"... I hope you had the absolute best Birthday yet, little Alya, and I hope your parents weren't too upset about the present we sent...By the way, do you have a name for the fluffy fellow yet? Your aunt Daisy and I are sending you our very best wishes from space, and hey, maybe you can spot us flashing by somewhere amongst the stars!
Daisy's sending lots of hugs to Jemma and Fitz, say hi to them for us please!
Happy Birthday again!
The Astro Ambassadors. "
Daniel Sousa pulled the paper out of the typewriter and smiled to himself:
" Yeah, that sounds peachy..."
Then he grimaced,
"—No. Not peachy. Cool, Sousa. Cool."
" Enjoying the typewriter?"
Interrupted a familiar voice and he turned to find a smiling Daisy Johnson leaning against the doorframe of their bunk.
"I am, actually, thank you."
"For giving it to me, I mean."
He added awkwardly. Daisy tried her best not to grin like an idiot.
"It was nothing. And besides, the pictures I have of you fangirling over it like a three-year-old are so worth it."
Sousa furrowed his eyebrows in very visible confusion,
"You've—you've never heard of..."
Daisy trailed off in disbelief, then sighed,
"All right then, Danny Boy, looks like it's time to take out your 'Modern Words 101' notebook, we're making some notes."
An hour, three pages of intense notes, and countless discussions about the intricacies of 'fanbases' and 'fanfiction' and some strange phenomenon called 'shipping" later, Daisy was dosing off on Daniel's shoulder and he, being a stubborn gentleman, absolutely refused to move. In the depth of space and in the quiet of his thoughts, that's when it hit him: he'd written letters to almost everyone on the team now. He'd written to Mack first after he had some time to think about what would have happened if he hadn't decided to save him. He thanked him and Elena for continuing S.H.I.E.L.D, for allowing him to be part of it. He wrote to Coulson after Daisy explained to him how much he meant to the team and to S.H.I.E.L.D, then he wrote to May after spotting a few videos of her rather impressive lectures at the Coulson Academy. He wrote to Fitz and Simmons and little Alya occasionally sending polaroids of galaxies and nebulas colouring the sky...
But there was someone he hadn't written to yet. Someone who was peacefully asleep on his arm, someone he couldn't stop himself from caring for more and more each day...
“You realise I’m literally right here..yeah? You could just talk to me like a normal person instead of writing letters. “
Daisy teased after being handed a rather neatly folded envelope.
Daniel smiled observing the letter now in Daisy's hands,
"It just..felt more meaningful this way.”
The brunette shook her head attempting to suppress grin. God, this square of a man had a way of melting her into a puddle.
“Remind me again how I ended up dating the most dorky hopeless romantic on the planet?”
“By infiltrating a secure S.H.I.E.L.D base posing as the CIA, I believe.”
At that, Daisy couldn’t stop the giggles,
“I didn’t mean actually remind me I meant—"
She stopped herself mid-sentence, then, grinning from ear to ear, swiftly lifted onto her tippy-toes and planted a lingering kiss on Daniel's cheek,
"Thank you, you dork. I'll read it tonight."
Daisy was alone in the cockpit in the depths of night surrounded only by a comfortable silence and the emerging panorama of countless galaxies in the distance. She marvelled at the view for a moment, then lowered her gaze to the envelope in her hands. The last letter she had read was from someone that meant the world to her, someone who was still here yet so...not. That letter she had read on the floor of her bunk, tears blurring her vision, was all she had left of the Coulson that found her in her van some distant memories ago. Strangely, it felt like that letter was all that was left at all of the abnormally normal life and little family the S.H.I.E.L.D team had become to her. Somewhere deep inside she felt a familiar, dull sting that never quite went away... Longing.
But the letter in her hands was different, she had to remind herself. This was a letter from someone right here, someone who, she hoped, would stay right here. Someone who made her grin like an idiot and let all her guards down when she ached, someone she...
A deep breath, and the envelope was open...
It occurred to me when you so adorably fell asleep on my arm the other day that I had written a letter to everyone else on the team except you, and you're the one who actually gave me the typewriter. Although you know better than anyone there aren’t many things I wouldn’t say to you in person, this feels different. And, though I know you'll tease me for sounding like an old crooner in a ballad, this feels... special.
I'll be honest, when I found you cooling it in my office posing as a-- very charming if I may add--CIA agent, I did not think it even possible in a few months we'd be travelling space together some 70 years into the future playing backseat Bingo in the back of a spaceship. But here we are and, believe me, I'm far from disappointed.
To find you guys had taken me out of my time... I was upset. I didn't understand why we couldn't have solved things another way, why you had to fake my death, why I couldn't even say goodbye to the people that meant the world to me… So much so that I forgot to be thankful. But when Malick was doing the whole number on you back in the 70s, I felt raw terror for the first time in a very long time. I was scared out of my mind, Daisy, because I felt so powerless. And what terrified me more was that I barely knew you, yet I couldn't stand the sight of you all pale and feeble on the floor knowing full well there wasn't a thing I could do about it. That’s when I realised, despite evidence for the latter, that you were only human, that your team were only people trying to do the right things, trying to navigate a strange new world on a mission to fight bad, just like I had always tried to. And we got out, got home, you got better, a million other things have happened since then. I just...wanted to let you know that since that day, it's been my mission to always have your back.
I know you like to tease me for the way I speak and the things I adore, like typewriters, for example, but I also know I'm very thankful for the way you're here for me too. I’m a man out of my time, Daisy, a man out of my own life. And you...you listen, you understand what it means to have nothing and no one. You’ve been open with me, told me all about a time a van and a laptop was your everything, a time someone with a good heart chose to take you in and show your worth to you. You also said in times like those, all you craved for was something, some tiny crumb to hold on to to ground you, remind you that somehow you belong. You showed me the little 'Hula Girl' doll and told me it always reminded you of home.
So when on Christmas day I opened a box to reveal that shiny machine well... Yes. I did 'fangirl like a three-year-old', but not because I thought it was somehow magnificent—trust me, I've seen more impressive things by now. I 'fangirled' because I was suddenly overcome by the realisation that everything is different now, but also that..just maybe, that's okay. Because now I had something to hold on to as well, to ground me, to remind me of home, something that, I think you'd agree, also helps type out pretty neat letters. I know there are phones and messages and even virtual communication worlds now, and I know that a typewriter hardly belongs in the 21st century...But neither does a 'Hula Girl' doll on the dashboard of a spaceship, neither do you and I lost somewhere among the stars. I think I understand now: no one belongs anywhere—to any time, to any world, to any life.
Instead, we make each other belong.
People, teams, families- that's how they're built, that's why they grow. Because people need people to help them feel whole. I suppose all that I really want to say is thank you, Daisy, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for helping me feel like I belong. And, as long as you let me, I'll try to do the same for you.
Your Favourite Astro Ambassador.
Daisy didn't even take a moment to wipe the tears off her face, she didn't even take a moment to breathe. The brunette was out of the cockpit like a shot with eyes only for a certain hopeless romantic who, she suddenly realised, had captured more of her heart than she had thought.
Came the familiar soft hum of Sousa's voice as he lifted his eyes off the book in his hands. Seeing Daisy's tear-stained eyes fresh concern enveloped his features,
But she was already kissing him, her lips crashing onto his with all the feelings and passion and thank you's she'd been bursting to utter to him. She inhaled his soft scent and traced her fingers over his neck and felt herself falling and falling and falling...
For a moment, Daisy pulled back and smiled the brightest, giddiest smile. Then, she leaned up again to press another lingering kiss to the lips of the man that, more than any base or spaceship or quinjet, reminded her of home.