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Once Upon Another Time

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When they finally realized their mistake, it was too late. Ward was gone. Handed over to his brother in exchange for political support which they now knew they were never going to receive.

“What have we done?” a doleful Skye asked to the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Coulson did not respond. All he could do was look at the young agent with sorrowful look before he closed his eyes and looked away.

Feeling tears starting to form behind her own eyes, Skye needed to leave and be alone. Without another word, she turned and left Coulson's office, leaving the man behind to deal with fact he had been the one who singed Ward's dearth warrant.

Wrapping her arms around herself, Skye hurried down the Playground’s halls, looking for somewhere she could hide herself away. Along the way she passed the lounge where Simmons, Trip, Hunter and Bobbi had gathered. All but Simmons held a bottle of beer in their hand while Simmons clung onto a cup of tea. Each person had a forlorn look on their face.

“I...I told him I would kill him,” the Simmons quietly murmured before she dropped her cup. She turned and buried her face in the crook of Hunter’s neck, much to his surprise.

The ex-mercenary awkward wrapped his arms around the distraught scientist for comfort while Bobbi retrieved a towel to clean up the spilled tea. Trip meanwhile picked up the broken pieces of the tea cup and took them over to the trash where he threw them into the trash can with for more force then needed.

Skye passed the gym where she saw May furiously taking her aggression out on a heavily abused punching bag. Then she came to the motor pool and came upon Mack holding a sobbing Fitz in his embrace. The young engineer had his face buried in the taller man's chest and was shaking as his tears stained Mack's plaid shirt.

“It's alright, Turbo. Just let it out,” Mack soothed as he rubbed Fitz's back.

Turning, Skye let her feet lead her to the hanger and soon she found herself going up the ramp of the Bus. She stood there in the cargo bay, memories of long past training sessions came back, making her head up the spiral staircase and into the lounge. Skye looked over to the spot where the two of them had played Battleships and other games, back when things had seemed so simple. Skye turned and left the lounge, heading in the direction of the cabins but when she finally came to stop, the young hacker found herself not outside her cabin but Wards.

With a trembling hand, Skye turned the knob and entered.

Skye stopped and looked around the cabin. A fine layer of dust covered every surface. Just about everything was in the exact same place Ward had left them in. No one had entered the cabin since they had discovered Ward's ties to HYDRA. Even though there was the possibility Ward could have hidden valuable information in his room, no one dared to enter it, not even May. They left the room alone, not even bothering to lock it. Their painful memories were enough to keep them away from the room.

With hesitant steps, Skye made her way over to still neatly made bed and sat down, causing dust to float up into the air. She looked around the small cabin that was frozen in time. It was like the cabin was a mausoleum that held the sad ghosts of the past. A past where they were tracking down Centipede. A past where they had no secrets from each other. A past where they were a team. A past where they were a family.

As she finished her scan of the room, Skye’s eyes fell upon something she thought she would never see again. It was Ward's beloved leather jacket. Skye thought he had taken it when they had left Providence but there it was, hanging on the back of the desk chair. Before she knew it, Skye was reaching over and taking the jacket off the chair.

Skye let her fingers trace the leather, her finger tips making trails in the dust that had gathered over the past six months. Then without thinking, she brought the jacket up to her nose and inhaled. It stilled smelled like him, a mixture of Old Spice, black coffee, pine and what Skye could only descried as Ward.

The tears behind her eyes were starting to prickle behind her eyes but Skye managed to keep them from falling as she forced her eyes closed. Images of the past played across her mind. Everything made sense back then. She had been his rookie. He had been her robot.

Skye felt something wet trail down her cheek. Opening her eyes and bring her hand to her face, the young agent realized she was crying. Finally, Skye let go of and let her emotions take over. The tears came freely and soon she heard the sad sobs that escaped from her mouth as she weep. Silently, Skye admitted to herself the truth she had done all to ignore and forget.

“I love you, Ward,” Skye spoke to the empty room, her voice filled with raw emotion.

As her tears fell, Skye buried her face in Ward's jack and maneuvered herself on the bed so that she was lying in a fetal position. She stayed in Ward's old room for several hours, eventually crying herself asleep. When she awoke hours later, Ward's lingering scent filled her nose and for a moment, Skye thought he was lying there next to her. But when she opened her eyes, she realized she was alone and her memories soon flooded back. Ward was gone, never to return. The tears and the hurt came back to Skye all too easily.