Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: At the Heart (chapter 4)

“I like the plan,” Simmons shrugged, “Just one teeny problem-how are we going to get her in?” She stressed the last sentence with heavy emphasis. Cava remained in the back of the conference room, watching the screen wearily as it displayed blueprints of a building.

“That’s what we’re working on,” Ward muttered, “She’s got to have some kind of weapon.”

“That girl kicks ass,” Skye gestured to Cava through a mouthful of donut, “Why does she need a weapon?”

“Skye’s got a point,” Coulson offered a small smile and nod to Skye, who pumped her fist. “I think we just need to work on getting Cava in there unseen.”

Cava nodded as Coulson considered her, “I think I can manage that. All I have to do is go in, sneak into his office, and give him the pen, right?” She recapped the plan to make sure she’d gotten it right. Her first real mission from S.H.I.E.L.D, assigned to her directly from Fury himself, and she wasn’t about to screw it up, nevermind whether they were using her or not. She wanted to be there for SOMETHING.

“It might not be that easy,” May interjected, “Cavari’s got guards in random placements around the building-we can’t be sure where they are going to be.”

“I can monitor radio signals and pinpoint a few positions,” Skye offered up, shrugging a shoulder.

“Oh and,” Fitz stepped forward with some device in his hand, “this is for you.” He stated, approaching Cava, who nodded her compliance. Fitz opened up his hand and revealed a small pin with the S.H.I.E.L.D., emblem engraved into the steel.

Turning the pin in her fingers, she contemplated it for a moment before looking back up at Fitz quizzically.

“It’s a back up,” Fitz stated, “If – for whatever reason – you run completely out of power, it will sense the stop in your heartbeat and administer a shock strong enough to get you going again.”

It took a moment for the words to sink in. “You mean. . ,” Cava said softly, slowly, “if I get in a fight, then I won’t have to kill one of you guys to start back up?”

Fitz, along with everyone else in the room, smiled. “Nope. And I’ve synced it so your heart will derive power from it, first, rather than another human.”

Cava smiled, relieved. “Thanks.” She wouldn’t have to worry about killing her teammates, she thought to herself as she pinned it to her shirt.

~~##~~

Ward slammed a punch right into the guard’s teeth, feeling them buckle under his knuckles as the guard fell to the floor, unconscious. “Cava, you back there?” He asked.

“Yeah!” The girl replied, gripping the pen she was to plant in Marco Cavari’s office in a white-knuckled grip. “I’m glad I didn’t end up having to come in alone,” she muttered as a few guards came running at them. Ward grabbed one by the front of his shirt and slammed him into the wall, muttering questions to him quietly but with vehemence.

Cava tucked the pen into her pocket to free her hands as the other guard came at her. Adrenaline rushed into her and she felt her heart rate go up. Shooting a punch at the man’s shoulder, she felt her knuckles pop from the sudden pressure as they contacted with the man’s humerus. Crying out in pain or anger, it was difficult to tell, the man lunged at Cava as her heart raced faster.

“Hey, Cava, toss me the pen!” Ward called, holding his hands in the air. Sidestepping the guard that was continuing to grab at her, she yanked the pen from her pocket and tossed it to Ward.

“Okay, you guys are almost there,” Skye said over the radio. “Ward, there’re no more guards on the way. It’s a straight shot to paradise!”

Ward rolled his eyes, jogging down the hall of Cavari’s headquarters in search of the notorious terrorist’s office. For a terrorist, he was pretty high-class, and actually, he preferred to threaten rather than act.

But threats sometimes paid off, as Ward knew, so he kicked open the door to Cavari’s office and let himself in.

“Cavari’s not in his office,” Skye reported urgently.

“Yeah,” Ward nodded with a breathy laugh as he looked around the office empty but for a desk and a few filing cabinets. “Got that info a little late in the game.”

Cava arrived, heart pounding, but she wasn’t at her peak. Ward turned to her for a second, ignoring Skye’s sassy reply. “You okay?” He asked her.

“Yeah,” Cava nodded, leaning a hand on the wall as she tried to slow her breathing. “I’ll be fine. Just need to get slowed down is all.”

Ward nodded, walking up to Cavari’s desk, and setting the pen down carefully beside the others. There were many kinds of papers, documents, licenses, in many different languages. Intrigued, Ward picked up a paper written in Hungarian, a language he was very fluent in, and scanned through it.

“Ward!” Cava’s cry caused him to drop the paper back onto its pile and rush out into the hall. All he saw from his vantage point was a huge guard with Cava by the neck, dangling her off the ground.

“Hey! Get off her!” Ward cried, attacking the large man. “Thanks for the warning, Skye,” he grunted as the man dropped Cava.

Both the guard and Ward expected Cava to slump to the ground, but that did not happen. The teen landed on her feet, rushed to the guard who now had his back turned as he swapped punches with Ward, and threw a kick at the base of his spine.

Energy buzzed throughout her body and her pupils were mere pinpricks as a result of the adrenaline electrifying her. The man cried and bent backward, Ward immediately used the opening to strike him hard in the chest. The guard tumbled backwards, but started to get up, where Cava swiftly dealt out a cruel kick to the head to knock him out.

Sunglasses broken and out cold, the guard lay stationary on the ground as Ward and Cava considered each other.

“What? Ward? Cava? What happened?” Skye asked frantically over the radio. From Fitz-Simmons ECG, both of their hearts were beating more or less normally (the more being Cava). Skye had figured out that they’d beat the rogue guard who had escaped her detection – but what had happened afterward? Did Cava attack Ward and destroy his radio? “HEY! CAVA-WARD! DO YOU READ ME-” Skye yelled into the radio frantically.

“Yeah, we read you, we read you,” Ward replied. He and Cava moved from their positions and proceeded down the hall towards their exit. Cava breathed deeply, trying to slow her heart beat. Ward noticed this and started to jog, hoping to expel some of the energy build-up Cava was experiencing before it blew out or overrode her system.

Sliding around a corner, Ward smirked as he heard Skye exhale a sigh of relief, but he didn’t let on his amusement – or slight enjoyment – that she had been worried about him.

“You two better get out of there in one piece,” May’s voice stated on their radio, “I don’t want to have to come in as back-up.”

Ward nodded in an unseen gesture of assurance; Cava cracked a smile at that as they ran down the hall. “No worries, Agent May. We’re almost out-”

Suddenly gunshots popped in their direction from an unseen vantage point. The windows of the hall the were running down shattered around them, glass crashing to the floor.

“Duck!” Ward exclaimed, he and Cava hit the deck as the gunshots continued to spray through the now empty windows, drilling holes in the opposite wall.

“Ward, there’s a whole unit thirty yards to your right!” Skye exclaimed. “I’ll jam they’re radio signals, see if it’ll confuse them enough for you guys to get outta there!”

Ward grunted a grateful reply to Skye as he crawled over to Cava. She was curled up in a ball, covering her head with her arms. “Cava!” He cried over the still incessant spray of gunfire. “Cava, we have to move! Come on!”

The girl slowly uncurled herself. Ward expected to have to urge her along slowly, assumed she would be tentative in moving forward.

Instead, Cava uncurled herself, pupils pinpricks drowning in her irises as her heart raced at 170 beats per minute. With Ward watching her, stunned, Cava stood up to her full height, bullets flying all around her, and faced their attackers.

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