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Agents of SHIELD fic: The First Law of Thermodynamics (1/1)

September 5th, 2014 (03:41 pm)
content

feeling: content

Title: The First Law of Thermodynamics

Disclaimer: I do not own Agents of SHIELD.

A/N: I wrote this after the finale and with the new season coming up soon, I figured I ought to post this. Thanks to lena7142 for the beta work. Obvious spoilers for the finale with general speculation not based on anything in particular.

Summary: They just have to find it again.



-o-

The doctors start with the good news.

Fitz is okay. His mental capacity has been mostly unaffected. His intellect is largely intact. His long term memory appears unscathed, though he has suffered from some short term amnesia.

Of course, then there's the bad news.

His motor skills have taken the hardest hit, and he struggles now with even simple hand movements. It takes him a week to get a spoon into his mouth and another three before he takes a step on his own. Once he’s mobile, he's still uncoordinated and slow.

Even his speech has been affected. His tongue gets tied and his lips don't work the way he wants them to. She can see it in his eyes, the quickness of his wit followed by the pure frustration of not being able to communicate it. He tires easily, and there are some days he doesn't want to try at all.

Jemma is patient, and helps him as best she can. She doesn't push; she doesn't assume. After all, she knows what he's thinking. They've never needed to speak before.

Still, she knows it's hard on him. She knows he wants to be part of the team again; he wants to be normal. He wants things to be the way they were, and everything is different.

"Hey," she comforts him after a particularly hard day. "I know it's not easy, but you're doing great."

Fitz's eyes are red, and he shakes his head miserably. "It's just--" he stumbles. "--I can't-- it's like --- it's -- it's --"

She reaches out and squeezes his hand. "I know," she soothes.

He pulls away, inconsolable. "It's gone," he says. "I -- who I was -- I -- I -- I'm gone."

"Hey," she says, a little sharper now. "It's not gone, and you're not gone. It's just...harder to find right now."

His look is tortured.

She sighs. "It's like the first law of thermodynamics," she explains, cautious at first. He's made no indication in all this time that he remembers their time at the bottom of the ocean. Most of the time, he's still struggling to accept that Ward's a traitor.

He watches her, though, with that same look. Hopeful and needing, so familiar that it makes her heart clench.

She forces a smile, reaching up and almost touching his hair. "Matter can't be created. It can't be destroyed," she explains, as if it's really that simple. She lets her hand fall and shrugs. "That means it's all still there, Fitz. Nothing's gone. We just have to find it again."

The way he looks at her now, the way he’s always looked at her -- he believes. More than anything else, he believes her. With all that has changed that much has always been constant. He’s been strong for her; he’s been the hero.

Maybe it’s just her turn.

She reaches out, taking his hand again with a stronger squeeze. "And it's science," she says, holding his gaze until he looks calmer and reassured. "So we know it must be true."