She could have spent days there, huddled next to the pile of dust Fitz's wedding band now lay a top. She would have frozen, had it been just a freak consequence of them screwing with time itself.
But it wasn't just Fitz. It was almost her entire family. It was half the world,.
Half the universe's inhabitants, now nothing but dust.
It was devastating in biblical proportions., The news was calling it"Universal Reset." Total devastation enacted by some alien sociopath. Her husband, her family, almost everyone who means anything to her, dust.
She really does have the worst luck with all things non-earthly.
There is no SHIELD as far as she knows. This last blow a final devastation to the already-decimated organization. What Hydra couldn't do, Thanos had. What few were left had drifted along like the rest of the world.. Some of the Avengers had survived, she thinks, but all of her people are gone.
She sends the remains of those who have a family to whoever is left in their line. She buries Daisy and Leo's remains beside those of her father in Sheffield.
Her mother wallows, as lost to Jemma as those who are truly gone.. Jemma refuses to do the same.
She goes to work.
She volunteers in the L.A. Red Cross encampment using her medic skills. She lives on only Sprite and saltines for work so when she hears that voice she thinks it's a horrid a hallucination. But then comes again.
"Those medic skills aren't subpar anymore, Simmons."
She tests it. "Can you hand me the four by four gauze." He plunks those perfect little squares into her palm. Not a hallucination, then.
"Help me or get out of the way," she demands, relegating how he even exists to the far reaches of her mind for now.
She can't think about it now, why he gets to live and Fitz doesn't. Though she knows it will haunt her anyway, all those nights she can't sleep for the dreams of her husband turning to ash in her arms.
They work side by side:he brings in the wounded, she heals them, or tries and fails. The encampment gets the hospital overflow. There are confused people looking for loved ones, car crash victims, boating accidents, people who survived plane crashes when their pilots disappeared.
It doesn't stop. Until Grant makes it stop. Makes her stop. He commandeers an empty hotel room, manhandles her to the room and locks them in. She should be afraid. She's tired, too tired to feel much of anything, and it's not like it can get any worse. Or maybe it can. Her eyes flit around the room, searching for what she can't bear to see.
"Stop thinking that, I already swept the room for leftover remains. It's clear."
"You stole this room?"
"I prefer borrowing until management is restored." He shrugs, goes about making the complimentary coffee. "You want the first shower?"
"Shouldn't we conserve water in case of society actually finishes collapsing?"
"We'll survive. I do it well. Go shower."
She follows his direction just so that for one moment she doesn't have to make a choice. Besides that, Ward has always been easy to follow. She used to welcome the surety of his direction, Coulson was always the type to go with whatever came at them but Ward, Ward was methodical, smart, and confident it made him a fierce rival, and a comforting security blanket.
It's scary how quickly she falls back into it. She'd auto-piloted herself to the tub and turned on the water.
He can hear the water running. He knows she's safely in the shower when he hears the shhh sound of the curtain being pulled. He hears her mournfully singing "These Arms of Mine." He remembers a fondness for Otis Redding.
After a bit, there is a resounding crash.
He rushes into the bathroom, heedless of Jemma's privacy, concerned only with her safety. He's swept the room, thought there was no way even the most desperate person could have clawed their way through the tiny window. He wasn't wrong. He finds her passed out from what he assumes is exhaustion. Until he scoops her up to revive her and he can't help but notice the gentle swell at the bottom of her abdomen.
Pregnant and completely alone, thanks to another alien crackpot.
He props Jemma against the bathtub. Then he goes and grabs her med kit and a comforter off one of the beds.
Knowing Jemma, she won't want to wake up naked and exposed, especially to him. He covers her to give her back a little modesty.
He checks her bag for smelling salts and finds none. Her pulse is fine, but he can do a basic check. He uses the automated blood pressure cuff in the bottom of the bag. Her pressure is a tad low but not worrisome.
He digs deeper and deeper, it's like Mary Poppins bag only definitely more medicinal.
He finds what he was seeking, a glucometer. She wakes when he sticks her.
She sits bolt upright then must think better of it as she's quickly slumping again. "You really should eat more. Especially considering your condition." He says it without looking up as he's focused on her low blood sugar levels and the obvious cause of her fainting spell.
"My condition? What, did it suddenly revert to 1950 while I was out?" she says haughtily.
"How far along are you?" he asks glancing at her. "You need to intake more and better calories, but you know that. After all, you're likely the smart person on the planet now. Why're you punishing yourself?"
He asks lounging back on the tub beside her.
"Shouldn't that be obvious even for you?"
"Fitz is gone so you should be too? Bullshit! The woman you became after Maveth is sure as shit tougher than that."
"No. You don't understand. The entire team…" she snaps her fingers. "Gone, most of the base too…" she stops short. "How are you here? And you? And not all ... Hivey?"
"Got me," he shrugs carelessly. "I just woke up in my cabin in Montana a few months ago. Figured maybe the universe glitched somewhere and I got another shot." She pins him with that gimlet eye of hers that he always had trouble not squirming under, even as his cover. "I plan to do it right this time. Do some good."
She laughs dryly. It's a grating sound that doesn't fit her. She's bitter, and he'd helped her along that path. It scares him how sad that makes him feel, rather than the pride he'd have once felt.
"I'm sitting pregnant, four months by the by, naked, in a stolen hotel suite. With Grant bloody Ward for company. The fucking universe!" she laughs wilder. "I really can't even…I needed someone, anyone I knew to just catch me and here you are."
"Here I am."
"The universe hates me."."
", I know I'm not what you want, but I'm here to stay. Now, you want me to bring you a cross to martyr on, or a coke or something to bring up your blood sugar? Because if the hot water runs out before I get a turn I'll be pissed."
"Orange juice, please caffeine isn't good for me now, bad for the baby, juice levels you out more. I'm not trying to punish the baby. I just don't know how to do it alone."
"Well, now you aren't," he squeezes her knee. "Be back soon with juice and something to eat, so stay put."
She stares at his retreating back, wondering at the working of the universe, of Thanos, of God, at every bloody thing that led her here. Wondering how she can make it through, but knowing she has to, for her and Fitz' child, if nothing else.