I own nothing, many thanks to my beta Myranda. This was a tumblr prompt for lost in a forest + Biospec. Rated M for mild torture and minor character death. if that's not your bag, hit the back button. Leave comments if you wish. Thanks, for reading.


He hopes against hope that they aren't gone and yet he knows better.

He knows his wife is the most loyal person he knows. He knew she'd see this as a betrayal, but he hoped that loyalty would extend to him first and foremost. That she'd at least wait to hear him out, not just try to disappear on him.

He's Hydra, she's SHIELD. He'd known where the road would end if the dice rolled this way it's just…He'd hoped the dice would never roll at all.

Hope is for idiots, and he guesses in some ways he is one.

Still, when he goes into Audrey's room and finds her tiny desk clear of its books and clutter his heart sinks Gone are the toy horses lining her bay window that always made him nervous because of the open sightline into her room.

The last lance to his heart is finding Jemma's suitcases. He'd bought the luggage set as a symbolic gift when she'd decided to join Coulson's field team.

Garrett had always thought he'd joined Coulson's team as a duty to his mentor, but he'd just let Garrett think that's what really brought him there. It's was Jemma. It has always been Jemma.

Grant is alone, not for the first time in his life, but maybe he can change that.


An added bonus of giving Jemma the luggage was outfitting the tags with undetectable trackers. He wants to tell himself that he only uses them to locate the girls for the sake of their safety, but even he is not that self-deluded.

He's 're his and no mission or organization should dare to take them from him. Not even Jemma's loyalties will stand in the way; he'll find her and he'll change her mind, even if it takes him a them is easy given an internet connection and a few keystrokes.

He finds them easily, and then when it hits him where exactly where she is? That just plain pisses him off. Thinking she'd left him was bad enough, but this? This is worse.

Jemma could never have found this place on her own. She'd have no reason to know about it.

There's only one way she found her way there.


His anger hasn't abated by the time he arrives at the familiar location. He'd built the simple A frame from scraps he'd found scavenging. It's half rusted out tin and half salvaged wood from an old hunting place has no electricity, and no running water. All is has is a sun stove he'd scrounged up and his old moth-eaten sleeping bag, and that's only if animals hadn't found their way in. he hasn't been back in three years.

And John had brought his family here. Jemma's English rose-patterned suitcases, as well as Audrey's neon pink one, are leaned on an outer wall.

If he wasn't working so hard to keep John alive he'd kill him.

Grant mounts the steps made from moldering cinder blocks with a heavy sense of keeps it out of his voice though.

"Hey, baby!" he calls out.

She comes through the cedar door he could never get to hang quite smiles at him, actually full-out, bright and happy, smiles at him. He can see joy in her eyes. Maybe John got them out before the takeover, maybe she doesn't know… Maybe just maybe he can play this right. His hopes rise.

"Hello, love . John thought camping would be good for us!"

His hopes sink at her words. Camping? Jemma doesn't camp. He can barely get her to use truck stop bathrooms when they road trip to the stateside bases. If she's here… there's only one way to test the theory.

"Sweetheart, take a deep breath for me?"

When he sees the utter terror rise in her eyes the second before it kicks in, he vows John is going to die bloody.

He has no idea how or when John had conditioned Jemma. It takes time, it had to have been before their team up. Maybe during his Croatia mission, but that was at least six years ago. How many times has Garrett used her to his own ends? he doesn't know it makes his guts twist with something even deeper than hatred.

"It's alright, Jemma. All I need you to do is take my keys and go with Audrey to Mal's diner. Get something to eat, anything you guys want. You can go to the bathroom, and do everything as you normally would, okay, baby? I'll be back to get you in three hours."

She nods robotically, but beams up at him. She opens her mouth and he cuts her off before she can say the words.

"I love you, baby. Here are the keys, car's at the bottom of the trail."

He doesn't even have to remind her compliance will be rewarded. That's how deep Garrett has dug in. Grant wonders just what John's been making Jemma and her brilliant mind do without her knowledge. He feels so, so, sick.

He doesn't agree with the compliance policy. At all. He never has, but he'd always thought he didn't have to worry about it, that John didn't prescribe to it either.

"Audrey! Daddy wants to go get pancakes. Put on your coat ,my dove."

Grant has a sudden and terrifying thought. John could have made his child compliant.

"Aude!" he calls and she shoots out of the shack to hug him. "Audrey, compliance we will be rewarded."

Her face screws up "You're being weird, Daddy! Aren't you coming for pancakes?"

"In a bit. Where's your Paw Paw?"

"Getting firewood."

He kisses Audrey's forehead, "I love you guys. I'll be there as soon as I can. You two head out."

"Happy to comply," Jemma says already pulling Audrey along persistently.

He turns and sits on the steps, simply waiting, deciding just what he'll do to make Garrett regret his every life decision.

He gets creative. John had, after all, taught him quite well. It doesn't take long before John is rounding the corner of the shack.

Grant spears him to the ground, which lacks finesse, he'll admit, but the surprise on John's face is quite satisfying.

"Son." He croaks from beneath where Grant is kneeling upon his chest. It's mostly metal, but the guy still has lungs and a windpipe and Grant uses that, closes a hand around his throat.

"Old man, you're getting soft."

"No kid, you are," he wheezes "She was always the mission."

Jemma was his first big assignment, that much is true, but Grant had loved her of his own volition. He thought John respected that.

"Why'd you do it?"

"Because I could…"

Grant punches him, then flat out starts beating him.

"And I did that because I can," he states when he figures that will hold John for now, looking down at the torn flesh that had once been his mentor's face.

Grant ties him to a chair and leaves him No, food, no water, no light, no way of relieving himself away from his very secure prison for the five days it takes to get his girls off the grid.


"Water," John croaks the moment Grant arrives, the serum in his chest likely the only thing that has kept him from succumbing to dehydration.

"Nah, the stream's a tad too far. I don't want to bother. You know, I've spent the past couple of days on the road thinking, trying to pick the best way to make you pay for what you've done."

Grant sits down on an old milk crate with a hand-held blow torch. He sees John eying it warily, obviously remembering Grant's old predilections.

"Don't get me wrong, I want you to hurt as much as my Jemma will when I have to break her yet again to remake her but…" He clicks on the blowtorch. The little woof it makes as it ignites makes his pulse speed.

He passes the torch over John's hand quickly. Watching the skin bubble and the acrid smell of burnt flesh takes off some of the edge to his anger. Hearing Garett scream? That just feels right.

"No one can hear you out this far, which is why you put me out here right all those years ago, isn't it?" He nods to himself as John writhes in his own shit. "Anyway, back to what I was saying. Physical pain doesn't break you, after all you're more machine than man now… so I thought to myself…" Grant circles him clicking the torch on and off at random."What is it you fear? And then it hit me.

"You fear being obsolete, you fear having no one value you, you fear being a faceless, nameless, nothing, just a cog in a machine. You wanted power, and glory, you wanted to be lauded, and loved, why else would you become… this…willingly?"

Grant laughs. "You're nothing. SHIELD has disavowed has gone under. And you underestimated me, you think I love you more than her…More than Audrey." He tsks at him. "That's the wrong play, boss."

"I knew you loved her, so I used her," Garrett spits hoardly at him. "And Audrey? Well, if I failed with you, which I clearly did? She's a clean slate."

"You're still under the impression you're going to win. You are tied to a chair, half-starved in the middle of nowhere. covered in feces. I could leave you to the wolves, literally, and you still don't get it. Love isn't the weakness, arrogance is."

Garrett is still looking at him like he thinks Grant will untie him, let him go, lesson learned. That's not the plan.

"I could just leave you here, humiliated, and suffering, but I guess I can be half the man Jemma married and be merciful enough to make it fast" He nods. "Also? I never killed Buddy, you know. I just let you believe I did. Just like I let you believe Raina was able to dismantle the kill switch." He smiles sharp as razors at him.

"You should be proud. The student surpassed the teacher: not only am I better than you, I'm smarter than you. I know when to play my card and when to hold it. You shoulda just held the Jemma card."

He hits the switch. "Goodbye."

He watches placidly as John has an he sets the shack on fire and never looks back.

His girls are waiting back at a safe house not far from here. A couple days never need know he was Hydra. They can go back to regular life.

He'll get rid of those suitcases, just to be safe. Compliant memories can attach to objects. He hopes she is still attached to loving him, compliance or no compliance. He find out soon enough.

And if she isn't? Well, with John gone, there's nothing to keep him from taking all the time he needs with her. They'll have their life together. He'll make sure of it.