Two days after the final fight.
She wasn't in the healing pod, not anymore. He thought it must be a good sign.
Yet, she isolated herself in her bunk, not because she didn't want to see him - or so she said - but because she needed to be alone. To think. To regain strength, after her death.
Because she did. She died. Like he (almost) died in that hotel. And that still haunted him.
So he waited for 2 days.
Until he couldn't wait anymore. Not after that kiss. And certainly not after what happened to her.
In the afternoon of the third day, he knocked on her bunk's door.
He didn't expect to see her. He thought she would've sent him away. But he tried anyway, for her.
But she opened the door, and she let him in.
It's not like he hadn't been in her bunk before - they had time.
But this time was different because she was hurt. She had bruises in her arms - Simmons told him it was normal, with her powers - and her eyes…he could tell she felt lost.
Maybe because she was feeling all the pain she had repressed after being tortured. Not to mention Jiaying's death.
It reminded him of something–- someone.
She sat on her bed.
He sat, in silence, in the chair next to her bed - he got into that weird habit after the days sitting next to the healing pod. And he wanted to be respectful of her space.
"How are you feeling?" – dumb question, he thought, but still.
"I'm fine – Uhm, my arms are still a little numb, but nothing I can't fix. The other things — well…"
"Do you want to talk about it?"
She thought about it. Not because she didn't trust him, but because she didn't want to be a burden, somehow.
"It's not the first time I see someone I care about die. I got used to it. It feels like the new normal nowadays. Jiaying, twice. Trip. Lincoln. Fitz. Coulson. May. And I'm not even counting the loops yet."
She looked up, started watching him... carefully, trying to detect every microexpression on his face.
Nothing but kind and understanding eyes, looking back at her.
"And you're carrying all that on your shoulders. Like the weight of the world."
After a minute of silence, looking at each other, he finally took the courage to say it.
"I saw you. In the temple."
"In the temple? I wasn't there. I was fighting with M–– oh. You were there. The hazmat suit. Forgot about that."
"You were terrified of losing May. I've seen you hurt, but I've never seen you like this."
"That's because you don't remember the loops."
"I remember something––"
She interrupted him.
"No, believe me, you don't. I died, like fifteen times - at least. Jemma died in front of me. You died, at least one time, in my arms. Only to save me."
"But I'm still here. Jemma is still here. So is May…and Fitz. And Coulson, somehow, in a weird way. We're all here."
She smiled and took a moment to think about it, to understand her feelings. But
"Wait a sec. You were there, in the temple." She said, still smiling.
"That's what I told you less than 5 minutes ago." He chuckled, looking at her.
"Yes, but –– technically, you were there with past-me. Which means you were there before we met. You saw me before I even saw you in your office."
"It was just a few days before."
"Yes, but–– you were always with me. What if this always happens, somehow? With different scenarios."
"What you mean? I died. It always happens."
"Yes, I know. There're a lot of textbooks about the story of a hero, the first fallen Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.…but––"
"––But, what I'm saying is, what if we bring you back every time, Daniel? What if, somehow, we manage to go back in time and save you in every timeline, without changing it?"
"Well, it wouldn't be bad... we found each other, Dais."
"We saved each other."