AN: I don't know where this came from and there were definitely more important things I should have been doing whilst writing this but it's done now and I thought I'd publish it so *throws fic at readers* HERE. Enjoy!
Leo Fitz had just moved to New York from Scotland on a transfer to the main headquarters of the engineering company he'd been working for since the age of fifteen. His mother had pushed him into it, really; she'd said that moving to New York was a 'once in a lifetime opportunity' and that it meant 'big things, Leo, big things'. In fact, Fitz had never heard so many typical clichés in one conversation before he'd had the discussion with his mother about the transfer.
But he'd moved to America anyway, knowing that he probably wouldn't get another chance to work for a company as big as SciTech International and rather smug about the fact that he'd be leading the engineering department of the company at the age of just nineteen.
But the one thing he'd noticed since moving into his flashy, company-provided apartment was that America had a lot of sandwich shops and not a single one could make his favourite sandwich.
He'd been driven insane regarding his favourite lunchtime meal, a specific recipe handed down from his great-grandmother that he just couldn't make himself, during the three months he'd been living in the city; he'd heard everything and anything that meant that he wouldn't get his sandwich the way he wanted it:
"I'm sorry, I don't know what that is."
"Never heard of it, sorry."
"So... that's just fancy ham and cheese, right?"
Fitz had tried twenty different sandwich shops and not one, not one, knew how to make a prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella sandwich with a hint of aioli.
Which was precisely what was on the young engineer's mind as he walked to work one morning late in December and it was safe to say that it wasn't putting him in the best of moods.
He walked into the building, sighing contentedly in the sudden warmth as he pulled his scarf from around his neck.
"Good morning, Mr Fitz," Alyssa, the woman who sat behind the festively-decorated desk, said, smiling at him as she did every morning.
"Good morning, Alyssa," Fitz replied, "How are you today?"
"Very well, thank you," Alyssa replied, handing him his ID badge (which she graciously kept behind the desk for him due to the fact that Fitz himself had a brain so scattered he'd put the badge down and never find it again if she didn't). "And yourself?" she asked as he clipped the badge to his shirt pocket.
"I'd be better if I could find someone who could make my sandwich right," he replied, smiling wryly, "I'll see you later."
Fitz went up eleven floors to the engineering department, which was already in such chaos that thoughts of his beloved sandwich completely left his mind the minute he stepped out of the elevator.
It wasn't until one o'clock came around that he thought of it again. He sighed, accepting defeat as he realised that he would probably never get his perfect sandwich, heading back down to the lobby to leave his badge at the desk before finding something else for lunch.
"Have you tried the sandwich shop on Eighty Third Street?" Alyssa asked when he passed her his badge with a grateful smile. Fitz frowned.
"I didn't know there was a sandwich shop on Eighty Third." He said. Alyssa shrugged.
"You could try there for your sandwich," she offered, "They have quite a bizarre menu." Fitz looked thoughtful.
"Maybe I will," he said, "Thanks, Alyssa."
Fitz practically ran to Eighty Third Street, just around the corner from the skyscraper building that housed his workplace. The shop was reasonably busy when he reached it, but there was no line to the counter and a few empty tables dotted around.
Standing behind the desk was a woman who couldn't have been older than Fitz himself. Her brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail and her eyes sparkled as she looked up from the till and smiled at him.
"Hello there," she said, her voice so light and happy and British (and, God, had it been a long time since he'd heard someone who wasn't his mother with an accent like that) that it just made Fitz want to smile, "What can I get you?"
"Er, your phone number would be nice," Fitz said, before his eyes widened and he realised what he'd said, "That was a joke. Well, unless you'd like to take it seriously because you're really very pretty, but... definitely a joke." He blushed furiously, inwardly cursing himself for being a complete and utter idiot and making a fool of himself.
The woman simply laughed, "That was sweet," she told him, caught offguard by his Scottish accent and finding the way it got thicker as he babbled just adorable, "Perhaps not until after our first date though." Fitz smiled slightly, still recovering from his sudden burst of confidence that left him in his current pit of embarrassment.
"Well, thank you for making me feel a bit less like an idiot," he said, rubbing the back of his neck subconsciously, "But all joking aside," he looked hopeful, "I don't suppose you know how to make a prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella sandwich with a hint of aioli, do you?" the woman smiled.
"Coming right up." She replied. Fitz's eyes widened.
"Really?" he asked, shocked, "You... you can make me that?" the woman shrugged, nodding.
"Of course," she replied, "Why?"
Fitz shook his head, "I have been to twenty different sandwich shops and not one of them could make me that sandwich!" he muttered.
"Well," the woman grinned, "I suppose today is your lucky day, then."
Fitz met her eyes for a moment, blue meeting brown as he smiled, "I suppose it is," he replied.
"Why don't you go and sit down?" the woman said, "I'll bring it over when it's ready."
"Are you sure?" Fitz asked, "I can wait?" the woman rolled her eyes, still smiling.
"There's a table free by the window that gives you a great view of the area," she said. Fitz simply smiled, handing her a ten dollar bill.
"Thanks," he said, walking to the table she'd pointed out.
"Oh, er..." the woman stopped him, "Your sandwich is only five dollars." Fitz shrugged.
"Keep the change," he replied, sitting down at the table and looking out of the window, taking in the liveliness of New York City as the woman behind the counter smiled slightly, the thought popping into her head that the man she'd just spoken to must really love his favourite sandwich.
Fitz looked away from the window when a plate was put down in front of him.
"One prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella sandwich with a hint of aioli." Fitz grinned.
"Thank you," he said sincerely, "You have no idea how much I have missed eating this sandwich." The woman from behind the counter smiled before handing him a piece of paper. Fitz smiled confusedly, "What's this?"
"My phone number," the woman said, sitting down opposite him with a sandwich of her own, "I know I said I wouldn't give it to you until after our first date but you've technically already bought me a sandwich so..." she shrugged, blushing slightly. She got a hold of herself and held a hand out to him, "I'm Jemma Simmons. Most people just call me Simmons."
Fitz smiled, shaking her hand, "Leo Fitz. Most people just call me Fitz."
"So, what do you do, Fitz?" she asked, "What's your area of expertise?"
"Er, engineering, actually," he said, taking a bite out of his sandwich and freezing, "Oh my," he muttered, "This is the best sandwich I've ever eaten in my life." Simmons laughed.
"Well, I'm glad I could make it for you," she said, "I can't believe nowhere else could make it!"
"They didn't even know what it was," Fitz said, sounding heartbroken, "Three months I've been looking for this sandwich!" Simmons laughed and Fitz found it hard to believe that she had actually given him her phone number because she really was very pretty and she seemed intelligent and was that even allowed in a single person?!
"So," he said, trying to think of anything but how pretty the girl across from him was, "What do you do? You don't seem to be the type of girl to work in a sandwich shop. Not that I'm complaining because this sandwich really is amazing." Simmons laughed again.
"I only work here because I can't find work anywhere else," she shrugged, taking another bite of her own sandwich, "My area of expertise is biochemistry." Fitz almost lost his mouthful of sandwich.
"You... you're a scientist." He said after swallowing with some difficulty. Simmons raised her eyebrows.
"Surprised?" she asked playfully. Fitz scoffed.
"Well, I'd guessed that you were smart, but..." he smiled disbelievingly, "Biochemistry! That's... just... brilliant."
They spent the next half an hour chatting before Fitz remembered that he actually had a job that he should probably be getting back to.
"Ah..." he groaned, checking his watch, "I should probably go... I'm working on a big new project and I'm supposed to be watching over the junior engineers and..." he grimaced apologetically at Simmons, "Sorry." He finished. Simmons rolled her eyes.
"I should probably get back to work myself," she said, glancing reluctantly over the several now-empty but very untidy tables. She turned back to Fitz and smiled, "It was nice meeting you, Fitz," she said, "And I will happily make you a sandwich anytime you like." Fitz grinned, standing up and slipping his coat on.
"It was a pleasure to meet you, Simmons," he replied, "And I will most definitely take you up on that offer." With a wave and one more 'thank you', he was running back into the freezing December afternoon, hoping that his department wasn't in too much of a mess when he finally returned.
Their fortunate chance meeting that first afternoon quickly became a routine for the two. Fitz would turn up at one o'clock, on the dot, Monday to Friday, and order his prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella sandwich with a hint of aioli. He would always overpay, and Simmons let him buy her a sandwich, joining him at the table by the window.
They would chat, talk science, and complain about how different America was from Britain. Over time, they grew closer until one Friday afternoon at the end of March, Fitz paused in the doorway on his way out.
"Would you like come over to my place one night?" he asked. The sandwich shop was practically empty, as it always was on a Friday, so Simmons immediately turned around to face him from the table she'd been clearing.
"Your place?" she asked, a shocked look on her face. Fitz nodded.
"Like... where I live," he said, wondering how he was still feeling confident because he hadn't gotten this far when asking a girl out before, "Not exactly a date but... I have some classic Doctor Who episodes on my laptop and I could make us dinner? Like... something that isn't a sandwich?" Simmons seemed to consider for a moment before smiling.
"I'd love to," she said happily, "Erm... when are you free?" Fitz shrugged.
"We could do it... tomorrow?" he suggested, "If you're free that is. I mean, I could probably still do it on my own but it wouldn't be nearly as interesting or fun and-"
"Tomorrow is perfect," Simmons interrupted him, inwardly still finding his babbling adorable, despite the fact that she'd known him for months and he did it all the time.
"Right," Fitz said, smiling in relief, "So... five o'clock at mine? I'll text you the address." Simmons nodded.
"I'll see you then," she agreed.
"Right, okay," Fitz pushed the door open, tripping over the step. He caught his balance then looked back, embarrassed, "Bye." Simmons giggled quietly.
"Bye!" she called after him as he started jogging back towards the SciTech building. She sighed happily before returning to cleaning the tables, suddenly looking forward to her weekend a lot more than she had done when she woke up that morning.
So, there was that. I thought I might turn it into an AU 'how FitzSimmons joined SHIELD and became FitzSimmons' fic? What do you think? Let me know ^-^
Reviews are wonderful bags of fluffy kittens, I love you all and thank you ever so much for reading!