When Ellie woke up, her head was pounding. She tried to sit up but got dizzy so she laid her head back on her pillow. She could hear a voice several feet away.
"Once the drug passes out of her system, there should be no ill side effects." A woman's voice. Ellie knew that voice. It was Simmons but Steve had told her that there was no Simmons. "Whatever this drug is, it has made her extremely vulnerable to suggestion. Much like hypnosis."
"When will she wake up?" Phil's voice spoke as the events of the last week bombarded her brain. She had been kidnapped, she was back home, and the Steve she thought she was dating had been trying to use her.
"Shhhhhhh." Ellie groaned, pulling the blanket over her face. The lights and noise did nothing to help her headache.
"Oh good." Simmon's voice was perky. "She's awake."
The blanket was yanked off Ellie's face and a light shone on her eyelids. "Please get that out of my face and can I have some aspirin?"
"Coming right up." Simmons helped her sit up then gave her a paper cup of water and some aspirin. Ellie swallowed the pills and water and waited for it to kick in.
"What do you remember?" Phil asked.
"Right into the debrief?" Ellie groaned, rubbing her temples. She squinted up at Phil but managed a smile. "I feel the need to ask. This is real, right? I'm not hallucinating?"
"This is very real." Phil promised. "You had a large quantity of an unidentified drug in your system but it's almost gone now."
"Yeah. Steve said it was my medicine." Ellie mumbled. "He said I was mentally ill and that the drug helped with hallucinations."
"Anything else we should know?" Phil asked.
"Hydra is the organization in command where ever I was." Ellie sighed. "Whatever alternate universe I was in."
"What happened to your face?" Was Phil's next question.
"That's a lovely question." Ellie quipped sarcastically. "What happened to your face?"
"I'll fill you in later." Phil smiled at her sarcasm.
"Steve—Nightblade- whatever his name is did this to me." Ellie gestured to her head. "Cronos wanted me to be a weapon for Hydra and when I said no, Nightblade had to beat it into a yes."
Phil felt his blood boiling at the thought of somebody hurting Ellie but kept a level head. "Let's get you cleaned up and in some new clothes."
Ellie nodded, getting off the makeshift bed in the lab and following Phil to her room on the plane. "Oh, airplane. I have missed you."
"It missed you." Phil smiled at her as he stood beside her door, waiting for her to go in. "I'm glad you're okay, El."
"Me too, Phil." Ellie smiled back at him. She glanced around to make sure that no one was watching then pressed a kiss to his lips.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Phil asked, watching her eyes when she pulled away. "Nothing else happened?"
"I told you everything." Ellie said with a small shrug. She gathered some clothes and brushed past Phil on her way to the showers. She was aware of his eyes on her but she ignored it. She was definitely not going to tell him that she slept with Nightblade. Even though she was being drugged, she didn't feel like it was something he needed to know.
When she returned from the showers, pulling a brush through her long hair, Skye and Simmons were waiting for her in her pod. "Can I help you?"
"We know." Skye was smiling widely.
"You know...what?" Ellie tossed her clothes in the hamper and put her brush away.
"About you and Coulson." Skye elaborated. Simmons was practically bouncing on the bed. "What's it like?"
"What's what like?" Ellie blushed slightly.
Skye gave her a 'you know what I'm talking about' look and Ellie chuckled. "How did you guys find out?"
"He was acting all weird and possessive while you were gone." Skye said.
"Fitz was the one who figured it out, actually." Simmons clarified. "I thought he was wrong but we realized he wasn't."
"So tell us what it's like." Skye repeated. "How long have you two been together?"
"Twelve years." Ellie smiled at the memories she had of her and Phil through the years.
"Twelve years?!" Skye said loudly as Simmons said, "How have you kept it a secret from SHIELD all this time?"
"Fury knew." Ellie admitted. "He was the only one who knew."
Ellie pulled one of the photo albums from under her mattress and sat between the two girls, showing them pictures of Phil and her as they grew up together. They 'oohed' and 'awwwed' at the photos of prom and birthdays when Simmons' gaze fell on the engagement ring Ellie had replaced before her shower. "Are you getting married? To Agent Coulson?"
"You guys can't tell." Ellie said quickly. "It's going to be a small, quiet ceremony."
"Why?" Skye whined. "I love weddings. Pretty dresses, free booze, hot guys."
"Yeah, well, among other reasons, his mother and the Avengers have no idea he's alive." Ellie sighed. "Everybody that we care about thinks he's dead so it's going to be just us."
"Would it really be so bad if the other Avengers knew he was alive?" Simmons asked.
"I don't know." Ellie shrugged. "But if Fury says they can't know, then they can't know."
"Maybe Phil has changed his mind about that." Simmons and Skye shared a look when Phil knocked on the door.
"Can I talk to you, Ellie?" Phil asked. They went to his office and he handed her a file. She read about how he had been dead for days and Fury brought him back. By the time she finished the file, her heart was aching.
"Are you okay?" Ellie closed the file and set it aside. Phil had watched her read from his office chair and Ellie came to sit in his lap, putting her arm around his shoulder. He put his arms around her silently.
"No." Phil's answer was simple, his eyes brimming with tears. "I asked them to let me die, El. I came back from the dead and I asked them to let me die."
"It's okay, sweetheart." Ellie ran her fingers through his hair as the tears started to fall.
"I didn't think about you while they were doing it. I just wanted to die." Phil cried softly.
"It's okay, Phil." Ellie whispered. "I understand and it's okay."
Ellie and Phil sat in his office chair and Ellie held him until they both fell asleep. She listened to his sobs and regrets, offering comforting words to each one that passed his lips.
A/N: I meant to have this chapter up yesterday but I got distracted by my Thor fic. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. Thanks for reading/reviewing/following/favoriting this story. Please leave a review on your way out. If you have the time, please go check out my Thor fic. It's titled Power of the Tesseract.
Rylee: We haven't seen the last of douchebag Steve.
MissMadame: Thanks for your review, doll! I'm sorry it got so confusing there for a minute but I'm glad you liked it!
Music Box: Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)