Sometimes, she still couldn't believe it had actually happened. Dating Fitz had completely altered her life, and yet amazingly, it sometimes seemed as if nothing had changed at all. They still bantered and bickered constantly, finished each others' sentences, and worked out seemingly unsolvable problems in the lab. All of the things she had worried about being awkward or difficult between them had come easily. Getting dressed up and going out, getting butterflies in her stomach when she looked at him, kissing him (light, quick kisses, goodnight kisses, heady kisses that left her dazed and wanting more)…it had all been simple. It felt as if it were something that had always been there. A part of their relationship that had always existed but that they had simply chosen not to exercise.
But there were also moments when she was highly aware that this was new.
For instance, when she was lying naked in his bed, her head resting on his bare chest, feeling his even breathing and listening to the sound of his heart beating steadily beneath her ear.
He always fell asleep quickly afterwards, unless she was talking to him. Tonight was no different. She had settled into her spot, curled up into his side, arm draped across his middle with his arm wrapped around her back as her heart rate returned to normal and her mind cleared. Slowly, his breathing too became more even and his hands stilled as he drifted off.
She could feel the tendrils of sleep pulling at her consciousness, a deep seeded contentment she was rapidly growing used to settling in her chest.
Something must have jostled him though because soon she felt Fitz shift beneath her. "Are you still awake?" he asked, his voice raspy with sleep, sending chills through her body, aided by his fingers lightly grazing the skin on her back.
She rolled and propped herself up on her elbow so that she could look directly at him. His curls were mussed and there was still a light sheen of sweat on his forehead which almost made him seem to glow. His eyelids were heavy but it didn't hide the affection and tenderness that he held for her there.
"What's wrong, Jemma?"
She smiled at him and lifted her hand to rest on his cheek, her thumb rubbing against the light stubble that had grown there. Subconsciously he leaned into her hand.
"Nothing's wrong, Fitz," she murmured, leaning down to press her lips against his shoulder.
He grinned groggily. "Then why are you…um…why are you still awake?" he asked as she moved her lips slowly up his neck. "Not that I'm complaining," he quickly amended, turning his body so that he was facing her more directly.
Grinning, she pulled back just far enough to look at him clearly. "I was just thinking that I'm really glad I fell in love with you," she answered.
The corner of his mouth quirked up nearly imperceptibly but his eyes sparkled at her, alive and alert.
"Yeah?" he asked, causing her heart to flutter.
"Mmmhmm," she said with a nod.
Admitting she was in love with Fitz was a new thing, but it was something she thought she would never tire of.
"Yeah, good," he said, shifting their weight so that he was now on top of her. "Because I'm glad you're in love with me too."
She snorted inelegantly and swatted him on the arm and fully intended to scold him when he kissed her and all thoughts of reprimanding quickly left her head. Her mind went fuzzy as she knotted her fingers in his hair and his hands began to map out the curves of her body.
Wanting Fitz was new too, though perhaps not as new as one might imagine. She'd always been attracted to him. How could she not? Curly hair, beautiful blue eyes, swoon worthy accent and a technical understanding of the most complex scientific ideas. What was not to love? But she suppressed and ignored it, which wasn't entirely difficult to do when they were young and awkward, then highly discouraged from fraternization, busy with being genius prodigies, nearly dying multiple times, running from Hydra, rehabilitating from brain damage and fixing their friendship. For so much of that time she didn't know (and didn't want to know) if her awareness of Fitz's attractiveness stemmed from actual romantic feelings or just an objective understanding that her best friend was good looking. It was easier to go about her life and work thinking of Fitz as only her friend, and so that's what she did. It was impossible now to even look back to determine the true nature of her feelings. The only thing she was sure of was how she felt now.
Of course, allowing herself to want him was new. As lovely as that alone was, actually being held and touched and loved by Fitz was so beyond anything she could have imagined or dreamed.
Like what he was doing right now…thank goodness she hadn't known he was capable of that. She never would have been able to keep her hands off of him.
Later, when she had curled up next to him once again, his fingertips running up and down her arm, he rolled toward her and pressed his lips into her temple.
"You know," he murmured and she could feel the vibration of his words beneath her cheek, "For the record, I'm glad I fell in love with you, too."