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And How Did That Make You Feel?

Chapter Text

“So. Tell me about your parents.”
Skye scoffed at him as she leaned forward in her seat.
“That is seriously one of the most stereotypical shrink questions you could have asked me,” she laughed, emphasizing the statement with an eye roll. Her voice dripped with sarcasm as she continued, “After I pour my heart and soul out to you, are you going to ask me how having psychopaths for parents makes me feel?”
“Maybe,” Andrew replied, crossing one leg over the other and resting a notepad on his lap.
He uncapped his pen as he steadily analyzed Skye’s body language. Her leg was bouncing up and down, showing she was anxious. Probably because he was asking her to open up. Her arms were crossed over her chest, showing him that she was in no mood to talk about anything that had taken place over the past few weeks.
“I’m just trying to help you, Skye. You’ve had a difficult few weeks,” he said softly, hoping that showing some empathy would get her to open up.
“More like a difficult life,” she muttered, slumping back in her chair and brushing her bangs back from her face. As he opened his mouth to speak again, she quickly cut him off. “And don’t you dare ask me if I want to talk about it.”
Andrew quickly closed his mouth, slightly flustered because that was exactly what he was going to ask next.
He sighed and recapped his pen, setting it and his notepad on the small table next to him.
“Look,” he said, folding his hands in front of him. “I get it. You don’t want to talk to me. And honestly, I don’t think you need to.”
“Really?” she asked, sitting up a little straighter in her chair. Her surprise at what he had just said was written all over her face.
“Yeah,” he replied. “With all that’s happened recently, you have every right to be a mess right now. If anyone else had gone through what you have, they’d be crying their eyes out, or suffering from a psychotic break. We’d probably have to sedate them and strap them down to a hospital bed. But not you,” he said leaning forward. “You, despite everything you’ve been through, are sitting tall, right here in front of me. Still being as sarcastic and stubborn as ever.”
Skye laughed at that, her eyes looking slightly moist.
“And you know what that tells me?” he asked.
She shrugged her shoulders and let out a sigh. “That I’m in denial?”
“No,” he replied, smiling slightly as he shook his head. “That you’re a survivor. It shows me that you are strong enough to handle whatever comes your way. And I admire that.”
The tears were running down her face now, but she was smiling all the same.
“Now, I’m not saying that you wouldn’t benefit from talking to someone about it,” Andrew said, holding the tissue box out to her. “I’m just saying that you seem to have found a way to cope with all you’ve lost on your own.”
“I guess I’ve had a lot of practice,” Skye said, dabbing at her eyes.
Andrew’s expression softened at that, and he reached forward to place a comforting hand on her arm. As she looked up and flashed him a genuine smile, he knew one thing for certain.
No matter what life threw at her next, Skye could handle it.

Chapter Text

“It’s Barbara, right?”
“Technically. But my friends call me Bobbi.”
“Are we friends?”
“I guess we’ll have to be after I pour out my inner most thoughts and feelings to you,” Bobbi said, smiling from where she was propped up slightly in her hospital bed. She looked relaxed, probably due to all the medication running through her, but her jaw was tense, leading Andrew to suspect she was wary of him and his intentions.
His suspicions were confirmed when she asked, “So what’s this all about? Did Hunter persuade you to evaluate me because he thinks I’m suffering from PTSD or something?”
“No,” Andrew replied. “Truthfully, Coulson asked that I evaluate everyone on his team. Just to make sure you’re all coping well.”
“Well, no complaints here,” Bobbi said, wincing as she tried to sit up a little more. “Still a little sore, but being tortured by a psychopath and his lunatic girlfriend will do that to you.”
So that was how she deflected: by telling the whole truth, no matter how horrific it was. By not sugar coating the horrible things that had happened to her, she was trying to discourage him from asking any questions.
Ironic that her method was honesty when she told lies for a living.
“Do you remember what they did to you?” he asked. With all the morphine she was on, it shouldn’t take much to get her to open up to him. Even if she was a super spy.
“Hard to not remember it. What with the intense pain and the needles and all,” she said, still refusing to sugarcoat what Ward had done to her.
“Needles?”
“Yeah. He stuck needles under my fingernails to try and get me to apologize to his crazy new girlfriend.”
Upon seeing the slightly horrified expression on Andrew’s face, she smiled slightly and added, “Pretty terrible, huh?”
“Barbara-”
“Bobbi,” she corrected.
“Right. Bobbi,” Andrew started, leaning forward in his chair next to her bed. “What Ward did to you… I can’t even imagine how much that must have hurt.”
“It’s not the worst I’ve ever dealt with,” Bobbi said, and from the distant look on her face, Andrew didn’t doubt that for a second. “But it did hurt like hell.”
“I’m sure it did. Were the needles worse than the bullet?” Andrew asked quietly, gesturing to her heavily bandaged shoulder. He watched as she instinctively reached up to gently touch the wound.
“Honestly,” Bobbi said, “Yes. You would think that the bullet would hurt more, but… it didn’t.”
“Why do you think that is?”
She thought for a moment, then exhaled slowly and said, “Because the bullet was for a reason.”
“And that reason was?” Andrew prompted, hoping that she would give him the answer they both knew to be true.
“To save Hunter,” she stated matter-of-factly, then looked down at her hands as the meaning of what she just said hit her. She looked up at him again as she continued, “Ward knew he would come for me. So he tied me to a chair, and set up the gun to shoot the first person who walked through the door. He couldn’t get me to apologize to Kara, so he wanted me to hurt like she did. To see what I loved most taken away… He wanted me to watch Hunter die… And I couldn’t let that happen.” Bobbi paused, taking a deep breath and leaning her head back against her pillows. He could see tears began to form in her eyes, but she held them back. Staring up at the ceiling, she said quietly, “I just don’t know how he knew Hunter was that important to me.” Her voice was barely more than whisper as she added, “No matter how hard I try to conceal it, everyone seems to see that Lance is my one true weakness.”
Andrew placed a hand on her uninjured shoulder as a single tear rolled down her cheek.
“It’s okay to have a weakness,” he assured her. “Our weaknesses are what make us human.”

Chapter Text

“So you used to be a mercenary?”
“Yep. Made a pretty good living at it, too.”
“Then why’d you join S.H.I.E.L.D.?”
“I followed a friend,” Hunter said, shifting uncomfortably in his chair. It had taken a lot to get him away from Bobbi’s bedside, and Andrew knew he was anxious to get back to her.
“Agent Hartley?” he asked, and Hunter nodded.
“What happened to her?” Of course, he knew of the horrible fate both Agent Idaho and Hartley had suffered, but getting Hunter to admit it out loud was important.
“She died,” Hunter said quietly, eyes on the floor. “In a car accident.”
“That must’ve been hard,” Andrew said gently, hoping Hunter would take the statement as an opportunity to open up.
“It was for a while,” he admitted. Bringing his head up to look at Andrew, he continued, “Izzy was one of the few people I trusted.”
“Is trust something you have a hard time with?”
Hunter rolled his eyes. “Hard to trust people when everyone you’re close to is either a traitor or a super spy, mate.”
“By super spy, I assume you’re referring to Bobbi.”
“What was your first clue?” Hunter asked, the sarcasm in his voice obvious. He was closing off fast, and Andrew still needed to get him to talk about one thing before their session was over.
“Tell me about your marriage.”
“Not much to tell, really. Bob and I met on a mission, fell in love as much as two people like us can, got married on a whim, then had a couple months of ignorant bliss before it all went to hell,” Hunter replied, managing to sound nonchalant about the whole thing.
“Why’d it end?” Andrew asked.
“Because she was a demonic hell-beast,” he answered, almost as if it was an automatic response.
“Is that the real reason? Or is that just what you tell everyone?” Andrew watched as Hunter’s face took on a tired expression, the stress of the past few days seeming to have taken a heavy toll on him.
“Look. Bobbi and I… we were never really going to work out. I was a mercenary with trust issues, and she was a secret agent who kept secrets for a living. You do the math.”
“So you blame your trust issues for the divorce?”
“I blame a lot of things,” Hunter stated, raising his voice slightly. “I blame our jobs. I blame the fact that the only reason we met was for a mission. I blame the way we jumped into things too quickly. I blame the fact that we never talked about anything. But in the end, I just don’t think we were ever really going to work out. Our marriage was a complete nightmare, and I don’t think any one thing in particular was to blame for that. Us being together was just… well, it was just never going to last for long.”
“So why did you go find her? Why walk into a situation that you know is a trap to rescue Bobbi when your marriage was such a disaster?” Andrew was laying it on a little thick, and he knew it, but there was one thing he really needed to hear Hunter say.
Hunter just looked at him like he was crazy.
“Just because things didn’t work out between us doesn’t mean I ever stopped loving her,” he stated as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “That’s the thing. No matter what she does or how many times we fall apart, I will probably never stop loving her.” He looked down at his lap, then spoke softly, “Funny how they do that to you, isn’t it?”
Andrew smiled sadly as he closed his notebook. “It sure is.”

Chapter Text

“You’ve been through a lot this past year, Agent Fitz,” Andrew said, looking over his file.
“You could say that again,” Fitz muttered bitterly, nervously twisting his hands in front of him. He’d really rather be anywhere but here, talking about things he’d long since put behind him.
Or at least tried to.
“I suppose you want me to tell you about the med-pod,” he said looking up at Andrew. “Since… since that’s when all this started.”
“What do you mean by ‘all this’?”
“The head injury. The brain trauma. The um… the…” He snapped the fingers of his good hand, trying to come up with the word. Andrew was tempted to give it to him, but he knew how important it was for Fitz to find the word on his own.
“The aphasia,” he finished triumphantly, a small smile of satisfaction on his face. “Sorry. Sometimes it still takes me a while to come up with the words. It’s gotten better, though. Usually only happens now when… when I’m nervous,” Fitz explained, bringing a hand up to rub the back of his neck.
“There’s nothing to apologize for,” Andrew said seriously, making sure Fitz knew he had nothing to be sorry about. “It is completely normal to still have trouble coming up with words at this stage in your recovery. In fact, most people who suffer from aphasia aren’t nearly as far along as you are at this point.”
Fitz smiled at that, bringing his hands to rest in his lap.
“Really?”
“Yes. You should be extremely proud of yourself,” Andrew assured him.
“Now why don’t you tell me what happened in the pod?”
Fitz’s face settled into a grimace and his hands tightened around each other.
“Well, Simmons and I… we…It’s difficult to talk about.” he explained, obviously struggling to put the experience into words.
“It’s okay. Take your time.”
“Simmons and I were on a mission to locate the Bus. We found it, but before we could put a tracker on it… Ward found us. He took us to Garrett, who tried to recruit us for Hydra. As if we would ever work for such scum,” Fitz spat, the venom dripping from his words.
“I had an EMP in my pocket, and I used it to short out the electrical systems on the Bus. I was just trying to cause a diver… distraction, so maybe Simmons and I could get away. But… it did something to Garrett, too. So he told the guards to lock us up, but we got away from them and just started running… For a minute, I really thought we could get away,” he said softly, his eyes trained on the ground.
“But then Ward found us again.” His voice hardened as he continued his story. “He chased us into the med-pod, and before I knew it, he was keying in the code to drop us out of the plane. We begged him not to, but…. he didn’t care. He watched us slide backwards out of the plane and into the ocean, and… not once did he look like he regretted doing it… And the worst part was that I…” Fitz stopped, choking on the lump in his throat.
“You what, Fitz?”
“I defended him,” he admitted. “Before he did that to us…. I refused to believe Ward was Hydra. I thought that there was no way he could possibly be so evil. I thought that maybe… he was brainwashed… or that Garrett had forced him to join Hydra. But when I watched him drop us out of that plane… I saw him for what he really was.”
The tears were streaming down Fitz’s face now as he clenched his jaw in anger.
“He was… is… a monster. Only a monster could do all the terrible things he’s done.”
Andrew nodded in sympathy and slid the tissue box his way. Fitz wiped his eyes and cleared his throat before continuing.
“I don’t remember much of what happened after we hit the water. I remember waking up with a broken arm. I rigged a distress signal, but… then I realized no one would be looking for it. Simmons woke up and… we talked. About death. About dying.” He stopped there, his eyes taking on a distant quality as he recalled their conversation.
“Then what did you do?” Andrew asked, bringing him out of his reverie.
“We did what we always do.... or at least used to do. We found a way out. Together.”
“Why do you say ‘used to’?”
Fitz sighed as he crossed his arms over his chest. “When we had everything set up, there was only enough oxygen for one of us. I tried to get her to take it, but she wouldn’t, so…. I said something…. something that I knew would make her take it.”
“What did you say?”
“I told her how I felt about her,” Fitz mumbled, clearly uncomfortable.
At Andrew’s silence, he took a deep breath and continued. “I told her that I loved her…. not exactly in those words, but... I know she understood. Then I hit the button, and the water rushed in. And I blacked out.”
“Why hadn’t you told her before?” Andrew asked.
“I… I didn’t have the courage.”
“What gave you the courage to tell her then?”
Fitz averted his gaze to the wall, his eyes glassy and his face forlorn.
“I thought I was going to die.”
Tears began to stream down his face again as he looked back at Andrew. “So imagine my surprise when I wake up… in a hospital bed. When I saw her, I tried to talk… to explain to her… but… I couldn’t. My words… they wouldn’t come.”
He sniffled and dried his eyes once again as he sat up straighter in his chair. “The next few months were… well they were absolute Hell. My hands shook. I couldn’t get out a single thought without stuttering. Simmons tried to help… but she really couldn’t. For the first time, we were facing something we couldn’t fix together. And it only got worse when… when she left.”
“Why do you think she left?”
Fitz’s face took on a contemplative look as he considered Andrew’s question.
“At the time, I thought it was because of what I said to her. Because she didn’t feel the same way. Then I thought it was because she couldn’t stand to be near me anymore. Because I wasn’t the same man I was before the… accident. But… then I saw she was the one who had really changed. When she came back, she was… different.”
“Different how?”
“More determined. More focused. But also… more scared. She wasn’t curious anymore. She saw something new and instead of learning about it, she wanted to destroy it. I don’t know what made her that way, but…for a while I thought she may never be the same Simmons that I…”
Fitz took a deep breath, then whispered, “I thought she’d never be the same woman that I fell in love with.”
“And now?” Andrew asked.
“Now… I think that she still may never be the same person she used to be. But that’s okay,” Fitz said, his eyes finally looking up to stare into Andrew’s.
“Because I’m not the same person I used to be either. After everything we’ve been through, it’d be crazy for anyone to expect us to be who we were 2 years ago.”
“It sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into this,” Andrew said, impressed that Fitz had come to this realization on his own.
“I have,” Fitz agreed, nodding his head slowly. “This past year has been pretty awful, but it’s taught me a lot about myself.”
“Like what?”
“I’ve learned who I am as an individual. For the past 10 years, Simmons has been by my side for everything. My identity was just half of FitzSimmons, one part of a dynamic duo. But with her being gone, I had to figure out how to survive without her.”
“And did you?”
“I did,” Fitz said proudly, a smile making its way onto his face for the first time since the beginning of their rather lengthy session.
“I learned how to live without her by my side for every minute of the day. But do you know what else I learned?” he asked, his blue eyes wide.
Andrew shook his head, curious.
“I learned that even though I can live without Jemma… I really don’t want to.”

Chapter Text

“Coulson tells me that you wanted to leave S.H.I.E.L.D. Before the battle with the Inhumans.”
“Yes, sir,” Mack replied, his arms crossed over his chest in a defiant way. “Turned in my badge and everything.”
“Why’d you change your mind?”
“I guess during the battle, I saw the potential S.H.I.E.L.D. still has.”
“Meaning?” Andrew questioned, his legs crossed and pen tapping against his notepad.
Mack sighed and brought his hands down to rest on his legs. “Skye and her alien friends are dangerous. But they can also be useful.”
“Useful how?”
“They can help people. Use their powers for good as long as they aren’t misguided. Jiaying steered them in the wrong direction,” Mack explained. “Maybe now that she’s gone, S.H.I.E.L.D. can help guide them in the right one. As long as we remain objective and cautious.”
“And you believe you can help S.H.I.E.L.D. do those things?”
“Yes,” Mack replied, his eyes hardening. “I’ve experienced what alien technology can do up close and personal, and I gotta say, I’m not a huge fan.”
“You’re referring to what happened in the Kree temple.”
It wasn’t a question. Andrew had been informed on the things Mack experienced down there, and he knew that they were to blame for his deep mistrust of the alien and unknown.
Mack nodded, his lips set in a straight line.
“Do you want to tell me about it?”
“Honestly? Hell no.”
“Why not?”
Mack leaned forward slightly in his chair, folding his hands in front of him.
“Look. I’m sure you’re a great therapist. Coulson wouldn’t have asked you to evaluate us if you weren’t,” he began, emphasizing every word. “But there is absolutely nothing you can say or do that will ever make what happened down there any easier for me. It still haunts me, and it probably will for the rest of my life. So I’d rather not relive it one more time than I have to, if that’s okay with you.”
“Okay,” Andrew responded, backing off some. It was obviously something that needed to be discussed eventually, but Mack just didn’t seem ready at the moment.
“Anything else?” Mack asked, perched on the edge of his seat. He seemed ready to get up and walk out if given the word.
“Just one more thing. Coulson tells me you said you didn’t trust him before the battle. Do you trust him now?”
“No,” Mack replied, without hesitation.
“Than why stay?” Andrew asked, genuinely curious.
“I just said I don’t trust him. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect him.”

Chapter Text

“How are you today, Agent Simmons?”
“I’m fine,” she replied in a cheery voice, her lips curling up into a bright smile.
To just anyone, it would appear that she was, in fact, fine. But Andrew could see right through her facade. Her voice was just a little too high, her smile a little too tight. Her hands were fidgeting restlessly in her lap, and every part of her body was tense.
“Are you sure?” he asked, observing how her face automatically set back into a slightly troubled frown.
“Of course!” Simmons replied. “There’s no reason I wouldn’t be.”
Andrew tilted his head to the side and gave a little sigh. “You and I both know that’s not true, Agent Simmons.”
“Please, call me Jemma,” she responded, avoiding his statement. “Agent Simmons sounds so formal. We’re all practically on a first name basis here anyway, and I’m starting to prefer my first name. It doesn’t sound as stuffy and official as “Agent Simmons”. I suppose you could also call me Simmons if you like. That’s what they use to call me…” Her talking ceased as she noticed his scrutinizing gaze.
“I’m rambling, aren’t I?” she asked quietly, nervously tucking a piece of hair behind her ear.
“Yes,” Andrew replied. “But that’s alright. I prefer that you ramble rather than not talk to me at all.”
“Oh, not talking has never been an issue for me. Most of the time, people can’t seem to get me to shut up,” she laughed breathlessly.
“So have you talked to someone about what happened in the pod?”
Simmons’ eyes widened, and she shook her head silently. “No, not really. I talked a little about it to Bobbi, but only about one thing.”
“When Fitz admitted his feelings for you?”
Her face paled, and she looked at him in confusion. “How did you…?” Her features relaxed as it dawned on her. “You talked to Fitz already.”
“Yes. He explained what happened to me in great detail.” Andrew replied, curious as to how she would take that bit of information.
“Well at least he wants to talk to someone about what happened down there,” she muttered, traces of bitterness in her voice.
“What was that?”
“Oh… Nothing. It’s just….” She folded her arms across her stomach, holding herself tightly. “I approached him to talk about what he said in the pod before he went on his last mission. It’s come to my attention that maybe… maybe we need to discuss what he said rather than avoid it. He… he wasn’t very eager to talk to me about it.”
“And why do you think that is?”
“I don’t know.”
“Jemma,” Andrew sighed, looking directly at her. “You’re a smart woman. You have 2 PHD’s.”
“Yes, but neither of them are in psychology!” she exclaimed, exasperated. “Maybe if they were, I could understand him better. I’d be able to understand myself more.”
“And why do you feel like you don’t understand yourself?” Andrew questioned, her obvious agitation concerning him.
Simmons closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, she had that fake smile plastered on her face again. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell. And I certainly didn’t mean to say that I don’t understand myself. I know who I am. I’m Dr. Jemma Simmons, Biochemist and head of the S.H.I.E.L.D. science division. I understand myself perfectly.”
Andrew put aside his pen and paper and leaned towards her, his eyes earnest and voice serious. “In my experience, patients don’t say things that they don’t mean. So I’m going to ask you again. And this time, don’t try to give me the fake excuse and calm outer shell you give everyone else. I need you to be honest with me, Jemma. Tell me what you mean when you say you don’t understand yourself.”
She stared at him for a moment, her arms tense and her bottom lip quivering. Then, with her eyes glassy, she whispered, “Everything I know has changed. Including myself. The people I love… they’re either dead, or hurt, or… different. I can’t…. I can’t protect them from the things and the people we have to face now. I mean, I’ve never been one for fighting, but I… I’ve always been able to help the people around me. And now…as hard as I try… I’m just not good enough, or strong enough, or smart enough for anything anymore.” She folded her hands in front of her, squeezing them together until her knuckles turned white.
“Why do you think that?” Andrew asked, his concern for the young scientist growing.
“Because everything is going wrong!” she exclaimed, the tears beginning to leak down her face.
“I was undercover at Hydra, and I was trying to help Coulson. I thought I was doing some good. And then I messed that up, and my cover was blown, and I was so scared. I thought I was going to die, but then Bobbi was there, and she got me out. And then I got to go home. And I thought… I thought that when I came back, things would be okay. But they were just worse,” she sobbed, her head shaking back and forth. “Fitz… he hated me. He felt like I betrayed him. And I honestly can’t blame him. I… I left him when he needed me. But only because I made him worse,” she explained, her cheeks dripping with tears. “After he woke up…. he couldn’t talk. He couldn’t find what he wanted to say. His hands shook, and…. everything was hard for him. And it only seemed to get harder when I was around. I knew I couldn’t stay. He would never get better if I was there to finish all his sentences and coddle him.” She took a deep breath, attempting to steady her shaky voice and speak around the large lump in her throat. “So… I left. I didn’t tell him where I was going, or for how long... Do you know how hard that was for me? To walk away from the person I love most in the world. I was supposed to be able to help him, but all I did was make him worse!”
Andrew nodded his head in sympathy, knowing exactly what that felt like.
“When I got back…he couldn’t even look at me,” she said, her face displaying all the emotions she had been keeping pent up for the last year. “I… I disgusted him. It took us months to even be able to speak to each other. I thought my life was finally going to get better. And then…. and then Trip died!” she wailed, a new round of tears furiously making their way down her face. “I didn’t know him for long, but he was such a… such a good man. He didn’t deserve to die. And he was in fragments! I… I had to watch them scoop what was left of him off of the ground with a shovel!” she managed to choke out before succumbing to the sobs that were shaking her body. Andrew wanted to comfort her, but he knew there was more she had to say. It was important that she finally let out everything she had been keeping bottled up for so long.
Once Jemma’s sobs had subsided, she took a deep breath and continued.
“And after that, Skye…. she… changed, and I made her hate me because I wanted to fix her. I wanted her to be like she was, because her new powers scared me. I didn’t understand what had happened to her. It was so…. destructive and… terrifying. I just wanted to eradicate it, so things could go back to the way they were,” she admitted quietly. “But I know now that they can’t. I’ve spent so long being scared about everything. And that fear... it turned into hatred. I… I hated Ward for what he did to me and Fitz. And if I’m being honest, I still do. It’s his fault that Fitz got hurt. It’s his fault that my life is a mess now. I hate him so much that I want to kill him. And I tried!” she exclaimed, breaking out into sobs again. “I tried, but I didn’t. Bakshi… he got in front of me… and I… I…” she stuttered, taking quick shallow breaths. “I killed him instead. He’s a monster, too, and he probably deserved it. But I wanted to kill Ward! To stop him from hurting more people. And I failed. And look at what he did to Bobbi! If I had been quicker, or stronger, I could have saved her so much pain!” she bawled, folding her arms tightly across her stomach. “But I failed her. Just like I failed everyone around me. I failed Skye, I failed Trip, I failed Coulson, and most of all I failed Fitz!” Simmons was rocking back and forth now, her breathing erratic and her eyes wild. “Everyone I love gets hurt, and it’s all my fault. All I ever do is hurt the people around me,” she gasped. Her eyes were now screwed shut, and she appeared to be having a complete emotional breakdown. Sobs continued to shake her tiny frame as she curled into herself more tightly. Andrew knew he couldn’t let this go on any longer, and he rushed to the woman’s side.
“Jemma,” he soothed, pulling her out of her chair and into his lap. She tried to pull away, but he put both of his strong arms around her and forced her to stop rocking. “None of what has happened is your fault. All of these terrible things… You couldn’t have stopped them.”
“Yes I could!” she whimpered, continuing to resist his embrace. “I could have swam faster to save Fitz. I could have figured a different way out of the pod. I could have given him the oxygen. I could have stopped Trip and Skye from going into that temple. I could have… I could have killed Ward when I had the chance,” she practically howled, stuttering towards the end.
“Jemma, none of those things would have helped anyone. And killing Ward isn’t the answer,” Andrew said firmly. “And I think deep down, you know that.” She slumped against him in reply, taking deep, shuddering breaths.
“I killed someone,” she whispered, the agony in her voice evident. “And I have nightmares about it every time I close my eyes. I see him dying in front of me, and Trip in fragments, and Fitz… Fitz looking at me with so much hatred and disappointment.”
Andrew cradled her closer and began to stroke her hair. In his arms, he saw just how young Jemma actually was. She looked more like a scared, broken little girl than the mature, composed woman she showed the world every day.
“Shhhh,” he soothed. “It’s okay. You can get through this, Jemma. I’ll help you get through this.”
“Andrew,” she whimpered, her voice raw and shaking as the tears continued to stream down her face. “I look in the mirror every morning, and I don’t recognize the person in front of me. Somewhere along the way, I lost the woman I was.”
She looked up at him with defeated, tear filled eyes.
“Can you help me find her again?”