Author's Note: That last episode of SHIELD has completely left me reeling. I can't believe that they would do that, and I can only hope that things aren't what they seem and I have my fingers crossed that something like this will be how this season pans out. I hope that you'll take the time to review it!

You Changed Me, For the Better

Skye felt like her heart was going to break into a million pieces. After the events at the hub, with Hyrda wrecking havoc and all that happened afterwards, never did she think that one of the people she trusted the most, would be the one to be pointing a gun at her now. Grant Ward had gotten under her skin and had a profound effect on her. He had been her S.O, the man who had taught her to properly defend herself and in a moment of pure panic, she had kissed him— thinking that he was going to die and that she'd never see him again— now Skye wondered if she wouldn't have been better off dying from Quinn's bullets to her stomach— at least dead she wouldn't be facing the heartbreak that she was now.

"Ward…" she croaked out, looking up at him from her position on the ground.

"Don't." Ward said shaking his head.

Skye blinked. "Don't what?"

"Don't look at me like that."

"Like what?" she asked, struggling to her feet. "Like someone who's been betrayed."

"Shield betrayed us all… Shield betrayed you."

Skye shook her head. "Shield saved me. Shield saved you too."

"No." Ward argued. "And you need to choose."

"Between my friends and those trying to kill them? It's no choice at all."

"I don't…" Ward struggled to get the words out. "I don't want to hurt you."

Skye took a hesitant step towards him. "So don't."

In the background she was aware of Garrett and May fighting for their lives. She knew that Triplett and Coulson were engaged in their own battle and that Fitz and Simmons were doing their mad genius thing to try and stop Deathlock and return him to being Mike Peterson. But Skye couldn't worry about any of that. She had to get through to Ward. His betrayal cut deep, but she couldn't help but wonder if not he had been programmed from childhood to be untrusting and fearful. She had to show him that there were more important things in life… and that you could change.

"Grant, I know that you're hurting," Skye began, hoping that her hunch was right. "I know that you were completely floored by Garrett's betrayal. I know that you're not an agent of Hydra."

"You don't know what you're talking about."

"I know that you're more comfortable with people that you trust," Skye continued. "I know that you trust your former S.O because of all the history that you two share and I know that you didn't really kill Agent Hand. You're not like that."

"Stop!" Ward ordered. "Stop talking like you know me."

Skye took another step closer to him, and to the barrel of his gun. "But I do know you. We might not have had that talk that we were planning… but I know you. I know that all of this, starting from this—" she pointed to her stomach. "—has gotten you rattled. But you can get past all of this. I still trust you."

Ward shook his head. "You can't."

"But I do," Skye insisted. "I always have. I always will. Even after all of this."

"Skye," he pleaded. "Don't make me do this."

"Grant you told me that you shot Nash because he was threatening me, that he was going to hurt me…" she took another step forward, she was so close that she could reach out and touch his gun if she wanted. "…was that a lie."

A pained look crossed Ward's face, but he didn't answer. Skye reached out and placed his gun against her chest. "If that was a lie, shoot me right now."

"It…" he stumbled over his words. "It wasn't a lie."

"Ward!" warned Garrett as he threw May to the ground. "Shoot her. Now."

Ward glanced from his former S.O to Skye. She could see the conflict in his face. He was struggling with the line between right and wrong. He was uncertain who was good, and who was bad. He didn't know who— or what to believe in anymore. Skye had to make him see the path right in front of his feet.

"Grant," she whispered. "You're not the guy that blindly follows ordered anymore. You've changed."

"I haven't."

"You have," Skye assured. "And you know what? I've changed too. For the better."

"Skye…"

"I was lost," she said through her brimming tears. "I saw the world completely backwards. I thought that I would always be alone, but then I found Shield…. And I found you."

"Ward!" Garrett shouted as he picked up his fallen weapon. "Shoot her now, or I will."

Ward stared at Skye for a moment before flicking his eyes up to Garrett. Before Skye could even blink, Ward raised his gun and shot his former S.O in the shoulder. The man fell to the ground with a groan of pain and Skye wrapped her arms around Ward in an uncontrollable outward pouring of relief.

"Thank you for not shooting me." she whispered as she clung onto him.

Ward held her close. "I could never hurt you Skye. I'm so sorry if I have I—" Grant paused and before Skye could register what was going on, he pushed her aside. She fell to the ground just in time to see a bullet pierce Ward's chest. She screamed as he fell and looked over to Garrett who was now pointing his gun at her. She stared at him with her eyes wide open, thinking that she was going to die, when May regained consciousness and knocked Garrett unconscious with one swift kick.

"Skye?" came a anguished whisper.

Skye looked over and saw Ward struggling to sit up. "Oh god," she cried as she crawled over to him. He was bleeding out quite heavily and she put his hands over his heart in an attempt to stem the bleeding. "You can't die on me."

"Dying… wasn't a part of the plan."

"No." Coulson agreed as he rounded the corner with Fitz and Simmons close behind him. "No it wasn't." He turned to Jemma. "Stop the bleeding."

"Yes Sir," she said as she raced over to him.

"Care to explain?" May asked as she walked over to Coulson.

"I knew that Garrett wasn't the head of the snake," Coulson explained. "I asked Ward to infiltrate Hydra to its core so that we could be rid of the menace once and for all… and it worked. Hydra's network is completely gone."

"But at what cost?" Fitz asked, looking at Ward on the ground.

"Ward?" Skye asked, placing her hand on his face. "Don't die on us."

Ward's eyes fluttered. "Don't… know if I have a choice on that."

"Oh," she cried. "There's so much that I want to say."

"You were right you know," he whispered.

"What?" she asked through her tears.

"About me changing," he answered, reaching up to wipe her tears away. "You changed me Skye. You changed me for the better and I'll— I'll—"

His eyes closed and Skye knew that his heart was giving out.

"Oh Skye," Jemma whispered utterly horrified. "I'm sorry."

"No," Skye said, in absolute denial. "No, we are not losing him."

"But he's gone," Jemma explained.

"No," Skye said as she began to administer CPR on him. "I'm not losing him."

After the compressions, Skye bent down to deliver the breath of life. It wasn't like the kiss they had shared weeks earlier. It was one-sided and entirely desperate. She repeated the process a couple more times, getting more and more frantic with each pass until she felt a hand on her shoulder.

"Let him go," Coulson whispered.

Skye shook her head, but in her heart she knew that he was right. She fell into Coulson's arms and allowed the tears to flow when out of nowhere Triplett showed up holding a vial of blue liquid. "I found this," he said as he held it up. "Will it help?"

Jemma held out her hand. "Give it to me, now."

Triplett handed the vial over and Jemma injected the liquid into a needle and then placed the needle into Ward. Everyone was breathless as they waited. Finally there was a gasp and Ward's eyes fluttered open. The first thing he did was seek out Skye, who was right there, holding his hand.

"You… you saved me," he whispered, sounding surprised.

"Of course we did," Skye stated.

"Of course we did," Coulson added. "You're one of us Ward. Always have, always will."

Ward smiled gratefully at his leader. "Thank you."

"Thank you, for helping to stop Hydra." Coulson stood up. "Now let's get you to a hospital."

Hours later, once he had been cleaned up, Skye was allowed to see Grant. He was pale, and looked horrible, but he was alive. He gave her a small smile as she entered his room, and she tentatively walked over and sat on the edge of his bed. "Are you feeling better?" she asked.

"I feel great actually," he admitted. "That is powerful stuff."

"Yeah," she said knowingly. "It really is."

"Listen I'm sorry," he began.

"For what?" asked Skye.

"For being so unreliable. For nearly believing my cover story. For almost being brainwashed."

"From what I understand, that's what Hydra excels at," Skye reminded. "They turn allies into enemies. They get inside heads… and hearts."

Ward shook his head. "They couldn't get inside my heart."

"No?" Skye asked, wondering what he meant by that.

"No. Because it is already taken."

"By who?" asked Skye.

Ward gave her hand a squeeze.

"Oh," she said realizing whom he meant.

"I meant what I said," Ward continued. "You changed me."

"I meant what I said too," Skye said as she leaned close. "You changed me, for the better and I…"

Ward closed the distance between them and kissed her. It was a slow, deep and passionate kiss that was full of all the apologizes in the world, and filled with the promise of never putting her through anything like that again. Skye moved her hands up his body to rest on either side of his face. When she finally pulled away, she placed her forehead against his. "So what now?" she asked in a breathless whisper.

"Now… we have that talk, I'm not going anywhere."

Skye laughed. "No, and neither am I." She pulled herself up to a sitting position and held his hands in hers. "So… where do you want to start?"

-END-