because I couldn’t quite keep it to myself anymore, here’s the opening of my forthcoming so-called “Academy AU.” as you’ll notice, it exists in a very specific ‘verse.
a huge thank you to @songcalledclara, who came up with the idea of Jemma having a lion daemon I believe back in 2014 and very kindly gave me permission to use that concept when I thought up this story many months back.
Excerpt Rated G. FitzSimmons. Simmons POV.
Three owls, half a dozen insects, and a variety of small birds and mammals made up the daemons of SHIELD Academy’s Sci-Tech Fall 2003 orientation class, and Jemma Simmons couldn’t be more bored with the lot. Her lion daemon, Caedmon, was stretched alongside her desk, head on his paws and trying to look as nonthreatening as possible. Although he was slimmer and more compact than true Saharan lions, he made an intimidating first impression nonetheless. […]
Tapping a pencil against the crisp first page of her brand new notebook, she glanced up at the students still streaming through the door. To her surprise, within that group was a boy with curly, dirty blond hair who looked to be about her age – that is, at least three or four years younger than everyone else in the room. He was quite handsome, she noted as he shuffled closer, with a defined jaw and symmetrical features, although he was also rather skinny and pasty.
“Caed,” she whispered, nudging his hind leg and nodding towards the front of the room.
At just that moment, the boy and his chimp daemon both noticed the lion in the aisle, and their mouths dropped open in an amusingly similar expression. The boy glanced up, searching for the daemon’s owner, and Jemma’s cheeks warmed as she met his eyes, a clear, bright blue even in the dim lecture hall. Looking down as quickly as possible so that he wouldn’t think she’d been staring, she let her hair fall in a half-curtain over her face. Whether or not they might ever be friendly depended on how he reacted now, because there was no doubt as to whom the lion belonged – the other cadets had left her and Caedmon a wide berth.
“A lion daemon,” came a distinctly Scottish female voice, barely audible under the crowd, and Jemma flicked her eyes up and then down again to ascertain that it did indeed belong to the boy’s chimp. Shifting so that she could keep them in her periphery, she couldn’t stop her smile at the way the chimp was tugging at his hand.
“Yeah, alright,” he muttered in response, shifting his rucksack higher on his shoulder and waiting for the group of stagnant students in front of him to move.
“No,” his daemon insisted excitedly, loudly enough that a few other students nearby turned their heads. “But a lion, Fitz –!”
“Yeah, I know,” he hissed down at her, a distinctive flush working up his neck. “Shut up!” Finally able to edge around the crowd, he tugged at his daemon’s hand, and she shifted mid-step into a capuchin, climbing smoothly onto his shoulder and twisting around to keep her gaze on Caedmon.
Jemma couldn’t even attempt to disguise the shock on her face, and Caedmon lifted his head up from his paws to watch them find a seat. “Caed….”
“She’s not settled,” he finished for her, voice low enough that the others couldn’t hear.
Coming later this summer to AO3. :-)