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The Flower District

Chapter Text

“God, Son of Coul. Your office looks so bland,” Darcy remarked as she stepped into Coulson's new office at SHIELD's new headquarters. “You need something to brighten the place up.” The walls were white and had nothing on them, not even a Captain America poster which shocked Darcy to her core.

“I thank you for your concern Miss Lewis and I can assure you I like it just the way it is.” He replied to her as she sat down across from him.

“No you don't.” She snorted which earned her a glare from her new boss, but she wasn't afraid of Coulson. He was just a big pushover.

“Yes, I do and why are you in here bugging me again?” He asked as he crossed his arms over his chest, no doubt challenging her to make another smart remark.

“I wanted to see your new office, but since it is boring and I am unimpressed I think I'll leave now.” She stood up from her chair and walked out the door, shutting the door behind her before he was able to reply. Phil hated when she did that and Darcy had a feeling she would be doing that to him a lot more in the future.

Darcy sat down at her desk and opened up her internet browser. Yes, she technically should be working, but Phil's office was boresville and it was pissing her off. She decided she had to get him something nice to make him see the error of his ways.

She spent a good chunk of her afternoon looking for things to get Phil online, but nothing was popping out at her. She almost got him a Captain America poster, but she had a feeling it would end up at his house along with all the other Captain America stuff he had in his shrine to the legendary superhero.

Phil had a Captain America shrine and no one could make her believe otherwise.

Darcy had given up at the end of the day and decided to continue her search tomorrow, unless something caught her eye on the way home. She shut down her computer and stood up from her chair. She walked into Phil's office and saw him pouring over paperwork, like he always was these days.

“Goodnight, Phil I am going home and try not to spend the night here again.” She said as he waved a hand at her, never taking the pen out of his mouth. He was in deep concentration and she decided to leave him to whatever he was so focused on.

Darcy shut the door and made her way out of the office and towards the subway. She decided to pick up some sushi on the way home, since there was nothing to eat at her apartment. She really needed to get out and grocery shop, but she could take care of that this weekend.

Darcy got off the subway and began making her way towards her favorite sushi shop, when a small flower stand suddenly caught her attention. She had just realized that she had found the solution to her boring office problem and Phil would never see this coming in a million years.

She walked over to the flower stand and began to walk around. Yes, a bouquet of flowers would brighten up Phil's office. Of course the office would need more improvements before Darcy was happy, but this was a start.

“Can I help you with something?” The old woman who ran the stand asked.

“Yes, you can,” Darcy said as she looked over the flowers. “I am looking for flowers to brighten up my boss's boring office.”

“Are there certain types of flowers that she likes?” The old woman asked Darcy.

“My boss is a he and I am not sure we really don't talk about flowers.” Darcy answered the old lady's question.

The old lady seemed shocked by her answer, which Darcy didn't really understand why. Anybody could get flowers from their employees these days, right? It just wasn't a woman's game anymore? And even if it was a woman's game, Darcy was going to change it. Flowers for everybody, especially Coulson!

“What is your boss like?” The old lady asked her drawing her away from her thoughts.

“Well, let's see he's bossy, kind of a neat freak, but he is also hopeful that the world will one day be a better place. And he is courageous and even a little wise, when he wants to be.” Darcy said with a shrug of her shoulders, but it was the faint blush on her cheeks the old lady focused on. She knew this young lady cared about her boss and he was a very lucky man.

The old lady grabbed a bouquet of flowers and handed them to Darcy. “These beautiful flowers are called Irises and I think they would look great in his office.”

“Thank you so much for your help.” Darcy said as she paid for the flowers and grabbed the grocery bag containing them from the old lady. She waved to the old lady and walked off to her favorite sushi place to pick up dinner.

Darcy got back to her apartment before the sunset and found a pretty vase in her laundry room. She cleaned up the green vase a little and then filed it with water and then she put the flowers inside. She admired the flowers for a minute and knew that Coulson would love them.

The next morning, Darcy got up early just so she could beat Coulson to the headquaters and leave his surprise on his desk. It sucked carrying a vase of flowers on the subway, but the look that would be on Coulson's face when he saw them was totally worth it.

Thankfully, she beat him to the headquarters. She was also thankful she had a key to his office. She set the flowers down on her desk, so she could unlock his office door. She cleared a little spot of the vase on his desk. She walked back out to her own and grabbed the vase off. She had made sure to wipe the extra water off the bottom before she walked back into his office and set it on his desk.
She smiled and walked back out to her own desk and sat down, waiting for him to come.

Coulson came in about twenty minutes later and was shocked to see her at her desk so early in the morning. Darcy tried to ignore the feeling of being insulted and waited for him to see his surprise. She wasn’t disappointed by his reaction.

“Darcy, why are their flowers are my desk?” He asked as he poked his head out of his office door.

“They are called Irises and you needed something to brighten up you office and you're welcome.” She looked up him and smiled.

“Well, thank you I just haven't gotten flowers from anyone before.” He told her and Darcy thought it was a little sad.

“If you want to return the favor. You are more than welcome to.” She offered.

“I like that idea Miss Lewis. I can do it this Saturday before I take you out to dinner, say seven?” He had walked out of his office and was now standing in front of her desk.

“Sounds like a good plan Phil.” She replied, a faint blush hinting at her cheeks once more. He walked back into his office and Darcy was happy that five dollar bouquet of Irises had in the end.

Chapter Text

She had been told she couldn't get pregnant, so of course it came as a shock to her when she found out she was three months pregnant, but the shocked soon turned to joy. And Maria couldn't wait to tell Steve the news.

They had been married for a little over a year. She had told Steve when he proposed to her that she couldn't get pregnant. She was sure he had been looking forward to a large family, but she had to dash those dreams and that hurt. However, Steve told her that he didn't care about not having children, just as long as he was with her.

Maria felt like her heart was going to explode in her chest when he said that. But a part of her still felt like she was holding him back from the life he deserved. Even if he would constantly tell her that she wasn't.

Steve deserved everything that was handed to him, in her opinion. He had gone through a lot in his life. And he should have a wife he could have kids with. Maria imagined him sitting in the living room with his imaginary wife and they were watching the kids play with their toys and the floor. And everyone lived happily ever after.

Yet, the Star Spangled Man with a Plan had given that all up for her. She had called him stupid a couple times but he had told her the only time anyone should call him stupid was if he walked away from her and what they had together.

Maria gave up trying to pick fights with him and make him see that she was unworthy of him. Steve had won that round and neither of them had brought up the subject of children after that.

Well, not until now anyway.

She arrived home before Steve and sat down on the couch and tried to think of the best way to tell him. Maria knew he wouldn't be upset by the news. Knowing her husband, her would gather her up in a tight bear hug and then apologize to her and the baby for squeezing them too tight. The image brought a smile to Maria's face.

A few minutes later, Maria heard him pull his motorcycle into the driveway. He came after he put his bike in the garage and came into the house. She stood up from the couch when he entered the living room. Steve sensed something was off by the look on his wife's face, but didn't say anything. He would let her say what she needed to say.

After a few moments of silence, Maria decided she should just tell him. “I have some news,” And when she saw the frown on his face. She held up her hands and walked over to him. “But it's really good news. I'm pregnant.”

Steve's blue eyes grew a little wider, but a beautiful smile blossomed on his face. He pulled her into a tight bear hug and whispered into her hair. “I am so happy we're gonna have a kid.” It seemed like it hadn't mattered to him that she had told him before she wouldn't be able to get pregnant.

He continued to hug her until Maria felt like she couldn't breathe. “Steve, you are hugging me a little too tightly.”

Steve let go of his wife and immediately apologized. “I am so sorry Maria.” He then knelt down and kissed her belly. “And I also owe you an apology Baby Rogers.” Maria just shook her head and laughed.

“What's so funny?” he asked her as he stood up again.

“I knew you were going to do that.” She replied to him.

“Well, you do know me better than anyone else.” He said before he started to hug her again.

Steve and Maria agreed on the fact that they wanted the baby's sex to be a surprise. “But, what color should we paint the nursery then?” Steve asked his wife as they looked at paint samples at the local hardware store.

“We would paint it yellow.” Maria said, not taking her eyes off the yellow paint samples. Her hands rested on her growing belly.

Steve began to look over other paint samples and he thought the nursery shouldn't be just yellow. “Maybe it should be yellow with white polka dots or blue and pink polka dots.” He looked over at Maria and saw her thinking it over and by the smile growing on her face, Steve could tell she liked the idea.

“That is a great idea, Steve!” Maria exclaimed. “But you sure you can handle this on you own since you won't let me help you paint.”

“The doctor said you weren't allowed to help,” He pointed out to her. “And I can handle this because Tony offered to help me while you and Pepper discussed your baby shower.”

“That's a good plan,” Maria said, even though she didn't think it was. Tony could be a pain in a pain in everyone's ass, but she didn't want Steve painting the nursery alone. “It was nice of him to offer to help you out with that.”

“So, white polka dots or pink and blue polka dots?” Steve asked, feeling like he should change the subject.

“Definitely, white polka dots.” Maria answered. They proceeded to pick out the paint for the nursery, pay for it, then leave.

Tony and Pepper came over that weekend and after exchanging a short greeting, Tony and Steve began their work on the nursery.
“I want to thank you for helping me again with this, Tony,” Steve sad as they began to paint the walls. “Maria was worried about me doing this by myself.”

“Hey, I am glad to help you paint Baby Rogers nursery, Steve,” Tony smiled. “And I know you would do the same for me if I asked nicely.”

“Of course I would.” Steve replied and a silence lapsed between them as they began painting again. Well, until Tony decided to ask a question.

“So, if you don't know the sex of the kid. What am I suppose to get Baby Rogers?” Tony asked as he dipped his brush in the can.

“Get Baby Rogers whatever you want to, but try and stick to the registry.” Steve reminded him as he saw the smile grow on Tony's face.

“Pepper will stick to that, but I have another idea.” The older man said. And that was how Steve and Maria ended up with an Ironman onesie. Maria wasn't too thrilled, but Steve thought it was cute.

Chelsea Joy Rogers was born on the first day of May at 6: 22 in the evening. She weighed eight pounds and fix ounces. She was a healthy baby and her parents couldn't have been more overjoyed. Tuffs of hair, the same color as Maria's filled the baby's head. And she had the same color eyes as her father. They seemed to sparkle as she looked at the world around her.

Steve walked into the room, holding a vase of yellow roses. They were the only yellow flowers left in the gift shop and he wanted to get something nice for his girls. He set them on the bedside table and leaned down to kiss his wife on top of the head. “She is so beautiful, just like her mother.”

Maria smiled as she looked up at Steve. “I think she got all of our good genes. She defintely has your eyes. But I am just happy she is healthy.”

“I am too.” Steve said as they enjoyed their first moments as a family together.

Chapter Text

Oliver Queen is dead.

Roy had honestly never thought he would hear that phrase. Oliver had been his mentor and more importantly his friend. He had taken a chance on some street kid who had been dating his sister. Hell, he had even stuck by him when he was injected with the Mirakuru. Roy didn't really think he deserved a chance then, but Oliver had.

Diggle and Felicity are taking this harder than he is. Diggle is heartbroken he hadn't been able to protect Oliver. It had been his job to do that. That was why Oliver's mother had originally hired him. At first Felicity couldn't believe Oliver was dead. Or she probably didn't want to believe he was dead. The last thing he told her was that he loved her. That had to be hard to live with now that he was gone. She didn't talk that much, but whenever Roy hugged her she didn't push away. That was the kind of comfort Felicity Smoak sought and he was willing to give her all the hugs she wanted.

As far as he knew, Laurel didn't know yet. But he knew Diggle planned to tell her. He had offered to tell Oliver's ex-girlfriend what had happened to him, but the older man sad it would probably be better coming from him. Roy was a little offended by the comment. However, there was nothing he could do about it. Plus, he really hadn't talked to Laurel since he told her that he had killed Sara.

He didn't actually kill Sara, but he wasn't sure if Laurel knew that or not. Roy realized in the end that it was probably better if Diggle talked to her. She probably didn't want to talk to him anyway.

Roy suited up early for patrol that night. Now that Oliver was gone, he and Diggle were protecting the city. And evil wasn't going to let them take time off to mourn Oliver. Things would get worse now, especially when the shady characters of Starling City realized The Hood was no where to be found.

There was a lot of pressure on Roy now to fill The Hood's shoes. But he knew he could do it. Oliver had trained him. And he knew Diggle and Felicity had his back. It was the first time in his life he felt like he had a family.

Felicity gave each of them a hug before they left the foundry. She also made them promise that they would come back alive. It wasn't a promise they should be making her, but they did anyway. For her peace of mind, as well as their own. They left Felicity in the safety of their hide out and went out to patrol Starling City.

Two hours into their patrol Diggle and Roy came in contact with members of one of Starling's most notorious gangs. Roy knew Felicity had told him the name of the gang before, but he had honestly forgotten it. Yes, he should know the name of the gang. But it seemed more important to stop them, especially since they were attacking a civilian.

As Roy looked a little closer. He realized it was Laurel and he had to stop them before they killed her. The first arrow he shot hit the man who was beating the crap out of her in the shoulder. The thug dropped her and turned his attention to his injury, while the rest of the gang members turned their attention towards himself and Diggle.

The civilian looked up at them and a wave of recognition hit Roy. She gave him a smile and began to stand up, her injuries were not as bad as he thought they were. He figured they had found them in time, but she shouldn't be in the first place. He knows she wants to take over for Sara, but she isn't ready yet. Roy knows she trains, but has she trained enough? He needs to get his head back in the game or he could get himself killed.

He would talk to Laurel later about this later. She managed to get on her feet and leave the scene, which was for the best. They had this and she needed to take care of their injuries, whatever they were. The fight ended not too long after she left and the police came and collected the thugs. He and Diggle left after a short chat with Captain Lance and returned to the Foundry.

Diggle and Felicity left to go home after that and Roy went into the back and laid down on his cot. He had been staying at the Foundry with Oliver, but now he was all alone. He hadn't liked it at first but he had gotten used to it.

The next morning the sound of the door opening woke Roy up. He grabbed his cell phone and saw that is was nine in the morning. He heard high heels clicking on the ground, but he knew Felicity would be at work right now and not down here. That meant it could only be one other person, but why would she come down here?

“Roy?” Her voice rang out throughout the Foundry as she called for him.

“One second Laurel,” He shouted back as he grabbed a black t-shirt off the floor and slipped it on over his head. He got up off his cot and made his way to the front of the Foundry where Laurel Lance stood, waiting from him to come out.

“Hello Roy.” She greeted him as he looked her over. He could see she was now sporting a nice shiner, but he couldn't tell if she had any other injuries on her body. She didn't act like she was in any pain, but from what he had learned about her, he knew she was a great actress.

He noticed the plant in her arms and he tilted his head to the side, in confusion. “Who is that for?” He asked her, pointing at the plant.

“It's for you,” She stated. “I wanted to give it to you and Diggle for saving me last night.” Laurel handed him the plant and he set it on the table by the fern. “It's called a Hydrangea.”

“It's really pretty and thank you.” He turned around to face her. “You shouldn't have been there last night, Laurel.”

“I know that,” She sighed as she answered him. “I know I wasn't ready, but after everything that has happened, I couldn't leave you and Diggle out there alone.” Her eyes were beginning to shine with tears and Roy felt bad for making her upset.

He walked over to her and pulled her into a tight hug. He rested his head on the top of her head as he spoke. “I know you have been training and you want to help, but you need more training. You should train with Diggle and I.”

“I would like that.” He heard her say, even though it sounded a little muffled. She pulled away from him. “Thanks, for the help last night and the hug. I have to go though, but I will be back tonight.”

“Thanks for the plant and I will see you tonight.” Roy watched her as she left the Foundry and found himself looking forward to training with her that night. It would take some getting used to, but he would love for her to be a part of Team Arrow.

Chapter Text

This was Bucky's first trip away from The Playground since they had found him and stuck him in the memory machine to rid him of the brainwashing HYDRA had caused. He had been unconscious for a week and then sedated for another. When he finally came to the first thing he saw was a girl, with long dark hair. His first thought was that she was beautiful His second and third thoughts were “Who was she?” and “Why was she here?”

The girl in question didn't seem to notice him at first. Her attention was focused on a book, which turned out to be A Tale of Two Cities. “Wow, this is a very depressing book.” She said to herself, unaware that he was awake. She set the book back on the table beside his bed and looked over at him, probably checking to see if he was still asleep. Her brown eyes grew a little wider when she finally realized he was awake.

She quickly got out of her chair and headed towards the door. “Oh I have to tell Coulson you are awake.”

“Wait,” He managed to shout out, even though it wasn't very loud since his throat was dry. “Who are you? Where am I?”

She turned around and gave him a smile, but her hand was still on the door knob. “My name is Skye,” She answered the first question with ease. “But I'll go get Director Coulson to answer the other question. I'm honestly not sure how much I can tell you.”

Skye walked out the door and shut it behind her before he could say anything else. He really hoped he wasn't in another HYDRA facility. But he figured he wasn't since he remembered things he hadn't remembered in years. Like his friendship with Steve Rogers and the fall that he wished had killed him.

Sadly, he still had the memories of what he had done during his time with HYDRA. Bucky had a lot of apologies to make. He just hoped he would be forgiven in the end. The door opened and Skye came in with a man brown hair and a gentle smile. He wasn't sure if either of them were HYDRA, but it couldn't hurt to ask.

“Are either one of you members of HYDRA?” His voice was shaky and he hated himself a little for being scared.

The other man shook his head as he began to walk closer to him. “No we are with SHIELD.”

“Oh, but I thought SHIELD fell?” Bucky only remembered hearing about SHIELD after he had been recruited by HYDRA. It must have been formed after he had “died” in that fall.

“We're putting the organization back together piece by piece,” the other man said “I'm the new director, Phil Coulson.” He sat down in a chair beside Bucky's bed.
“What are you going to do with me?” Bucky asked hoping they weren't going to hurt him.

“Well, first I am going to tell you a story and then I will ask you some questions, if that is okay?” Bucky nodded his head and Phil began to tell the story of SHIELD. Skye also added in bits and pieces now and then that Phil forgot say. He didn't seem happy with her interjections, but he didn't tell her to stop either.

After they had finished Bucky sighed in relief. Not because the story had been so long and it was. But because he was with the good guys now. He was back where he belonged and was ready to take HYDRA head on. “So, when can I leave this bed and help you guys fight the good fight?” He asked as he struggled against the restrains holding him down.

“Not yet Barnes. We need to have you checked over by our doctor and we still have to work out a few glitches with your arm.” Coulson sighed and Bucky wondered if he there were some complications with the arm. He really didn't care either way, but he was curious.

“Skye, why don't you go and check on the progress Fitz is making?” Phil asked her, even though Bucky knew it was an order.

“Okay Sir, I will go.” Skye replied. She waved to Bucky and walked out the door. By the look he saw on her face before she left, it felt lie Skye wanted to stay with him.

However, Skye would spend the next few months by his side. He had met the others at the base, but he considered Skye his closest friend. She sat with him while Simmons gave him checkups, Fitz fangirled over him (her word, not his), and Phil would give him news on Steve and Peggy.

He missed them, but Phil said it would be too dangerous to see them. Steve knew he was alive, but didn't know where he was. And Phil couldn't tell Steve that information without revealing he was alive. Bucky hadn't liked it at first, but he understood when the director was ready he would tell Steve and the other Avengers he was alive.

As for Peggy, she was old and he had been told she might not remember him. It broke his heart to hear that. He had loved Peggy, she had been a good friend to him. It was sad she and Steve didn't have their happily ever after together. But, Skye had told him she had gotten married and had a couple of kids. And she had gotten to see Steve again. He hoped one day he would be able to see her too. He didn't want to visit a gravestone, like he had to do with the other Hollowing Commandos.

He didn't want to think about that now though. He just wanted to enjoy his first day off the base with Skye. Coulson hadn't been too thrilled with the idea, but Skye had somehow convinced him. And he was thankful she had nagged Coulson until he gave in.

Bucky had no idea where Skye was taking him. She said it was a surprise, but he was looking forward to whatever it was. She drove the jeep and nodded her head to the music that was playing on the radio. Bucky remained silent in the passenger seat. He really didn't like what she was listening to.

Suddenly, the jeep began making a weird noise and Skye pulled over. Thankfully, she had because seconds later the jeep just stopped. “That's weird,” She said as she tried to start the car again, but it didn't work. “I guess we better call Coulson.”

They both got out of the car and they both sat down in front of a field full of sunflowers they had pulled over next to.

“I wonder how many sunflowers there are in that field?” She asked no one in particular. But, he had been about to ask that question himself.

“I don't know, but it seems like they go on forever.” He answered her question, even though she probably wasn't looking for one in the first place.

“I have an idea.” She said as she tugged him up by his arm.

“What are you doing, Skye?” Bucky asked as he noticed she was playing with her cell phone. She pulled him closer to her and told him to smile pretty for the camera. The flash went off even though it probably wasn't needed.

“I am going to send Coulson a picture message.” She quickly typed the message in below the picture and sent it to Phil.

As they waited for him to respond, they both turned and faced the sunflower field. “I wish we could see how big it is, but we don't have the time.” She said with a sigh. It was like a sea yellow, green, and brown. They all swayed in the wind together and it was a nice sight to see.

“I wish we could too,” He took his hand in hers and she smiled at him. “Maybe another day.”

“I'm sorry today was ruined.” Skye looked down at the ground, but didn't let go of his hand.

“It wasn't ruined. I got to spend it with you, so I think it was a success,” She blushed a little and he squeezed her hand. Which caused her to look up at him. “This is the happiest I have been in years.”

She frowned, but he wished that she wouldn't. He meant what he had said. He was happy and she was the reason. It seemed she had no idea how happy she made him. He only hoped he made her happy in return. They remained silent until Trip came to get them. Coulson gave them a lecture, but he was glad they were safe.

They left Director Coulson's office. And they walked down towards the lab together. “I think we should make an end of summer trip out to that sunflower field.” She said with a smirk on her face.

“Sounds like a good plan.” He responded as they entered the lab. His cheeks turning a little pink in the process.

Chapter Text

Jemma Simmons would describe her first meeting with Captain America as pleasant. He and the other Avengers had just discovered The Playground. They had been shocked it was inhabited, mainly because Coulson was alive and well. He hadn't been happy he had been deceived, but he didn't raise his voice at her or Skye when he came in to introduce himself.

She watched as he talked to Skye first. It was obvious that Skye was trying to flirt with Captain Rogers, but he wasn't flirting back. He probably didn't have time for such trivial things when he was saving the world and all. Or maybe he had feelings for someone else. Whatever, it was it was none of her business. His love life was none of her concern.

Steve walked away from Skye and over to where she stood. He held out his hand for her to shake. She placed her tiny hand in his and it practically engulfed it. “It's nice to meet you Miss Simmons. I hope to get to know you better.” Normally, Jemma would have corrected him with a sarcastic comment, seeing as she has dealt with the slip up before. But this was Steve Rogers and he was different.

“It's actually, Dr. Simmons and I look forward to getting to know you too Captain Rogers.” Her tone was gentle as she corrected him.

“I'm sorry Dr. Simmons,” He looked down at the table she was working at, a bit embarrassed by his mistake. One of his gloved hands came up to rub the back of his neck. After about ten seconds he looked back up at her, his blue eyes staring into her brown ones. A faint blush painted his cheeks and his smile was so boyish that she kind of wanted to swoon at the sight of it. “Can you forgive me?”

“Of course I can!” Her reply was instant and a little too loud for her liking. She could feel her cheeks turning red and she had an odd fluttering feeling in her stomach. That was weird. What was that? Was she hungry?

“I should get going,” He told both her and Skye, but when she looked up she saw his attention was still focused on her. He turned and left the room and Skye made her way over. The smile that graced the girl's face looked like the one the Cheshire Cat sported in Alice in Wonderland.

“What is that look for?” Jemma questioned her friend.

“You totally have a crush on Steve Rogers.” Skye teased her friend and Jemma didn't appreciate it.

“No, I don't!” Jemma stomped her foot on the ground and glared at Skye.

“Keep telling yourself that, Jemma.” Skye said before she practically skipped out of the lab.

It took a couple days for her to realize her that Skye was right. She did have a crush on Steve Rogers, but it wasn't a big deal. That's what she kept telling herself anyway.
It took Tony Stark a month to convince Coulson to move himself and his team into the Avengers Tower. She saw him the first day they were moving in. He was actually helping them, which didn't surprise her at all. That was who he was and it was very nice of him to help.

Jemma was carrying a box full of stuff to the lab she would be sharing with Fitz. She wasn't really paying attention, as she was admiring the labs and the machines inside them. Something solid stopped her in her tracks and when she looked up she saw it was Steve Rogers. Of course it was him! Here she was trying to avoid him and she ends up running into him.

“Do you need help with that, Dr. Simmons?” He asks her politely and she shakes her head. She doesn't say a word to him and the smile on his face begins to fade. “Well, I'll see you around Dr. Simmons.” She nods her head at him as he walks away. She continues on to the lab, feeling like a jerk after that awkward encounter.

“What's up with Cap and Simmons?” Tony Stark asked Skye after they had witnessed the most awkward exchange of greeting in History. He actually felt a little bad for the Star Spangled Man with a Plan.

“They like each other.” His companion stated as they headed towards FitzSimmons new lab with boxes in hand.

Tony was a little shocked at the revelation. The Captain hadn't been acting like he had a crush on Coulson's Biochemist. “We should tease them about it.”

Skye shook her head. “Not yet, we'll do it when they finally get together.”

“That could take years, this is Steve and Jemma we are talking about!” He replied.

“I think Jemma will snap and tell him how she feels.” Skye says as they stop in the middle of the hallway.

“Wanna bet on it?” He smirked at her as he asked her the question.

“Sure, why not Playboy,” She shrugged her shoulder and smirked right back. Tony liked this girl. “A hundred bucks to whoever wins.”

“Deal.” He said before they began to walk to the lab.

A month after the awkward moment between them. Steve and Jemma had fallen into a comfortable friendship. Jemma still had feelings for him, but she was unsure of his. The thought of him made her sad and happy all at the same time. She didn't like the warring emotions, but she knew there was nothing she could do about. Her crush had become something more.

She realized she was falling in love with Steve Rogers as she watched the snow fall from the sky and coat New York City. She sat on an ottoman with her legs crossed, in her flannel pajamas, and a mug of hot cocoa she was pretty sure Tony Stark had spiked when he had made it for her.

Jemma heard the elevator doors open and heard someone walk into the common room. She didn't look back, but knew it was Steve, since he was talking to Tony. She was about to leave the room when he came over and sat down in the chair that was by the ottoman. She decided to stay put once he had settled in. His presence made her feel giddy, like he just wanted to spend time with her. She took a deep breath and then she took a sip out of her mug. The alcohol burned in her throat and the when he noticed the face she was making, he began to laugh.

“He spikes it with whiskey.” Steve informed her and Jemma just nodded her head. That was good to know, she would have to make sure he didn't spike it next time. She didn't need to drunk this early in the morning.

She decided it would be best to change the subject. “How was your workout, Steve?” She asked him as she turned her head towards him. That's when she noticed he was staring at her, like he would look at a painting in a museum. Jemma felt naked, beautiful, and nervous all at the same time.

“It was good.” He answered her question. His voice sounded a little more husky than it normally did. Why did it sound like that? She ignored the voice in her head that said he had feelings for her too. She focused her attention back out the window, too nervous to say anything else to him.

They sat in silence as she watched the snow fall and he watched her.

Spring had finally sprung in New York City and Jemma couldn't be happier. She had never been a big fan of winter, but she loved spring. And she had been itching to get out of the tower and spend the day outside. It seemed Steve had the same idea.

“You want to go for a ride Jemma?” He asked her as she came into the common room. He had other reasons for asking her to come with him, but Jemma didn't seem to realize that.

“Of course, let me just get my jacket.” Jemma grabbed her spring jacket from her room and followed him to the elevators. They went down to the garage and got onto his motorcycle. She held unto to him as they sped out of the garage. It didn't take them long their destination, which turned out to be Brooklyn.

“I love Brooklyn in the spring time.” He said softly as he got off the bike. He ended up helping her off too and Jemma stared at the neighborhood where Steve had grown up. Of course it had changed over time, but this was still home to him no matter what century he was in.

He grabbed her hand as they walked along the street. They walked in silence until Jemma stopped in front of a chain link fence that was covered with purple flowers. She let go of Steve's hand and walked over to the flowers and taking in their scent.

“I love the scent of lilacs. They smell lovely.” She turned around to face him and saw him staring at her again. She had fallen in love with this man and the voice in her head that said he was in love with her too was getting louder, too loud to ignore. Jemma wasn't sure why she decided to tell him now, standing in front of a chain link fence covered in lilacs. But she felt it was the right time.

She looked up at him. “Steve, I'm in love with you.” Jemma wondered if she had said it too softly or too quietly because he looked confused for a couple seconds. She was about to say it again, but he captured her lips with his own. It took a few seconds for Jemma to get over her shock and kiss him back. But the kiss was gentle and passionate all at the same time.

“I love you too.” He said once he pulled away.

“Well, I figured that. You know once you kissed me.” She felt her cheeks turning red as he closed the gap between them to kiss her again.

In a car on the other side of the street, Skye was holding out her hand to Tony. “Time to pay up Stark.”

“I'll pay you when we get back to the tower. Let's just give them some alone time.” Tony said and Skye nodded in agreement as they drove off. Steve and Jemma didn't even notice them drive off as they continued kissing each other.

Chapter Text

“You sure they don't come in red?”

Tony Stark asked the gardener Pepper insisted on hiring to make the front of the Tower look more appealing. And Tony thought the man was doing a good job until he saw a bunch of purple little flowers had been planted by the entrance. The man had told him the name of the flower, but he had already forgotten because he honestly didn't care.

They weren't the right color. They needed to be red.

“Yes, they do come in red,” The gardener told him. “But Miss Potts picked the purple hyacinth for this area of the garden Mr. Stark and we agreed with her that they would look quite lovely.”

“Well, I guess Pepper can't always be right.” Tony replied and the poor gardener looked offended. However, Tony didn't care. He just wanted this offending flower gone from his sight. “We'll just take these out and put in red ones.”

“Tony, leave the poor man alone,” Tony turned to face the little hacker that could and saw her standing there with her arms crossed and a smirk on his face. “Not everything can be red you know.”

“Yes, everything can be red.” He remarked challenging her smirk with one of his own. “One day I'll make so even the leaves will be red.”

At that Skye rolled her eyes and let out an annoyed sigh. It was like dealing with a two year old sometimes. Yes, she would describe her relationship with the billionaire as a playful one, but in some cases she thought he was an idiot. This time, being one of those cases.

“I would like to see you try that.” She watched as a single eyebrow rose at the challenge. “Why don't you go down to the lab right now and get started.”

Tony forgot all about the gardener and his offending purple hyacinths as he made mad dash for the door. He would prove her wrong. He would be able to change the stem and leaf color on all flowers to red. He would have the last laugh.

Skye shook her head as she watched him run into the building. She knew he would try for a couple of hours and then get frustrated and bored once he knew he couldn't mess with nature. She liked being right in these cases.

The gardener thanked her profusely and Skye told him not to worry about it. Though she did tell him he should probably tell Pepper about what Tony had said. Tony may have forgotten about the flowers for now, but she was sure they would disappear in the middle of the night when he finally did remember they were there. She complimented the gardener on his work before she turned around and made her way back into the Tower.

Jemma and Steve stood off to the side, having witnessed the whole exchange. Jemma shook her head and laughed. “Skye is the only one who can get him to rush down to the lab like that.”

Steve put his arm around Jemma's body then pulled his girlfriend closer to him. “I wonder if they realize they are flirting with one another?”

“Probably, but they are too scared to do anything else but flirt,” Jemma replied as they watched Skye go inside the Tower. “I have a feeling their relationship will just be a flirtatious one until Skye starts to like someone else and Tony gets jealous.”

Steve just shrugged at that, Jemma did have a point. “Did you know they were betting on when we would get together?” He asked her. Steve had only found out about it recently from Natasha.

“Really?” Jemma seemed shocked by this. It seems like she didn't know after all. “Maybe we should get them back for that.” Steve would be lying if he said he wasn't a little turned on by the smirk on her face.

“And I am sure we can come up with a great plan later, but first there are other things we need to do.” He ushered her inside the Tower and up to their quarters. They could worry about getting back at Skye and Tony later.

Chapter Text

Natasha Romanoff and Bucky Barnes stood behind a wall which blocked them from the view of their target. She had just entered the building which was once the headquarters for SHIELD's academy. They had trained young agents here in various fields, but now that SHIELD was no more and the academy was no more.

Or that was once they had once thought.

Tony had done some digging and found out some stuff that really made him and the other Avengers think that SHIELD still existed and that Phil Coulson was still alive. They were sure that Maria Hill knew the truth about what was going on, but they knew she would never tell them the truth about it. Not unless Coulson wanted The Avengers to know he was alive. Though she worked for Stark Industries, her loyalty was still with SHIELD.

They decided to dig deeper on the subject and were shocked at what they found. Seven of SHIELD's members had gone off the radar after the agency had fallen. Tony had tried to gather information on them, but they were unable to find anything. It was strange and it frustrated the billionaire to no end that he could figure this out. It was like a puzzle he couldn't solve. So, he did the next best thing. He had JARVIS run facial recognition with all the cameras he had access to on the planet.

If one of them showed up on the cameras he had access to, he would know about it. It wouldn't be long before one of the seven people they were looking for showed up. Tony had told Bucky and Natasha that the girl's name was Skye. Of course they knew nothing about her, except what she looked like. She was a pretty girl, with long brown hair and big, brown eyes.

She had gone to the academy and no one knew why she was there. Maybe she was doing a dead drop or maybe she had returned to retrieve something. None of them knew and that's why Tony had sent Natasha and Bucky to go find out.

“What do you think she is doing here?” Natasha whispered to her companion as he focused on the girl about thirty feet away from them.

“I don't know, but I am getting sick of waiting.” Bucky whispered back. The Winter Solider was not known for his patience and Natasha knew he was starting to lose it with this situation.

“Just wait a little longer. We don't want to scare her.” Natasha muttered, trying to calm Bucky down. However, she could see the girl was already scared. She wasn't sure of what or who, but Skye was definitely scared.

The brunette looked around a few times before she reached into her purse to grab something. Bucky was about to jump out of their hiding spot and confront her, but Natasha stopped him. “No, let's see what she's doing. I'm curious.”

Bucky slinked back into position, but she knew he wouldn't want to stay hidden for much longer. They both turned their attention back to Skye and noticed the thing she had pulled out of her purse was a bouquet of flowers.

“Why does she have those?” Bucky asked as the fragrance of the dark pink roses began to fill the room. Natasha liked the smell, but Bucky didn't really like it that much. She laid the roses down in front of the stone wall which held the name of fallen SHIELD agents.

Skye stood there in silence for a few moments before she walked out of the building. Bucky and Natasha waited until she was out of sight before they came out of their hiding spot. “What the Hell? I thought she was suppose to lead us to Coulson!” Bucky shouted.

Natasha shook her head. “I guess not. I guess we are back at square one.”

“Let's go.” The Winter Solider huffed in anger as he began to walk towards the exit. Natasha followed him, but on the way out she stopped and grabbed one of the roses. She liked the color and they smelled nice. She was pretty sure Skye wouldn't mind if she took one.

Chapter Text

James “Bucky” Barnes was the most difficult patient she had ever had. Skye was a dream paitent compared to him and even Ward, the man who had tried to kill her, was easier to deal with. Yes she understood Bucky being upset about not being able to get out of bed, but he had to focus on his recovery.

He claimed he was fine, even though it hurt him to sit up. Jemma knew the cracked ribs were to blame for that. HYDRA must have had a kill order out for their former assassin, but this didn't surprise the biochemist. She had overheard Coulson telling May that he had taken out several HYDRA faculties out on his own.

However, Bucky wouldn’t be able to do that for awhile. Not only did he have cracked ribs, but he also had a concussion and a broken leg. Jemma remembered having to stay awake with him for twenty four hours to make sure he didn't fall asleep. She was actually thankful when Coulson came in to relive her. That was when she knew she would be dealing with an impatient and stubborn man for the next several weeks.

Unless, he stayed. Then he would probably be the one she would be seeing the most. And knowing Coulson he would want Bucky around. He would be a great asset for the team, but she had more than enough of The Winter Solider.

Jemma walked into the medical pod to check on her patient. He was awake and alert. He also looked quite unhappy. She knew what he was about to ask her and she sighed knowing what would happen once she answered. “I am sorry, but you are not well enough to leave yet.”

He glared at her. She knew it was because he was sick of hearing that answer. Jemma wasn't afraid of him though. He was as helpless as a newborn kitten. Her thoughts might change in a couple of weeks, but she was pretty sure right now her eighty two year old grandmother could kick his ass. And she was stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

She pulled up a stool and sat down beside the bed. “I am going to tell you a story.” She told him and he looked at her like she had lost her mind.

“Why? And what if I don't want to hear it?” He replied.

“I really don't care,” She shrugged her shoulders and the rolled her eyes. “I feel like you need to hear this anyway.”

Bucky knew he had no choice, not until the drugs kicked in anyway. He would listen to her stupid story and he hoped he would fall asleep during it.

Her grandmother had told her this story when she was younger. The moral of the story was that you had to be patient. It was something she had a great deal of trouble with growing up. And now Bucky seemed to be having trouble with it as well. She wasn't sure it would completely changed the way he acted, but maybe it make him stop being so rude to her.

“Okay, let's begin.” She said.

“Once upon a time there was beautiful fairy. She loved spring and the asters that came up in the garden each year. They were her favorite flower. However, she didn't like waiting for them to bloom. One day she complained to an elder fairy. The elder fairy told her that waiting for things to come made them seem extra special. The flowers in the springtime would be even more beautiful if she just waited patiently.”

“Are you trying to tell me I need to be more patient, doll?” Bucky asked, interrupting the story which caused Jemma to huff in annoyance.

“Yes, that was the moral of the story you didn't let me finish,” Jemma shook her head as she avoided looking at him. “You got to the moral of the story faster than I could tell it.”

“I am actually pretty patient, doll. I just want to get better and go kill some more of those HYDRA bastards,” He looked down at his hand, which he was currently bunching into a fist. He wished he could punch something. “I just want to kill them all for what they did to me.”

“I know you do, but you need to be well again before you can.” Jemma told him and by the look on his face he seemed to get her point.

“I am sorry I took this all out on you,” He took her hand in his and ran his calloused fingers over her palm. “I should be more thankful you are taking care of me, even though I have been a jerk to you this whole time.”

She smiled at him, hoping it would left his spirits a little. “I will get you better and you can get back to doing what you do best.” He smiled back at her and they sat their for a few minutes in silence.

“I can never thank you enough for taking care of me.” He said, breaking the silence.

“Of course you can,” She replied. “Just get better.”

Chapter Text

Phil Coulson stood by the back of the hearse waiting for the funeral director to open the door. The black casket which held the body of Melinda May was visible from the window he stood by. The little, frilly, white curtains they had put inside didn't do the job the funeral home thought they did.

He didn't really understand why he was focusing on the curtains though. It was probably because he didn't want to think about Melinda. She was gone now and honestly, he didn't know what he would do without her. She had been the glue that kept the team together.

Now, her life was over and he and the rest of the team had to figure out what to do without her. They had all agreed to keep the team intact. They knew she would want that. They all knew she would hate them if they decided to to separate just because she was gone. They had a job to do and they shuldn't stop doing it because she was gone now.

Skye and FitzSimmons weren't handling it well at all. Phil figured it was probably because May had jumped in the line of fire to save them from some HYDRA agents. Jemma had tried her hardest to save her, but was unable to. All of their hearts shattered when Jemma called the time of death in a shaky voice. Phil ran over to comfort the young biochemist as she burst into tears.

All three of them were dealing with their grief differently.

Fitz was angry. He had never seen the team's resident engineer this angry before. Most of his anger was towards May. Fitz was mad that she had left them. Coulson began to worry when Fitz took out his anger on everyone around. But today the younger man seemed calm. It was probably because they were out in public and Fitz knew how to act around other people. Coulson was pretty sure he would find out that Fitz had broken some stuff on the bus later.

Simmons couldn't stop crying. She would cry herself to sleep then wake up crying again. He would hold her tightly, trying to comfort her in anyway that he could. But today, only a few tears had fallen from Jemma's light brown eyes. He figured she would burst into tears again when they started lowering May's casket into the ground.

Skye was both angry and heartbroken over May's death. She would burst into tears and then fly off the handle over little things that didn't matter. He tried to comfort her the way he did with Jemma, but Skye would have none of it. Her guilt over surviving the HYDRA attack was very apparent.

All three of them viewed May as a mother figure and May had viewed them as the children she never had. She had sacrificed herself to protect her kids. If May had lived and any of them had died, she would have been reacting the same way they were now. She made the call and Phil couldn't have stopped even if he had the chance to.
“Excuse me,” The funeral director said. Coulson stepped out of the way and let the man open the back door of the hearse.

Six men who worked at the funeral home were her pallbearers. Phil and Melinda's ex husband, Andrew followed behind them as they walked to the grave site. They sat down once the casket had been set above the open grave.

Phil looked over and saw Jemma searching for a piece of tissue in her clutch. He grabbed the handkerchief from his suit pocket and handed it to Jemma, just as she started to cry again. “Thank you sir.” He nodded his head, acknowledging the comment.

The service began, but it didn't last very long. May wouldn't have wanted a long funeral service. Phil knew it would have already been too long in her mind. He could hear her telling him to wrap things up and go back to work. The HYDRA agents who had killed her were still at large and needed to be hunted down. Phil intended to do just that once the funeral was done with.

Everyone who was at the funeral had been given a pink carnation to place on the casket. It had been Jemma's idea. She had said the flower symbolized a mother's undying love. Phil knew May would have liked that, even if she hadn't really liked the color pink that much.

Andrew and Phil got up together first. They placed their carnations and Andrew kissed the top of the casket, saying his final goodbye to Melinda. Bobbi, Hunter, and Mack all went up next. They placed their flowers done and all three bowed their heads in a moment of silence for May. Phil thought it was a touching moment.

Then Skye, Fitz, and Simmons got up and linked arms as they walked up to Melinda's casket. They each gingerly placed their carnations on the top. Then all three looked at each other and said in unison. “Goodbye Mom.” Well, Fitz and Simmons said “Mum” but it didn't matter.

After that moment there wasn't a dry eye at the service.

The people who worked at the cemetery began to lower the casket in the ground as they walked back to their cars. No one from the party looked back at the black casket disappearing into the ground. It would have been too hard for them to witness.

A year later Phil and Andrew returned for a visit. May's headstone had been put in recently and Andrew hadn't seen it yet. It had her name, years of birth and death, and the words “Beloved Mother.” on the headstone.

Andrew looked at Phil in confusion and Coulson just shrugged his shoulders. “Skye and FitzSimmons insisted on it.”

May's ex-husband just nodded his head. “I think she would have really liked that.”

Chapter Text

Jemma Simmons made her way back down to the lab after she had finished lunch. Her partner and best friend, Fitz was already down there working on a project he was eager to finish. She headed down the stairs and turned down the corridor where the lab was, but stopped short when she saw Lady Sif looking through the lab window.

The Asgardian was helping them out on a mission once again. Jemma knew it had to do with Ward, but Coulson was keeping his cards close to his chest and she really didn't care enough to ask. The director would call her in when he needed her. She walked up to Lady Sif and gingerly tapped her on the shoulder, hoping not to scare the Asgardian warrior.

Lady Sif turned around, ready to attack, until she saw Jemma standing there. “Hello Simmons!” She greeted the young scientist. “The other half of FitzSimmons. How are you this fine day?”

“I am well Lady Sif,” Jemma replied. She looked in the window to see what the Asgardian warrior had been looking at so intently, but all she saw was Fitz working on his new project. “Lady Sif were you watching Fitz work before I came over here?”

“Yes, I find him and his work to be very fascinating!” Lady Sif tells her and then pulls her away from the window. Jemma wants to tell her that Fitz probably hadn't heard them since he was so focused on his project. But it was no use to tell her that after she had dragged Jemma a few feet away. “I need to ask you a question. How do you show your affection towards someone in this realm?”

Jemma looked up at Lady Sif in shock. The young scientist had to admit that the question had thrown her for a loop. Was Lady Sif telling her that she had a crush on Fitz and wanted to tell him by giving him a gift? “Well, you could get him flowers or chocolate.”

“What do you think he would prefer?” Lady Sif asked her and Jemma began to feel like she was at a slumber party and everyone was talking about their crushes.

“Honestly, I think he would prefer the chocolates.” Jemma answered her question. She knew she would regret what would happen next. She was also pretty sure Coulson wouldn't be happy about it.

“Then let us go purchase some of this chocolate for him,” Lady Sif said as she grabbed Jemma's hand and dragged her upstairs to Coulson's office. The new SHIELD director looked up from his paperwork. “Jemma and I are going to go get some chocolates for Fitz. Jemma assures me they will win me his affections.”

Jemma looked over at Coulson and it looked like he was about to laugh. “Of course you guys can go get some chocolates for Fitz. I think it is a very nice thing for you to do Lady Sif.” Sif dragged Jemma out of the office and to the area where they kept the cars.
Lady Sif got into the passenger seat and Jemma climbed into the driver's seat. They pulled out of the garage and left the Playground. Sif wasn't dressed in her armor like she usually was. Thankfully, Coulson had given her some clothes to wear and told her to wear them when she was on missions with them. He didn't need the attention drawn to the team and Lady Sif stuck out like a sore thumb when she wore her armor. A sore thumb that would not only attract HYDRA, but The Avengers as well.

Jemma decided to go to the grocery store. They had reasonably priced chocolate there. And Fitz didn't need fancy chocolate. A simple box should get the message across. Jemma pulled the car into a parking spot at the grocery store and they both got out of the car. They walked in and made their way to the aisle that had candy.

“What was that area we passed on the way in?” Sif asked as she and Jemma browsed the selection of chocolates.

“That was the flower section,” Jemma said as she grabbed a box of chocolates off the shelf and handed them to Lady Sif. “Fitz will like those. Did you want to get him flowers too?”

“Yes!” Lady Sif spoke loudly as she walked over to the flower section and picked up a bouquet of orange roses. “I saw these and thought they would be good for him.”

Jemma scanned the list taped to the side of he freezer that said what colors of the roses symbolize. “Well, they would be perfect. They symbolize fascination.”

“We shall get them then. Le's go!” Lady Sif said as she grabbed the flowers and began to walk towards the door.

“Let's go pay for them first.” Jemma told her before she grabbed her arm and they made their way to the cash register.

They returned to the base and Lady Sif followed Jemma down to the lab. Fitz looked a little irritated when they entered. “Where have you been Jemma? I really needed help with this project.” He looked up and saw Lady Sif was standing beside her. “Hey Sif who are those for?” He pointed to the orange roses and chocolates with his screwdriver.

“They are for you,” She answered as she stepped forward. “Jemma has been helping me understand the ways of how the people of this realm show their affection.”

“Is she telling me she likes me?” Fitz asked Jemma in confusion. Jemma nodded her head as Sif grabbed Fitz's hand.

“Now we will go upstairs and ask The Son of Coul if you can have the night off so we can go on one of those things Jemma called a date.” Fitz still looked confused as Sif dragged him up the steps, but Jemma knew he would enjoy his date with her.

Chapter Text

Pepper Potts stood in the middle of a large ballroom as people worked around her. They were setting things up for the Stark Industries Annual Christmas Party which would be taking place tomorrow night. She normally didn't like to micro manage, but this party had to be perfect. This would be the first party she had planned she and Tony had called it quits. They were still close of course, but they were no longer dating.

But she wanted to show him and the others she could throw a good party. Plus, all this planning took her mind off the break-up.

Everything was all set up, but she was waiting for the arrival of the florist. She had ordered a bunch of red poinsettia plants to set up around the ballroom. As she began checking everything off her list that had been finished; Clint Barton walked into the ballroom pushing a cart full of poinsettia plants.

“The florist just arrived,” He told her as he stopped the cart in front of her and began to unload it. “Where do you want these?” He asked as he set them on the bar.

“Are there anymore of them?” She answered his question with a question. He nodded his head in response.

“Yeah, there's a lot of them in the back of that truck, Pepper,” He told her. “How many did you get?”

“A lot,” Was the reply he got from her. “Go help the florist bring in the rest and I will start putting the ones you already brought in where I want them.”

Clint didn't say another word as he pushed the cart back out to the florist's truck. It was nice of him to help her out with this. She hadn't asked him to, but he had insisted. He had been there for her since she and Tony called it quits. Pepper was happy to have Clint as a friend.

Just as she placed another plant in the spot she wanted it; Clint and the florist came back into the ballroom. She walked over to them and the florist handed her the bill. She gave her the company credit card and signed the receipt. Pepper thanked the florist and Clint shook his hand before the man left.

“I have to admit these are lovely flowers, Pepper.” Clint said after a few seconds of silence. “But what are you going to do with them once the party is over?”

“We will keep them until they die. I am sure we will be able to find room for them in the Tower. Lord knows it is a big enough building.” She replied as she picked up a couple of the plants and began placing them around the ballroom. Clint picked up a couple of the plants and placed them wherever Pepper told him to put them.

For the most part they worked in silence. If anyone talked; it was Pepper and she was usually giving orders to someone else helping out with set up. Clint shook his head at the thought of his friend Tony. He thought the billionaire was an idiot for letting her get away. Pepper was amazing and Stark just pushed her away.

Clint figured he just wanted to protect Pepper. But she was a big girl and could take care of herself. Plus, he had heard her tell him that before. But he would never tell Tony or Pepper that because he had been eavesdropping in the vents when he had over heard that argument.

“Clint, are you okay?” She asked him as she walked over to him. He shook his head and looked up at her; his gray eyes meeting her green ones. It was kind of embarrassing to be caught staring at a plant for five minutes while lost in thought.

“Yeah, I am fine I was just thinking about something. Are we almost done here?” He asked her hoping to take her mind off of what he had said before. He should have known she was going to latch on to the first part of that statement. That is just how Pepper was.

“Yeah, we're pretty much done here and what were you thinking about?” She asked him and he just shook his head.

“It's not important, but I have to go find something to wear for tomorrow night.” He told her. “So, I figured I should get going on that.”

“Well, thank you Clint. You have been a big help to me.” She said as she gave him a kiss on the cheek. As she pulled away she swore she saw the Avenger's resident archer blushing a bit.

“I was happy to help, Pepper you are my friend.” He told her before he turned and walked out of the ballroom. He was looking forward to tomorrow night more than he had been earlier in the day.