By Izzy

“You know, I could’ve opened that door and then just shot you both.”

“What you did is bad enough,” Jemma snaps at him as she waits impatiently for the scanner to finish. She wishes they’d managed to recruit a proper doctor already. Maybe a shrink, since she supposes from an ethical standpoint they really should attempt to do something for a prisoner turned suicidal, but none of them really knows what to do, or even what’s certain to not make him worse.

“I feel bad about it,” Ward says. “Honestly, I do. You should realize that.”

“Boo hoo,” she retorts, and then to her relief the results come back. “You’ve managed to concuss yourself, but no permanent brain damage.” She stops herself from expressing regret over that.

“No, seriously,” and suddenly his hand touches her side. She nearly shrieks, if only because both his hands are supposed to be manacled to the back of the chair, and it looks like they’ll have to come up with another design. It doesn’t help that she feels that he’s holding the pencil she brought in; why was she so stupid as to leave it on the table, within easy reach? “I really, really, I am sorry. Any information you want to help with Fitz, I’ll give. I’m not willing to talk about anything else right now, but I’ll talk about that.” Their eyes meet. There’s a desperation in his, an urgency. She has no problem believing him, at least about this.

And that’s when she also becomes aware that hand is holding a piece of paper too, and she glances over to the table to see there’s one less than she brought in.

Except the cameras are still on, and May is in the cell in another moment and shoving the two of them apart. “You don’t get to play your games anymore,” she tells him. She has the piece of paper too, and reads it. Her face wrinkles in confusion. “Tapdancer?” she inquires. “That’s all he wrote on here.”

And instantly Jemma knows exactly what that means, knows that nickname, remembers how often she and her classmates at the academy giggled over it, and also remembers that it faded by the time its owner finished his schooling. That Ward knows his nickname means he’s probably Hydra. Probably he and Garrett had consulted with him over Garrett’s trying not to die, and learned a lot about what he knows and what he can do.

But she shrugs and says, “Don’t look at me; Ward isn’t my area of expertise.”

Ward could be trying to trick her, of course, but Jemma doubts it. That he regretted doing what he did even as he was doing it has long been established fact to her. Most of the time that just makes her all the more angry at him, but at this moment, combined with the knowledge that his motivation to trick them has at best been significantly lessened with his master dead, it makes him trustworthy, at least enough to make her willing to take this plunge. If only because when she considers the state Fitz is in at this moment, it makes her feel low on options.

It also makes her unwilling to just hope they can track down the medical man and bully him into helping Fitz. He could be anywhere in the world, she knows it’ll never be Coulson’s priority now, and she doesn’t know what will happen if Fitz is left like this for a year, or more.

No, there’s only one way Jemma Simmons can make for herself a serious chance at getting to Tapdancer in time.

It kind of shocks her, that by the time she’s excused herself and walked out of Ward’s cell, her mind is already made up. She’s not even worried about her resolve wavering in the days and possibly weeks to come where she’ll wait to leave so as to at least reduce suspicion. She’s dead certain it won’t.

She just hopes one day Fitz will forgive her for this.