"You should have seen the look on your face." I said sliding my hand from his back to the side of his jaw, one finger under his chin. It felt amazing to finally be able to do this for real, not just in my head when I let my thoughts get away from me.
"Can you blame me?" he said his hand still resting on my lower back "I've been chasing you for months and nothing. Why now?"
"Well I just thought you were like that with everyone." I said and he sighed audibly
"If I was you'd have something to worry about."
"And I don't?" I asked and he shook his head with a smile. I kissed him again and melted into the moment I'd been craving for months. If I'd been worried this would be awkward, or he would just push it away I'd been sorely wrong.
"Why was it so obviously to everyone but you." He said softly in my ear and wrapped his arms around my waist
"I guess I didn't wanna get my hopes up, I'm sick of getting hurt." I said with a dark voice. I couldn't tell him but the last relationship I'd been in had ended very badly because I didn't see who they were before I got involved. He looked mildly shocked at my change of mood and held my face in his hands.
"I wouldn't hurt you, not ever." he said seriously
"I know" I said putting my finger on his lips before he could make another move. "Wait I have something for you." I reached back to my jacket pocket and drew out the necklace. His breath caught and his eyes narrowed at it.
"Where did you get that?"
"Don't hate me, but Wanda wanted me to give it to you."
"I don't want it." he said right away closing my hand around the silver.
"Pietro please, you can't keep pushing this away its part of who you are." I felt the need to make him understand, if it were me I'd want anything that was left of my parents.
"Not anymore" he said looking hurt "Please don't."
"Your sister wants you to have part of your family with you wherever you go, to keep you safe." I was struggling to keep my voice steady at the look he was giving it, like it physically caused him pain.
"I can't" he said turning his face away so I couldn't see him
"Alright, I won't force you but please just listen." I placed my hand under his chin "Whether you like it or not, this is part of your father, part of your parents" I unfolded my fist to show the necklace again "Don't you owe it to yourself and to your sister to keep their memory going?" He didn't say anything "You don't have to decide now, but know that it will make Wanda happy."
He finally looked at me. The pain in his eyes was like a punch to the gut. I wanted to take back everything I'd said and throw the necklace into the trees, but I didn't have to. He lifted his hand from my waist and extended his arm to me. I took that as a sign and wrapped the necklace twice around his wrist and tied it off. The silver and pearl hung there glinting in the half light, it seemed to match his colouring perfectly "You know it does suit you." I said with a small smile hoping I hadn't made him mad.
He looked down at it "It suited him better." he said quietly
"Your father?" I asked and he nodded "Did...did he look anything like you?"
"In some ways but it was Wanda, she looks so much like our mother."
"Well she has your mothers necklace as well." I said and he almost smiled
I couldn't bear to see him like this so I got to my feet. "You wanna go in? I think there is some left over Chinese in the fridge."
"Alight but one last thing." he said getting to his feet "Race me."
"Race me to the door" he said smirking
"You have got to be kidding, no way in hell I'd ever beat you, you know that." He'd made a point in training to always be faster than me in everything so I had to figure out his moves before he made them to catch him out, it worked about fifty percent of the time.
"I'll go slow, come on. It'll be hilarious."
"Yeah for you" I said but got into position before he could say another word and sprinted off across the grass. Rounding the corner I saw the front door ahead when Pietro overtook me "Dammit" I cursed trying to push my legs faster. But I never got a chance. He doubled back and caught me up before sprinting to the door and putting me down.
"See" I said catching my breath before I could pass out from motion sickness "That is not fair."
"I don't know what you're talking about, I went slow" he said and grabbed me before I could fall against the door and wake everyone up. I probably could have stopped myself but now I wanted any excuse for him to have his hands on me.
"Slow for you isn't exactly easy for me to keep up with." I said swaying on the spot "So if you're already half carrying me you might as well help me to my room." I said grinning up at him. All I saw before my eyes closed was his shadow in the glass stooping down and gathering me up in his arms.
I woke up hours later in the dark with no clue what time it was. I rolled over to check the clock and nearly jumped out of my skin. "Ah! Don't do that!"
It was Pietro. He was stretched out next to me, one arm curved under my head, the other drumming out a fast rhythm on his leg. Without realizing I had curled up to him in my sleep. It struck me as odd that he didn't just leave after dropping me off in my room, I'd half expected it to go back to normal after last night.
"How long have you been here?" I asked leaning over him to see the time. It was 4am.
"About five hours. Don't worry I slept a little too. After you stopped kicking me." That was probably due to more restless nightmares.
I groaned and rolled over. My new books had been stacked up on the shelf opposite and I knew that wasn't where I'd left them.
"You tided up?" I asked amazed
"What? No, I got stuff off your bed to make room for us."
"Uh huh" I said prodding him in the chest "Ow" I said quietly because now my finger hurt. I should know better by now not to do that without gloves on.
"How is your head?" he said placing his hand on my cheek and I closed my eyes at his touch
"Better" I said feeling a slight ache in the back of my skull "That ever happened before?"
"Yes, it's rough until you get used to it. I made Barton throw up last time grabbed him." He said looking way to proud of himself.
I noticed he had kicked off his trainers onto the floor, the soles were so run down I wondered how he still used them. Now that I was awake I couldn't keep laying next to him like this so still. So I got up and strode over to my chair and sat down before flicking on a small lamp. I looked back at Pietro laid on my bed. Remembering the first time he'd been in my room made me smile, he'd been laid in that exact spot but then I barely knew anything about him. Resisting the urge to join him I stayed put, I knew if I slept now I would miss training the next day. Training, that reminded me.
"Nat says Steve wants a word with you about missing practice."
"I'll talk to him later. Anyway training is not as fun now." he said with a yawn stretching his arms out in front of him.
"You gotta take this seriously Pietro, it's about keeping you and everyone else in shape. If we're not then we'll be useless when it comes to a fight." I said giving him a hard look
"I am in good shape" he said winking at me. I had to agree but I sighed and walked back over to the bed. "You are no fun." he said seeing my expression.
"This" I said placing my hand around his arm "Isn't enough" I felt again the tight skin over the bullet holes and pulled away "Please tell me you'll at least try." I think he could hear the pleading note in my voice because his face softened slightly.
"Alright." he said and reached out for my hand. It was such a foreign move to me I nearly moved back, I'd have to get used to being near him now after so long of preventing myself. I let him take it and sat down on the bed. He lifted my hand to his face and closed his eyes. All I could feel was the warmth of his skin and the thudding of my heart. It made me want to touch every inch of his body I could reach. I let my hand follow the curve of his jaw and traced my fingers over his lips. He shivered next to me but I didn't stop moving my fingers down his neck feeling the dip at his collar bone. Finally my hand rested on his chest. There it was again, those strange bumps on his skin. I moved my hand away and he opened his eyes to look at me.
"Can I see?" I asked. He tilted his head to the side and raised an eyebrow. "These" I said pointing to the marks under his shirt. He paused but a moment later nodded and slipped off the bed to stand in front of me. I had to see them for myself.
Pietro grabbed his t-shirt and pulled it off in one swift motion. The last time I'd seen him like this his wounds had been bandaged so I didn't know what to expect. I extended my hand to touch the marks and he jumped slightly as my cool hand made contact with his exposed skin. I counted them with my fingers. Six bullet holes, four to the chest one right above his heart, one on his right arm and one in the shoulder. I also knew from memory he had one in his thigh.
"You should be dead" I said in a shaking voice not knowing what else to say
"I'm not." he said placing his hand over my own which was resting on his stomach. I rose off the bed to stand in front of him.
"But how?" I asked moving closer "Not the T.A.H.T.I programme?" I didn't want to imagine Pietro going through what Coulson did to survive.
"No, not that. Enhanced thermal homeostasis. Ever heard of it?"
"I don't know what it is but I know you have it" I said remembering reading it in his file
"Well my body goes into a state where it can automatically stabilise itself against foreign objects and environments."
"Even bullets?" I asked and he nodded
"They also have some things back at Shield which helped me heal faster, like Cho's cradle."
"But..I saw you die" I said resting my head against his warm chest "We all thought-" I stopped because I was fighting back tears. No matter how many times I kept replaying it in my head I couldn't see how I could have stopped it.
"Blake I'm fine." he whispered stroking my hair
I wasn't convinced but I let it slide "Just don't ever be that heroic again" I said lifting my head to look at him "It's dangerous."
He chuckled "We're The Avengers. Dangerous is the job title." When he laughed I felt his chest move under my hands. I wasn't fully aware until now how close we were and how much of his body I could see.
I felt that urge again, and pulled him down to kiss me. But this time was different. It wasn't just warm, it was electric. In this moment I knew I never needed Wanda or anyone to reassure me of anything, this felt right. I wrapped one hand in his hair and stood on my toes to reach him. He realised what I was doing and pulled me up by my waist, but within a second he had picked me up and thrown both my legs around his torso.
"Wait what are we doing" I asked breaking away. Was this really the best idea to get carried away? But I'd gotten so caught up in the moment that I didn't realise how much I wanted this.
"Everything." he said smirking at me
My back hit the wall as his body pressed up against mine holding me there. I felt his mouth move to my neck and I did nothing to stop him but move my hands down his arms feeling the muscle move beneath my touch. His mouth moved back to mine almost at once becoming more urgent like he was afraid I would move. I pushed off from the wall and pulled him onto the bed.
Slight panic rose inside of me as I understood what I was about to do but I pushed it down before it could overwhelm me. I really did care about this man and I'd wanted this moment for months now, why should I hold myself back any more. Pietro's hands began to move up my thigh to my waist but for once he was too slow. I pulled off my top before he got the chance and positioned myself so that my legs were once again either side of his hips. He slid his hands hungrily up my legs and grasped hold of my hips in return.
"And you said I wasn't fun" I said grinning down at him
"I take it all back" he said raising his hands in mock surrender. I grabbed each of his wrists and pinned them to the duvet. Flipping my hair over one shoulder I leant down to kiss him.
"Good" I said before releasing his hands "Because you have no idea what you've got yourself into."