“Jemma? What are you doing?”, asked Skye seeing her coming from Coulson’s door, surprise in her face. She must have just reported in.
“No time! Coulson’s in, right? Right. Oh my god”, was what came out of her mouth before striding into the office without a care.
Coulson was in front of his monitor checking some data and had only time to frown at her and open his mouth before she started speaking.
“Sir. The Black Widow, Winter Soldier. Here. At the door, they’re outside waiting. How have they found this place? Oh my god, how am I still alive? Oh my god, SIR!”
Coulson could do nothing but open and close his mouth like a fish but he managed to recover and while he shouted orders through the comms, she slid to the floor. She couldn’t entirely compute what had just happened, she needed a bit more time. At the very least the day had started normal: she’d woken up, showered quickly, dressed, had an awkward “Good morning” conversation with Fitz while they had breakfast at the same time at the same table, went through her data… She turn aside from her routine the moment she noticed an anomaly at the HQ’s door’s sensors, an anomaly because it said there was someone there but the camera didn’t show anything. Tripp wass with her and suggested maybe there was a problem with the sernsors themselves, so she went down to look it up by herself because she didn’t want to get Fitz. That was just awkward waiting to happen.
Who knew, huh?
“Simmons? Are you ok?”, said Coulson when he finally appeared to have everything in order, offering her his hand to get up
“Well, not freaking out anymore, sir, but not exactly finished freaking out yet either, sir. If you get my meaning”.
“I can imagine”, he said with a smile. “Well, don’t worry, just go down to the lab and calm yourself, we got everything sorted already. I don’t anticipate needing you but, well…” , he winced “we know how our expectations usually end up”.
Jemma snorted. Yes, she knew.
This time it took more than she expected for those expectations to be put to the test but, in the end, it was not a question of “will it happen”, just of “when”. So, when Jemma was finally called she was already prepped up and with everything nicely arranged and tidy. Ready for consumption, as they say. The infirmary was stark white, as was customary, and it was easy to locate Barnes, he was like a huge dot in a white sea, even with the nice silver of the metalic arm offering some kind of common ground. She went to check on the monitors but couldn’t stop herself and ended up getting caught looking at his face. And what a handsome face, at that.
Coulson said that the problem was that he probably had a concussion, or so Romanov thought, so it wasn’t a good idea for him to be dozing, half-asleep, dead to the world or otherwise. Which would require Jemma to be extremely cautious when waking him up, she didn’t want to end up dead. Still, she couldn’t help tracing her cheek softly with her finger.
“He really looks like the male version of the Sleeping Beauty, pity he has to wake”, he looked so peaceful like this.
“Perhaps, just like her, he needs some kind of incentive. A song, maybe?”, said a voice from behind her, where she was sure there wasn’t anyone.
Natasha Romanov stood just by her side when she turned and she went to apologize but the words just wouldn’t come out. The assassin was looking on to Barnes with a strange kind of affection mixed with bitterness and such a raw ache that it made her head spin. Then she actually stoped and what Agent Romanov had said got to her brain. It matched with what a part of the writing on her right wrist she’d been born with said. Her soulmarks.
She’d spent the better part of her life wondering what would prompt one of her soulmates to ask her that question. It was indistinctly indeterminable and imposible to imagine. It was clear she spoke before them, or so she had assumed until now, but it lacked a definite clue that would be able to help her narrow down the possilities in which she would meet that one soulmate. The time she hadn’t spent trying to understand the sentence, she’d invested in being always up to date in the latest musical hits and trying to come up with ways to answer to that. She’d been remarkably successful in the first and understandably unsuccessful in the second.
Thing was, she actually had an answer now.
“Are you really trying to tell me to sing to the Winter Soldier?”, she asked really frazzled and a little bit spooked.
The reaction was automatic and quick. Agent Romanov’s head turned to her with commendable speed and her eyes widened perceptibly, which was kind of awesome inspiring. She’d surprised the Black Widow, and she would probably have been one of the only two people in the world capable of doing it.
“What… what have you said?”, she whispered, coming as close as she could to her.
“Are you asking me to sing to the Winter Soldier, Agent Romanov?”, Jemma managed to say while trying to mask her nervousness.
The asssassin’s eyes narrowed and she turned her around to look upon the sleeping soldier.
“Do it. Sing. But sing to him”, the last two words were obviously highlighted and Jemma’s eyes widened impossibly. It couldn’t be.
“Do it”, Agent Romanov insisted.
And Jemma thanked the gods that she was currently obsessed with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and its soundtrack because she had the perfect song for this moment. So she approached the hospital bed and laid her hands in the sleeping soldier’s metalic arm softly, trying to anchor herself to reality. Her voice was vacilant at the beginning but it got strong as the lyrics advanced.
In the morning by the sun
as the fog clears from the sand
I have no money in my hand,
I have no home, I have no land.
But it doesn’t trouble me
as I lay beside the fire,
I am easy to inspire,
there is little I require.
I wasn’t yours and you weren’t mine,
though I’ve wished from time to time,
we had found a common ground,
your voice was such a welcome sound.
How the emptiness would fill
with the waves and with your song,
people find where they belong
or keep on.
By the end her voice was nothing more than a whisper because grey eyes were watching her intently and it wasn’t needed anymore. She was waiting for what she hoped was coming next, breath held and fingers clenched in the white hospital sheets.
“¿Could you finish it, моя милая?”
“Для Вас? Всегда”, Jemma choked out faced with the astonished look the soldier was giving her. God, she’d learned Russian for this man and he didn’t even know.
But as she seated herself in the hospital bed with one of his hands in one of hers and the other one clenched between the redhead’s, she decided she didn’t care. She could always tell him later. They had the rest of their lives to share.
Through the never-ending maze
where the way is seldom clear
there is no map or compass near,
I drive a ship I cannot steer.
Through the bleak and early morn
where a stronger will is sworn,
where the moments move so slow
and seem to never let you go.
When my hands are old and ache
and m memory flickers dim,
and my bones don’t hold my skin,
there’s no place I haven’t been.
I recall the days were few,
that is all that I can do,
feel the carvings in the tree
that gives shade for you and me.