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the war is over (and you've lost)

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That night they lost everything.

Simmons lost Fitz and Will. Lincoln lost Daisy. Bobbi and Hunter lost Mack. She lost Daisy and Fitz but more importantly, she lost Coulson.

Four team members gone in one night.

*

*

*

“Do it May!” Mack ordered over the coms.

Her hand pressed down on the button, firing the missiles down onto the castle knowing it would destroy it for good.

Everyone held their breath and waited anxiously for the containment pod to come out from the ashes of the castle.

It never did.

Bobbi and Hunter shared worried looks while Lincoln was shaking his head in denial. Simmons was on the brink of tears.

Then, there everyone was, looking to her for their orders. Remembering what Mack said about her being the new director if he didn’t make it out, she looked around the room. Everyone returned her stare, each and every one of them.

“Take us back to base.” She ordered with a thick voice. No one asked questions. No one spoke and if they did, they only communicated in low whispers. It was deadly silent on the way back to base.

*

*

*

The next morning was rough. It was like waking up from a bad dream only to realize that it wasn’t a dream, it was reality. Her reality.

She woke up to a massive headache and even worse, she was late for training with Daisy. She knew it was horribly unlike her to sleep through her alarm.

She didn’t feel the need to apologize to Daisy however she did feel the need to talk about stricter rules in case she was late to training again.

Entering the hallway she called Daisy’s name and got no reply.

“May.” Simmons called from the doorway of the common room.

She turned around to see the younger woman who looked like she spent all night crying.

“Yes?”

“Daisy is dead, May.” Simmons reminds gently. “She died in the explosion.”

“The one that I caused.” She added slowly, now remembering Mack ordering her to fire on the castle.

She looked up at Simmons. “I’m going to talk to Coulson, see what to do next.”

She turned to leave when Simmons caught her arm.

“May, he’s dead too.”

She looked up confused at Simmons. A small “what?” was all she was able to get out.

“Can you and Fitz figure out-”

“No, we can’t.”

“There has to be something you can do.”

“We can’t because there is no we there is only I.”

“You mean Fitz died, too?”

All Simmons could do was nod.

“Who else died?”

“Mack. That’s it, thankfully.”

Slowly, the events of the previous night washed over her. She now remembered why the details were fuzzy. After they got back to base, everyone went their separate ways. She went up to her bunk and had a drink. But one drink turned into two which turned into three which turned out to be one too many.

She turned and left wordlessly down the hall trying to catch her brain up on all the loss and grief of the previous night.

*

*

*

“What if they were still on Maveth when the missiles fired? We could open another portal somewhere else and save them.” Simmons argued.

This wasn’t the first time Simmons had gone down this road. It was scary to see one of their most optimistic agent’s like this, but it was understandable given what she had lost-what they all lost.

“I highly doubt it. Even if we were to find another portal and replicate it, we wouldn’t be able to hold it open any longer than 30 seconds.” Bobbi fought back against the scientist.

“We have to try! We can’t leave them to die!”

“Simmons, we aren’t-”

“You don’t want to open the portal because you know Mack won’t return from the other side. But what about Fitz and Coulson? They might be still out there waiting for us to rescue them.”

“You think I don’t care about Coulson and Fitz? I do. I just don’t want to open another portal and risk losing more people.”

After watching the two women's heated argument in front of everyone, she made sure to go check on Simmons before turning in for the night.

Though she wouldn’t really admit it out loud, she was glad someone had a piece of hope to cling onto, even if it was completely unrealistic and very dangerous.

*

*

*

“Make sure to eat something.”

“I’m not hungry.” Lincoln replies, not looking at her.

She walks over and places a pack of ramen in front of him.

A lump seems to form in Lincoln's throat at the sight of the pack.

It takes her a second to realize what was running through Lincoln's mind.

Ramen was Daisy’s favorite. She ate it all the time. Now, she was practically forcing Lincoln to eat it. How could she have been so stupid?

She quickly picks up the pack of ramen and moves it out of Lincoln’s sight, hoping that she hasn’t added onto the pain he already had.

“You can leave the ramen,” He begins. “I never understood why Daisy loved it so much, I guess I guess I will now.” He finishes with a sad smile. He gets up to take the ramen from her but ends up meeting her gaze.

“You don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to,” She reassures in a quiet voice.

“I know and I’m sorry for being so...difficult.”

“There's nothing you need to apologize for.”

*

*

*

“I miss him, May.” Simmons whispered into the darkness of the room.

She didn’t have to ask who. She missed him too, both of them.

“I can barely make it into the lab without-”

She put a gentle hand on her shoulder.

“Take your time, Jemma.”

*

*

*

“How do I help her?”

“Be there for her.”

“I want to do more than that,”

Hunter motions to the gym door. “Bobbi’s been in there everyday doing god knows what.”

“Be there for her.” She repeats again. He nods and turns to leave.

“Hunter,” She calls. He stops but doesn’t turn around to face her.

“Make sure she has proper meals and rest since she is doing all that training.”

Both of them knew the proper meals and rest were not just about the training, it was about Bobbi and her overall wellbeing.

‘We can’t afford to lose her too,’ she adds in her head.

*

*

*

“It’s just so hard.”

She nods her head, understanding.

“Everything reminds me of her. The training room, the common room, even the Zephyr sometimes.”

No matter how much it pained her to see the remains of her team barely talking to one another and in such an emotionally fragile state, she knew she had to be strong for them.

“Lincoln, go take a shower and then get some sleep.”

“I don’t-”

“That’s an order.”

Lincoln sighs, defeated. “Yes ma’am.”

*

*

*

The night Bobbi and Hunter had been disavowed was another brutal night. They had lost 2 more valuable agents to something she had no control over.

After getting back from the bar, she slammed her fists against the punching bag, furious.

It was all coming apart around her.

Between losing Coulson, Daisy, Fitz and Mack, and having Lash or Andrew (honestly she didn’t know the difference anymore) still out in the world acting as a threat to every inhuman out there, along with whatever was left of Hydra to defeat, all she wanted to do was just crumble and disappear.

But she couldn’t.

The agents out there needed her.

The team needed her.

*

*

*

“Let me go after him.”

“You’ll die if you pursue him again.”

“Maybe that’s what I want.”

She stands there stunned by the sudden remark.

“Lincoln-”

“May, he already killed hundreds of innocent inhumans along with dozens of non-inhumas. How many more people have to die in order for us to do something about him?”

“We are doing something about it. We don’t need you.”

“Yes, you do. I could kill him if you give me a chance.”

“He will kill you before you even get that chance.”

Hearing this, Lincoln shuts his mouth and balls his fists. Words were never her thing, they were always Coulson’s. She takes another moment to gather her thoughts.

“Daisy wouldn’t want you to kill yourself over what happened.”

“No, she wouldn’t. She would want me to do the right thing, and the right thing is to go after the monster killing everyone.”

*

*

*

There was a knock at her office door. She looked up and saw Simmons standing in the doorway.

“A word director?”

“May is fine, Simmons. How can I help you?”

“There is really actually nothing you can help me with but, can I help you?” Simmons asked, closing the door behind her.

She quirked an eyebrow.

“You haven’t been the same since-”

“All of us haven’t been the same since that night.”

“Look, all I am saying is that I am here if you want to talk.”

Since their respective partner’s deaths, the two women have grown quite closer. Both have taken comfort in past memories and sometimes in each other, though it was mostly Simmons confiding in her. But she knew Simmons still wasn’t in a position to be lending an ear or a shoulder to cry on, especially not to her.

“Where’s Joey?”

“Training with Lincoln, why?”

“Send him to my-Coulson’s office.”

“You’re still calling it Coulson’s office?”

She gives a nod.

Though it’s been a month and frankly, this whole director thing is still new to her. She’s always been the one to follow orders, not give them.

As if Simmons could tell what she was thinking, she automatically says, “I think you are doing great as director.”

She gives a small smile. Leave it to Simmons to make someone feel better about themselves.

“Thank you.”

*

*

*

“You asked to see me, director?”

“Yes, I did. Close the door.”

Joey did what he was told and shut the door. He stood nervously in the middle of the room.

“Have a seat, I promise I don’t bite.”

It took Joey a second to realize that she just cracked a joke.

“Oh, right, sorry.” He pulled up a chair in front of her and gave a quick smile.

“How was training today?”

“Good, I still need practice though. Lincoln beat me, twice.” He rubs the back of his neck, slightly embarrassed.

“How is your relationship with Lincoln?”

“Ummm, we are on the same team…”

“Yes, but if you were to measure it on a scale from one through ten, where are you?”

“Probably a five or six.”

“I need you to make it to an eight.”

“May I ask why?”

“Lincoln wants to go after Lash and I can’t allow him. Can’t risk it.” ‘Can’t risk losing him.’

“So, how do I fit into all of this?”

“You need to watch him and make sure that he doesn’t do anything stupid. If he does or plan’s to, let me know, understand?”

Joey nods his head. “Yes ma’am.”

“One last thing, Joey,”

“Yes?”

“Go for Lincoln’s left side when training, it makes it easier to take him down since he favors his right.”

Joey gives a smile and a chuckle.

“I will keep that in mind, thank you.”

She gives a nod in response and dismisses him.

*

*

*

“Little did I know that it would be the last time I hugged Daisy.”

Hearing this coming from Simmons specifically, she thought back when she ran into Daisy in the hall while she was looking for Andrew. She had been so fixated on her mission that she didn’t bother to savor the hug. Now, she so desperately wanted to be back in that moment. Back in someone’s arms where everything and everyone was alright.

*

*

*

Officially it has been a year since they lost everything. She could never put into words how hard it had been but one thing she knew for sure was that her team was now fueled by loss and revenge. They managed to defeat whatever was left of Hydra and in the process, they found themselves again. It was slow and painful but in the end, they made it. They made it, together.