The Return of Shield

The Plan Comes Together

Several days earlier…

The team was once again meeting in the lounge. Developing a workable plan that covered both of their missions was turning out to be quite difficult. There had been many unproductive and frustrating team meetings and tension was running high.

“OK. I know everyone is tired but Kat and Grant think they may have created a plan for capturing Quinn and Cordis. I wanted you all to hear it so you can see if there are any holes and we can figure out what they’re going to need,” Phil said.

“Kat and I will go into the compound as Hydra agents,” Grant began.

“Whoa! Wait a minute. You’re going to pretend to be Hydra….together?” Skye asked immediately. Kat suppressed a smile and wondered which part of the plan Skye objected to the most.

“Quinn and Cordis aren’t going to talk to anyone they don’t believe is Hydra,” May explained. “It will be a lot easier to gain a foothold in the compound if we’re invited in since, as you recall Skye, it’s almost impossible to get in otherwise. Unfortunately, Quinn learned from our last visit and plugged some of the security holes.”

“So Agent Ward is going to pretend that he’s still Hydra?” Fitz asked in a worried voice. “Are we sure that’s a good idea? He hasn’t been involved with them for a while. What if they don’t believe him?”

“That’s a risk I’m going to have to take,” Grant said firmly. “Look, I know this makes you all uncomfortable since you’re not certain I can be trusted but it’s the only way. If we want Quinn and Cordis, I have to do this. And that means you’re going to have to take off the bracelet, sir,” he said looking at Phil.

Phil looked unhappy but nodded.

There was silence around the circle. Finally, Skye spoke up. “So ok, Grant is going in as Hydra. Why do we think they’ll buy Kat as a Hydra agent too?”

“Because SHIELD fired me and I’m the one who broke Grant out of jail. From their point of view, it seems obvious that I’ve switched teams. The FBI even has a Wanted poster of me. Besides, I know Blake’s weaknesses better than anyone. I guarantee you that I can get under his skin in no time,” Kat said.

“The plan is for Kat and Grant to get in and immobilize Quinn and Cordis. Once they do that, we can swoop in and get them on the Bus,” Phil explained.

“How are they going to immobilize them?” Jemma asked.

“We’d like to use an ICER but there’s no way we won’t be searched before entering the compound. Fitz, is there any way you can make the ICER a lot smaller, something that can be kept hidden until we need it?” Grant asked.

“Maybe I’ve watched too many tv shows but I was wondering if there isn’t some way I could wear the ICER material on me and then, instead of shooting them with it, just rub it on somehow,” Kat said.

“Rub it on?” Trip asked shaking his head. “That sounds disturbing in a way I really don’t care to imagine.”

Kat just smiled and shrugged. “It happens in spy movies, so I thought I’d ask.”

Fitz looked thoughtful. “I’ll work on it.”

“Kat, you said you know Blake’s weaknesses. Which one are you going to use?” Trip asked.

Kat smiled slowly. “Jealousy.”

The meeting broke up with everyone going off to prepare more plans, develop anti-serum or create miniature ICERs until only Phil and Kat remained.

Phil looked seriously at Kat. “Are you sure he’s ready? It hasn’t been that long.”

“I understand your reservations, Phil, but yes, I’m certain. Grant wants to do the right thing. Oddly enough, he always has, it’s just that for so long, he was confused about what that was. If I wasn’t sure he could be trusted, I wouldn’t be going into the field with him.”

“OK then,” Phil said briskly and headed towards his room.

Kat rounded the corner and said, “Feel better? You’ve got trust from Dad.”

Grant shook his head. “Dare I even ask how you knew I was here?”

Kat grinned at him. “I didn’t,” she said as she was walking away.

“It was an educated guess,” she and Grant finished together. Grant chuckled and headed off to help Trip plan the rest of the op.

Present day…

Grant knelt beside Quinn to see if he truly was unconscious while Kat did the same with Blake. Once he was sure, he looked over at her. “That went well,” he said as he fitted the dart back into the tip of his shoelace. He smiled. “I thought Cordis was going to lose his mind if he saw me touch you one more time.”

Kat smiled back at him. She peeled a thin layer of material off of her lips and threw it in the trash. “Yeah, that was fun. Blake always did need to be the alpha dog. Even if he didn’t care for me, I knew that watching me pay attention to you and then mock him would cause him to get careless. The whole thing was almost too easy.” Kat looked at her watch and then glanced at Grant and shook her head. She sank down beside Blake’s body.

Grant leaned back against the couch and looked seriously at Kat. “I wish you would have told me that you were going to call me Ward. I almost broke character because I’m so used to you calling me Grant.”

“I didn’t realize it would bother you. We were on a mission, so I thought it would help keep you in character. I’m sorry if it threw you off. But Grant, if that was you bothered? No one could ever tell. Best espionage marks since Romanoff indeed!”

“Why do you call me Grant?”

Kat looked at him in surprise. “I thought you knew that.”

Grant shook his head.

“Because Ward is the spy and Grant is the man.”

Grant looked confused and shook his head again. “I think that’s too fine a distinction for me.”

Kat sighed, looked at her watch again and then back up at Grant. “Ward is the guy who works for SHIELD, the employee if you will. One might even call him the Robot.” She gave him a wicked grin and he smiled slightly. Her expression turned serious and she said earnestly, “But Grant is so much more than his job. Grant is the man who is in love with Skye, loyal to his family of choice, a good friend, and someone who is trying to become a better person. Grant understands that Ward is just a part of him; he isn’t all of him and he never was.” She raised her eyebrows at him.

“Yeah, okay. I guess that makes sense. Except for Skye, I suppose we all have two identities, don’t we Dr. Sevda?” he said looking mockingly at her.

“Yep. Skye is definitely the aberration. She’s the only one of us who decided not to compartmentalize, to always be who she is no matter the situation.” She smiled again. “That may be one reason why she fascinates you so much.”

Kat looked at her watch once more and then jumped to her feet. She quickly walked to the door leading to the hallway, went out and returned a second later with a large laundry cart. She leaned deep into the cart and emerged with towels, sheets, handcuffs, leg irons, a uniform and tennis shoes. She threw Grant the manacles, and dropped the towels and sheets on the floor. She held onto the uniform and shoes.

“You cuff them while I change,” she told him. He nodded as she went into an adjoining bathroom, emerging in a minute wearing the uniform of Ian’s household staff.

“I’m kind of sorry to see the Kat suit go,” Grant murmured as he loaded the two bodies into the cart.

Kat stuck her tongue out at him as she threw her black clothing and boots into the cart and put her hair up in a bun. She draped the towels and sheets artistically over Quinn and Blake and started wheeling the cart toward the door. She halted before opening it and turned back to Grant. “Please be careful.”

Grant raised a mocking eyebrow, “I always am.”

Kat looked like she wanted to say something else but then checked herself, opened the door and left with the cart.

Grant stayed in the room until he heard the sound of the Bus overhead. The plan called for Skye to come off the plane while Kat loaded Quinn and Blake onto it. Skye was going to hack into Quinn’s system, figure out where the serum and the gravitonium were being kept, and bypass the security protocols.

Once he got the signal, Grant left the room and walked as quickly as he could in a casual manner toward where the gravitonium was being held. The voice in his ear gave him directions but, because he needed to keep his cover, Grant was supposed to maintain radio silence on his end. The longer he walked though, the more uneasy he became due to the absence of security guards. SHIELD didn’t have enough people to take out all of the guards, so Grant was to keep his pose as a welcome guest, relying on the guards’ belief in his status of someone who belonged. But there were no security guards in sight. What was going on?

Grant walked even faster, sure that something had gone wrong. He was almost running by the time he got to the gravitonium chamber where he was supposed to join Coulson, Trip and Fitz. He came to an abrupt halt when he came face-to-face with Raina and Kaminsky, Garrett’s Hydra pal.

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