1964-02-26 - Hit Me With a Sandwich
Summary: Fitz and Simmons have a heart to heart. Kind of.
Related: NA
Theme Song: None
simmons fitz 


It's been several weeks and the climate in the lab has become downright intolerable. Where it used to be amiable, affable, and even easy, it's become cold. Unhappy. Tense. It's gotten to the point where two resident scientists have opted to hold different schedules. At least, different enough that they're scarcely working together.

Which is likely why Leo Fitz sits at one of the many tables of Wing Sing, soldering something-or-other. With goggles pulled over his face, he's definitely not one to belong in the Chinatown restaurant. Except that it houses SHIELD through its backroom. It's a wonder that this doesn't happen more often.

He mutters quietly to himself about temperatures, but then sets the tool down to inspect his work. All the while, the proprietor stares warily at him behind the counter. It's possible the is not a welcome activity.

*

Through the backroom, Simmons pushes through the door and then into Wing Sing. They have soup noodles that remind her of her grandmother's cooking back on New Zealand and she could really use the comfort right now. The last few weeks have been intolerable, stressful and downright miserable. The fight with Fitz has not blown over.

In fact, some may find it worse. Those who expect to find the quipping and joined at the hip lab technicians are usually startled to find either one or the other missing and an air of tension that is hard to take. Few come to the lab now unless they need to.

Pulling out her ponytail, she settles into one of the booths without even looking about her. Greeting one of the waiters in Chinese, it's only after she orders and looks up from her files that she realizes that Fitz is at the table opposite.

She's an adult, she can handle this. She'll show him. She's so adult, that she ignores him, pointedly looking back down on her packet of lab results.

*

The very adult Simmons draws goggle-eyed attention as Fitz's gaze lifts to catch her. Ignoring him. Well then. He takes a deep breath and remembers Teddy's advice. Right. He swallows hard and twists in his seat, setting the tool down before treading over to Simmons. "Hi." There's a long pause as he eyes her, fully aware she's not speaking to him.

"I… uh…" behind the goggles, his eyes close and he lowers his hands to his side. "Go ahead and hit me," he asserts. "If it'll make you feel better. As much as you like. As long as you like. Please."

*

Simmons is content to ignore Fitz, to eat her soup noodles and then go home after her shift. However, she can hear the chair creaking as Fitz twists in his seat and then moves over to stand right at her table. For a moment, she does the mature thing and not acknowledges his presence whatsoever. That's what is most likely going to get him to leave her alone. However, he remains.

Slowly her head tilts up as she studies him, his goggles and his lowered hands. Then, he makes his offer. There's silence as she blinks quite a few times and watches him. "Hit you?" She's quite confused at that. "Fitz, I'm not about to physically attack you. Why do you think that will make me feel better?"

*

Leo lifts his hands in surrender. "Then what do you want, Jemma? What do you want?" He levels a look at her. "This was as nonsensical as anything, but I'm out of ideas!" His hands lift a stitch higher. Animation is in high demand today. "I have stayed away, I have given you a wide berth, I've tried to leave the fridge open for whatever cat dissection you do when I'm not around, yet you utterly ignore everything." Evidently it's a bit of a pressure cooker in the lab.

Meanwhile, the smell of burning begins to waft from the table that Fitz had been seated at. It just hasn't yet registered for Agent Fitz. Or the Wing Sing proprietor.

*

"I want you to trust me, to talk to me and to not shut me out of your plans." Simmons tells Fitz firmly. "Everything that I said before. Once you can promise you won't lie to me like that again, then I can work with you again. I just…I can't work like that any more. I can't work thinking you'll attempt to shut me out at any moment because you believe the work too dangerous for me. Either you respect me enough to allow me to make the choice as to when I will risk my own life, or you think your judgement is better than my own."

At that, Simmons shakes her head, frowning and upset all over again. This is why she thought ignoring him was better! As her head shakes, it resolves on Fitz's old table and the smell of burning reaches her nostrils. "Is that—" after a moment, she shoves herself up. "Fitz! Something's burning!"

*

Fitz looks like he's about to reply, but then he's interrupted by the question and that familiar waft of burning that moves from the table to the air. Behind the goggles, Fitz's eyes widen. He turns on his heels and sure enough the able is on fire. "It's possible the soldering gun wasn't cool enough to be set on the table," he murmurs.

Even as he says the words, the proprietor of Wing Sing moves to dump a pitcher of water on the fire. "Don't — " but Fitz cant' get the words out fast enough. Instead, the water causes further sparks, and the flames grow in size.

*

Simmons is right on Fitz's tail, argument not forgotten, but certainly put to the side now that there is a literal fire right in front of them. "Yes, I should think so!" she replies, though there's a little less bite in her comment. In her mind, this is generally what happens to Fitz when she's not around to remind him to not put down hot things on wooden tables.
Eyes quickly look at the spreading fire and then Fitz's jacket. Without a second thought, she grabs at him, pulling at the jacket to try and pull it off of his frame. "Lend me your jacket, Fitz!" she tells him, though it's clear that after this it may not be so much lending as 'ruining'. The best way to put out a chemical fire is to smother it. While they may not have a fire blanket, Fitz's jacket will hopefully be thick enough to do the trick.

*

"Don't yell! I can't focus with all of the yelling!" Which is barely any yelling. Of course, it has more to do with the silence and then the yelling. Fitz fights slightly at the grabbing, prompting his eyes to widen considerably with the contact. He can feel his face hot with blush as she draws him close, even if it's just to tear the jacket from his form. But Simmons succeeds just the same amid Leo's open objection: "It's going to be — " he would say ruined, but with the sprinkler going off in the restaurant, he's interrupted by the sputter of water that only seems to alight the flames more.

*

Wrestling Fitz from his outermost layer of clothes - his jacket - Simmons quickly lunges forward to cover the flaming table with the jacket, quickly and gingerly pressing downward to smother the flames of all oxygen and therefore put it out.

The sprinklers above them start to go off, dripping on her and she frowns, her sweater starting to soak through, hair turning stringy with water.

After a moment, she takes a few breaths. Looking first down at the jacket she just practically ripped off of Fitz and then back up to Fitz. There's a long moment that she does not say anything before, giving almost a sheepish shrug. "Sorry. About your jacket."

*

Fitz's jaw tightens as he stares at the jacket mess. Water drips onto his curly hair. His face twitches. He shudders. "Yeah," he rubs the back of his jacket as water pools around them. His feet shuffle lightly, weight shifting from one foot to the other.

He rubs his nose and shakes his head again. "The Night-Night gun has gone… " he swallows ominously "…night-night. May she rest in peace." His expression remains solemn. It's hard to tell if this is entirely sincere or not.

*

This is awkward. There is no other way to put it. Simmons rocks back a bit on the heels of her feet as her eyes drift back down to the soaked and now fire stained jacket that hides the reamins of the Night-Night gun. "Oh, Fitz, that was the Night-Night gun?" There's disappointment in her tone there, a bit of sadness. "We'll have to build a new one from scratch now."

Gingerly, she picks up the jacket. It's still a little hot to the touch, but she inspects the remains of what is underneath it even as she holds it back out to Fitz to take. She's not sure about what he'll do with a now wet and smoky piece of clothing, but she feels as if she should hand it back. Sighing, she shakes her head, "I leave you on your own for a few weeks and I see what happens."

*

Fitz runs his hand through his hair as he eyes the smokey remains of his now deceased coat. "I… what. That's not evenI didn'tyou decided! ThisI didn'tall I did wasI've been trying to make peace!" His eyes widen considerably. "I've been putting all the effort! The chocolatedid you not get the chocolate?! This happened because I tried to make this peace. I already think of us as a team and always have, but know you! The risks were high but so was the boody payout!" This is not the place to talk about spy things. Which is why he takes a turn towards, "Which is why I invested in it. In the-uh—avocados." Because that's an normal thing to invest in, right?

*

Simmons puts her hands up just slightly as she hears Fitz's stumbling. "That was a bad joke. I'm sorry." She was trying to relieve some of the tension, but she only made it worse. "Chocolate?" There's a raised eyebrow. "I didn't get any chocolate." There's a sigh as he starts to talk about the mission that brought this rift about in the first place. "Hang on," she tells him, moving past him toward the back room that leads back to SHIELD.

There, she clearly waits for him to follow her. "Let's not talk about the avocados out here," she tells him. "Privately? Don't want others to steal our investment ideas, do we, hm?"

*

Fitz follows Simmons easily enough, "There was chocolate." He lifts his fingers, "I sent the chocolate to Bobbi who was supposed to give it to Regen who was going to give it to Tiber who was going to give it to you." He follows her slowly to the back room. And towards SHIELD. "Yeah yeah. We need to protect our ideas. Don't need anyone getting any funny notions," he rubs his nose as he passes the proprietor.

*

"I have a feeling the chocolate was eaten en route," Simmons tells Fitz, as she never received any. Perhaps its intended mission was lost in the small game of telephone of passing it between three or four different people to make sure it got to Jemma. Once they're in the back room, she swiftly shuts the door behind them and takes a deep breath.

She doesn't immediately lay into Fitz, but she does say, without a lot of heat in her voice, "You've been doing all the work because you were the one that betrayed my trust." It's to her - matter of fact. "You shut me out of the decision. You didn't even let me have a choice in the matter, Fitz! It's my choice to put my life on the line, not yours. That is why I am upset. You didn't treat us like a team, you treated us like you knew best."

*

"I treated us like I knew you would be compromised in that decision. I'm a sad-excuse for a spy, but I graduated the academy." Fitz frowns slightly. "And when someone is compromised you make a decision as such." Leo stiffens. "So yeah, telling me that I destroyed the night-night gun because of it? Not helpful. I nearly put in my resignation after the mess. I'm not a spy. I barely belong here. I'm not even a quartermaster, Jemma. Not really." His hands fall to his side and he shakes his head silently. "But yeah, I should've turned off the soldering gun. But I didn't. Because I was trying to do something adult and find a way to make this right, as I've been trying to for weeks."

*

"I'm not a spy either," Simmons replies. There's less anger, more tiredness in her tone as they speak now. It seems the both of them have agreed upon that. "But how are you not compromised about that decision yourself? We're best friends, Fitz. You didn't want anything to happen to me. I understand that, as I wouldn't want anything to happen to you, either. You've already said it factored into your decision making."

There's a sigh. "I was attempting to lighten the mood after I ruined your coat. I'm sorry, it was a bad joke. I didn't actually mean it was your fault."

*

"…right." Fitz's chin drops. "Best friends. Clearly." He looks towards the entranceway back into Wing Sing. "It was about how tactically you're an asset. But sure. I care about you. No question there." His shoulders twitch. "But the tactical decision stands."

He shakes his head at the notion of the joke and just stares back at Wing Sing. "I'm not sure the design was right anyways." He swallows ard. "I think it could use an adjustment, yeah?"

*

The way that Fitz says best friends makes Simmons own face drops. Yes, she's been mad at him - furious, even - but the way that Fitz says that it sounds as if they may not be, that something has broken. "Fitz…" she sighs, looking down, voice pained now. "Just…I don't want to be left out of a decision that important and then be lied to and shut out. That is all. Do you understand why that would make me angry?"

Though Fitz may look back at Wing Sing, her eyes are still downward. As for whether the design was right, she takes a moment before answering. "I thought it was a lovely design," she tells him. "But, there's always room for improvements."

*

"I do. Sincerely. But I also thought—" he doesn't finish his thought, instead Fitz allows it to be lost to the confines of his mind. "You matter to me. I almost left this place after that because you matter to me." And that's all there is to it. Little more. Little. less.

The mention of the design has his head shaking, "It was weak. We can do better. The Engineering was off. And off-putting. Plus it fired bullets. It should fire electrical pulses. We can use the biochemistry with it."

*

The knowledge that Fitz almost left SHIELD makes Simmons wince. The first time he said it was lost in a haze of anger and exhaustion. Now, though, it hits another mark. "I don't doubt your tactical plans," she adds. "I do somewhere understand that a trained agent would have done a better infiltration than I would." She sighs. "Don't leave SHIELD. Please. I don't know what I'd do here without you. The past few weeks have been a misery."

As for the design of the new Night-Night Gun, she thinks a bit at that, a flash of an idea coming to her. "It's possible…what if there were some form of inside charge that involved a conduit? Perhaps an electric projectile? One that would shock the target!"

*

Fitz pinches the bridge of his nose, but talking about the project, that gets his attention. He nods and, rather excitedly, he beings to snowball, "We could use it much like someone would a defibrillator. That's," he waggles his finger, "blood brilliant. It could bottle the energy and extend it. It would just need to be enough to knock an enemy down. We could use that to ensure that it could also then be followed up by something else—"

*

"Yes, exactly. It wouldn't kill them, but it would have quite a bit of a kick." Simmons builds on Fitz's own enthusiasm. It's relieving to talk about something other than their fight. This is a project, something they both have things they are excited about. "It would knock them out without killing them. It could do so much without any lethality! It could be a pulse of energy and then an injection of some form! A knock out drug. Truly Night-Night!"

*

"Which then, in turn allows us to get away without having inflicted any permanent damage," Fitz replies. He snap points at Jemma, "This is brilliant. We can do this." He pauses. "We should do this." He grins easily and looks over towards Wing Sing again. "Maybe it's good it's toast. This is a better idea."

*

"Or even capture a suspect without injuring them so we can question them later. Or, even, incapacitate someone so that we can ensure their own safety." Just in case. Simmons sounds just as excited. "Yes, we can." She looks over at the door and gives a bit of a shrug. "Maybe I'm not glad it's toast, but this is a fantastic idea. We would never have thought of it without realizing we would have to rebuild it." A hand reaches out, tentatively to rest on his arm. "We should work on it together."

*

"Yes! Precisely!" Fitz agrees. He virtually bounces with energy at the prospect. But then the last softens his expression. He squeezes the hand on his arm. He shifts and studies Simmons for several moments. "Yes. We should. We can build the plans together," he notes. "And start it from square one again. It'll take months to develop, obviously this is going to be long nights at the lab — " but a project is always appreciated.

*

"That sounds lovely." Simmons smiles now at the thought of working on the plans together. It's a necessity for something like this where the biology and the engineering are linked so perfectly together. They would both need to help with the plans in order to ensure that their invention will work as it is intended. "It might, yes. I should probably get some good bread and prosciutto for late night snacks…"

*

"Yes, this will be good. I think it needs your talents. We need to understand the physiology. We'll have to test it — " Fitz begins to think of all the extraordinary ways they can apply the technology. And all of the extraordinary places. "And what about the pesto aioli?!"

*

"There will, of course, be pesto aioli." Simmons gives Fitz a smile. "What's a sandwich without it? Certainly not a proper one."

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