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Agents of SHIELD ficlet: Rip It From My Hands (You Swear It's All Gone) (1/1)

May 3rd, 2014 (08:55 pm)

feeling: determined

Title: Rip It From My Hands (You Swear It’s All Gone)

Disclaimer: I do not own Agents of SHIELD.

A/N: Fitz-centric angst after the latest episodes, so there are very specific references to those episodes. Quotes borrowed from these episodes may not be entirely accurate -- I didn’t rewatch specifically to check. Title with apologies to Mumford and Sons. Thanks to lena7142 for a beta and her encouragement.

Summary: Eventually, it all sounds like hail HYDRA to him.


The first time Fitz hears the words hail HYDRA, there’s a chill down his back. It’s a warning to all new recruits, the first of many. It comes at the end of a lecture about Red Skull and Nazis and the way Captain America saved the world. Ever loyal, Fitz promises to never go down that road, to make sure the world and everyone he cares about is safe from such a thing. Fitz will make weapons, but only for the greater good.

“That will never be me,” he says solemnly. “I’d never betray SHIELD like that. I wouldn’t betray my friends. I wouldn’t betray myself.

He’s sure of that, more than anything else.


(With time, he’s less sure.

Enough people turn their backs; enough organizations fall. His best isn’t good enough, and he’s not always sure who he’s really fighting for after all. The world hangs by threads, and it’s up to him to cut the right ones, and no matter what he thinks he knows, no matter what orders he receives, his hands shake more with every cut.

Eventually, it all sounds like hail HYDRA to him.)


Fitz runs, heart pounding. He turns as the shots go off, and the door splinters. Shaking, he blinks a few times before his eyes focus on the damaged door. The first shot is at his eyeline; the second at his chest.

A shot to the head; to the heart.

Fitz looks past that, where May is standing on the other side, gun trained at him.

It’s okay, Fitz tries to tell himself later. It was a misunderstanding.

But damn it all if he doesn’t flinch every time he sees May after that.

There’s no time for an apology, of course. And May’s still one of the good guys.

It’s not her fault she never misses.


Fitz knows a thing or two about weapons, so when there’s a gun in his face, he takes it rather seriously.

Garrett’s not going to kill him, though. That would be easy. One clean shot, and Fitz wouldn’t have to second guess anything.

No, Garrett wants to turn him. Wants him to sacrifice his honor and his self respect and his team.

Fitz can’t do that.

He won’t.

It almost doesn’t even make sense, how someone could lead and serve and be part of something and yet not part of it at all. Fitz doesn’t make friends easily -- not like Jemma does -- but when he makes friends, he keeps them. It had never been his idea to go in the field, but Fitz commits. Fitz follows through.

And he’ll lie when he has to. He’ll design weapons to neutralize the bad guys. He’ll do whatever it takes, at any cost at all.

It’s not until Garrett orders the shot to his kneecaps that Fitz realizes he has no idea what that means anymore.

When the fight breaks out, he’s not exactly surprised.

It’s funny, suddenly. He’s not really afraid of being shot.

Nothing hurts worse than being betrayed.


(It’s instinct to hide, because Fitz has knowledge of weapons, and he’s not a bad shot, but he’s not trained for this kind of combat. He’s not sure how trained for any of this he is at all. But when his team is in trouble, it’s all second nature.

The assailant goes down -- Fitz’s bullets in his flesh -- and May looks at him, like she did when they were separated by a door with two bullet holes.

It doesn’t matter, though.

They leave together.)


Jemma asks him if he has a problem.

For a second, Fitz is relieved. He wants to tell her everything, about the holes in the door, about shot-out kneecaps and feeling like the world is being cut by the strings, one by one by one.

But she’s not talking about Fitz.

She’s talking about Agent Triplett.

After the past few days, the realization settles in Fitz’s gut heavily.

All he can think is, of course.

Of course.


It’s all over the news; it’s everywhere. SHIELD has been exposed; HYDRA has risen. Everything is a mess, and there’s nothing left to salvage. All the good work; all the good people; it means nothing now.

Fitz’s entire life, his work, it won’t come out unscathed.

He hands in his badge and walks away numbly.

Fitz joined SHIELD to fight the good fight.

But he’s been working for the enemy all along.


(In the woods, Jemma’s cheeks are red from the cold.

“I just don’t want anything to change,” he admits.

“Fitz,” she says, and she sounds like she wants to be sorry, even if she’s too tired for that. “Everything has changed.”

For the first time, her words are not a comfort.

Even if they are the truth.)


They save the cellist, but Coulson tells her nothing. It’s not so much a lie as it is an omission, and in their list of questionable deeds, this is pretty insignificant. Flying back, Fitz tries to tell himself it’s better this way. That most people would choose ignorance over pain, if they really knew what pain was all about.

Coulson’s right, Fitz realizes as he looks back over the last few days.

Coulson’s never been more right.


When May is gone; when the plane is gone; when Ward and Skye are gone; Fitz isn’t surprised.

He thinks nothing will surprise him anymore.


(Leo Fitz may be a genius, but he sure is wrong about a lot of things.)


When Fitz finds Skye’s message, he thinks it’s a joke.

He thinks it has to be a joke.

Simmons does a makeshift autopsy, and Fitz thinks of every possible explanation. A set up. A strange game of a hangman. A very, very bad joke.

Simmons’ conclusions, though, are stark. And Simmons is never wrong.

Ward is a traitor.

Ward is HYDRA.

Ward has betrayed them all.


Fitz doesn’t think; he just loses it. He lashes out and kicks things. He hits, and he pushes, and he wants to break it all.

Because Ward’s HYDRA. Ward played them. Ward’s a liar and a bad guy, and Fitz’s world is hanging by threads, and Fitz thought he had control of that, but each strand is breaking, one after another after another after--

So let it fall, he thinks. Let it be destroyed. He wants to break it all down to its barest parts. He wants to hurt the world as much as it’s hurt him. He wants it to be over, good and well and truly done. Maybe they could rebuild it, then. Maybe they could start over, and it’d be okay.

Jemma’s touch is hesitant. Coulson’s words waver.

Fitz looks around and realizes bleakly that he may as well follow orders.

There’s nothing left to break.


(He can’t help but think of all the times Ward saved his life. He can’t help but think of the respect he gained in Ward’s eyes and how much that meant to him. He can’t help but think of the good times.

Back when the world made sense.

Back when Fitz had everything he wanted.

Back when life was good.

Except, that was a lie.

Just like everything else.)


There’s still a mission, though.

It’s Fitz’s last hope.


(There’s always a mission.

It’s Fitz’s greatest fear.)


Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: May 4th, 2014 02:52 am (UTC)
jinx- I think you and I must have mind-melded

When I saw this, I busted up laughing! It's like we were one with the Marvel universe! I was compelled by my muse to write a venting rant deathfic. I love Ward and the Ward/Skye relationship, but I have to admit that when he turned seemingly dark, I was crushed and hence the birth of my story. I only see a bad end for Ward after all he's done and how many people he has killed so as per predictably usual and you know me, I killed him off. I'd prefer that to him becoming misguidedly evil as Mike Peterson has become as Deathlok.

I love how in your story you're showing the progression of events through Fitz's eyes. You captured how the world he used to know has changed and not at all for the better. There is a palpable loss in his realization thaw Ward is a traitor.

Fave part:

(He can’t help but think of all the times Ward saved his life. He can’t help but think of the respect he gained in Ward’s eyes and how much that meant to him. He can’t help but think of the good times.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 21st, 2014 01:39 am (UTC)
Re: jinx- I think you and I must have mind-melded
iron man

The Marvel universe just has so much to play with! It's hard to resist.

The turn with Ward was pretty unexpected, so I can imagine how hard you're taking it! I hope you've managed to redeem him fic wise this summer and maybe the show will work that out on screen, too :)

That said, I'm a sucker for poor Fitz.


Posted by: sothereyougo (sothereyougo)
Posted at: September 26th, 2014 07:01 pm (UTC)

Somehow, my demon!Dean icon seems to work for this story. I too am a sucker for Fitz. I really love the technique of short sentences and repeating the first word of a line. Those are such effective ways of creating the feeling of "Bam, bam, bam" - every punch in the gut Simmons had to feel with each new betrayal, more like, of course, the betrayals were ongoing, but finding out lands like a series of blows.

Excellent work. I love the ending line. It's so Fitz, and it too is a reversal. Awesome.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2014 01:55 am (UTC)
dean/rory never let go

This show started off so slow, but the second half really developed the story arc and the character arcs as well. Fitz, in particular, I thought was really well played in the subtlety of his arc. How he's so resistant to change throughout the season and not quite coming into his own, and then in the end, he's the one who changes everything between him and Jemma. He earns that big damn hero moment -- and now they have to live with that aftermath.

Thanks :)

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