I can't really call myself a fanfiction writer until I've done a highschool au, right? Well, here it is. It's been a long time coming. This highschool au is a bit different than a lot of the ones I've read, because people tend to put Skye, Fitz, and Simmons in the same grade. I'm actually playing on the fact that Skye is younger than everyone on the team here by making her a freshman while Fitzsimmons are juniors and Ward is a senior.
"That's rotten luck, Simmons, rotten luck." Fitz sighed and whispered into Jemma's ear during their computer programming class. They were being assigned yet another project with randomly chosen partners. Fitz was referring to Jemma's name being placed on the board next to Skye's.
"I know, it looks as if I'm doing yet another project on my own." Jemma whispered back. "Skye's the school's number one slack-off." She groaned and looked over the instruction sheet that was passed to them from the front of the room. The program they were meant to write by next Wednesday was a complicated one.
"I've got Bobbi. Good luck." Fitz slid out of his seat and made his way over to the station where his new partner sat. Jemma tried to keep a pleasant face when Skye slid into the seat next to her, looking just as grumpy and intimidating as ever while doing something on her laptop, probably trolling reddit or tumblr. It was hard to believe that a freshman like herself had gotten into their junior computer programming class. It seemed impossible, really. Everyone said it was because Skye was Mr. Coulson's teacher's pet.
"I won't be doing all the work on this project, you know." Jemma finally broke the silence between them when Mr. Coulson was done going over the instructions.
"Good. I want an A." Skye grumbled and turned the screen to face her. Jemma's draw dropped. The entire program was completely finished on the screen and Skye had a blank spot under her name for Jemma to type hers. Coulson apparently noticed the look on Jemma's face and called Skye.
"Re-do it, Skye, this time with Ms. Simmons." Coulson sighed and the scowl on Skye's face was evident. With one push of a button, the entire program was erased from the computer, the program that would have taken Jemma several days but only took Skye the time it took for Mr. Coulson to go over the instructions.
"What, surprised that the school's number one slacker is actually better than you at something academic, Ms. Know-it-All?" Skye asked. Jemma swallowed a mouthful of guilt when she realized Skye had heard she and Fitz talking about her.
"No, I just-" Jemma didn't know how to finish her sentence, because Skye was absolutely right. She had immediately assumed that Skye wasn't going to contribute anything just because people gossiped about her failing everything and being a horrible student. It was hard to believe she was talking to a fifteen year old, someone almost three years younger than her. She seemed so much older than even Jemma.
"Sorry." Jemma said. Skye rolled her eyes and put her name on the new, blank screen before pushing it over to Jemma. She wrote her name underneath Skye's, but found it odd how "Skye" was the only thing she wrote. No last name.
"We should probably arrange a few times to meet." Jemma started. It was clear that Skye wasn't going to be starting any friendly conversations, so she was going to have to. Skye looked at her incredulously, like she was wondering why it would possibly take them multiple meetings to finish. Now Jemma was starting to feel a little bit sorry for all her past lab partners in biology and chemistry, now she knew what it felt like to be the stupid one.
"We should meet at someone's house so it's quiet."
"Not mine." Skye snapped, already habitually typing away at the computer, but stopping again, realizing that she was supposed to be walking Jemma through it with her.
"Well, my house is currently flooded with relatives from England, so it's not an ideal work space." Jemma sighed. "What about the school library? It's always open for an hour after the last period." Jemma suggested. Skye just nodded.
Two periods later, during fourth hour, just before lunch, Jemma realized that she also shared a physical education class with Skye. It was a terrible system, but all students were required to complete at least three years of a sport or P.E. to graduate, and the general P.E. classes were a mix of all grades. She noticed on the track when Skye lapped her. It appeared that there was more than one thing Skye was better at than her.
When they were finished taking laps, the coach decided to force them to play the game that generations of kids like Jemma had nightmares about: dodge ball. Jemma only wished Fitz was also in this class so she could use him as a human shield like last year.
The two captains were Grant Ward and Bobbi Morse. Ward was nefariously known as a jock who had a good time bullying everyone else, and Bobbi was one of those too-cool-for-school kids that wasn't an outcast, but didn't quite fit in with any cliques. They flipped a coin and Ward was the first to pick his teammates from the group standing among the half-court line in the gym.
"Skye." He pointed. Bobbi looked disappointed and slightly peeved. It hadn't been until now that Jemma realized Skye was always the first to be picked, even over the other jocks. She was quite popular with the sporty guys, and guys in general. One of the reputations she held was that she was always asked out, but she never accepted. Boys fantasized over her and girls hated her for it, they guessed that Skye thought she was too good for any of them.
Naturally, Jemma was last to be picked and ended up on Ward's team because the number of students was uneven. The whole game Jemma couldn't help but find herself watching Skye from the back. At one point, Jemma thought her life was going to end because a red, rubber ball was whizzing towards her face, but Skye jumped in front of her, caught it, and flung it back with so much force that it hit its original owner in the shoulder and caused him to stumble backwards.
"The point of the game is to dodge the balls, not stare at them." Skye said sarcastically with a slight smirk on her face. Jemma just nodded dumbly and shuffled a few steps to avoid a ball that lamely bounced towards her from the other side. She hated P.E.
Inevitably, Jemma had gotten out, but she still watched Skye in wonder from the bleachers. It was down to just Skye and Ward on their side and Bobbi, Hunter, and Trip on the other. A clever distraction throw from Trip caught Ward off guard just long enough for Bobbi to hit him in the kneecaps with a well aimed shot. Jemma assumed they were going to lose, but the rest of her team sitting around her continued cheering for Skye. Skye was dodging balls like some kind of little ninja, holding one in each hand and knocking a few away before throwing them. Skye ended up winning.
"Do you think she'd say yes if I asked her out?" Fitz asked Jemma between sandwich bites. Jemma scoffed and took a bite of her own. They were sitting at their lunch table that always remained unoccupied besides their few seats and they were talking about Skye.
"No way. If she said no to Ward she'd say no to you." Jemma laughed. Fitz looked like he was taking offense, but Jemma was only trying to save him from embarrassment.
"Besides, you're a junior and she's a freshman. You're seventeen and she's fifteen. It's just weird." Jemma said. She couldn't imagine Fitz with someone so young. She couldn't even image herself working on a school project with someone so young.
"Ward is a senior." He rebutted.
"Ward is a pervert." Jemma rolled her eyes and took another bite followed by a sip of water. Something hot flashed in Jemma's mind and she wanted to push it out. She imaged Ward and Skye together, for just a second, and bile rose in her throat.
"I'm going to ask her out in shop class." Fitz decided. Jemma rolled her eyes and wished him luck. Shop was one of the two classes Fitz shared with Skye because it was a multi-grade class. He liked building things with his hands and apparently Skye wanted an easy A.
Jemma checked her watch again and quickly became furious when she realized she'd been waiting in the library for half an hour and there still wasn't any sign of Skye. There was only a half hour until the library closed, even if she showed up, they wouldn't get much work done.
"Sorry I'm late." Skye appeared out of nowhere and sat in the chair next to Jemma. Something about the way Skye held herself made Jemma want to ask if she was ok. She was slumped in her seat and her eyes looked slightly watery. But it wasn't her place.
"It's fine." Jemma said as Skye pulled her laptop out of her backpack.
"Where do you want to start, Jemma?" Skye asked, quickly pushing back whatever emotion she had been feeling only moments earlier.
"First off, call me Simmons." She said uncomfortably.
"Why?" Skye questioned, still not opening the laptop.
"Because everyone does. And that's my name." Jemma told her.
"While that's true, Simmons is also your parents' name. Don't you want your own name? I wouldn't want to be just my family's child my whole life. Don't you want your own name to put a reputation on?" Skye asked. It was strange, Jemma never saw it like that. She'd talked to this girl for a grand total of fifteen minutes and she was already questioning her own personality.
"I guess." Jemma answered, at a loss for words.
"Ok, Jemma it is." Skye flipped open her laptop.
"Is that why people call you Skye?" Jemma asked. She wasn't stupid, she knew Skye wasn't actually the other girl's name. Even if it was, there had to be some reason she didn't write her last name on any of her papers.
"You know what? We should just work tomorrow. There's only twenty minutes until the library closes anyway." Skye shoved her laptop back into her bag and ignored Jemma's protests. She hurried out of the library without making eye contact with anyone even once. Jemma stared after her, wondering if it was something she'd said.