The Return of Shield

Skye

Kat sat down next to Skye. She was a bit puzzled because she thought everything had been at least somewhat settled but nevertheless asked, “Is there something you want to talk about?”

Skye sat for a minute without answering, then she blurted out, “You keep touching him! And he lets you, without even acting like it’s a big deal!”

Kat was taken aback by Skye’s outburst at first, especially since she appeared to be so close to tears, but then she berated herself for not seeing this coming. “Skye, there isn’t anything of a romantic nature between Grant and me,” she said gently. “Yes, I touch him a lot because, prior to this, the only touch he got was either violent or sexual. I wanted him to know that touch can be comforting and supportive, something people can do without wanting anything in return.”

“I used to do that too but he always seemed uncomfortable with it, so I stopped. Why are you so different? He even took your hand!” Skye said accusingly.

“Skye, I told you before that my job allows me to have a different relationship with people. Grant and I know each other well enough now that he understands that not only am I not going to hurt him but he can take my hand without it meaning anything. He really needed support right then. Besides, the person who was uncomfortable with your touch was the old Grant, the one who had to be careful about how close he let people get. That’s why he could sleep with May but barely talk honestly with you. One type of relationship he could handle easily, the other he couldn’t. If it helps, I think he was more genuine with you than he was with anyone else, including Garrett,” Kat replied.

Skye nodded thoughtfully but Kat could tell that she was still upset. “What is it, Skye? My touching Grant isn’t really what’s upsetting you, is it?”

Skye shook her head. When she spoke again, her voice was barely a whisper. “It’s just that I said such horrible things to him. I told him that I would never understand why he did what he did and that if I knew the real him, I wouldn’t like him. I even told him he was weak and that I hoped Garrett ordered him to walk into traffic. After that, how can he ever believe that I care about him? From what I saw and heard tonight, he has to be one of the strongest people I know but he won’t ever believe that I think that, will he?” Skye asked miserably.

Kat’s heart sank as she listened to Skye’s recitation of what she had told Grant. She was certain that he would forgive Skye in a heartbeat. She’d found that he was quick to forgive others; it was only himself he had a hard time forgiving. Although Kat understood that Skye had been shocked and angry when she said those things, she sincerely wished they hadn’t been because she suspected the damage might be severe. Grant wouldn’t forget those words easily or soon.

“I think it will be hard for him but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. You really need to talk with Grant about everything that has happened.”

“I keep trying,” Skye said passionately, “but he won’t let me. I don’t know what to do anymore!”

Kat thought for a minute. “What if I told him that he needs to start training you again? Do you think that would make things easier for you two to talk?”

Skye nodded. “At the very least, he wouldn’t be able to avoid me. Trip’s been helping me train since Ward…left…but I can talk with him about letting Ward take over again. I’m sure he’d be fine with it. In fact, he’d probably love to get rid of me!” She smiled slightly. “I’m not the easiest person to train.”

Kat laughed. “I’m sure you’re not. Well, that’s what we’ll do then. I’ll let Phil and Grant know; you talk with Trip. Should we plan on the two of you starting tomorrow morning?”

Skye nodded and then stood up to leave. “Kat, thanks. I wasn’t sure at first that I wanted you on the Bus but now I’m glad you’re here.”


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