A Ghost at the Back of Your Closet
In which Framework!Fitz is confused about her motivations, and Jemma is trying, really, she is, but her body is still operating like it thinks he’s the enemy.
cw for a mention of childhood abuse, and discussion of the attack in 4x15
“I need a shower,” Daisy groans out, rubbing her hands down her face. She flops back on the seedy motel bed, eyes pointed toward the white, popcorn ceiling in a withering stare. “Why do I even need a shower? We’re in the fucking Matrix, none of this is real. Yet still, I smell. It’s completely unfair.”
Jemma sits at the foot of the bed, inspecting the map they’ve drawn on the wall (it’s not like it’ll matter, once they shut the framework down. What’s a little destruction of private property in the grade scheme of things?). Each of the team’s locations are marked with pushpins, along with lists of all the information they’ve managed to gather on them. It’s not enough, Jemma knows. They need more.
“You do smell a little.”
“Hey,” Daisy whines.
Jemma turns back to her, blinking innocently. “What? I said ‘a little’.”
“Whatever.” Daisy pushes off the bed, walks backwards toward the bathroom. She raises an eyebrow at Fitz, who’s sitting on the other bed. “You two gonna be okay without adult supervision for a little while?”
Jemma freezes. She and Fitz, this Fitz—Leo, he’s called here, though she refuses to call him that, even in her head—haven’t been alone together since they finally managed to convince him to come along. She knows what Daisy’s implying, and Jemma wishes she wouldn’t. She’s more than a little uncomfortable with the idea. This isn’t Fitz. Her Fitz. That’s what she tells herself is the problem, anyway.
“Yeah- uh- yeah, we’ll be fine,” Fitz says when she doesn’t speak, when it’s gotten just a little uncomfortable.
Daisy eyes them both, then holds up her hands, retreating to the bathroom.
Jemma doesn’t turn around to look at him. She knows what she’ll see. He’ll be sitting there, looking so much like Fitz but so not, so, so out of place in his posh suit and scarf. Looking like a person who would never set foot in a motel of all places, which he’d voiced when they’d arrived. He’s close, but he’s not Fitz. So she doesn’t look.
Plus, he might be looking back at her. She doesn’t know exactly why, but that’s the last thing she wants.
So she just focuses on the work in front of her. Not that she’ll figure out anything new just by staring at the same slips of paper they have been for the last two days, but still. The effort matters.
He waits until the water is running in the shower before he speaks. His presence alone is stifling, but his voice is something even more jarring.
“Why do you want me back?” he asks, and of all things it’s not what she expected. It confuses her enough that she looks back at him. He’s watching her carefully, thoughtfully, not really looking at her eyes but lower on her face, and it’s so Fitz-like that she wants to cry.
“I- He- obviously wasn’t very good to you. Why do you even want him back?”
Her eyebrows draw together, mouth popping open in confusion. “Where are you getting that? Fitz is never anything but good to me.”