him.

"Right, sorry. Well, before your surprise is revealed, I'm supposed to tell you to close your eyes, and that we flew your surprise in all the way from LA. Now, close your eyes."

Skye hesitantly does as she's told. "If the surprise causes me harm, you guys will warn me, right?" she says to her fans. They all cheer in response. "Good," she nods her head once.

Once he knows her eyes are completely closed, Lance turns to the wings of the stage and waves his hand. "Okay," he says to Skye, "just keep your eyes closed for one more second. And...open."

Skye opens her eyes and is utterly shocked to see Sara standing in front of her, a wide smile on her face. "Sara!" Skye exclaims, wrapping the young girl in a hug. "Oh my gosh! What are you doing here?"

Sara hugs Skye back just as tightly, "We missed you."

"I missed you too," Skye tells her, placing a kiss to the top of her head. "So much."

"Hey, do I get a kiss too?"

Looking up, Skye sees Grant standing on the stage just outside the wing, a smile on his face. She can feel the tears immediately building up in her eyes and she grows a huge smile on her face. Passing the microphone to Sara's hands, she stands up and runs over to Grant, jumping up into his awaiting arms. "Grant," she breathes out, burying her face in the crook of his neck. "I missed you so much."

"I missed you too, Skye," he says into her hair. "Three months is way too long to be apart from each other," he tells her, setting her feet back on the stage floor.

"I agree. But what are you two doing here?"

"Well, we wanted to surprise you. It is our one year anniversary of the day we met, after all."

"Yes it is," she smiles back.

"So did you like your surprise?" he asks her.

She nods her head, "Very much so."

"Good," he smiles, leaning down to capture her lips in his for a loving kiss. The crowd whoops and hollers at their kiss, cheering loudly. Feeling a tug on his shirt, Grant looks down to see Sara standing next to him, a smile on her face, her arms extended up towards him. He smiles, picking her up and placing a kiss on her cheek. Sara hugs him around the neck and then turns, motioning for Skye to join in their hug. Grant smiles, wrapping both of his favorite girls in a large hug. Life couldn't be any better than this moment.

...

"Dad, you remember that I'm staying with Lance and Bobbi tonight, right?" Sara asks as she walks backstage, Grant and Skye following closely behind her. "That way you and Skye can have some time together by yourselves."

"I remember," Grant nods his head. "But why don't you go and make sure it's still okay with them, alright?"

"Okay," Sara smiles, running over to where Bobbi and Lance are.

"I'm so glad you're here," Skye tells Grant as she hugs him around his middle, resting her chin on his chest to look up at him.

"Me too," he smiles down at her, wrapping his arms around her waist. "I couldn't stand another moment being away from you. Especially after what happened."

"I know the feeling," she smiles. She lifts herself up onto her toes and presses her lips to his.

"Dad," Sara says as she walks back over to him.

He removes his arms from around Skye and bends down to pick Sara up, setting her on his hip. "Did you ask them?"

Sara nods her head, "Yep. Bobbi said I can still stay with them tonight."

"Good to know," he smiles.

"But I need to go back to our room and get my pajamas and my toothbrush."

"Okay, so you go with Bobbi and Lance to get your things and then go back to their room. I think Skye and I are going to hang here for a little while because she needs to meet some fans. Then we'll go back to the room Melinda booked for you and me."

"Okay, goodnight daddy," she says, hugging him around the neck and placing a kiss to his cheek.

"Night, bear," he hugs her back. He digs into his back pocket and pulls out one of the key cards and hands it over to her. "Here's one of the cards, don't lose it."

"I promise I won't," she smiles, taking the key card from him.

"Good," he smiles. He sets her down on the ground and she turns to face Skye.

Stepping forward, she hugs Skye tightly around the waist, "Goodnight, Skye."

Skye hugs her back, "Goodnight, Sara."

When Sara pulls out of the hug, she skips back over to where Bobbi and Lance are waiting, taking Bobbi's hand in her own. Then they walk out of the backstage area, saying bye to everyone, and head for the hotel.

Grant turns to Skye, holding his hand out to her, "Shall we go so you can meet some of your fans?"

"We shall," she smiles at him.


"Alright," Bobbi says as she unlocks the hotel room door, opening it wide enough for all three of them to enter. "I don't know about either of you, but I am exhausted."

"Says the one who wasn't on stage performing for a massive crowd of over two thousand people," Lance retorts, falling down onto one of the chairs in the corner of the room.

"Are you forgetting that I'm carrying your child, which is not easy by the way, and haven't relaxed in hours?"

"Yes, okay, I see your point. But I was singing and dancing in a crowded arena, under all of those hot stage lights. Not very easy, either."

"Oh stop," Bobbi rolls her eyes, "you were barely even on stage. If anything, Skye is the one who should be exhausted. I'd be surprised if she doesn't collapse onto the bed and fall asleep as soon as she and Grant get back to their hotel room."

"The two of them haven't seen each other in three months," Lance reminds her. "And they got into a huge argument over the phone which they then proceeded to fix over the phone which is all they could do at the time. I'm sure sleeping is the last thing they're going to be doing."

"Lance," she scolds him, her eyes shifting over to where Sara is sitting on the edge of the bed.

"What?" Lance asks, clearly not understanding.

"It's fine, Bobbi," Sara tells her. "I'm almost nine. Not stupid."

"I never said you were stupid, sweetie," Bobbi says to the young girl, moving towards her. She stands in front of the bed, looking down at Sara.

Sara shrugs, "I know dad and Skye are probably going to have sex."

"And how would you know that?" Bobbi raises an eyebrow.

"It's like Lance said. They haven't seen each other in a while and had a big fight. Plus I think they've been having sex since the first time dad slept over at Skye's house."

"You are one very smart kid," Lance speaks up.

Sara smiles over at him, "Thanks."

"And how is it you know about that sort of thing?" Bobbi asks.

"School," Sara replies. "The fifth graders had Growth and Development and some of the kids were talking about it at recess. Josie and I overheard them. I figured the rest out on my own."

Bobbi sighs and shakes her head, "Okay, time for you to go bed, little missy."

Sara frowns, "Do I have to?"

Bobbi nods her head, "Yes, you do."

"Can I watch a movie first? I promise I'll go to bed after the movie is over."

Bobbi thinks for a minute, "Fine. One movie. And then bed."

Sara pumps her fist in the air, "Yes!"

"But I want you to put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, and use the bathroom first. Go," she points to the bathroom.

"Okay," she stands up from the bed and makes her way into the bathroom, carrying her pajamas and toothbrush with her, shutting the door behind her.

Bobbi lets out a huge sigh before turning and sitting on the edge of the bed. She leans back on one hand, letting the other hand fall to her stomach, rubbing slow circles across it.

"You're going to be a great mother, Bob," Lance tells his wife from his spot in the chair.

She looks up at him, "You think so?"

"I know so," he smiles at her. "If the way you have been whenever you're around Sara these last few months is any indication, then you're going to do a great job."

"Thanks," she smiles back at him. "And you're going to be a great father."

"I wouldn't be so sure about that, love. I'm probably going to be the one who corrupts the child without actually meaning to, says all the wrong things, and accidentally tells our kid that playing with matches is an okay thing to do."

"Stop being so down on yourself," Bobbi says to her husband. "You may not think it now, but you are going to be great with this kid. Call it mothers' intuition, but I have a feeling you're going to be excellent and that our kid is going to absolutely love you."

"Thank you, sweetheart," he says softly.

A minute later, the bathroom door opens and Sara steps out, dressed in her pajamas. She walks over to the bed and sits down next to Bobbi.

"Bobbi, will you watch the movie with me?"

"Of course," Bobbi smiles and reaches beside her to grab the TV remote from the nightstand, handing it to Sara. "You find the movie you want to watch while I get ready for bed, and then I'll come and watch it with you."

"Okay," Sara smiles, crawling up to the head of the bed to settle herself down before switching on the television set.

...

"Alright, I'm ready for the movie," Bobbi announces to Sara as she steps out of the bathroom, depositing her clothes from the day into her suitcase. She makes her way over to the bed, sitting down next to Sara. "What movie did you pick?"

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I haven't watched it in a while."

"Excellent choice," Bobbi smiles down at her, scooting closer to her and wrapping an arm around the young girls' shoulders.

"Well you two ladies enjoy your movie. I'm just going to have a quick shower." Lance stands up from his chair and goes to his suitcase to find a few things.

"Okay," Bobbi says in his direction, her eyes fixed on the movie already beginning to play on the screen. "Have fun."

Lance smiles and then makes his way into the bathroom to take his much needed shower.

...

Stepping out of the bathroom, Lance crosses over to his suitcase, drops his clothes and his toiletries into it and zips it up again. "Hey Bobbi," he turns around, "do you know…" he trails off when he sees the sight in front of him. Bobbi is sitting up in the bed; her head resting against the headboard of the bed, one of her arms is wrapped around Sara's back. Sara is lying with her head on Bobbi's chest, one arm draped across the older woman's large stomach. They are both sound asleep, the glow from the movie illuminating their sleeping faces.

Lance smiles, picking up the remote and switching the TV off. He then turns back to the view in front of him and carefully reaches forward, trying his best not to wake either of them. Reaching underneath of the covers, Lance gently grabs Bobbi's ankles, pulling her slowly down the bed so her head is lying on a pillow instead of resting on a headboard.

"Mmm…" he hears Bobbi mumble, shifting slightly.

He cringes, quickly moving up to her face. "Shh," he whispers to her, moving some hair out of her face. "Go back to sleep, Bob. You're fine."

Turning slightly on her back, Bobbi settles back down, returning to her deep slumber. Lance lets out a breath.

Moving around to the other side of the bed, he makes sure Sara is comfortable as well, not wanting the child to wake up with a kink in her neck.

Once finished, he steps back to the foot of the bed, looking down at the two girls sleeping soundly. He can't help but smile, thinking about how they look so happy and peaceful at the same time.

Grabbing his phone off of the night stand next to the bed, he unlocks it and goes to his text messages. He clicks his latest text conversation with Skye and taps in the response box. He hits the photo button, waiting for the camera to load. When it does, he holds the camera up to get Bobbi and Sara in frame, and then takes the picture. He hits enter, typing a caption for the photo, Fell asleep during their movie.

Hitting send, he locks his phone again and sets it back down on the nightstand. He looks back at the bed and then realizes he won't be able to sleep there. He glances down at the floor next to the bed and sighs. "Guess I'm on the floor then," he says to himself.

Grabbing the folded blanket at the foot of the bed, he tosses it onto the floor. He then goes over to his suitcase, unzipping it to find his jacket to use as a pillow. Once he has it, he moves back over to the spot on the floor, folds the jacket up and sets it down on the carpet. He lies down on the blanket, rests his head on the makeshift pillow, closes his eyes and falls asleep.


The moment they step into the hotel room, Grant attacks Skye's lips with his own, pouring three months of pent up passion and apologies into it. He grips her hips tightly in his hands, kicking the door closed behind him. Skye wraps her own arms around his neck, pulling him down closer to her, deepening their kiss; she moves her hands up to tangle in the small hairs at the nape of his neck. Sliding his hands up underneath the back of Skye's shirt, Grant slowly moves them further into the room and back towards the bed.

Leaning them down so Skye's back is touching the bed, Grant begins trailing kisses down her neck. "I love you so much," he says against her skin.

"I love you too," she says back, sounding out of breath.

He smirks against her skin and continues his path kissing down her neck towards her collarbone. Unbuttoning the top buttons of her shirt, he kisses down the smooth skin of the valley between her breasts, paying extra attention to the tattoo lying in the crevice. Looking up at her, he reclaims her lips. "I think….it's time….to properly…welcome…..me…to England," he says in between kisses.

"I think," Skye says, wrapping her legs around his hips to pull him closer to her, "that sounds like an amazing idea."

Chapter Text

*June 18, 2015*

"Hey daddy? How come you don't have an Instagram account?"

"What?" Grant looks up from his laptop to where Sara is sitting across the living room in one of the chairs reading a book.

"Why don't you have an Instagram account?" Sara repeats her question. "Uncle Fitz has one. And I think Jemma does too. So do Lance and Bobbi. And Skye. And I think Phil and Mel might have Instagram too. Pretty much everyone has an Instagram account. So why don't you?"

Grant shrugs, "I'm not sure. I guess I never really thought about it before. Or I didn't think anyone would like my pictures. Or that I wouldn't have anything to post besides pictures of you."

"Oh, well it's really cool. You can take pictures of whatever you want to, put a filter on it if you want, and then share it with people. You can also put a caption with your photo and tag people in your pictures. You should get one."

"I'll think about it," he gives her a small smile.

"Okay," she smiles back.

"What made you think about asking me that?" he asks his daughter.

Sara shrugs, "I was just thinking." Then she turns her attention back to her book.

After a quiet minute of thinking, Grant pulls out his cell phone and unlocks it. He goes straight for the App Store, hitting the Search button at the bottom of the screen. He types in the word 'Instagram' in the box and then waits for the search results to load. The page finishes loading quickly and he clicks on the first result he sees. He scans over the information on the screen before deciding it might be something he can learn to enjoy.

He taps the Install button, enters his Apple ID password, and then sets his phone aside to wait for the app to finish installing.

Once it finishes, he picks his phone back up and opens the newly installed app, creating an account for himself before taking a few minutes to poke around the app and figure out how to use it.

...

"So, you haven't told me yet, how was your day today?" Grant asks Skye as they lie in bed that night, Skye curled up against Grant's side, his arm wrapped around her to hold her close.

"It was actually pretty good," she tells him. "Jemma and I got some lunch and spent most of our day window shopping for wedding dresses. I'm not quite sure exactly what I'm looking for yet, but I do know that I don't want it to be too extravagant. Just something simple will do, I think."

"That's good. Just don't do the final actual dress shopping and trying on without Sara there with you. I know she's getting really excited about everything related to the wedding."

"Of course I'm going to bring Sara with me for the final dress shopping, I wouldn't dream of not having her there. I mean, we still have to find her a really cute flower girl dress, so she's going to have to come along anyways."

He smiles at her, "I can't wait to marry you in less than a month. If I could, I'd take you down to the courthouse tomorrow just so I can start calling you my wife."

"I know you would, Grant," she smiles at him softly. "But I want to have an actual wedding. And I'm not trying to be all bridezilla or anything, but I've been dreaming about what my wedding would look like since I was Sara's age. I am definitely having a legitimate wedding with all the bells and whistles. Even if it's just super simple, I am having my dad walk me down the aisle to you."

He chuckles, "I know, I know. Don't worry. I'm not going to drag you down to the courthouse tomorrow. I just really, really can't wait to call you my wife."

She tilts her head up and smiles at him, "And I can't wait to call you my husband." She stretches up and gives him a quick kiss on the lips. She settles back down against his chest, "So, you heard about my day. Now it's your turn, how was your day?"

He shrugs, "It was alright. Not a whole lot happened. There's a new project for work that we're going to be starting soon which I am heading up. I got an Instagram account earlier. Apparently Sara and Josie have a sleepover planned for tomorrow that I didn't even know about until today. Oh, and Fitz called because he—"

"Hang on," Skye cuts him off. "Go back a little bit. You have an Instagram account now?" she raises an eyebrow.

"Yeah," he says a bit slowly. "Sara asked me earlier today why I didn't have one. So I decided to get one just to try it out. I haven't posted anything yet, but I set one up and then followed you and Sara, your parents, Fitz, Lance, Bobbi, Jemma, and a couple of the guys I know from work."

"You're following me on Instagram?" she asks him with a slight tilt of her head.

He nods his head, "Yeah."

"Huh. I probably would have known about that earlier, but I haven't been on Instagram all day because I was out with Jemma." She pulls out of Grant's embrace and rolls over onto her side to grab her cell phone off of the nightstand, unlocking it and going to Instagram.

"What are you doing?" he asks her.

She rolls back over onto her back. "I'm going to follow you on Instagram," she tells him as she goes to her Followers page and finds his name near the top. "Grant_Ward," she says aloud. "I like it."

"Yeah. It's the best name I could come up with on the spot."

"It's fine. Not everyone has to have something super creative for their username." She clicks on his name which takes her to his profile page. She smiles as she reads his bio at the top of the page, "Father. Fiancé. Construction Supervisor. My daughter told me to get one of these."

"Should I put something else there?" he asks her.

She shakes her head, "You don't have to. I like it how it is. And pretty soon, you can change one word in your bio from fiancé to husband."

He smiles, "Yes I can."

She smiles back at him and then clicks on the button that will allow her to follow his account. Hitting the New Photo button, she sits up in the bed and holds the phone up in front of her, angling it down towards Grant, "Smile, babe."

"What are you doing? I want to go to sleep."

She moves the phone slightly out of the way, "And I want to take your picture. Now hush." She holds her phone back in front of him, "Smile."

Grant doesn't smile; instead he gives her a close eyed look with a slight frown. She sighs and takes his picture anyway. "Good enough, I guess," she says to herself as she lies back down beside him and hits the Next button.

Tapping inside the caption box, she types Welcome to Instagram, handsome :) He's a little mad at me because he wants to sleep but I wanted to take his picture. #handsomefella #hesallmine #loveofmylife #igettomarryhim

She tags his face in the center of the picture before hitting the Share button, sending the picture to Twitter as well.

Rolling over onto her side, she locks her phone again and sets it back down on the nightstand. Then she rolls back over and cuddles up next to Grant once again, draping one arm across his abdomen and resting her chin on his chest. "Hi," she smiles up at him.

"Hi," he smiles back. "Can we go to sleep now?" he asks her.

"Of course," she says and then leans up to give him a quick peck on the lips before settling down and closing her eyes. Grant smiles at her, drops a kiss to the top of her head and then closes his eyes.


Grant watches with a happy and content smile on his face as Skye and Sara sit close to each other on the living room floor, their heads bent together while they're talking to each other in hushed tones, Skye's lyric notebook lying open in her lap. It's the little moments like these that he loves.

Getting an idea, Grant reaches into his pocket, pulls out his cell phone and unlocks it. Opening up his Instagram app, he clicks on the New Photo button. Once the camera is loaded, he holds it up in front of him and carefully adjusts the view and angle of the photo before tapping on the Capture button. Pulling the phone down, he looks at the picture he took and smiles.

He hits the Next button, forgoes a filter, and then taps inside the caption box, My two favorite girls :)

He taps inside the picture and tags both Skye and Sara on their faces, just as Sara had told him he could do with pictures.

Satisfied with his work, he hits the Share button, waiting for his first picture to post to Instagram.

"So, what are you two girls up to?" Grant asks Skye and Sara as he locks his phone and pockets it again.

Skye and Sara both look at him, smiles on their faces.

"Skye was explaining her process of how she usually writes a song," Sara tells him.

"Ooh, very interesting," he smiles, moving off of the couch and onto the floor. He sits next to Skye, wrapping an arm around her waist.

Sara nods her head, "Mm-hm. Sometimes she only takes a few hours to write a song and sometimes it takes her a few days."

"Wow. That's pretty crazy."

"Yeah," Sara says, continuing to smile. "She even let me look in her notebook."

"She did, did she?"

Sara nods her head vigorously, "Uh-huh. And she never let's people look in her notebook. I remember she said that one time in an interview. But she let me look in it."

"That's because you are very special to me," Skye smiles down at her. "And I trust that you won't share my lyrics with other people."

"I definitely won't," Sara tells her seriously. "I promise."

"That's what I like to hear," Skye smiles back.

"Alright," Grant speaks up, "I'm getting kind of hungry, who wants some lunch? And maybe a game of Monopoly afterwards?"

"Me!" Sara exclaims. "I want lunch, I'm hungry."

He smiles, "Lunch it is then."

"Yes!" Sara exclaims, jumping up from the floor and darting into the kitchen.

Grant and Skye both laugh.

"We'd better go too," Grant says.

"Yes we should," Skye nods her head. "But later today you and I need to go over some more things for the wedding."

Grant groans, "Do we have to?"

Skye nods her head, "Yes we do. The wedding is fast approaching so we need to make sure we do everything we need to do to get ready for it." She closes her notebook, leans forward to give him a quick kiss and then stands up from the floor to head into the kitchen.

Grant sighs and then stands up from the floor himself, making his way into the kitchen. "Alright," he claps his hands together once, "let's put some food in our bellies."

Chapter Text

*July 5, 2015*

"So I was thinking," Grant starts talking as he walks into the bedroom. He stops in his tracks when he sees Skye sitting in the middle of the bed, magazines and notepads lying spread out in front of her, her cell phone resting on her knee. "Whoa, what's going on in here?" he asks her.

She looks up at him, "Wedding planning. It's coming up fast so we really have to nail all of these things down."

"Ah," he moves further into the room, sitting down next to Skye on the bed.

"What were you saying when you walked in?" she asks him, making a few notes on the pad of paper in front of her.

"Oh, right. Well, I was thinking, you still need to meet Gramsy."

"Who?" she furrows her brows in confusion.

"My grandmother," he reminds her. "She lives in a nursing home not too far from here. She didn't exactly want to be there at first because according to her, she's too young to be there, but she's had a couple of close calls. And I can't be around all the time to take care of her. She's learned to enjoy her time there, though, so everything's all good now."

"And you want me to meet her?"

He nods his head once, "Of course I do. She's probably going to be upset I didn't bring you over sooner though."

"And why's that?"

"Because she likes to meet all the girls I date. Check them out and see if, according to her, they're good enough for me."

Skye raises an eyebrow, "And exactly how many girls have there been?"

"Um, well, I mean," Grant stutters, "well, when I say all the girls I don't mean…"

Skye's face breaks out into a smile and she chuckles, "Grant." She places a hand on his arm, "Calm down. I was just kidding."

"Right," he nods his head, "I knew that. So, what do you say? Wanna go meet Gramsy?"

"When?"

"Well, the sooner the better. I figure we can go on Tuesday, that's usually when Sara and I go and visit her. Is that good with you?"

Skye thinks for a moment, "I think so, yeah."

Grant smiles, "Awesome. I'll call the home and let them know we're coming on Tuesday." He stands from the bed, going back out to the dining room to get his phone.

"Okay," she smiles at him, watching as he walks out of the room.

Sighing deeply, she falls backwards onto the bed, covering her face with her arms.


*July 7, 2015*

Pulling his car into a parking space at the nursing home, Grant shuts the engine off and turns around in his seat. He looks in the back to see Sara bouncing excitedly in her seat, a wide smile on her face.

"You excited there, bear?" Grant chuckles.

She nods her head excitedly, "Yeah. I wanna show Gramsy all the pictures I have of Buddy."

"I'm sure she'll love to see them," he smiles. He looks over at Skye, "Are you ready to meet Gramsy?"

She takes a deep breath, "I think so."

"Alright, let's go."

They all climb out of the car and make their way towards the front entrance of the nursing home. Grant takes Skye's hand in his, interlocking their fingers together.

When they walk in the front doors of the home, Sara runs up to the front desk, smiling at the tall brunette woman sitting behind it. "Hi Angie," she smiles.

"Hey Sara," Angie smiles back at her. "Are you and your dad here to see your Gramsy?"

Sara nods her head, "Yep. And we brought Skye with us this time."

"Who's Skye?" Angie questions.

"She's my dad's fiancée," Sara smiles wide.

Angie smiles back at her, "Well that's certainly some exciting news." She looks up to see Grant and Skye making their way towards the desk. "I hear congratulations are in order," she smiles at Grant.

"Thanks," he replies with a smile. "Angie, I'd like for you to meet my fiancée Skye. Skye, this is Angie Martinelli. She runs the front desk here at the home. She and her best friend Peggy Carter own the place. Peggy's boyfriend, Steve Rogers, helps out around here too."

"Well it's very nice to meet you," Skye smiles, extending her hand out to Angie.

Angie accepts her hand with a smile, "Likewise. You look kind of familiar though. Do I know you from somewhere?"

"That's Skye, Angie," Sara tells her. "The singer."

"Oh," Angie smiles, realization finally dawning on her. "I knew I recognized you from somewhere. You have quite the career going for you. I'm a big fan of your music."

Skye smiles at her, "Thanks."

"Angie," Sara speaks up. "Where's Steve and Peggy?"

"Steve had to go run some errands and Peggy's sick at home. Sorry, sweetie. But maybe next time you come by they'll be here."

"Okay," Sara says. "Can we go see Gramsy now?"

Angie smiles, "Of course you can. Come on," she steps out from behind the counter, holding her hand out to Sara. Sara takes her hand and heads down the hallway off to the side towards the correct room. Grant and Skye follow closely behind them.

Once they reach the room, Angie stands in the doorway with Sara by her side. She reaches up and knocks on the doorframe, catching the older woman's attention.

"Gramsy!" Sara exclaims, running into the room and up to her grandmother.

The older woman in the room smiles at her great-granddaughter, "Hello, Sara." She wraps the girl in a warm embrace, "How are you?"

"I'm good. How are you?"

"Much better now that you're here."

Sara smiles, "Guess what, Gramsy?"

"What, sweetheart?"

"I brought some pictures of Buddy to show you. He's my dog, remember?"

Gramsy nods her head, "Yes, I remember. You told me over the phone on Mother's Day."

"I'll show you them in just a second." She turns around to face her dad, "Hey daddy?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm going to go to the bathroom."

"Didn't I tell you to use the bathroom before we left?" Skye asks.

Sara shrugs, "I didn't have to go before we left."

Skye sighs, "Alright, go on. But be quick, okay?"

"Okay," Sara makes her way to the door and out of the room.

Once she's gone, Grant steps towards his grandmother. "Hey Gramsy," he leans down to give her a hug.

"Hello, Grant," she replies. "How are you? I heard about your accident, how is your leg?"

"Doing a lot better," he tells her. "Prosthetics aren't all that bad."

"You have a prosthetic?"

Grant nods his head, "Yeah. Since the beginning of December."

"No one ever tells me anything," she mutters, shifting in her chair. "I'm sure I would have liked to know my grandson was in a car accident from him, instead of hearing about it first from Angie when she heard it on the news."

Grant smiles softly at her, "I'm really sorry Gramsy. I know I should have told you. But I was recovering and I guess it just slipped my mind. I really am sorry."

"Alright, I guess I can let it slide." Her gaze falls on Skye and speaks to Grant, her eyes not moving from Skye. "Grant, sweetie, who is this lovely young woman with you?"

Grant turns his head slightly to see Skye standing off to the side. He waves her over, holding one of his hands out to her. He grabs her hand in his and pulls her close to his side. "Gramsy," he says to his grandmother, "this is Skye, my fiancé."

"Your fiancé?" she raises an eyebrow.

"Yeah," Grant smiles. "Skye, this is my grandmother Marianne."

"It's nice to meet you, Marianne," Skye says, holding her hand out to the elderly woman.

Marianne accepts the hand, eyeing Skye carefully. "I didn't know you were engaged, Grant," she says to her grandson. "I don't think Sara mentioned anything when she and I talked on Mother's Day."

"That's why we came by, to tell you."

"Oh, I see. Well when did this happen? When did you propose?"

"Back in January, after Skye got the cast on her arm off from the accident. We took a road trip up to Seaside."

"Seaside? What for?"

"It was Skye's Christmas present," Grant tells her. "I thought we both needed a weekend to ourselves. So we left Sara with Skye's parents and went to Seaside. I proposed to her on the beach."

Marianne nods her head, "I see. And why did you wait until just now to introduce me to her?"

"Because I wanted to make sure things were actually serious between us before introducing you two," he tells her. "And then we were in London."

"London?" Marianne raises an eyebrow. "What on earth were you doing in London? Where was Sara?"

"Sara was with us, Gramsy, don't worry. I didn't just leave her here alone while I flew across the globe."

"That's good. But what were you all doing in London?"

"Skye was touring in Europe for three months and Sara and I decided to meet her in London during the last show of her tour."

Marianne looks to Skye, "Touring?"

"Yeah," Skye nods her head. "I'm uh, I'm a singer."

"A singer?" Marianne looks back to Grant, "You're going to marry a celebrity? I hope you know what you're getting yourself into, dear. You aren't going to have another moment of peace."

Grant chuckles, "I appreciate your concern, Gramsy. But Skye and I have been dating for a little over a year now and I think I've gotten used to all the paparazzi and the fans. Well somewhat used to."

"Alright." Marianne turns to face Skye again, "So dear, how long have you been in the music industry?"

"Well, my parents both work for SHIELD Studios, one of the biggest music labels in the industry, so music has always been an influence in my life. And I've always loved singing; I posted a lot of covers of songs on YouTube when I was in high school. But I didn't really get serious about it until after I graduated high school. Then I signed on with SHIELD and started singing professionally. I like to think I've been doing pretty well for myself since then."

"And how did you meet my grandson?"

"That was actually because of Sara," Grant points out. "You remember how she's been a huge fan of Skye's since as long as either of us can remember. Well, I entered a contest to win tickets to a show Skye was doing in LA last June. For some reason, Skye thought my entry was the best and picked me. Originally the contest was only to win two tickets, but Skye decided to give us backstage passes as well. So before the show we went backstage to meet her, and the rest is history." He looks over at Skye and smiles.

"I'm back!" Sara announces her presence back into the room. She quickly moves over to where Marianne is sitting, climbing up onto her lap. "What did I miss?" she asks the three adults in the room.

"Not much," Grant tells his daughter. "Gramsy was just asking Skye some questions."

"Okay." She turns to look at her great-grandmother, "Hey Gramsy, want to see some pictures of Buddy now?"

"Of course, sweetheart," Marianne smiles.

"Cool," Sara reaches into her jacket pocket, pulling out her iPod.

"Where did you get that, Sara?" Marianne asks, gesturing to Sara's iPod.

"Skye got it for me for Christmas," Sara replies, not looking up as she finds her pictures of Buddy.

Marianne briefly looks up at Skye before giving her full attention back to Sara. "Oh he is a very beautiful dog, Sara," Marianne says as she looks at the pictures of Buddy.

"Thanks, I think so too," Sara smiles. "He's super fun to play with. And he's still just a puppy, so he's always running around and being silly. I've been teaching him how to behave and stuff, but it's hard."

"He'll learn eventually," Marianne tells her. "You just have to be patient with him."

Sara sighs, "I know."

"Now then," Marianne shifts Sara slightly on her lap, "it's been a while since you've come to visit me and we didn't get to talk for too long on the phone on Mother's Day. I want you to fill me in on all of the exciting stuff that's happened since you last visited me. I especially want to hear more about this best friend of yours."

Sara turns excitedly towards her great-grandmother, a wide smile on her face. Opening her mouth, she begins telling her Gramsy about all of the significant things that have been happening in her life.


"So," Grant says to Skye as they get themselves ready for bed that night, "what do you think of Gramsy?"

"She seems nice," Skye replies, digging through the closet for some pajamas.

"Really?" Grant asks, pulling his t-shirt off. "That's all you have to say?"

Skye shrugs, "I kind of got the feeling she didn't like me."

"That's crazy," he tells her, pulling off his pants and grabbing a pair of shorts.

"Is it though?" she asks him, turning around to face him, wearing a pair of boy-cut shorts and a sports bra. "It's the first time I've met her, Grant, and when I told her I'm a singer she gave off this air of disapproval. And when Sara said I'm the one who gave her the iPod, she gave me this really weird look. She didn't say anything about not liking me, but she didn't need to."

"I think you're reading way too much into this," Grant tells her with a small smile on his face.

"Stop smiling," she points a finger at him. "And I'm not reading too much into this. I'm positive she disapproves of us. I don't think she likes the idea of us getting married."

Sighing, Grant reaches out, grabs Skye by the hips and pulls her to him. "Relax, Skye," he tells her, wrapping his arms around her waist. She wraps hers around his neck. "In all honesty, I don't care if Gramsy doesn't approve of you and me. I just wanted you two to meet because you are both very important to me. But I love you, Skye, and I want to marry you. I want to call you my wife. If Gramsy can't handle the fact that you're in the spotlight and by extension, Sara and I will be too, then so be it. But just because she, in your opinion, does not approve of us, that doesn't mean I am going to love you any less than I do right now, or call off the wedding. I love you and we are going to get married. Whether Gramsy likes it or not."

Skye smiles at him, her eyes shining with unshed tears. "I love you," she whispers, leaning up to press a kiss to his lips.

He kisses her back, smiling. "I love you too," he says against her lips. "Now come on, let's go to bed."

"That sounds like a great idea," she smiles, pulling away from the kiss. "Just let me put a tank top on."

"Mm…I think I like this look much better," he tells her, his eyes traveling down her body.

Skye rolls her eyes at him, unwrapping her arms from around his neck. She places her hands on his chest and pushes away from him, turning back towards the closet. "Too bad for you," she says to him. "Because I actually want to get some sleep tonight."

Grant sighs, "Fine." He sits down on the edge of the bed and then reaches down to unhook his prosthetic, setting it on the floor next to the bed. Scooting up on the bed, he lies down and rests his head on his pillow.

Once Skye finishes putting a tank top on, she climbs onto the bed and lies down on her pillow, turning onto her side to face Grant. "Hey, even though I think she might hate me, I'm glad I got to meet your grandmother."

Grant turns onto his side, smiling at her, "Me too. And don't worry about if she likes you or not, okay? It doesn't matter if she does or not. Because Sara and I love you, and that's all that really matters."

"Yeah," she smiles. "All that matters is that we're going to be a family soon."

"I can't wait," he smiles, scooting forward slightly to press his lips to hers.

"Me neither," she smiles against his lips. "Goodnight, soon-to-be husband."

"Goodnight, soon-to-be wife."

Chapter Text

*July 9, 2015*

"Dad! Your phone is ringing!" Sara calls through the house from the living room.

"Will you answer it please, bear?" Grant calls back from the kitchen.

Sara gets out of her chair and walks over to the couch, picking up her dad's cell phone and hitting the answer call button. She holds the phone up to her ear, "Hello?"

"Sara? It's Steve."

"Hi Steve," Sara smiles into the phone. "Do you want to talk to my dad? He's in the kitchen."

"Well, I'm actually calling to talk to Skye for a few minutes. But since I don't have her phone number, I'm calling your dad's phone."

"Oh, okay. One second." She pulls the phone away from her ear and makes her way through the house to the bedroom. "Skye?" she peers inside.

"Hey Sara," Skye smiles over at her from her place on the bed with different wedding materials around her. "What's up?"

"Steve from the nursing home is on the phone. He said he wants to talk to you."

"Oh, okay." She holds her hand out for the cell phone. Sara walks over and hands it to her before turning and making her way back out of the bedroom. Skye holds the phone up to her ear, "Hello?"

"Skye, this is Steve, from the nursing home."

"Hi, Steve," Skye smiles.

"Hello. So, I'm calling you because Marianne asked me to call and ask you to come back by the nursing home soon so she can talk with you."

Skye furrows her brows, "She did?"

"Yes. She insisted on it, to be more precise."

"Oh, okay. When does she want me to come by?"

"Well, considering her schedule is pretty much wide open for the foreseeable future, whatever would work best for you."

"Alright, well I'm pretty booked up for the next few days for some wedding stuff I still need to hammer out, but I think I'm free on Sunday."

"Excellent. How does 10 o'clock in the morning sound?"

"10 o'clock sounds great."

"Alright. See you on Sunday."

"Yep, see you then."


*July 12, 2015*

Entering the front doors of the nursing home, Skye makes her way up to the front reception counter. "Hi Angie," she smiles at the woman behind the counter.

"Hey Skye," Angie smiles back at her. "Where are Grant and Sara?"

"They're not here," Skye answers her. "Apparently Marianne had Steve call and ask me to come by for a visit. Did you not know I was coming?"

Angie sighs, "Steve must have forgotten to write it down. That boy is very lucky he's so handsome and dating my best friend."

Skye laughs quietly. "So, can I go back and see her now?"

"Oh, of course," Angie nods her head. "Do you remember what room she's in?"

Skye nods, "Yeah, I think so."

"Alrighty then," Angie smiles, "enjoy yourself."

"I will," Skye smiles back at her and then turns to make her way down the hallway.

When she reaches the correct room, she sees the door to the room is already propped open, the woman she came to see sitting in a chair with an old book open in her lap.

Lifting a fist, Skye wraps on the doorframe, gaining the woman's attention.

"Skye," Marianne smiles kindly at her, "come in." She closes her book and sets it aside.

Skye nervously walks into the room, moving towards the woman. "Hi. Steve said you wanted me to come by and visit?"

Marianne nods her head, "Yes. Have a seat, please," she gestures to the bed behind Skye. Skye sits down on the edge of it, placing her bag in her lap and crossing her ankles. "Now then," Marianne continues, "I don't think we got off on the right foot when you came by the other day. It's come to my attention that you don't think I like you."

Skye's eyes go wide, "What? Why would you thi—Grant." She sets her jaw, "I can't believe him."

"Oh, don't blame him, dear," Marianne says. "He's just concerned."

Skye sighs, "Sorry. But if I'd known he was going to tell you that, I never would have even told him in the first place."

"Well I'm glad you did."

Skye furrows her brows, "You're glad I think you don't like me? That seems a bit odd."

Marianne lets out a soft laugh, "I'm glad that you're confident and comfortable enough around my grandson to tell him those kinds of things. But I must be honest with you; I'm still a bit wary about you and Grant and your relationship."

"You have nothing to worry about," Skye smiles softly at Marianne. "I love Grant more than anything in this world. Sara too. Those two have brought so much into my life that I didn't have before. They keep me going from day to day."

"That's lovely to hear," Marianne nods her head. "But I'm sure you can understand my hesitancy about your relationship. Especially considering the last serious relationship he was in with Sara's mother."

"Believe me," Skye speaks, "I would never do anything like that to hurt Grant and Sara, ever. I saw the look on Grant's face when he realized Miranda is the one who caused our accident, and then when she was arrested. Plus, I've had my heart broken too, and it's not a very good feeling. I'd never want to be the cause of that kind of pain. Especially towards Grant."

"Well it seems to me like you already have caused some pain."

Skye breath catches, "What?"

"Despite what I lead Grant to believe, I do keep up with what's going on in the world. Which is how I know about that scandal that came about while you were out in another country on your tour."

Skye sighs, closing her eyes and looking down. Then she looks back up at Marianne with tight lips, "That scandal was nothing but a scandal, honest. My idiot ex boyfriend wanted to get back at me for ending our relationship, so he did just that. And yes, Grant was hurt, but it was completely unintentional. And we worked through everything and I like to think we came out on the other side stronger than we were before. I would give up anything and everything to stay with him and Sara. And even if you don't approve of us getting married because of the life that I lead, being in the spotlight all the time, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. But our wedding is still happening, whether you like it or not."

Marianne gives Skye a look with pursed lips before she smiles. "Alright."

"Alright? Alright what?"

Marianne looks at Skye, "I can clearly see you love my grandson and great-granddaughter a great deal."

Skye nods her head, "I really do."

"Well then. If you're going to become part of the family, we should probably get to know each a little bit better," she gives Skye a smile.

Skye smiles back, "I'd really like that."

...

"I'm home," Skye calls into the house as she steps through the front door. She toes her shoes off, setting her bag and keys down on the small table next to her.

"Hey," Grant smiles at her as he enters the living room from the kitchen. "How'd it go with Gramsy?" he presses a kiss to her cheek.

"It actually went really well," Skye tells him. She moves over to the couch and sits down, throwing her feet up onto the coffee table, "Your Grandmother is really sweet. And oh, the stories," she laughs.

Grant's eyes go wide, "Wait, what? What did she tell you?"

"Nothing too embarrassing, I promise. But believe me when I say you better behave for a very long time," she smiles at him, leaning forward to plant a kiss on his lips.

Grant sighs, "Fine. So, you had a good time, then?"

Skye nods her head, "Mm-hmm. And after talking with her, she said she can't wait for the wedding."

"Really? Then why did you think she wasn't so happy about it at first?"

"She said she was wary about us and our relationship because of what happened with Sara's mom. She was just concerned about you, like all grandmothers should be."

"Well she has absolutely nothing to worry about."

"No she does not," Skye smiles. "And I told her as much. Because I do not plan on going anywhere anytime soon."

"Good to hear. And even if you did try and get away eventually, I love you way too much to let you go," he smiles at her.

"I'm counting on that. Just like I'm always going to count on you. You are the absolute love of my life, Grant Ward."

"And you are mine, Skye Coulson."

Chapter Text


*July 17, 2015*

"Tonight's the night," Skye smiles into her phone as she lies on the bed. "Tonight's the best bachelorette party in history."
"Yes it is," Jemma replies. "I don't know if it'll be the best in history, but we'll see."

"So, any hint as to where we'll be going?" Skye asks.

"Sorry," Jemma tells her. "I'm not saying a thing. It's for me, Bobbi, and Natasha to know, and you to find out once the time comes."

"Aw, come on, Jem. This is exactly what you did to me for my birthday."

"True, but you did have fun that night, didn't you?"

"Yes, I had a lot of fun. But I'd still like to know what we're going to be doing for my bachelorette party. Key word here being my."

"All I will tell you is that we are going to have a lot of fun."

"We better," Skye tells her. "Otherwise I am demoting you from Maid of Honor."

"You wouldn't do that," Jemma states. "I'm your longest and best friend and probably the only one, besides your parents and Grant, who can actually put up with you and all your shenanigans."

"You see, that hurts me," Skye says.

"Sure it does," Jemma says back.

Skye lets out a small laugh. "So, do you know what the boys are doing tonight for the bachelor party?"

"I do not. Leo wouldn't tell me anything. But I think he told Lance and Clint what he was planning."

"Well that's dumb that he didn't tell you."

"I'm sorry you feel that way."

"Eh, don't worry about me."

"I will always worry about you, Skye; whether you want me to or not. Now, I should probably get going so I can make sure everything is ready for tonight."

"Alright, I'll see you later tonight, then. Love you, Jem."

"Love you, too."

Hanging up the call, Skye drops her phone onto her bed and takes a deep breath, closing her eyes for a moment.

"Skye?"

Opening her eyes, she looks over to see Sara standing in the doorway to the bedroom.

"Hey kiddo," she smiles at her. "Come up here and join me," she pats the empty space next to her on the bed.

Sara smiles, moving towards the bed and climbing up onto it. She lies down next to Skye, immediately curling into her side and draping an arm across her torso. Skye wraps an arm around Sara and holds her close.

"Is tonight your bachelorette party?" Sara asks after a minute.

Skye nods her head, "Mm-hmm. I was just on the phone with Jemma talking about how excited I am for it."

"Can I come?"

Skye gives her an apologetic smile, "Sorry, sweetie. The bachelorette party is just for grownups."

"Oh."

"But I'll tell you what. Sometime soon, before the wedding, you and I can go out and spend a whole day together. How does that sound?"

Sara tilts her head back and smiles at Skye, "It sounds like fun."

Skye smiles back, "Well I sure hope so. Do you have any place in particular you might want to go to?"

Sara shrugs, "Not really."

"Hmm, okay. Well have you ever been to a spa before?"

Sara shakes her head, "No."

"Oh, you haven't lived until you've been to a spa. Especially the one I always go to; the people there are amazing. I think a spa day would be pretty fun for us."

"Maybe we can get some lunch too," Sara suggests.

Skye smiles at her, "I think that sounds like a great idea."

"Me too," Sara smiles.

"There you two are," Grant smiles as he enters the room. "I was wondering where you both were."

"We've been here," Skye smiles at him.

"We're gonna have a girls night," Sara tells her dad.

"A girls' night?" Grant asks, moving to sit down on the edge of the bed. "Oh really."

Sara sits up and nods her head, "Mm-hmm. We're gonna go out to lunch and go to the spa."

"And maybe we'll do some shopping too," Skye adds, sitting up on the bed as well. "We'll just have to see where the day will take us."

"And when exactly is this girls' day of yours going to be?" Grant asks.

"Sometime before the wedding," Skye answers. "We are going to have so much fun," she smiles down at Sara.

"Well I'm sure you will," Grant smiles. "Now, tonight is your Bachelorette party, right?"

Skye nods, "Yep. And your Bachelor party is tonight also?"

He nods, "Yeah. So Sara," he looks down at his daughter, "you are going to be spending the night with Phil and Melinda until one of us comes to get you in the morning."

Sara smiles, "Cool. Do you think Buddy can come too? I don't want him to be alone here all night."

"I'm sure they won't mind," Skye says. "But I'll text my mom just to be on the safe side."

"Alright," Grant says. "What shall we do for the rest of the afternoon?"

"Can we play Monopoly?" Sara asks.

"We most certainly can," Grant nods. "Why don't you go grab the game and set it up in the kitchen?"

"Okay." Sara climbs off of the bed and then makes her way out of the bedroom.

Grant looks back at Skye, "Are you ready for some Monopoly?"

She smiles, "I'm ready to marry you. Does that count?"

He smiles back, "It most certainly does. Not much longer now. Then we officially become a family."

"Can't wait."


"Alright, alright," the DJ at Providence, Vinny, says from his place atop the stage in his DJ stand off to the side. "We have someone very special down in the crowd tonight. She was in here way back in January for her birthday and now she's back for her bachelorette party. She is the beautiful and amazingly talented Skye!"

Everyone in the club cheers as Skye smiles and waves from her booth off to the side of the club.

"We're all really happy for you, Skye," Vinny continues. "Of course, I could have made you much happier, I'm sure."

Skye rolls her eyes and shouts out, "I highly doubt that."

"You always hate on me," he says back. "And I don't even know why you do it. But you know what, I'm going to let that one slide because you're getting married and you're my friend. I hope you enjoy the rest of your night, Skye, as well as the rest of your life of not being tied down," he smiles and then makes the music louder again, making everyone cheer and start dancing.

"Sometimes I still can't believe we were friends with him in high school," Skye says to Jemma with a small laugh as she takes a sip from her beer.

"Um, I believe you are the one who was his friend. He and I never really considered each other as friends, more like acquaintances."

"Oh, I could have sworn you guys were actually friends."

Jemma shakes her head, "Nope."

"Well, that doesn't really matter," Skye tells her. "What does matter, is that we all have a really good time tonight."

Jemma nods her head, "Absolutely." She picks up her glass and holds it in the air, "To Skye, one of the craziest, weirdest, most wonderful humans I know. Bless Grant that he can put up with her for the rest of their lives together."

Skye laughs, "Here here."

The woman all clink their glasses together and then take a drink.

Skye swallows, "Alright. I'm going to go out to the floor and dance, who wants to come with me?"

"I'll pass," Bobbi says, rubbing one hand over her protruding stomach. "This one doesn't let me stay on my feet for very long anymore. But you go and have fun."

"Tasha?" Skye looks at her friend.

Natasha shakes her head, "You know I'm not much of a dancer. I'll just stay here and keep Bobbi company."

"Fine, weirdos. Jemma?" she turns to look at her best friend. "Please come and dance with me. If you don't, you'll no longer be my best friend."

Jemma furrows her brows, "Didn't you say pretty much that same exact thing to me when we were in the second grade and you wanted me to do the talent show with you?"

Skye nods her head, "But it worked, didn't it?"

Jemma sighs, "Fine. Let's go dance."

Skye beams, "Yay! Come on!" She reaches out and grabs Jemma's hand, pulling her up out of her chair and onto the dance floor.

Natasha smiles as she watches Skye make her way onto the floor, "You know, I've known Skye almost her entire life. I'm really happy that she's getting married, she's always wanted this."

"Well, I haven't known her as long as you and Jemma, obviously. I only met her after Lance and I got married, when Lance was meeting with Skye for the first time about doing a song together. But ever since then, I could tell that she wanted a family and all that goes with it."

Natasha nods her head, "Yep. And now she's finally getting it. And Grant is definitely the right guy for her, I'll tell you that right now."

Bobbi nods her head, "Yes he is."


"Alright, Fitz," Grant says to his friend from the passenger seat of Fitz's car as they drive down the road. "What is the plan for tonight?"

"Well that's for me to know, and you to find out, now isn't it?" Fitz smiles.

"This party better be a good one, Fitz," Clint speaks up from the backseat.

"Oh man, you two should have been there for my bachelor party. My buddy Nate from school threw it, and it was ridiculous," he laughs. "Now that was a party."

"I didn't have a bachelor party," Clint adds. "And I don't think Tasha had a bachelorette party."

"You see, now that's just sad," Lance frowns.

Clint shrugs, "We both like parties, just not so much when we're the center of attention. Which is why we didn't really have a huge wedding either. But I know Skye loves parties and being the center of attention, so I'm a little curious as to why the wedding isn't going to be a huge thing."

"Well it is," Grant replies, "to the people who matter to us. We both agreed that we don't want to have a super crazy wedding. I'm not really into that kind of stuff, and she doesn't want it to be too hectic with all the planning."

"Well then you are a very lucky man, Grant Ward," Lance tells him. "Bobbi may not seem like it, but she wanted all the bells and whistles for our wedding. Nearly drove me crazy, I'm telling ya."

Grant chuckles, "Somehow, that isn't too hard to imagine."

"Fitz," Lance continues, "what kind of a bride do you reckon Jemma'll be?"

Fitz tenses for a split second, "Oh, um, I—I don't—I've never really, we haven't..."

"Relax, Fitz," Grant says to his friend, clapping him on the shoulder. "Lance is just teasing, I'm sure."

"Right, yeah, course I am," Lance nods his head.

"See," Grant says to Fitz, "nothing to get worked up over."

"Yeah, sorry," Fitz says back.

"No need to be sorry," Grant tells him, removing his hand. "Just as long as you planned a good bachelor party."

"I think it'll be somewhat enjoyable," Fitz tells them.

"Well that's good enough for me," Lance smiles. "Let's have ourselves a bachelor party."


"Tonight is the greatest night ever!" Skye shouts over the loud music playing as she dances in the middle of the dance floor.

Everyone around her cheers, raising their drinks high up into the air.

The music slowly fades out and Vinny's voice comes over the speaker system, "Okay, everybody. How are you all doing tonight?"

The large crowd cheers again.

Vinny smiles, "That's what I like to hear. Now, I know that tonight is all about her, and she probably just wants to party. But if she's willing to, I think we'd all really enjoy it if Skye came up and sang a little something for us."

Everyone cheers and starts chanting Skye's name.

"Come on, Skye," Jemma says to her friend. "You know you can't pass up an opportunity to get up on stage and sing."

Skye smiles, "You're right. Okay, I'll do it," she nods her head once.

Jemma smiles, "Great, now get on up there." She gently nudges Skye towards the stage.

"But you have to hold my beer for me," Skye thrusts the bottle into Jemma's hands before turning towards the stage and making her way to it.

"Here she is, ladies and gentlemen!" Vinny exclaims as Skye gets up onto the stage. "Alright, Skye, what are you going to be singing for us tonight?"

"I'm glad you asked, Vinny," Skye says into the microphone sitting center stage. "I'm assuming you have all of my songs loaded into your system?"

Vinny nods his head and smiles, "Yes I do. Karaoke versions as well, just for the hell of it."

Skye smiles, "Good. Then please put on a little number I'm sure you all know. It's one of my biggest hits, and it's called Shake It Off."

The crowd below goes crazy, cheering loud.

"You got it," Vinny smiles, hitting a few buttons on his system.

"Real quick," Skye says, "I want to preface this performance by saying I am very tipsy right now. But here we go."

The best to the music starts and then Skye begins to sing, the crowd singing right along with her.

Once she finished singing, she gives Vinny a quick hug and then makes her way off of the stage and over to the booth where her friends are.

"Nicely done, Skye," Natasha smiles at her.

Skye sits down on the seat, "Thanks. Even half-drunk I'm still awesome on stage."

"Yes you are," Jemma agrees. "But let's hope that doesn't happen too often."

"Oh it won't," Skye tells her. "This is basically a onetime thing because it's my bachelorette party and I can do whatever I want to do."

"And what about Grant's bachelor party?" Bobbi asks. "Is he allowed to do whatever he wants?"

Skye nods her head, "Absolutely. Within reason, of course."


"This is a really nice bar, Fitz," Clint comments as the four guys sit in one of the booths. "Where did you find this place?"

"One of my line cooks used to work here," Fitz replies. "But he wanted to get more out of his culinary degree, so he came and worked for me. He recommended this place for a bachelor party."

"Well tell him thank you," Grant smiles. "This is a great place. It's not too crazy, just perfect for my bachelor party."

"I know you, Grant," Fitz tells him. "I've been your best friend for nine years. I know what kinds of things you like and don't like. All of that allowed me to create the perfect bachelor party for you. Just a night out at a bar with your groomsmen."

Grant claps him on the shoulder, "Which is why you are my Best Man. Now, why don't we all—"

"Is there a groom in here somewhere?"

Looking up, the four men see a tall blonde woman with long slender legs entering the bar, drawing every man's gaze to her. She's wearing a pair of denim booty shorts, a tight fitting shirt that accentuates her breasts, and a pair of black high heels; her hair is slightly waved and hanging down.

Grant whips his head towards Fitz, "Please tell me you didn't."

Fitz's eyes go wide and he shakes his head vigorously, "I didn't, I swear. I don't even know where to find strippers."

"I'm sorry, this part is all on me."

Grant and Fitz both turn their heads towards Lance. "You did this?" Grant asks. "Why?"

"Well, Fitz was telling me about the party and I thought it sounded kind of boring, so I decided to spice it up a bit. And don't worry, I called the bar and made sure they wouldn't mind this beautiful woman being here," he smiles up at the blonde woman now standing in front of their booth. "Hello, sweetheart."

"Hey," she smiles flirtatiously down at the men. "One of you here is the groom?"

Lance nods his head, "That would be this handsome fella right here," he claps his hand on Grant's shoulder. "I think he's a little shy, though, so you want to start slow, let him warm up to ya," he smiles.

The woman smiles, "You got it." She turns her attention to Grant, reaching out and grabbing his hand that is resting on the table. Fitz hesitates for a moment and then moves out of the booth, allowing the woman to pull Grant up and out of the booth.

"C'mon, hot stuff," the woman smiles at Grant, tugging at the collar of his shirt. "You need to loosen up a bit," she grabs his hand again and then starts pulling him towards the front of the bar.

"I am going to kill you," Grant whisper yells at Lance as he unwillingly follows behind the blonde. She shoves him down into a chair placed in the center of the area and then straddles his lap.

Lance sits back in his seat, a content smile on his face, "He'll thank me later."

Chapter Text

Taking Sara's overnight bag from her after the door closes, Phil sets it down on the couch before turning towards the young girl. "First things first," he begins, "dinner. I was thinking about making some burgers. Does that sound good to you two?"

"Sounds good to me," Melinda replies.

"Me too," Sara agrees. "I love burgers. Especially cheeseburgers."

"Well then you're in luck," Phil smiles. "Because I make amazing cheeseburgers."

"He really does," Melinda says to Sara.

"Can I help you make them?" Sara asks Phil. "Sometimes I help daddy make dinner and I'm really good at helping."

"You sure can," he smiles. "Go wash your hands and then come meet me in the kitchen."

"Okay." Sara looks down at Buddy, "Sit." Buddy drops his rear end to the carpet. "Stay." She sets his leash down on the ground and then slowly starts backing up towards the bathroom. Buddy goes to follow after her but she points a finger at him, "Stay." Buddy moves back to where he was. "Good boy," she smiles and then turns to make her way into the bathroom.

"She's getting good with Buddy," Melinda comments.

Phil nods his head, "She is. Do you think Skye would have been like that if we would have gotten her a puppy when she was Sara's age?"

Melinda chuckles and shakes her head, "As crazy as she was, I don't think so."

"You're probably right."

"Of course I am," Melinda smiles at her husband. "Now go on into the kitchen and get those burgers made. I'll hang out in here with Buddy."

"Sounds good," Phil smiles back, leaning forward to give her a quick kiss before making his way into the kitchen.

...

"Mm," Melinda smiles as she walks into the kitchen, Buddy right on her heels, "smells good in here."

"That's probably the burgers," Sara tells her from her spot at the counter, carefully cutting up fruit. "We're also making a fruit salad."

"Well it certainly sounds delicious too," Melinda says. "Are you two having fun cooking?"

"I think we are," Phil replies. "What do you think Sara?"

Sara nods her head, "Yep. And the food is almost ready."

"Yes it is," Phil agrees with a small nod of his head. "The last of the burger patty's are on right now and should be done soon."

"Fruit salad is almost done too," Sara says.

"Excellent," Phil smiles. "Because I can tell from here that the fruit salad looks absolutely delicious, and I'm sure it'll taste just as great."

"Thanks," Sara smiles. "I like cooking, it's fun."

"Yes it is," Phil nods his head in agreement. "I used to cook with my mom a lot when I was your age. That's how I got so good at it."

"Dad lets me help him cook a lot. Do you think I'll be a good cook like you and dad when I get older?"

"Well I definitely think you have a lot of potential," Phil tells her. "But just like when you're dancing, you have to practice, otherwise you won't go anywhere with your skills."

"Okay," Sara replies. She finishes chopping up the banana in front of her and tosses the pieces into the glass bowl. "Done chopping the fruit," she announces. "Now I just have to put in the Cool Whip."

"There's some in the fridge," Phil tells her.

Sara hops down off of the stool she's using and walks over to the fridge, pulling the door open to find the container of Cool Whip. When she finds it, she shuts the door of the fridge and climbs back up onto the stool, standing over the bowl of mixed fruit. She scoops out some of the Cool Whip into the bowl and mixes the contents of it together.

"Fruit salad is done," she tells Phil and Melinda once she finishes.

"So are the burgers," Phil adds. "Time to eat."


"Alright, Sara," Phil says, clapping his hands together once as he sets the last of their dishes from dinner into the sink. Melinda and Sara are sitting at the table, Buddy curled up on the floor next to Sara's feet. "We have the whole rest of the night for just the three of us. What would you like to do next?"

Sara shrugs, "I don't know."

"Well think," Melinda says to her. "What are some of your most favorite things to do?"

Sara thinks for a moment, "Um, well I love to play Monopoly with dad and Skye. Do you guys like to play that?"

"You know, I think it's actually been a really long time since I've played Monopoly," Melinda tells her. She looks up at her husband, "Phil, don't we have a copy of that game somewhere?"

"We might. It'll probably take some looking for, though. Because it's most likely in a place we hardly ever go; the attic."

"Why would it be in the attic?" Sara asks curiously.

"Well, we put up there because we stopped playing it as much as we used to when Skye was younger."

"Can we play it?" Sara asks.

"Of course we can," Phil smiles. "But first I have to go and find it."

"I can help," Sara tells him.

"I think if we all look for it, it'll get found a lot faster," Melinda says.

"Then it's settled. Off to the attic we go," he turns and makes his way towards the stairs at the front of the house.

Melinda just smiles and laughs at her husband before turning to Sara. "Come on, let's go help him before he accidentally hurts himself."

Sara giggles and then stands up from her chair, grabbing Melinda's hand in hers as the two girls make their way up the stairs, Buddy following closely behind them.

...

"You guys have a lot of stuff up here," Sara remarks as she helps Phil and Melinda sift through all of their belongings up in the attic.

"That's because a lot of this is stuff that we didn't really use anymore, but couldn't exactly bring ourselves to get rid of," Melinda explains as she digs through a box. "Most of the stuff up here is from when Skye was little."

"Wow," Sara breathes out.

"Mel," Phil speaks up, "I found the box we filled with a bunch of Skye's stuffed animals when she felt she was getting too old for them."

Melinda smiles, standing up straight to go over to where her husband is. Sara follows behind her. "Oh I remember these," she begins pulling the animals and dolls out of the box one by one. "She got this guy from Nick when she was in the hospital for a broken leg when she was eight," she smiles down at the stuffed pirate bear in her hand.

"How did she break her leg?" Sara asks.

"She convinced Jemma to climb a tree at the park with her and then they couldn't get back down. So Skye decided to jump down instead of waiting for help and ended up landing on her leg wrong. She had a cast and crutches for a while. She wasn't too happy about it, but she managed to get through it. And she had a cute little pirate bear to keep her company." She hands the bear over to Sara.

"That's cool," Sara says, taking the bear from Melinda.

"Mel," Phil speaks up again, pulling another stuffed animal out of the box, "remember this one?"

Melinda smiles over at her husband, "It's the bunny you bought her from the hospital gift shop after she was born." She takes the toy from him and holds it in her hand, smiling at all of the memories held within it. "This thing was pretty much a security blanket for her when she was little. She never wanted to go on any kind of long trip without it."

"What's a security blanket?" Sara asks, reaching down to run her hand across the top of Buddy's head.

"It's something that makes you feel safe," Phil explains. "For some people it's an actual blanket, but for others it can be a doll, a toy, even a photo."

"Oh. So that bunny was Skye's security blanket when she was little?"

Phil nods his head, "Yep. But as she got older, she realized that she didn't need a stuffed bunny to make her feel safe."

"I don't think I have a security blanket," Sara tells them.

"Well that's okay," Melinda says. "Not everybody has to have one. Some people do, and that's perfectly okay. There's nothing wrong with having one."

"Look what I have," Phil says, holding a copy of Monopoly.

Sara grins, "You found it!"

"Shall we go downstairs and play it?" he asks.

"Yeah," Sara nods her head. "And can we watch a movie afterwards?"

"I think that's doable," Melinda nods her head. "But only if you brush your teeth and get into your pajamas first."

"I'll go change right now," Sara tells her. "So I don't have to do it later."

"Sounds like a plan," Melinda smiles. "We'll meet you down in the living room."

"Okay. Come on, Buddy," she makes her way out of the attic and towards the guest bedroom where she's staying.


"I think she lost her battle against sleep," Melinda comments, looking down at the little girl asleep in her lap as the end credits to the movie play out on the screen.

Phil smiles down at Sara, smoothing some of her hair back, "I'm not surprised." He looks up at his wife, "Remember all of those nights when Skye would fall asleep on us after begging to stay up late to watch a movie with us?"

Melinda chuckles, "Of course I do. I always tried to convince her that going upstairs to bed would be the better option. And you always went against me, the both of you trying to convince me that Skye would be able to stay up each night."

"Yes, well, none of that matters now. What does matter is getting this one into a proper bed for the night," Phil says, picking up the remote to turn of the TV.

"I think that's a great idea," Melinda says softly, gently lifting Sara's head off of her lap. She carefully hands the girl over to her husband, making sure she's secure.

Sara stirs in her sleep, "Mmm."

"Shh," Melinda soothes the young girl. "Go back to sleep, Sara. Phil's just going to take you upstairs so you'll be more comfortable."

"Kay," Sara mumbles, turning towards Phil's chest and snuggling closer to him.

Phil smiles down at her and then looks back up at Melinda, "I'll be back down once I put her to bed."

"Okay," Melinda smiles, pressing a kiss to Sara's temple as she smooths back some of her hair again.

Phil carries Sara upstairs and to the guest bedroom, pushing the door open and stepping inside. Carrying her over to the bed, he pulls back the covers and lies Sara down in the bed, tucking the blanket up and around her small frame.

Rolling over onto her side, Sara grabs the pirate bear doll she had snagged earlier, and pulls it close to her body.

Phil chuckles at the sight and then pulls out his phone. He unlocks it and goes into his messages, clicking on the one with Skye. He holds the phone up to snap a photo and then types, I know you're probably preoccupied right now, but I thought you should know, your mom and I found your old pirate bear from Nick earlier. I think Sara has claimed it now. I don't know if you're going to get it back. :)

Hitting send on the message, he locks his phone and pockets it, leaning down to press a kiss to Sara's forehead. "Goodnight, Sara," he whispers to her and then stands up to make his way back over to the bedroom door. Standing in the doorway, one hand on the doorknob, he takes one final look at Sara, a smile on his face, before he turns off the light and shuts the door.

Chapter Text

*July 22, 2015*

"Today's our girls' day," Sara smiles excitedly at Skye from her spot at the kitchen table eating her breakfast.

"I know it is," Skye smiles back, pouring herself and Grant each a cup of coffee. "I'm very excited."

"Me too," Sara says. "I can't wait to go to the spa."

"I think you're really going to love it there," Skye tells her. "It's very relaxing."

"What's relaxing?" Grant asks as he makes his way into the kitchen.

"Going to the spa," Skye tells him, handing him his cup of coffee.

"That's right. You two have your girls' day today."

"And we're gonna have so much fun," Sara smiles.

"Yes we are," Skye smiles as well. She looks at Grant, "You're working today, right?"

He nods his head, "Yeah. And tomorrow. But I have Friday off so we can get ready for the wedding on Saturday."

Skye smiles up at him, wrapping her arms around his middle, "Saturday needs to get her quicker."

"I completely agree," he leans down, pressing her lips to his.

"Guys," Sara groans.

Grant and Skye pull apart, laughing quietly to themselves.

"Sorry, bear," Grant smiles at his daughter. He glanced at the clock on the microwave, "I better get going to work now. But I'll see you both later today."

"Have fun at work," Skye says to him, leaning up to press a quick kiss to his cheek.

"Thanks," he smiles. "You two have fun with your day, as well."

"We will," Skye smiles over at Sara.

"Bye dad," Sara smiles up at Grant as he leans down to give her a kiss.

"Bye," he smiles back, making his way towards the front door.

Once the door closes, Skye turns to Sara, "Alright. Finish up your breakfast and then we'll head out. I think we'll hit the Westfield Century City mall for some shopping, then get some lunch, and end our day with a trip to the spa. Sound good?"

Sara smiles and nods her head, "Yeah."

Skye smiles back, "Excellent."

...

Stepping through the front doors of the mall, hands clasped together, Skye and Sara stand just inside, looking around.

"So, where do you want to go first?" Skye asks Sara.

Sara shrugs, "I don't know."

"Alright. Well how about we just walk around and when you see a store you want to look around inside, you let me know."

Sara nods her head, "Okay."

Skye smiles and then the two girls begin making their way through the mall, weaving through the large amounts of people there.

"Excuse me?"

Turning around, Skye sees a young red headed girl standing in front of her.

"Hi," Skye smiles at the young girl.

"Hi," the girl smiles back nervously. "Are you Skye?"

"Yes I am. And you are?"

"I'm Emily. I'm five."

Skye squats down so she's at eye level with the young girl, "Well hello, Emily. Where are you parents?"

"My cousin Paige is over there," Emily points to a young woman standing just a few feet behind her.

Skye looks up at the girl and gives her a kind smile. She looks back at Emily, "So Emily, I take it you're a fan?"

The girl nods her head, "Uh-huh. I saw you and told Paige I thought it was you. She said it wasn't you, but I told her it was. So I came over to see and it is you," she smiles wide.

Skye laughs quietly and nods her head, "Yes it is."

"Can I get a picture with you?" Emily asks eagerly.

"Of course you can, sweetie," Skye smiles.

Emily squeals. "One second, I'll be right back."

"Okay," Skye smiles as the girl runs off towards her cousin. She looks up at Sara, "Sorry about this."

"It's okay," Sara smiles. "I get it."

Skye smiles at her, "I'm glad you do. But this is still our day."

"I'm back," Emily says, rushing back over to them with her cousin's phone in her hands.

"Excellent," Skye smiles. "Sare, can you take the picture?"

"Sure," Sara nods her head. She takes the phone from Emily. She moves to stand in front of Skye while Emily moves beside Skye. Skye wraps an arm around Emily, holding the girl close, letting a genuine smile grace her lips. Emily stands next to Skye, a very wide smile on her face.

"One, two, three," Sara says and then taps the capture button. She pulls the phone down and holds it out to Emily, "Here you go."

Emily takes the phone, "Thanks."

"You're welcome," Sara smiles.

Emily looks up at Skye and smiles, "Thanks for the picture."

Skye smiles back, "Anything for a fan."

...

"Sara, look," Skye says, picking her phone up off of the table in the food court of the mall. "It looks like Emily's cousin tweeted me."

"What does it say?" Sara asks.

"It says, Thanks for making my cousins' entire day. Em's telling everyone you two are best friends now. Haha. :). She attached the picture we took earlier today."

"That's cool," Sara says.

"Yeah, it is," Skye smiles. She holds the phone back in front of her and hits the reply button on the tweet, Glad I could make her day. Well if she's telling everyone we're best friends, it's a good thing it's the truth. :) She hits send and then locks her phone, setting it down beside her on the table. She turns her attention back to her food, digging in.

"Skye?" Sara speaks up after a minute.

"Yeah?"

"Do you ever wish you weren't famous?"

Skye tilts her head and furrows her brows, "Why do you ask?"

"Everybody knows who you are. And when you go somewhere, somebody usually asks you for a picture or an autograph. You don't get a lot of privacy when you're out doing things. I know you say you love it, but do you ever wish sometimes that you weren't famous?"

"That's a really good question. And the answer to that is...sometimes."

"Really?"

Skye nods her head, "Yeah. It was mostly when I was first starting out, so I don't feel it so much anymore, but every once in a while I do. Usually when I see stuff about my life in magazines and stuff."

"Can't you ask people not to write things about you?"

"Probably."

"How come you don't?"

"You know, I've never actually thought about that before. I guess I've just gotten used to seeing my picture everywhere and having people know practically everything about me. But it's a small price to pay for getting to do what I love all the time and make people happy."

"That makes sense," Sara says.

Skye smiles, "I'm glad. Now, I say once we're done here we hit a few more stores and then….we go to the spa. What do you say?"

"I say yes," Sara smiles.


"Hey Marilyn," Skye smiles at the woman behind the counter as she and Sara enter the front doors of the spa.

The woman, Marilyn, smiles back at Skye, "Skye, it's so good to see you again."

"You too."

"So, what can I do for you today?"

"Well, Sara and I are having a girls day today and we thought we'd come to the spa. Do you have any spots available?"

"Let me look and see," Marilyn says, turning her attention to her computer. She taps away on the keyboard for a minute before looking back at Skye, a smile on her face, "Turns out we just had a cancellation earlier this morning. The spot is yours if you want it."

"Yes please," Skye smiles.

"Excellent. What would you ladies like to do this afternoon?"

"Obviously a mani pedi," Skye says, earning a quick nod from Sara. "I think a facial too, that could be nice. Plus, since I'm getting married very soon, I'm killing two birds with one stone coming to the spa today with Sara."

"Oh that's right," Marilyn smiles. "Congratulations."

"Thanks," Skye smiles. She looks down at Sara, "Anything else you can think of that we should do?"

Sara shrugs, "I don't know. I've never been to a spa before."

"Right, of course." Skye looks back up at Marilyn, "I think a mani pedi and a facial should be good for today."

"Alright, then," Marilyn says. "You can have a seat in the chairs and someone will be right out to get you."

"Thanks, Marilyn," Skye says to the woman as she and Sara make their way over to the chairs lining the opposite wall.

...

Smiling at the scene next to her, Skye digs out her phone from where her bag sits on the counter behind her. She unlocks it and goes straight to Instagram, hitting the new photo button. She holds it up and snaps a photo. Pulling her phone down, she smiles at the image on the screen. Sara is lying back in one of the chairs, cucumbers covering her eyes and the face mask spread all over her face. She taps inside the caption box, You're never too young for a spa day. :)

She tags Sara's face in the photo before hitting the share button at the bottom of the screen. Then she closes out of the app and locks her phone, returning it to its previous place.

"This stuff on my face feels really weird," Sara tells Skye.

"It does at first," Skye replies, lying back in her chair, placing the cucumbers back on her eyes. "But you get used to it the more you do it."

"Does that mean you're going to bring me to the spa again?" Sara asks, a bit of hopefulness in her voice.

Skye smiles, "Possibly. Obviously we won't come back a lot, but special occasions are more likely to require a trip to the spa."

"Cool," Sara smiles. "I can't wait."

"Me neither," Skye smiles.

Chapter Text

WEDDING BELLS ARE RINGING OUT LOUD IN HOLLYWOOD TODAY

This afternoon, one of America's most beloved and talented stars is finally tying the knot.

It's a pretty well known fact, that for the past year and half, chart-topping singer, Skye, has been in a committed relationship with a man she met at one of her concerts, Grant Ward.

For those who may not know or don't remember, Grant and Skye met at one of Skye's shows in LA when Grant took his young daughter, Sara, to see Skye perform. Shortly thereafter, the two began seeing each other exclusively. The two lovebirds kept things between them out of the public's eye for a short time, until one of Skye's closest friends, well-known model Jemma Simmons, posted a picture on her Instagram account of the couple locking lips during a Fourth of July celebration last year.

The next day, following many comments, questions, and speculation, left on many social media platforms about who her significant other was, Skye posted a picture of herself and Grant, both of them smiling happily with the caption For those of you who were curious :)

The two continued to date, enjoying spending all of their time together, until a tragic car accident last November threatened to take Grant away from Skye. Luckily, Grant recovered and the two remained together, neither of them taking a single moment for granted.

In mid-January, Grant and Skye took the next step in their relationship. While on a weekend trip to the coast, Grant got down on one knee and popped the big question. It's more than obvious that Skye said yes.

A few months later, Skye departed on a three month long European tour, leaving Grant and Sara back at home in the States. Although they were engaged, Grant and Skye hit a major speed bump during the first month of Skye being gone. For those who may not remember, a picture was released online showing Skye locking lips with her ex boyfriend, Miles Lydon. Not too long after, the photo was revealed to have been a scheme of said ex boyfriend to get back at Skye and ruin her happy relationship. Lydon was only successful for a few days, because Grant and Skye are still together and stronger than ever.

And now the joyous day has finally arrived. The day of their nuptials has come and everyone is dying to hear or see anything in regards to the wedding.

Fans will have to wait though, as the wedding is off-limits to anyone not already on the small guest list. The location has been kept quiet for this specific reason, though it is said that security will be extremely tight for the occasion, just to be on the safe side.

Although we would love nothing more than to be a fly on the wall at this wedding, we are going to respect the couples' wishes and leave them be. Though we do want to offer our congratulations and wish them all the best for the future and everything it brings.


*July 25, 2015*

"I still can't believe that this is actually, finally happening," Skye says aloud with a smile on her face as she stares at her reflection in the full length mirror standing in front of her. "In all honesty, I've never been able to really picture myself doing this."

"I haven't been able to picture it either," Melinda says from behind her.

Skye quickly turns around to face her mom, "Mom! Seriously?"

Her mom shrugs, "What? I never thought any of the guys you dated in the past were good enough for you. I was never able to picture you marrying any of them. But then when you started dating Grant I noticed a change inside of you, Skye. There was something different about you," she smiles at Skye. "And I've never seen you happier than when you're with him and Sara."

"Thanks mom," Skye smiles back.

"Anytime, baby girl," Melinda reaches up and gently runs a hand over Skye's cheek, smiling at how beautiful her daughter looks in that moment. She's wearing a floor length white dress that hugs her waist snuggly. It's strapless with a slight plunge at the neckline, a very subtle bead design sewn throughout the top of the dress. Her hair is softly curled and pulled back behind her head with a clip. Her makeup is done very lightly in order to accent her best features.

"You look so beautiful, sweetheart," Melinda tells her daughter, the beginnings of tears forming in her eyes.

"Thanks," Skye smiles. "But don't you dare start crying. Because if you cry, then I'm going to cry. And I cannot ruin my makeup right now."

"Of course," Melinda replies, wiping at her eyes to stop the tears from escaping.

"Wow," Sara enters the room and stops when she sees Skye. "You look really pretty, Skye."

Skye smiles down at her soon-to-be stepdaughter, "Thank you, Sara. You look very beautiful as well."

Sara's wearing a pale pink dress that reaches down just below her knee with a white sash tied around the waist. It's a cap sleeve dress with a sweetheart neckline. She's wearing a pair of simple white flats and her hair is pulled back into a tight braid with a white ribbon tied at the bottom to hold it together.

Sara glances down at her dress and then looks back up at Skye. "Thanks," she smiles.

"How's everything going in here?" Jemma asks as she enters the room, carrying the bridesmaids' bouquets and the flower girl basket.

"Hi Jemma," Sara speaks up. "I'll take my basket." She happily takes her flower girl basket from Jemma, clutching it tightly in her hands.

"Thank you, Sara," Jemma smiles at the girl. She turns towards a table just off to the side and lays all the bouquets on it and then turns to look at her best friend. "Oh Skye," she smiles, "you look absolutely lovely."

"You think so?" Skye questions, glancing down at herself.

"I know so." Jemma steps up and pulls Skye into a hug, "Grant is a very lucky man to be marrying you today."

"After everything that's happened, I feel like I'm the lucky one," Skye says. "I'm so happy and excited. But I'm also really nervous. Is that normal?"

"Perfectly normal," Melinda tells her.

"Your mom is right," Bobbi says from her spot in one of the chairs on the other end of the room, sipping some sparkling cider out of a champagne glass while rubbing one hand absentmindedly across her large stomach. "Lance and I were both extremely nervous when we got married. But we pushed through it, said our vows, and are now, for the most part, happily married with a little baby girl on the way."

"Okay," Skye breathes out. "Do you think Grant is nervous too?"

"Nervous and excited," Natasha pipes up as she walks into the room. "You are a very successful, gorgeous woman and he's the one that gets to marry you. If he's not nervous on his wedding day then his heart isn't really in it."

"But his heart is in it," Melinda assures her daughter, "and that pretty much guarantees that he's nervous."

"Was dad nervous when you two got married?" Skye asks her mother.

Melinda lets out a low laugh with a reminiscent smile on her face, "More than you can even imagine. The man was so nervous that he kept stumbling over his vows."

Skye laughs too, "I would have loved to have seen that."

Melinda smiles, "I can tell you that while he was nervous he was also happy. And I can also tell you that while Grant may be nervous, he's also very happy to be marrying you."

"Mel's right," Sara speaks up from her chair. "Dad's really happy that he gets to marry you. And I'm happy that you two are getting married," she smiles up at her soon-to-be stepmother.

"I'm happy about it too," Skye smiles back.

Glancing down at the clock on the side table, Jemma's eyes go wide and she gasps. "It's almost time for the ceremony," she announces to the room. "We need to get moving. Sara, take your basket and go get in your place, yeah?"

"Okay," Sara smiles, standing up from her chair and grabbing her basket off of the table. She steps over to where Skye is and stands in front of her. She beckons her down with her finger and Skye squats down so she is at eye level with the young girl. Sara throws her arms around Skye's neck in a hug and Skye hugs her back. She leans towards Skye's ear, "I'm really glad that you're gonna be my mom." Then she releases her hold on Skye and quickly rushes from the room, shutting the door tightly behind her.

"What was that all about?" Melinda asks her daughter, seeing the tears welling up in Skye's eyes.

"Nothing," Skye smiles at the retreating form of the little girl who stole half of her heart. She stands up and shakes her head, taking a deep breath to clear the tears from her eyes and turns to the other four women in the room. "Alright," she says, picking up her bouquet, "I'm ready."

"Fantastic," Jemma smiles, "let's go and get you married off."


"Why can't I tie this thing?" Grant mutters frustratingly to himself, looking in the mirror in front of him as he struggles to tie his bowtie.

"Need some help there?"

He turns around to see Phil standing in the doorway.

"Would you mind?" Grant asks sheepishly.

Phil smiles kindly, "Not at all." He steps forward and grabs both ends of Grant's bow tie in his hands. He begins twisting and turning the fabric around itself. "You know, I never had a son to help tie his tie," he gives Grant a small smile.

"Well, I never had a father to teach me how. I mean, I did have a father, but he never really felt like one when I was growing up."

"Then I'm happy to take up the mantle," Phil tells his soon-to-be son in law. "And before you say anything in protest, you're about to officially become family. Besides, you're never too old to find a father figure." He finishes off the bow tie and adjusts it slightly before stepping back to admire his handiwork. "Have a look," he gestures to the mirror.

Grant turns back to the mirror, looks at his tie and smiles, "Thank you, Phil."

"It was my pleasure," Phil smiles back at him.

"Grant?" Ace speaks up as he enters the room, dressed up in his Ring Bearer tux. "Where are the rings for the pillow?"

"In the box on the table," Grant points to a small wooden box sitting on a table near him. Ace walks over to the box and pulls out the rings, tying them securely to the top of the white pillow.

"Well don't you just look devilishly handsome," Lance announces his presence as he strolls into the room, a beer bottle in one hand and his tie hanging undone around his neck.

"Thanks Lance," Grant smiles at the man. "Have you seen Fitz, by any chance?"

"I think he was dealing with Buddy," the Brit answers, sitting down in a chair. "Something about the dog trying to eat the flower arrangements, I think."

Grant sighs and shakes his head, "I knew it wouldn't be that great of an idea to bring Buddy to the wedding. But both of my girls insisted that Buddy be involved somehow."

"By having Ace hang onto the leash while the dog has the pillows with your wedding rings tied to his collar?" Lance raises an eyebrow.

Grant nods his head, "Yeah."

"Alright. I just hope for your sake everything runs smoothly."

"What? Why?" Grant wonders aloud.

"It's your wedding day," Clint says, entering the room and joining in on the conversation. "It's pretty much the most important day of your life. It's supposed to be perfect." He leans up against a wall, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

"Yeah," Lance agrees, "especially for the bride. And if anything goes wrong at all, even by the tiniest little bit, you'll never live it down. Bobbi still won't let me forget what happened at our reception."

"To be fair," Clint pipes up, "that was all your idea. You really are the one to blame for that."

"Of course you'd side with her," Lance scoffs. "Everybody always does." He sits back in his chair and takes another swig from his beer.

"I still can't believe you got Sara a dog," Fitz tells his best friend as he enters the room, fixing his suit jacket. "Those things are bloody nightmares."

Grant rolls his eyes and smiles, "Relax, would ya, Fitz?" Grant walks up to his friend and claps him on the back, "Buddy isn't usually that bad. I think he just senses all of the excitement that's going on around him."

"Yeah, well, he tried to eat some of the flower arrangements and jump on some of the guests. I do not need Jemma and Skye finding out about that. They would go completely berserk."

"Really?" Grant asks.

"Definitely," Phil replies with a nod of his head. "When Mel and I got married she was so meticulous about everything. You wouldn't think it, knowing her now, but she was pretty adamant about everything being absolutely perfect, down to the smallest detail.

"I guess I'll just have to take your word for it for now," Grant chuckles.

"Oi!" Fitz exclaims, having checked the time on his watch. "The ceremony is going to start soon. Everyone needs to get to their places right now before I get yelled at by my girlfriend for not having you lot ready to go."

Ace grabs the ring bearer pillow off of the table and hurries out the door, heading out to tie it onto Buddy's collar. Grant takes a deep breath, looking to Phil for one last bit of encouragement.

"You're about to become the luckiest man on the earth," Phil tells him.

"I know," Grant smiles, "and I can't wait."

"Alright then," Phil smiles, "you head out to the altar and wait there, you're about to become a married man."


"What is taking the boys so long?" Jemma wonders aloud, looking around trying to find the groomsmen and ring bearer.

"They're men," Natasha points out. "Do you really need any other explanation than that?" she asks with a smile.

"There they are," Jemma breathes out a sigh of relief when she sees all of the guys heading towards them.

"Lance," Bobbi says when her husband reaches her, "why the hell isn't your tie done?"

Lance looks down at his still untied tie and then back up to his wife, "You do it better?"

Bobbi rolls her eyes and steps forward, quickly tying her husband's tie for him, "Almost eight years of marriage and I'm still tying your ties," she mutters. "Ridiculous."

"But you love me," he smiles up at her.

"I suppose I do," she smiles back, finishing his tie. "There," she pats his chest once, "all finished."

"And that is why you are the best," he says to her, wrapping his arms around her waist and letting his hand rest on the side of her pregnant belly.

"Enough of that from you two," Clint says to Lance and Bobbi from his spot next to Natasha. "We'll probably be getting enough of that mushy crap from Grant and Skye later today, so quit it."

"Okay," Jemma claps her hands twice, "everyone get in their proper places, please, we're about to start."

Everyone lines up in front of the double doors in their correct order. Fitz and Jemma are at the front of the line, followed by Clint and Natasha and then Lance and Bobbi. Buddy and Ace are waiting behind them, Buddy's tail wagging excitedly. Sara is standing behind them, gently scratching Buddy's fur and talking quietly to Ace.

And then last, but most definitely not least, is Skye and her dad, standing just around the corner so they won't be seen by anyone until the right time. Phil takes a moment to look at his daughter, really look at her. "You look so beautiful, Skye," he smiles at her.

"Thanks daddy," she smiles back at him.

"You look so much like your mom did when we got married," he tells her with a reminiscent smile on his face.

"Really?" she asks.

"Absolutely," he says back, giving her hand a squeeze.

She smiles in response and then takes a deep breath, trying to calm her rapidly beating heart.

"Are you okay?" Phil asks his daughter.

"I'm fine," Skye assures him, "just nervous, excited, and scared; all at the same time." She lets out a small laugh.

"I know exactly how you feel. But trust me when I say that it'll all be worth it once you get to that altar and say 'I do'. When Grant lays his eyes on you for the first time in this dress, you are most definitely going to take his breath away."

Skye can feel the tears building up in her eyes and takes a few deep breathes to keep them at bay. "Please stop saying sweet things like that to me," she tells him, "you're going to make me cry."

"I'm sorry, baby girl. I'm just so happy for you," he smiles.

"Thanks daddy," she smiles back.

The wedding march begins and Skye looks her dad in the eye. "That's our cue," she says.

He holds his arm out to her, "Shall we walk then?"

She links her arm with his, smiling at him. She takes a deep breath, "Let's do this."

Chapter Text

As the music starts to play, everyone in the audience turns around in their chairs to look at the back end of the aisle. They watch closely as Jemma and Fitz emerge through the double doors, their arms linked together, and walk down the aisle. When they get to the front, they each take their respective places as the Best Man and Maid of Honor. Clint and Natasha walk out after them, followed by Lance and Bobbi.

Ace walks out next with Buddy, the dogs' leash being held tightly in his hands. As Ace walks, he looks down at the pillow attached to Buddy's collar every so often to make sure that the rings are still there. When they get to the front of the aisle, Ace takes his place in front of Fitz, making Buddy lie down at his feet.

After him, Sara emerges, carrying a small woven basket full of light purple flower petals. As she walks, she scatters the petals all down the aisle then takes her place standing in front of Jemma.

The music changes and everyone stands up from their seats, turning around fully to watch the end of the aisle. A moment later, Phil and Skye step through the doors, standing at the end of the aisle.

As they start to walk, Skye catches Grant's eyes, and from that moment, she can't look anywhere else. It takes every ounce of self control within her to not walk faster down the aisle in order to get to the altar to be standing with him.

When Grant sees Skye walk out, he feels his breath hitch in his throat, a smile growing on his face when his thinks about how beautiful she looks. Once he catches her gaze he can't look away.

When they finally reach the altar, Phil leans forward to place a gentle kiss on Skye's cheek. He turns to Grant and puts a hand on his shoulder, "You take care of my baby girl."

Grant smiles, "I will."

Phil smiles at the man and then at his daughter before turning around and making his way to his seat next to his wife in the front row. Everyone in the room takes their seats once again, all of their attention on the couple at the front of the room.

Grant and Skye grab hands and smile lovingly at each other like they're the only two people in the room.

"You look so beautiful," Grant tells her.

"You don't look so bad yourself," she replies.

"Dearly beloved," they hear the priest say, "we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the joining of this man and this woman in holy matrimony."

...

"You have both chosen to read your own vows?" the priest asks. Grant and Skye both nod their heads. "Very well then. Grant?"

Grant takes a deep breath, looking directly into Skye's eyes. He opens his mouth to speak, "Skye, when we first met, I knew. I don't know how, but I knew. From that very first moment I saw you, I knew that you were, without a doubt, the most beautiful and incredible woman I had ever met. I knew that there was something completely special about you. I knew that I wanted there to be something between us, but I also knew that I was scared about that. I've had a bad experience with love before and I thought it was all a joke, that I'd never truly find it again. But all of that changed when I met you. You are the love of my life, my partner, my best friend, and an amazing role model for Sara. I speak the absolute truth when I say that the both of us couldn't have asked for a more perfect person to come into our lives. Right from the beginning you filled in the role for Sara that a mother would, caring and looking out for her like you've been doing it forever. And you did it all without a second thought. Skye, from this day forward I promise to love and cherish you, and always treat you the way you should be treated. I love you with all of my heart, and today you are making me the happiest man alive."

Skye smiles up at him as she wipes a few tears off of her face. She swallows thickly and then opens her mouth to speak, "Grant, I love you. I love you more than I have ever loved anyone or anything in this entire world. That first day we met, I only thought I was meeting my biggest fan and her very dedicated and loving father. But after we talked, I realized that you were someone I could actually see myself getting closer to. After my last relationship ended badly, I didn't really think that I'd find someone I could actually see myself having a future with. Then I met you and you completely turned my world around and everything started to become more clear to me about my life. You and Sara are the two best things that have ever happened to me, hands down. The both of you gave me things I have always hoped for; true love, genuine happiness, and a family to call my own. I wouldn't trade meeting the two of you for anything, not even for a Grammy. Every day, until the day we take our last breath, I promise to always love you, care for you and be by your side through everything. I love you with all of my heart, and I'm looking forward to making more memories with you and cherishing every moment."

Grant smiles at her as he reaches up and wipes away the tears on her cheek before grabbing her hand in his once again.

"The rings," the priest says to the couple. Grant turns towards Ace, waiting as the young boy unties the rings from the top of the small pillow. Grant takes the rings from the boy, giving his hair a quick ruffle as he does so. The rings in his hand, he turns back to Skye, handing her one of the rings and keeping the other for himself. "Grant, please place the ring on Skye's finger."

Grant smiles, sliding the thin silver band onto the fourth finger of Skye's left hand.

"Skye, please place the ring on Grant's finger."

She smiles and slides the smooth circle onto the fourth finger of Grant's left hand.

"By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."

Grant smiles wide, grabbing Skye by the hips and pulling her close. Leaning down, he presses his lips to hers, smiling into the kiss. Skye smiles against his lips, bringing her hands up to cups his face, pulling him down closer to her to deepen the kiss.


"Alright, alright," Vinny speaks up from his booth at the front of the reception hall. "Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for the newly married, Mr. and Mrs. Grant and Skye Ward." The room erupts into claps and cheers as Grant and Skye enter the large room hand in hand, big smiles on both of their faces. They make their way further into the room, heading towards the long table at the front of the room, saying hi to all of their friends and smiling the entire time.

"I can't believe that we're actually married now," Grant says to Skye as they make their way through the room.

She squeezes his hand gently, "I know. I can't believe it either. I'm so ridiculously happy right now."

"Me too," he smiles down at her and then uses one finger to tilt her chin up so he can press his lips to hers.

Pulling away, she smiles up at him, "So, what should we do first, Mr. Ward?"

He smiles back, "What would you like to do, Mrs. Ward?"

She giggles, "I don't know if I'm ever going to get used to that."

"Well then I guess I'll just have to call you it so much that it doesn't sound so weird anymore."

"Sounds like a plan," Skye smiles and nods her head. She leans forward and pecks his lips.

"There's the happy couple."

Grant and Skye both turn their heads to see Marianne making her way towards them, a smile on her face.

"Hey Gramsy," Grant smiles, stepping away from Skye to pull his grandmother into a hug. "We're so glad you could make it."

"Of course," Marianne smiles back when they pull out of their hug. "You know I wouldn't miss this. Not even being in a care facility can keep me away. Though I guess it does help some that you invited Steve, Peggy, and Angie."

"Yes it does," Grant nods his head.

"Hi, Marianne," Skye smiles, stepping up next to Grant.

"Hello, dear," Marianne smiles at Skye. "And I told you to call me Gramsy. I mean, we are family after all."

Skye nods, "Right, my bad."

"You're fine," Marianne assures her. "I just wanted to come over and say congratulations and wish you both the best of luck with your marriage."

"Thanks, Gramsy," Grant smiles. "Now, if you'd excuse us, I think we'd both like to get some food and say hi to some more of our guests."

Marianne nods her head, "Of course. I'll just be over at my table with Steve, Peggy, and Angie." She gives them both a smile and quick hug before making her way back over to her table.

Skye turns to look at Grant, "Were you serious about getting food? Because I am really hungry."

Grant laughs quietly and takes Skye's hand in his, linking their fingers together. "Yeah, let's go get some food."

...

"Ladies and gentlemen," Vinny speaks up, "It is my great pleasure to announce that it is now time for the lovely couple to share their first dance together as husband and wife."

Everyone claps as Grant and Skye make their way onto the dance floor.

The simple chords of a guitar start flowing through the speakers. Grant wraps both of his arms around Skye's waist, holding her close. She wraps her arms around his neck, smiling up at him.

I've never needed much
Just that simple rush
Moment you walk in
Yeah I'd rather be blind
Than not look in your eyes
Cause no one else can see
How you look to me

"Have I told you how happy I am that you agreed to marry me?" Grant asks as they away from side to side on the dance floor.

"You may have mentioned it once or twice," Skye smiles.

He nods his head, "Well I am, extremely happy that you wanted to marry me. I've never loved anyone the way that I love you."

"Same," she smiles up at him before resting her head on his chest as they continue to sway.

All I want is you
No makeup or perfume

So give me that kind of love that makes the hair stick straight up upon your neck
The kind you give your life for theirs like Montagues and Capulets
Don't need to live forever
Growing old with you is much better
Just give me that kind of love

As they sway, Grant leans his head down and softly whisper sings the words into Skye's ear. Skye smiles at the sweet gesture, letting her fingers play with the small hairs at the nape of his neck.

I don't need a château
In the south of France
Just a hole in the wall
Enough space to dance
Isn't she lovely
Playing on the radio
You'll be safe in my arms
Swinging back and forth

Cause all I want is you
No makeup or perfume

Pulling back, Grant smiles down at Skye as he spins them elegantly across the dance floor, bringing a look of awe to Skye's face.

"Where did you learn to dance like that?" she asks him.

He shrugs, "I may have asked Sara's dance teacher to give me a few pointers."

"You are amazing," she smiles.

Give me that kind of love that makes the hair stick straight up upon your neck
The kind you give your life for theirs like Montagues and Capulets
Don't need to live forever
Growing old with you is much better
Just give me your

When he finishes twirling and spinning them, Skye rests her head back on Grant's chest, closing her eyes to listen to the beat of his heart blend together with the beat of the music.

Every little pain
Give me the things you can't explain
Electricity in your veins
Drive me insane
Drive me insane
I want your insecurities
They take the breath right out of me
Tear me apart and set your flames
Cause I am yours
Just take your claim

Pulling back slightly, Skye tilts her head so she can look up at Grant. She gives him a soft smile, "I love you so much."

He smiles back, "I love you too." He dips his head and presses his lips to hers, smiling into the kiss.

Cause all I want is you

So give me that kind of love that makes the hair stick straight up upon your neck
The kind you give your life for theirs like Montagues and Capulets
Don't need to live forever
Growing old with you is much better
Just give me that kind of love
Just give me that kind of love
Don't need to live forever

As the music ends, everyone claps and cheers as Grant and Skye end their dance. Grant places a small kiss to Skye's cheek before they turn towards their friends and family.

"It is at this time," Vinny speaks up, "that I'd now like to invite all the couples we have with us today out onto the floor for a dance."

Another song begins to play through the speakers as the different couples in the room make their way onto the dance floor.


"Phil! Mel!" Sara exclaims happily as she makes her way over to the older couple. They are standing at one side of the room talking with each other.

At hearing their names, Phil and Melinda turn their heads to see Sara running towards them. Bending down when she reaches them, Melinda scoops Sara up into her arms and holds her securely on her hip. "Hello Sara. How are you?"

"Good," she replies, wrapping her arms around Melinda's neck. "My dad and Skye are married now," she states with a happy smile.

"Yes they are," Melinda smiles back. "It was a pretty great ceremony, huh?"

Sara nods her head, "So cool." There is a small beat of silence before Sara speaks up again, "I have a question."

"Ask away," Phil smiles.

"Now that Skye is my mom that would make you two my grandparents, right?"

Phil and Melinda both smile at each other before turning back to face Sara. "Absolutely," Phil says with a small smile.

Sara beams, "Cool. But since I already call my other grandparents Grandma and Grandpa, I think I'm gonna call you something different."

"Well then, what would you like to call us?" Melinda asks. "It's up to you."

Sara thinks for a minute, "Hmm. How about…Papa and Nana?"

Phil and Melinda both smile. "Papa and Nana sounds wonderful," Melinda tells the young girl.

"I love you, Nana," Sara says, leaning forward to hug Melinda.

Melinda hugs her back, "I love you too, sweet girl."

Pulling away from the hug, Sara turns towards Phil, "I love you too, Papa," she smiles at him.

"And I love you, Sara," he smiles back.


"Okay," Vinny says from the small stage at up at the end of the room, a microphone in front of him, "if I could have everyone's attention over here, please." He waits as the room quiets down. "Thank you. I am pleased to say that it is now time for the speeches." Everyone claps for a minute and then quiets down again. "We'll start off with a speech from Fitz, the Best Man. He will be followed by Jemma, the Maid of Honor and then Phil, the Father of the Bride. Best Man, you now have the floor."

Standing up from his chair at the table, a nervous smile on his face, Fitz walks out to the stage and stands in front of the microphone. He clears his throat, "Um, I've known Grant for just about nine years now; ever since Sara was just a wee little thing," he smiles down at his niece. She smiles back.
"When I first met Grant, he was just a man sitting in the middle of the mall with a crying child in his arms. I almost walked past him, mind you, but instead, I took pity on him and decided to help him in whatever way I could." The audience laughs. Grant smiles at the memory.
"We were complete strangers in the middle of the mall, and I was helping this man calm down his screaming child. It's like something you'd see in a film," he chuckles. "But then we got to talking and I got to know him better. I found out he was a single dad and had only been living in town for a few months because he wanted a new start for him and his daughter. It was at that moment that I found a great amount of respect for the man I stand up here today to congratulate." Fitz looks over at Grant to see him smiling at him.
He turns back to the crowd, "Over time we got to know each other more and became really good mates. When we were out celebrating Sara's 1st birthday together he asked me if I wanted to officially be Sara's uncle. I told him I thought I already was." A few chuckles come from the crowd. "And so from then on, I was officially known as Uncle Fitz," he smiles.
"I began to spend a lot of time over at the Ward household and I was able to see the many interactions between father and daughter. I could see that they were happy, but when I asked Grant if he ever planned on giving Sara a mum, he just looked at me and said, 'I've had my heart broken and stomped on. I don't know if I ever want to risk that happening again.' Clearly we can all see that he wasn't stupid enough to actually stick to that." The crowd smiles and laughs.
"From the first moment I saw Grant with Skye, I saw something new in Grant. There was something different about him, in a good way. And I knew that it was because he found the person he's really meant to be with. I just don't think either of us thought she'd be world famous and his daughter's favorite person besides himself." The crowd laughs again.
"I'm so glad that Grant met Skye, she truly was the missing piece from that little family and she fit right into it without missing a single beat. I was worried about Grant in the beginning, that he would never find someone, because Sara always came first to him. But then he met Skye and everything fell into place and is as it should be." Turning towards Grant and Skye, he smiles at them, "Congratulations to the both of you. I'm so glad he found you Skye, and I couldn't be happier for you two." Smiling to himself, Fitz moves off of the stage and takes his seat again, letting out a huge huff of air as he does.

Standing up from her chair, Jemma makes her way over to the stage. Standing in front of the microphone, she opens her mouth to speak, "Skye is my absolute best friend in the entire world; she's practically my sister." She throws a smile at Skye to see her smiling back.
She looks back at the group, "I remember when I first met Skye; we were six and I had just moved here from England with my parents and hadn't made any friends yet. But at school during recess one day, Skye came up to me and started talking to me. I remember it very clearly, the very first thing she ever said to me was, 'You sound funny. Want to be my friend?'" She waits as the crowd laughs. Skye hides her blushing face in her hands. Grant chuckles, wrapping his arm around her shoulders.
"She was very blunt and for some reason I agreed to be her friend. She was always the more outgoing one in our friendship, whereas I would just follow behind whatever she did. I trusted her. And I still do. She was my first friend here in America and I couldn't be more excited for her on her special day."
"Grant is, in my very honest opinion, the best man for Skye. And that should mean a lot, because I've always been very critical of anyone Skye has decided to date in the past. She's like my sister and for some reason, I took on the responsibility of trying to protect her to the best of my ability. So I spent my life helping her and trying to keep her safe. I was there when she participated in her first talent show in first grade and got second place. I was there to help her stumble back to my place after a drunken mistake during high school." She quickly looks at Phil, "Sorry you're just finding out about this now, Phil." She smiles sheepishly while Skye just laughs quietly and Phil sighs.
She turns back to the crowd, "I was there for her when she had her heart broken for the first time, repeatedly telling her that the boy was an imbecile for not seeing how completely amazing she was. I was there when she knocked a kid out in the fifth grade for making fun of me and how I spoke. And I was even there when she started on her road to fame, when she won her first award, released her first single, and her first chart topper. I've been there for and through every single moment in her life and career. And I'm so happy to get to be a part of this wonderful, wonderful day."
She looks over at Skye to see tears streaming down her best friends' face. It's at that moment that she can feel the tears falling down her own face. "Skye, I love you so much. You're the sister I always wanted. I'm so happy that you've found your perfect match. When I see you and Grant and Sara all together I know you've finally found what I know you've always wanted in life. So congratulations."

Moving back to her seat at the table, right next to Fitz, she wipes the tears from her eyes. Fitz smiles at her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and placing a kiss to her temple. She smiles and leans into his side.

Straightening his jacket out as he stands up, Phil makes his way to the small stage. Clearing his throat, he begins his speech, "I never wanted Skye to date. As a father, I didn't want to see my little girl going out at night with random boys. But I guess it was just my luck that she turned out to be just as stubborn as her mother," he pauses as snickers come from all throughout the crowd as well as a slight glare from Melinda.
"The two of them ganged up on me and I knew that I would never win the battle of whether she got to date or not. But that doesn't mean I didn't do everything in my power to terrorize all of her potential boyfriends, as any good father should. And Grant," he turns to look at his new son-in-law, "later I'll give you some really good tips to scare off any boys interested in your daughter. And believe me, they will work." The crowd chuckles while Skye and Melinda both glare at him.
"Anyways, as Skye dated, I did everything I could to scare off the boys, because none of them were ever going to be good enough for my little girl. As a dad, I wanted to be the only guy my daughter ever loved. But then I met Grant and it was clear to me how truly happy Skye is with him. And then I knew; I knew that this is the only guy that I could see as ever being good enough for my little girl. Grant, Sara, I'm so glad Skye found the both of you." He smiles down at the young girl. "I've seen how good you two are for her, and how good she is for you. So from me and Mel, congratulations. And good luck on this wonderful, wonderful experience. We wish you all the best."

"Aright," Vinny speaks up as Phil makes his way back to his seat next to his wife. "Those were some very nice speeches. But now, it is time to party!"

The crowd smiles and cheers as the music starts up again, the fast beat of the song getting people up off of their feet and back out onto the dance floor.

Turning his head to look at Skye, Grant smiles at her and holds out his hand, "Care to dance, Mrs. Ward?"

Skye smiles back at him, "It would be an honor, Mr. Ward."

Chapter Text

"So," Skye turns to face Grant as they sit side by side in the back of the limousine that'll take them to the airport, "you still haven't told me where we're going for our honeymoon."

"I know," he replies, a small smile on his face.

Skye scoots closer to him and leans forward, "Come on, babe. Can't you just give me a little tiny hint? I mean, you wouldn't even let me pack my own suitcase; you had Jemma, Bobbi, Natasha, and Sara pack it for me. So I don't even know what I'm going to be wearing while we are wherever we'll be."

Grant turns to face her, "Well if I had my way, neither of us would be wearing anything at all the entire time," he dips his head and presses his lips against hers.

Skye just rolls her eyes and then pushes him away. "Nuh-uh," she shakes her head. "Not happening. Not until you tell me where we're going."

He sighs and sits back in his seat, "Fine."

Skye sits up eagerly, "So you're going to tell me?"

He shakes his head, "Nope."

Skye playfully narrows her gaze at him, "You're so mean."

"Maybe. But don't think you'll be able to get anything out of me or any of the people at the airport. Everyone there is under very strict orders not to tell you anything about our honeymoon. They're even letting us get on the plane before they announce the boarding to the rest of the airport. That way you won't know a thing."

"How did you manage to do that exactly?" she asks him with wide eyes. "Did you trade your superior construction skills for them keeping everything on the down low?"

He smiles, "As awesome as that sounds, no I did not. Your dad and Nick called in some favors for me. So you actually have them to thank for that," he smiles at her.

"Seriously?"

He nods his head, "Seriously. Though you may have to take pictures with some of the staff and give out a couple of autographs," he says nonchalantly. "Nothing you're not used to already, though."

"Well if it means that we get to go on a super secret honeymoon that I won't know the location of until we get there, I guess I can sign a few autographs and take a few pictures."

Grant smiles at her and presses a kiss to her temple, "This is why I love you. You're always so willing to do things for others."

Skye turns to face him, a playful look in her eyes, "And here I thought you only loved me for me hot bod."

"Oh, that is definitely a bonus," Grant smiles and leans down to plant another kiss on her lips, longer this time, and more passionate.


"Wow," Skye breathes out as they make their way onto the plane, "that was a lot more pictures than I initially thought I was going to be taking."

"That's because other people recognized you and then mobbed you," he points out, lifting his carry on into the overhead compartment. "Do you want me to put your bag up here?" he asks his new wife.

She shakes her head, sitting down in the window seat, "No thanks. It's fine down here with me."

"Alright," he says, shutting the overhead compartment and taking his seat next to Skye.

When she is perfectly settled into her seat, Skye lets out a happy sigh, turning her head to look out the plane window. She watches as all of the airport employees pass by the plane, doing all of their different jobs to make sure everything runs smoothly.

"What are you thinking about?" Grant leans over and whispers in her ear.

She turns to face him and smiles, "How happy and lucky I am to be married to you."

"Well then, I guess what they say is true."

"And what would that would be?"

"Great minds think alike," he smiles.

She rolls her eyes but can't hold back her own smile, "You are utterly ridiculous. You know that, right?"

"But you love me for it," he tells her.

"If it helps you sleep at night," she says.

He smiles and shakes his head, sitting back in his seat. He reaches over and grabs Skye's hand in his own, intertwining their fingers together. He turns his head to look at her, "I love you."

She turns her head and smiles back, "I love you too." She leans over and presses a kiss to his lips. "Ooh! Let's take a picture," she smiles wide.

Grant groans, "Didn't we take enough pictures already today?"

"Please?" she begs. "I just want to post something before we get going so that my fans know why I won't be online very much for the next two weeks."

"Why don't you just say that, then? Send a quick tweet saying you'll be offline for two weeks."

"Grant," she starts seriously, "this isn't just for Twitter. It's for all my social media. I need to post a picture."

Grant sighs, "Fine. But only because I love you."

She beams, "Yay!" She quickly digs into her bag, pulls out her phone and unlocks it.

"This isn't going to be another picture of us kissing, is it?" he questions, watching as Skye goes to her Instagram account and gets it set up to take a new picture.

"No," she replies. "Just a picture of our hands. To show off our fabulous rings."

"Alright," he smiles, "are you going to take this picture? Or do I need to?"

"I think I can manage it," she tells him, grabbing his left hand in hers. She sets her hand on top of his, setting them down on the armrest between them. She holds her phone up above their hands, centering the picture as best she can. She snaps the photo and then releases Grant's hand. Lifting the arm rest between them, she shifts slightly so she is leaning up against him, her head resting on his shoulder. She clicks inside the caption box and then types; I am now a married woman. :) Gonna be going semi-dark on all platforms so I can enjoy my secret surprise Honeymoon with my new hubby. See you all in two weeks. #marriedlife #imawife #thatstillsoundsodd #imastepmomtoo #lifeisgood

After posting her photo to all of her social media accounts, Skye locks her phone and slips it back into her bag, tilting her head up to look at Grant. "There," she smiles, "all done. Now I am all yours for the next two weeks."

He smiles back, "I definitely like the sound of that," he tilts his head down and captures her lips in a gentle kiss.

...

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have now touched down. We hope you enjoy your stay here, and thank you for flying with us," thepilot's voice says over the plane's intercom.

Grant turns his head to see Skye curled up against his side as best she can, her cheek resting against his shoulder, her left hand clutched around a fistful of his t-shirt. Her mouth is parted slightly and her legs are curled up underneath of her on the seat.

He smiles to himself at the sight.

"Skye," he reaches over to gently shake her shoulder. "Skye, the plane landed. We're here."

Slowly opening her eyes, Skye squints, looking up at Grant, "What?"

He smiles down at her, "I said that we're here. The plane landed."

"It did?" she asks, her eyes opening more fully as she stretches her arms above her head and lets out a yawn.

He nods his head, "Yeah. Are you ready to see where I brought you?"

"Of course," she replies, a smile growing on her face.

"Good. Because that's exactly what we're going to do," he stands from his seat and reaches up into the overhead compartment to grab his carry on. When he has it, he sets it on the ground and waits for Skye to wake up fully and gather her things as well.

"You ready?" he asks her.

"Yep," she nods once, sliding her bag up onto her shoulder. "I am so ready for this honeymoon," she smiles wide.

He smiles back just as wide, "Great." He holds his hand out to her and she takes it, curling their fingers together. Hand in hand they make their way out of the plane, thanking the flight attendants as they leave the plane.

...

Walking into the central part of the airport, they head over to baggage claim to retrieve their luggage. On the way there, a few people recognize Skye and ask for an autograph and a picture. She gladly agrees to it, not minding in the slightest.

"So," Skye speaks up as they make their way towards the exit of the airport, "are you finally going to tell me where we are?"

"Why don't you find out for yourself?" he gestures with his head towards the glass doors.

Smiling, Skye grabs his hand in hers, pulling him along with her towards the exit. They get closer to the front doors and the scenery outside becomes much more clear. Skye sees the sights outside; the large sandy beaches, the crystal blue ocean, the large tropical trees, and her eyes go wide. They get even wider when she catches sight of the sign just off to the side.

She quickly spins around to face Grant, a large grin on her face, "The Bahamas? Are you serious?"

Grant shrugs, "You said you've always wanted to come here. So like I said, I had your dad and Nick help me pull some strings."

"You are the absolute best," she tells him, jumping up to hug him. "I love you so much." She presses her lips firmly to his, burying her fingers in his hair.

He chuckles when she pulls away, "I figured you'd be happy. So, we're in this extremely magical place now, what do you want to do first?"

"First I want to go to our hotel and settle in. Maybe we can order some room service and I can show you how much this really means to me," she runs one hand down his chest.

Grant suppresses a moan. "Sounds good to me," he smiles down at her.

"Great then," she smiles back, "Let's get going."

...

Pulling his cell phone out of his pocket, Grant unlocks it and dials Fitz's number, holding the phone up to his ear while he waits for his friend to answer.

"Babe," Skye says from behind him as she wraps her arms around his torso, resting her cheek against his back, "what are you doing? I thought we agreed no phones unless absolutely necessary?"

"I'm just calling Fitz," he tells her. "Sara wanted me to call and let them know when we got here."

"Ooh! Put her on speaker when she picks up," she smiles as she jumps up and wraps her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist.

"And what are you doing?" he chuckles.

"Getting higher up because I was too far away from your handsome face," she leans forward and presses a kiss to his cheek.

He just smiles and turns his attention back to his phone when he hears Fitz's voice. "Hello?"

"Fitz, hey," Grant says.

"Grant!" Fitz says back. "Hey man, what's up?"

"Is Sara there?" Grant asks, turning to sit down on the bed. Skye shifts so she is sitting on her knees behind him, her arms still wrapped around his neck.

"Uh, yeah. Just give me one second." He hears shuffling on the other end and he pulls the phone away, tapping on the speaker button. He holds the phone out so he and Skye can both hear.

"Hello?" the small voice comes through the speaker.

"Hey Sara!" Grant and Skye both shout into the phone at the same time.

"Dad! Skye!"

Grant smiles, "Hey bear. How are you?"

"Good. Are you guys at your hotel?"

"Yes we are," Grant nods his head. "Are you having fun with Uncle Fitz?"

"Yeah. Jemma came over so we can watch a movie."

"Sounds like fun," Skye pipes in, resting her chin on Grant's shoulder.

"What are you guys going to do?" Sara asks.

"We don't really know yet," Skye replies. "We have two weeks here to do whatever these islands have to offer us. So I think we're just going to go with the flow; see where the days take us."

"Okay," Sara says. "How was your flight?"

"It was great," Grant says. "Skye slept most of the time."

"Well excuse me for being tired," Skye says.

"It's okay." Grant turns his head towards her, "You looked adorable when you were sleeping." He smiles and presses his lips against hers. Skye smiles and kisses him back.

"Guuuys!" Sara whines over the phone.

Grant and Skye break apart. "Sorry," Skye apologizes to her step daughter.

"Alright Sara," Grant begins, "don't stay up too late while we're gone, okay? It may be the middle of summer, but you still have your dance class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday."

"I know, dad."

"And make sure your uncle actually wakes up on time so you aren't late for class."

"Jemma said she'll take me," Sara responds.

"Good idea," Skye speaks up. "Jemma is always on time for things. I think it's a British thing."

"She said she's going to pick me up too, because Uncle Fitz has to work."

"Okay, and remember that you have Ace's birthday party this weekend, make sure Uncle Fitz takes you out to get a present. And…"

"Grant," Skye cuts him off, "sweetie. Chill. She's a big girl. She'll be fine."

"Thanks Skye," Sara says on the other end.

"You're welcome. Oh! Don't forget to do that extra summer work for school."

"Now look at who's worrying," Grant smirks at Skye.

She smacks him playfully on the shoulder, "Shut up."

"Dad? Skye?"

"Yeah?" they both reply at the same time.

"I'm going to go now, okay? Uncle Fitz is getting really anxious because he wants to watch the movie. I'll see you when you get home. I love you."

"We love you too, Sara," Grant smiles. "Bye."

"Bye."

Hanging up the phone call, Grant sets his phone down on the nightstand by the bed. He turns his head to look at Skye, "Now then, I distinctly remember you saying something earlier about showing me how much bringing you here means to you."

Skye smiles and then slides around so she's sitting on Grant's lap. Her arms are wrapped around his neck and her legs are wrapped around his waist with her ankles locked together behind his back.

"I did say that, didn't I?"

Grant smiles and nods his head, "Mm-hmm."

Skye smiles and leans down, sliding her lips over his. She buries her hands in his hair and pulls him closer to deepen the kiss.


@RealSkye: Hey guys! My husband (feels weird to say that) fell asleep a bit ago and I'm getting bored. Wanna do a quick Q&A?

@RealSkye: Won't be on here a whole lot over the next two weeks, but I'm bored and wanna answer some of your q's. Hit me up with #AskSkye

@Ninja13ND: @RealSkye #AskSkye what's your favorite midnight snack?
@RealSkye: @Ninja13ND nothing too specific, but probably something sweet.

@EdibleEbony: @RealSkye: Do you prefer performing at big venues or small venues? #AskSkye
@RealSkye: @EdibleEbony large ones are pretty fun, but small venues are more intimate and I feel more connected to the fans.

@emmajmcghee: @RealSkye #AskSkye when are you releasing a new album?
@RealSkye: @emmajmcghee not sure yet. We're slowly working on it. I'll keep you guys updated as we progress. :)

@silverslitherer: @RealSkye Are you ever going to come to South America to perform? #AskSkye
@RealSkye: @silverslitherer I would love that! Maybe for the next album I'll do a world tour. ;)

@XxYTTxX: @RealSkye #AskSkye Where is Grant right now?
@RealSkye: @XxYTTxX he's asleep in bed next to me.

@sachajones93: @RealSkye #AskSkye what's the weirdest thing a fan has ever done for/to you?
@RealSkye: @sachajones93 um, I don't know. Thankfully none of you guys are too insane. :)

@Chloee0x0: @RealSkye: #AskSkye Can you and Lance do another song together? I love your voices together. :)
@RealSkye: @Chloee0x0 aw, thanks! We'll probably do more stuff together. He might even appear on my next album. :)

@princess kp 2015: @RealSkye One word to describe your wedding. #AskSkye
@RealSkye: @princess kp 2015: Gah! Why do you do this to me? Gonna have to say...magical. (Super cheesy, but completely true)

@_Aimalicious_: @RealSkye Where'd you get the idea for Fly? #AskSkye
@RealSkye: @_Aimalicious_ my step-daughter inspired it. She was having a tough time and I knew others could probably relate to it.

@Nikkie191: @RealSkye #AskSkye Do you have any siblings?
@RealSkye: @Nikkie191 Nope. Only child.

@Rushcenafan84: @RealSkye Are you going to have kids of your own soon? #AskSkye
@RealSkye: @Rushcenafan84 that's a discussion that is yet to happen.

@RealSkye: Thanks guys! That #AskSkye session was super fun! Husband's awake now so we're gonna go and do some couple-y things. Bye! :*

Chapter Text

"Okay," Skye says as she falls down next to Grant on their bed, "we've been here a little over a week and we've stayed in bed almost the entire time except for when we went exploring, shopping and out to eat."

Grant turns his head to look at her, "And what's the problem with that? Aren't couples supposed to spend most of their time in bed together on their honeymoon?" he smiles and moves towards her, peppering her neck in kisses.

She smiles and pushes on his shoulders, "True. But we're in the Bahamas, babe. I've never been here before so I really want to get out there and do things."

"Well what did you have in mind?" he asks her, propping himself up on his elbow.

Skye smiles, "I'm glad you asked." She grabs her tablet off of the bedside table and quickly unlocks it, pulling up a website. She snuggles up close to him as she shows him the website and tells him her thoughts, "Well first, we definitely have to hit the beach, because it's always a must."

"Of course," he agrees, nodding his head. "What else?"

"Swimming with dolphins," she smiles. "I've always wanted to try that, and they actually have it here, so we definitely have to do that."

"Sounds like fun."

"We can go to the spa," she tells him. "They're supposed to have great spas here."

"Relaxation," he smiles. "Very nice."

"And there's this thing called Ecotourism, which sounds pretty interesting. And we can go to one of the really nice restaurants they have here on our last night. So, what do you think?" she tilts her head up to look at him.

"I think...that we can definitely do all of that in a week," he smiles at her.

She smiles back, "You really think so?"

"I really do," he nods his head.

"You are the best," she leans up and gives him a kiss. She pulls back and smiles, "I think that today we should hit the beach, but we can also do that on the other days if we find time."

"Sounds good," he agrees. "And then we should do the Ecotourism thing tomorrow, I think that sounds really cool."

"Then we can go swimming with dolphins the next day," she smiles.

"And then we'll spend all day at the spa the day after that," he says.

Skye smiles, "Then the next day we can just relax in our room during the day and go to dinner that night. And then we leave for home the following day."

"Sounds like we've got a solid game plan," he smiles.

She smiles back, "Just as long as neither of us gets distracted," she leans forward and ghosts her lips over his.

Grant smiles, placing his hand on her hip, "I have no idea what you mean." He closes the distance between them, connecting their lips together.


"Oh I just love the beach," Skye smiles as she and Grant make their way down onto the beach. Skye's carrying her bag on her shoulder and her sandals in her hand, wearing a thin wrap over her bikini, and sunglass on her eyes. "And it's so beautiful here, so it makes everything even better."

"Definitely," Grant agrees with a nod of his head, walking along beside her. He's wearing his swim trunks and a t-shirt, carrying a blanket over his shoulder and his sandals in his hand. "Let's find a good spot to set up," he tells her, reaching out to grab her hand in his and pull her along the beach.

"I think this is a pretty good spot," Skye says after they walk for a few minutes.

"Right here?" Grant asks, gesturing to the open space in front of them.

Skye nods her head, "Yeah. This is the perfect spot."

"Well okay then," he pulls the blanket off of his shoulder and spreads it out on the sand. He sets his sandals down next to the blanket and then steps onto the blanket and sits down. He looks up at Skye, "Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to sit with me?"

"Sorry," she smiles, sitting down next to him. "I just can't get over how amazing this place is." She turns her head to look at him, "One day we should bring Sara here. I think that'll be pretty fun."

"That actually sounds like a great idea," Grant says. "But do you know what else is a great plan that we should definitely put into motion right now?"

"What?"

He smiles, "Building a sandcastle."

She laughs, "Really? What are you, five?"

"Oh, come on. You're never too old to build sandcastle. And, I'm pretty good at making them from the amount of times I've built them with Sara in sandboxes and on the beach."

"I was just teasing you, babe," she smiles. "Of course I want to build a sandcastle. Do you know how long it's been since I've built a sandcastle? The answer is too long. So let's go build us a sandcastle and show everyone what we can do."

...

Skye laughs as Grant trips over his own feet, and falls onto their sandcastle, knocking half of it down.

"What'd you do that for?" she smiles. "Didn't like what I was doing?"

He looks up at her, "Absolutely. This whole side was completely misshapen," he gestures to the pile of sand under him. "I figured I'd even it out a little for you."

She smiles and laughs, "Well thank you very much. It definitely looks a whole lot better now."

"You are very welcome," he smiles. He pushes himself up off of the sand and brushes himself off before scooting around until he is sitting next to her again. He turns his head to look at her, "So do I get a kiss?"

She smiles and leans forward to press her lips to his, resting one hand on his cheek.

"Oh my gosh! You're Skye!"

Pulling apart, Skye turns her head to see a young girl standing in front of her, a wide smile on her face.

"Hi there," Skye smiles at her.

"Hi," the girl says. "Is that really you?"

Skye lets out a small laugh and nods her head, "The one and only."

"Wow. This is so cool. Can I get a picture with you, please?"

"Of course you can," Skye smiles.

"Tiffany? Sweetheart, where are you?"

The little girl turns around, "I'm over here, mom."

An older woman quickly makes her way over to them, an apologetic look on her face. "I am so sorry," she says, placing her hands on her daughters' shoulders.

"It's alright," Skye smiles. "I'm always happy to meet a fan."

The woman furrows her brows, "A fan?"

The young girl, Tiffany, sighs, "Mom, that's Skye. The singer."

A look of recognition crosses the woman's face, "Oh, my. Well would you look at that."

"Are you on your honeymoon?" Tiffany asks. "Because on Instagram you said you are."

Skye smiles and nods her head, "I am, yeah. This is my husband Grant," she places her hand over Grant's.

Tiffany smiles, "Wow. This is so cool."

"Do you want that picture now?" Skye asks Tiffany.

Tiffany nods her head vigorously, "Yes please." She turns towards her mom, "Will you take it?"

"Sure, sweetie," the woman pulls out her camera and holds it up. "Okay, Tiff, get over there," she motions for Tiffany to move towards Skye.

With a smile on her face, Tiffany walks over and kneels down on the sand next to Skye. Grant scoots over slightly so he's out of the frame, turning his head to smile at the sight before him.

Skye wraps her arm around Tiffany's shoulder, pulling her just a tad bit closer and then smiles.

"Okay, 1...2...3," Tiffany's mom snaps the photo and then pulls the camera down to look at the picture. She looks back up and smiles, "It looks great."

Tiffany turns to Skye, "Thanks for taking a picture with me."

"Thank you for asking," Skye smiles.

"Um, do you think your husband wants to be in a picture too?" Tiffany asks.

Skye smiles softly and leans in, "I'm sure if you asked him he'd say yes."

"Okay," Tiffany nods her head. She peers around Skye to look at Grant, "Excuse me?"

"Hi," Grant gives her a small smile.

"Hi," Tiffany smiles back. "Do you want to take a picture with us too?"

Grant's smile widens ever so slightly, "I would love to." He moves back over to where he was before, right next to Skye, and wraps his arm around her waist. Skye puts her arm back around Tiffany's shoulders and places her other hand on Grant's leg. All three of them smile wide while Tiffany's mother takes the photo.

"That one turned out really great," the older woman smiles. "Alright, Tiff, let's get going now and leave these two to enjoy their honeymoon."

"Okay," Tiffany says, standing up from the sand. She looks at Skye, "You're my favorite singer and I really, really love your music." She turns to Grant, "You're really lucky."

"Yes I am," he smiles.

Tiffany looks back at Skye, "Thanks for the pictures."

"No problem," Skye smiles. "It was really great to meet you."

"You too," Tiffany smiles back, reaching up to grab her mom's hand. "Bye," she waves at them as she walks away down the beach.

"Bye," Grant and Skye both wave back to her.

"She was really sweet," Skye tells her husband, turning her head to him.

Grant nods his head, "That she was. And she was right about something."

"What's that?"

He smiles, "I'm very lucky."


"I am so excited for this," Skye grins as they make their way down the beach to the cove.

"I'm actually pretty excited too," Grant smiles. "Sara is most likely going to be very jealous when she finds out that we got to play with dolphins," he chuckles.

Skye smiles and laughs, "Oh, definitely." She squeals, "Oh I'm so excited."

"Alright," the man standing waist deep in the water speaks up, "my name is Dave, and I'll be your instructor today. So, who's ready to meet a dolphin?" He smiles wide and then takes a deep breath, "Okay, so. Before we start, I just want to remind you all to not get too rough with the dolphin you're about to meet. She is going to come right up next to you so that you can pet and play with her. So, is everyone ready?"

Everyone around the area smiles and nods their heads, some of them scooting closer to the front of the group.

"Let's see if we can get our dolphin friend over here. Her name is Sophie, and I think she's real close by." Her turns towards the open water, "Sophie." He dips his hand into the water and makes a gentle splash in the water. "C'mere, girl."

A second later, a beautiful spotted dolphin comes up through the water, right up next to Dave's side.

"Hey girl," he smiles down at the dolphin, resting his hand on her head. "Are you ready to meet some friends?"

The dolphin lets out a noise and bobs up and down in a yes motion.

Dave smiles, "Great." He turns back to the crowd and smiles at them. "Alright, who wants to go first?" Dave asks.

"I wanna go," Skye smiles, holding her hand up in the air to get the man's attention.

Dave looks over at her and smiles, "Excellent, come on over here." He waves her down.

Smiling wide, Skye makes her way through the water to the man. "Hi," she says to him.

"Hi," he smiles. "Are you Skye? That really famous singer?"

She nods her head, "I am, yeah."

"Wow, this is great. My niece is a big fan of yours."

"Well tell her I said hello and thank you."

"I will," he smiles. "Now, if you'll step down just a little bit closer, you can meet Sophie, our beautiful and wonderful dolphin here."

"Hi Sophie," Skye smiles at the dolphin as she steps closer.

"Alright," Dave says to her, "if you slowly reach out and put your hand exactly where mine is, you can pet her and she'll get used to your touch."

Skye reaches out with her hand, allowing the instructor to help her just a bit. Sophie nuzzles against Skye's hand when she sets it on her head.

"She is so beautiful," Skye tells Dave, gently rubbing the top of the dolphins head.

Dave nods his head, "Yes she is. She is actually one of the youngest dolphins around this area."

"Oh wow," Skye smiles. She looks down at Sophie and smiles, "Hi gorgeous. I wish I could take you home with me."

Sophie lets out a small noise and then lifts herself up out of the water just a bit, nuzzling herself a little bit closer to Skye.

Skye smiles and laughs, "Oh my goodness. I love you too, beautiful. This is so amazing." She looks over her shoulder at Grant, "Babe, do you see this?"

He smiles and nods his head, "Yeah, that's pretty neat."

Skye turns back to the dolphin just as she lowers herself back into the water. "You are just so precious," Skye smiles at the dolphin, removing her hand from the top of the dolphin's head.

"Can you wave goodbye to Skye, Sophie?" Dave asks the mammal.

Sophie turns onto her side, raises a fin into the air, and waves it at Skye.

Skye lets out another laugh and waves back at Sophie before walking back over to where Grant is waiting for her. "That was so cool," she smiles up at him. "You definitely have to do that."

"I will," he nods, wrapping his arms around her to pull her close. "But I think I'm going to let some of the others have a go at it first. Besides, this is the first time I'll be going so deep into the water with my prosthetic. And I know I have the bag around it that the doctor gave us, I'm just a little nervous about something happening."

"I completely understand," she says, leaning forward against him and resting her chin on his chest to look up at him.

He smiles down at her, "I knew you would." He dips his head to press a kiss to her lips.


"Are you excited for this dinner?" Grant asks Skye as they walk hand in hand down the sidewalk towards the restaurant.

"Very," Skye nods her head. "I feel like it's been way too long since we've gone out to a nice dinner."

"That's probably because it has been a while," Grant tells her. "But that's okay. We'll just need to try and make time to go out more once we get back home."

"Yes we do," Skye smiles up at him. She looks back in front of them as they walk and then takes a deep breath, letting a smile grow on her face, "You know, this has been such a great honeymoon."

"That it has," Grant agrees. "I sure do know how treat my lady right."

"Yes you do," Skye smiles up at him, leaning up to press a quick kiss to his lips. She pulls back and then leans into his side as they continue to walk down the street.

"Here we are," Grant speaks up as they approach the front of the restaurant. He steps forward and pulls open the front door, allowing Skye to step inside in front of him.

"Wow, this is a really nice restaurant," Skye comments as she and Grant enter the building, their hands clasped together.

"Yes it is," Grant nods his head. They stop at the host/hostess podium and Grant smiles kindly at the young woman standing behind it. "Hello. A table for two, please."

The woman smiles back, grabbing two menus out of the side pocket on the stand. "Right this way," she gestures for them to follow behind her.

"Here is a great table for you," the hostess says to them when she stops next to a table that seats two.

"Thank you," Grant smiles, pulling Skye's chair out for her, before moving over to his own chair.

The hostess sets their menus down in front of them, "A server will be right with you."

"Thank you," Skye smiles up at her.

The hostess smiles back kindly and then turns around and makes her way back to her podium at the front of the restaurant.

"I'm really sad we're leaving tomorrow morning," Skye says to Grant as she picks up her menu.

"I know," he replies. "I'm a little sad too." He looks up at her and smiles, "But we have the whole rest of our married lives to look forward to. And I'm pretty sure it's going to be a good life."

"Oh really. And how can you be so sure about that?"

"Because I'm married to you," he grins. "And when I'm with you, I feel like I can take on the world."

Skye ducks her head slightly when she feels the heat rushing to her cheeks. She looks back up at her husband and smiles, reaching across the table to take his hand in hers, "I feel the exact same way about you. You're my one and only, and I'm so happy that we're finally married and we get to spend the rest of our lives together."


Zipping up her suitcase, Skye falls backwards onto the bed, letting out a deep sigh when her head hits the pillow beneath her.

"Is it wrong of me to want to leave behind my life of fame and fortune and just live here for the rest of my life?"

Grant chuckles, "No, it's not wrong at all. But I can assure you that after just a couple of weeks or so of being here you'd be begging to go back to LA."

She sighs and sits up on the bed, "You're right. As much as I love the beach, I'll always and forever be a city girl at heart."

"Glad to hear it," Grant smiles. "Have you packed all your things?"

She nods her head, "Yep. Did you remember to pack the souvenirs?"

He nods his head, "Yes I did. And a cab should be out front soon to take us to the airport."

"Excellent," Skye smiles. "Oh man, I just can't wait to show everyone all the pictures we took while here, they're going to love them. But I'm not going to show them all of the pictures we took, for obvious reasons," she gives Grant a small smirk.

Grant swallows thickly, "Yeah, that's probably a good idea. We really don't want to scar anyone."

"No we do not," Skye agrees. "Are you almost done packing?" she asks him after a minute. "Because I think we have to check out soon."

He nods his head, "Yeah, I'm just about done."

"Well hurry up," she tells him. "The longer we're up here the more I don't want to leave."

He chuckles, "Alright, alright." He places the last few items in his suitcase and then zips it up, turning around to face his wife. "There, all done. Happy now?"

She nods her head and smiles, "Very. Now come on, let's go downstairs and check out and see if our cab is here yet."

"Sounds good," he smiles back, turning to grab his suitcase.

Skye stands from the bed and grabs hold of her suitcase, lifting it up off of the bed. She slips her shoes onto her feet and grabs their keycards off of the nightstand.

She turns around and smiles at Grant, leaning up to give him a quick kiss before walking past him and towards the door. Grant smiles after her and then follows behind her. He steps out of the hotel room, flips the light off, and then shuts the door tightly behind him.