Antique and Breakable
There's a war on, and this may be the last damn time she sees him.
Steve even moves differently, at least until they're inside. Cautiously, like a man picking his way through foreign lands. Checks over his shoulder. Holds the shield inwards, at times, so the gleam of the dome and star doesn't catch too much light.
For a man who never does much stealth work, she thinks, he's pretty good at it. She's done it for years; she leads him like a black shadow to her safe-house.
It doesn't even matter, once they're inside, how they wind up kissing. There's a war on. There's a war on, and she has the link to give away his location to his enemies in her boot, and she's pressed to his chest like he's the only thing in the world, kissing him hard with his hands in her hair, hard and hungry. Last meal.
He asks her twice if she's sure. Once if she has anything. She lies sweetly in his ear that she's still on the pill, because she wants him naked inside her and doesn't fucking care. How is she supposed to care about anything now?
He holds her, firm but gentle, kisses her slow. She nips at his lip, tugs them back towards the rumpled bed. He lays her out and nuzzles his way down her belly; she shoves at his shoulder and whispers, "Just fuck me."
He goes still, looks up at her with that faintly puppyish furrow in his brow. "Sharon..."
It's not like he isn't hard, or she's not ready. "Please."
She expects him to hesitate longer than he does. Maybe, she thinks, he's as desperate as she is. As hungry. Just showing it less, because he's Steve, and even now he's slow and gentle, arranging her just so where she's lying, testing with two big fingers, finally sliding in with careful deliberation.
She gasps and groans and lets her head fall back as he fills her.
But he's still slow, still gentle. She could do deep breathing in rhythm with his hips, she could do this for an hour, has done, bliss, but not what she wants now.
"Steve," she says, putting a hand on his chest. "Stop..."
He freezes, fear showing on his face. Worrying that he's done something wrong. She knows that look. Catches her breath.
"Stop treating me like I'm going to break."
There's a war on, and each of them is on the wrong side, and she wants him to fuck the hell out of her. She wants to come so hard that her skull hurts, she wants to be so sore she can't sit down for a day, she wants to smack him for being such a gentleman. Always trying to save the world, always holding her with the kid gloves, all the reasons they'd never worked out.
"Sharon," he says, puzzled. She wraps her legs round his hips, digs bare heels into the muscles of his ass.
"Just go. Harder." She wraps a hand round the back of his neck, tugs him down for a kiss. "Please."
It takes begging. It takes sloppy kisses, grinding her hips against him with every stroke to urge him on, loud moans to prove that, yes, this is exactly what she wants. To prove he isn't going to hurt her. It takes her nails between his shoulderblades, until his face furrows, eyes shut, and he clutches tight and plows into her like the pain's driving him.
He's never fucked her like this, not in all the years they've known each other.
The first orgasm hits her, and she starts losing it. Shouting in blinding pleasure. Flailing, clutching, nails scraping through his skin. Utterly animal. His breath is coming short and sharp, almost a faint growl in the back of his throat on every thrust. Desperate in the half-light.
He catches his breath, slows, after what feels like too long and no time at all. Mercy to her, she supposes; his stamina's boundless. Her legs are shaking in the air. There's something completely encrypted in his eyes.
She shoves at his shoulder. "Steve. Over. On your back."
He obeys, wordless; they roll, together, easily, almost choreographed. He doesn't even come out of her. They land with his head almost hanging off the edge; she tightens her thighs around him and shakes her hair out, braces a hand on his chest, and rides. Arches back and let the angle drive him even deeper, until it's pretty damn close to pain, until he's nudging things that make her whole belly clench tight and knock the breath out of her in heavy gasps. One of those big hands bracing the small of her back, slipping down the curve of her ass as she moves, as she goes to pieces atop him, growling hoarse in the back of her throat. Blue eyes drifting shut with a faint groan as she clutches tight around him.
She's shaking; she slumps forward, lets him catch her, one hand spread wide to brace her shoulder, other tracing circles round her nipples. Drops a hand on his chest, nails scrabbling as another wave of pleasure catches her, so intense it's almost painful. Rolls her hips with deep panting breaths, pounding herself, ratcheting herself up past endurance.
He slides one hand slowly down, twists his wrist, slips one finger home on her clit.
Then it's like something unhitching in her chest. She comes wide-eyed and shuddering head to toe. Feels like she's been turned inside out. Her arms ache, and she realizes he's holding her, hands wrapped round her biceps, fingers wet against her skin.
Everything's very clear. Everything is mostly Steve, laid out there beneath her, huge and magnificent, with the fine blond hair trailing down his belly and the mix of awe and worry in his eyes. With the lines of muscle and the faint, faint scars and the light from the lamp on the nightstand spilling over one side of his chest, just touching one nipple. She goes very still, until he lets go of her, trails his hands down to curve around her hips.
"Sharon," he murmurs, "are you..."
"I'm fine," she whispers. Closes her eyes, breathes deep, very still around his cock. The tension's gone out of her, nothing to ratchet up; he's just there, inside her, and she opens her eyes and runs a hand down his face. "Come for me."
He doesn't until she's done. He's always been like that. Such a gentleman.
His fingers tighten on her hips, not holding her, so she rolls them in the figure eight that does wonders to him. Keeps rolling. Combs fingers through his short thick hair and holds his face, murmurs nonsense. "Come for me, I need to see you..."
As if just that could make things better.
His gut clenches, all muscle; he's head and shoulders off the bed, hands digging into her ass as she works him. Their eyes lock, at least until his breath catches and he loses focus, head falling back.
He's always been quiet, but even for him, this is subdued. Long, long shuddering exhale as he comes hot inside her, and her lips are inches from his, she breathes as if she could suck it in.
They're still for a long moment. He slides a hand up, brushes her hair out of her face, and then she rolls off of him and closes her legs and it's over.
"That," she breathes after a moment, "was amazing."
There's a pause. Then, "Yeah." A little fervent. Her heart lifts a little.
He eases upright, does something less than a wince, and peers over his shoulder. He's striped angry red all across his broad back, criss-crossed neck to ass, beads of blood in a few spots. Down his chest, too, not as hard, fading already. Sharon touches his shoulder lightly. "Damn, I scraped you up. I'm sorry."
He gives a faint smile, closest thing to a grin she's seen on him in a while, and shakes his head. "I have sustained worse injuries, you know."
"Yes, but--not in bed. Unless that Diamondback woman was kinkier than you let on."
"It's fine." He turns. "You?"
She closes her eyes for a moment. The muscles in her legs are aching, she's sore and sweaty and exhausted and fucked raw, and not entirely sure she could walk just yet. "Wonderful. Thank you." It comes out hoarse and grateful and more honest than anything she's said in at least two years.
Sometimes she hates--no, not her job. She has the best job in the world. Sometimes, just, what it does to her. The things that it makes difficult. Her head feels light and perfectly clear.
They lie there for a long few minutes in the light of bare bulbs, listen to the sirens going by outside, muffled through the soundproofing. She'd been slick with sweat, head to toe, and it's starting to dry; Steve, all bulk next to her, is even a little damp, though he doesn't sweat much. Sting at the back of her pussy, and she touches it lightly, worries if he's torn her, but it seems all right, and she rests her hand and her thigh and sees him watching her.
It isn't often--for all that he's an honest man--that his face really opens up. Especially these days. But it is now, for a few moments, just open and relaxed, bright curious blue eyes, all friendship and decency. One of those rare moments when he stops looking like a soldier, when she can actually believe that once upon a time, half a century ago, he'd been just some skinny kid with a notebook who wanted to save the world.
"Sharon," he says quietly. She looks at him. Wishes her face could open up like that, but she's tried in the mirror before, it hasn't worked since she was a teenager. "Do you ever think...that I'm an antique?"
She stares at him. Half the world's said it at some point or another, these days; nearly everyone she works with. She never expected to hear it from him. Like he almost believes it.
"Not--not in the bad way."
There's going to be some stupid fucking war, Sharon thinks, and she's already caught up in it. Feels that tug in her gut of the oncoming storm, and she doesn't really have to ask why the hell Steve's doing this, even though she will--she knows the wind will blow her astray. Wild and miserable, towards him.
"They throw out antiques these days," Steve murmurs.
Eventually, she supposes, he'll have to sit up and put his clothes back on, and then they'll have to argue about all this, and then all the shit will have to happen. Day after day, until it breaks one of them. The afterglow's gone; her lip curls, her hair sticks to her face, and she still doesn't give a second thought to sending the cape-killers astray.
"Patrick Henry," he says. "He's an antique."
She looks over, feels herself frowning a little. "Which one was he?"
Steve looks up at the ceiling for a moment, stretches out on his scraped-up back.
"Give me liberty," he whispers, "or give me death."