AN: So, here it is! The final chapter! I won't apologise for the shortness, as it IS an epilogue and therefore it needs to be short and sweet. I hope you enjoy it anyhow!
Ward and Skye's relationship progressed slowly. She was still recovering from being abducted, and that in itself was a slow processes. He understood this, and was always there for her when she needed him.
This wasn't to say that they didn't both participate actively in the relationship; during the weeks following the incident with Cameron, Coulson walked in on a compromising scene a total of eight times, asking casually if he was interrupting and being forced out of the room by the embarrassed shouts of both Skye and Ward. On several occasions, May told the two to get a room after a few too many PDAs, and Fitz and Simmons were almost as bad, but much, much subtler. Skye's excuse was that they had the privacy of their lab, and Coulson offered them the weapons room near the back of the plane. Skye and Ward didn't hesitate to take advantage.
However, more nights than not, Skye would creep into Ward's bed just for the comfort of having him near her, knowing that he would keep her safe. She knew that her worrying was completely illogical; Cameron was going to prison for a long time, and if he ever got out, he'd go straight into a mental hospital (seriously, the man was a raving lunatic!). She was more than aware, though, of the vast number of enemies she had made throughout her rather short lifetime, and Cameron taking her from the place she'd felt safest, from inside her little van, had made her feel exposed and vulnerable to attack at any moment. Except when she was with Ward.
She knew it sounded like a stupid old movie, but she'd fallen for him hard and fast; maybe it was because she'd never had someone in her life who loved her enough back to want to protect her. Maybe it was because she knew Ward better than she'd ever known anywhere. Maybe it was because she trusted him before she realised exactly what her true feelings were.
Or maybe, just maybe (if she was going to believe in fate and destiny and all that crap), they were meant to be together.
When Ward got ready to go to bed one night, roughly a month and a half after Cameron had been locked away, he entered his room to see Sky already in his bed, curled up in a tight call cocooned in his duvet covers, sound asleep and snoring quietly. He couldn't help but smile at her; she was an adorable sleeper.
"Skye?" he whispered, regretting having to wake her, "I don't mind you borrowing my bed, but at least leave me a little bit of room." Skye smiled sleepily, not opening her eyes as she shuffled over and let him slide in next to her. She instantly curled into him, making him laugh as she practically nuzzled into his chest.
"Your bed's nicer than mine," she mumbled as Ward wrapped his arm around her. He chuckled almost silently.
"And why's that?" he asked, stroking her hair.
"Because I'm not in it alone," she replied, "I still get scared that someone's going to come a take me. I know you won't let that happen."
"It'll happen over my dead body." He agreed. Skye wanted to say something then; those three words she'd said so often as a child, only to have them thrown back at her as she was abandoned yet again. She just couldn't find the strength to risk that happening again.
Ward sensed the sentence hanging in the air. He could leave it; it probably was too soon, and he was sure than neither of them wanted to get hurt by saying those words prematurely. But he wanted to say them so much. He'd never had anyone like Skye, as a friend or something more. It was a first for both of him and he was more than happy to let it last forever.
"Skye?" he said quietly, thinking she'd fallen asleep.
"Hmm?" she replied immediately. He smiled slightly.
"I love you." Skye sat up quickly, her face shocked but happily so. She kissed him fiercely, with more passion than she ever had in the last six weeks.
"I love you too." She said, a tear falling from her eye. He caught it with his finger as he had done when Skye had first returned.
"Why are you crying?" he asked. She shook her head, laughing.
"It's stupid," she replied, "I've just... no one's ever said that they loved me before. They've said that they want me to be a part of their family and that they want to look after me, but... Whenever I've said it, no one's said they love me back." Ward kissed her again before holding her tight.
"I will always love you back, Skye," he murmured in her ear. He didn't need to tell her that he understood, and she didn't need to tell him that she knew how much he needed her.
Neither of them had had the best of starts to life. But they were sure as hell going to make sure that the other never had to go without someone to love, and someone to love them back, again.
Whether they believed in fate or destiny, or any of that crap, or not, there was something about the two that just made them right.
So maybe they really were meant to be.
And there it is! This story is finally complete! I actually am quite sorry that this is so short, but I didn't want to use up the other idea I had because that would mean: a) no stand alone one-shot, and b) I'd have to just keep on adding to this story forever and then I'll lose interest or run out of ideas and that would be both sad and bad. It may be a few days before I get the one shot up, and I'm planning on starting the sequel in the next 7-14 days; I hope you can all wait that long! :D
I realised the other day that this is the first story with an actual, established plot that I have ever written; this is a massive achievement for me, because I normally just drivel on and on and then I lose interest and then I don't finish. So this is an amazing feat for me and I'm glad that so many of you have enjoyed it!
Thanks to everyone who has favourited, followed and, most importantly, reviewed; I started this story ten days ago not knowing what I was writing about, where the idea came from, or if anyone would like it. Your constant support persuaded me to upload a chapter a day for a week, which is another huge thing for me.
At 21,012 words, 10 chapters, 170 followers, 83 favouriters and more than 110 reviews, this story is complete :) TTFN, my lovely readers, and thank you very much for reading ^-^