“It’ll be easy, mate. All you have to do is pretend that you love her.” Hunter remarked with an irritating sort of cheeriness.
“Shouldn’t be that hard,” Daisy said via the comms, “They act like that every day anyway.”
“Shut up,” Fitz commanded with a groan. The thought of him and Jemma being anything besides platonic was off-limits in his mind at the moment. Especially given her PTSD, that she was slowly recovering from. Not that there was ever really a recovery for such a thing. He cleared his throat. "It's just an op, right? All we have to do is dance, you and Bobbi have a good snog in a closet while Coulson talks to Rosalind about the Lash situation."
"I know I don't have a problem with my mission," Hunter said, popping a bit of shrimp in his mouth. Fitz eyed him warily.
"You really sure you want to be eating that, given the current situation regarding fish and Inhumans?"
The shrimp was instantly spat out. "Fair point," he remarked, grabbing a nearby glass of champagne to wash it down with. "Ugh. I better not end up with any freaky superpowers."
"I don't know, maybe you'll finally get the ability to be charming," Daisy remarked.
"Shut up," Hunter retorted, watching the dancing crowd with interest. "Reminds me of me and Bobbi's wedding." He shivered. "The bridesmaids looked awful. Why Bob couldn't have let Izzy pick out the dresses is beyond me. Even Victoria mentioned how awful the dress was."
Just at that moment, a short brunette appeared from the crowd. She was wearing a knee length glossy baby blue dressed matched with sparkly silver heels. Her brunette hair was pulled up into an elegant up-do, with a small strand hanging loosely by her ear. Her cheeks were a pale pink, and her lips were as red as blood. Fitz felt his eyes widen in surprise and wonder as he realized the woman walking up to him was none other than Jemma Simmons.
"On second thought, I don't think you're going to have a problem." Hunter said, slack-jawed.
Fitz stared in awe at Jemma, taking her in. He had considered her pretty and beautiful before, but in a soft sort of way. But they way she looked now was not soft. It was a beauty that made grown men fall to their knees; a beauty that made every other woman in the room pale in comparison. A beauty that made Fitz thought of a hundred different scenarios that were definitely not appropriate at the moment.
"Hello, Fitz." she said as she stepped in front of him. Her eyes met his for a moment, and there was something there, buried deep behind her veil in front of Hunter, in front of the ATCU, in front of the guests. Something he was barely able to understand himself. But before he could puzzle it together, Jemma turned to Hunter. "Bobbi's looking for you, by the way."
"Looks like my mission's up," Hunter said, straightening up and sitting his champagne glass down. He clapped Fitz on the shoulder. "Good luck." With that, he took off.
"What mission?" Jemma inquired, her nose scrunching up in confusion as she watched the ex-mercenary's retreating figure.
"N-nothing," Fitz mumbled, finding himself staring at Jemma's profile, admiring it fully for the first time. How soft and pretty her hair was, her pale skin that he couldn't help but imagine his hands against. Then suddenly he was looking her right in the eye. Neither of them spoke for a moment, but then she turned away with a small smile playing on her lips.
He said nothing, but continued to admire her. When she turned back to face him, he finally got up the courage to speak. "Y-you look, ah...uh...." he stammered and stumbled, unable to place his words correctly, something he hadn't done in a long time. He sighed then spoke up again, "You look beautiful." Her already pink cheeks grew brighter and she smiled. There was a moment of silence before he cleared his throat and spoke again. "Will you...will you dance with me?"
Her eyes widened, and her eyebrows shot upward as he extended his hand. She stared at it for a moment, before taking it cautiously. Slowly, they made their way to the dance floor. The music was soft and slow, and was almost soundless against the chattering of the crowd. Jemma placed her hand at the nape of his neck, sending shivers running down his spine. He took a deep breath as he placed his hand on her waist and they slowly began to move to the sound of the music. They danced clumsily, both trying to lead at once, both feeling awkward and embarrassed by how they were currently positioned, and both stepping on each other's toes.
After awhile Fitz groaned. "I thought this would be a good idea, but I suck at dancing."
"Then don't view it as a dance," Jemma said softly. "View it as us working together in the Lab, together."
"Fitzsimmons," Fitz breathed. She nodded, removing her hand from his neck. He moved his hand away from her waist and they stood apart for a moment. Then Jemma extended her hands and Fitz took them, and they began to sway. They twirled, they arched, he even lifted her off her feet at one point. They worked as partners, equally, together. Years of friendship and unison, months of being separated and even more months of not understanding, of not talking; screams of agony as the thought of losing the other were worse than death; of breaths given and taken; all of it culminated in this moment here, as the rest of the room melted away-hell, the rest of the world-and all that mattered was each other.
They weren't dancing any longer, the music had stopped, but they were still griping onto each other like nothing else in the world mattered. They clung to each other like they were daring the universe to try and separate them again, and even if it did they would beat all the odds, move heaven and earth, cross entire light-years to get to each other again.
The room and the crowd and the ATCU still felt like a thousand miles away, though. All they saw was each other-and there was understanding, now. There was no confusion any more. No fears of disappointment, of rejection from being different. There was the New Simmons and the New Fitz, and the old didn't matter anymore because that was in the past, and this was the now and right now an infinite amount of possibilities were being played out and both ached for them to happen but both were too terrified to move.
Fitz's gaze trailed down to Jemma's ruby red lips, before he flicked his eyes up to meet hers, a question in his gaze. Can I?
She didn't speak, nor did she nod. But the sparkle in her eye said yes. And in the distance between them were a thousand arguments, separations and reunions, late nights studying and falling asleep beside one another, stolen glances and smiles that lasted longer than they should have. Fitz carefully leaned forward, and, despite his attempts not to, his eyes closed just as his barely open mouth fell against hers, soft and gentle.
She kissed back softly, and everything they had ever wanted to say to each other poured out in that moment, and the kiss deepened. Her fingers wound up in his curls and he cupped her soft, beautiful face with his rough calloused hands, and the kiss reached a crescendo. It was soft and sweet as well as hungry and desperate. His breathing was ragged against her soft lips, and he knew for a fact that there would be red lipstick all over his lips but he didn't care. All he could smell was Jemma, he was breathing the air from her lungs and vice versa.
It was new and it was exciting, just as much as it was terrifying.
Finally, Jemma pulled away. Her eyes were foggy, like she dazed and there was an awed look on her face that perfectly describe what Fitz was thinking. Did that really just happen?
Neither of them spoke, nor did they sway to the new song playing. They just stood there and stood, clinging to each other as if the world was ending.
Because no matter what, they were Fitz and Simmons
And that meant that it was together or not at all.