AN ~ major 3x17 spoilers is it midnight? yes. can I sleep when I have an excuse to rewatch the kiss scene and stare at gifs of The Kiss for an hour? no.
the end of the tunnel
Her lips taste familiar. The same taste that he had committed to memory the last time – the first time – when he’d thought it would be the only time. It’s like kissing a rose, so he does it softly, but she pushes back.
She pushes back, gently, inviting. He can taste the blood now, just a little bit, and the concrete dust she hasn’t manage to clean up yet. He can feel how she’s been worrying her lips, how her breaths are shallow.
He kisses back like she wants him to, and as if he can drain it from her, all the worry and guilt she carries with her. But for once, her breathing is easy, her shoulders are light. She rolls to follow his lips with her own, squeezing their hands together tightly as she refuses to let him go.
He wants to pull her over, onto his lap. Let her fall against his chest and melt into his arms like he wishes she would. Or kiss her until they’re both gasping and the world outside is a distant memory; he could do that too. Or until she invites his hands up her back, up under her cardigan where he could feel her shiver – his hands are always cold, and her skin, up there, like this, would be so beautifully sensitive to the change in temperature. Or perhaps it would be her, digging his buttons open, working her way to his bare skin, or running her hands through his hair and over his face until he couldn’t think. He’ll take anything, anything that’s not letting her go. He can feel his heart hammering with the possibilities.
He manages to take a breath, and suddenly his head is spinning. The cloudy, quietly confident stupor is gone and Will and Hive and the lockdown and the fist bump all flood back. He gasps for air that doesn’t smell like her, and buries his head. This is not a dream. This is real life. This is really her. With her real problems. And his real promises.
“Sorry,” he rasps. “Uh. Sorry. I know everything with Will and…starting over. Didn’t mean to push too fast.”
With a breathy laugh, she brushes him off.
“Too fast?” She’s smiling, and it’s like a breath of cool air on his flushed face. She’s smiling like he hasn’t seen in so long.
“Fitz,” she scolds. “It’s been ten years. We can’t waste any more time.”
“Really?” He hides behind a bite, but his heart isn’t in it. He’s glad for her insistence –
“Really. And since we’re ‘cursed’ or whatever nonsense –“
“Ugh, I said that one time-“
“- well, you and your fourth dimension –“
“- and for the record actually, today is more evidence that the cosmos is against us.”
Maybe, if he doesn’t look at her, if he doesn’t see her smiling like that, he can believe it. But does he want to? He gave up on that so long ago. He hopes so hard he can’t clamp it down, not even the cosmos itself, or fate, or whatever, would be able to stop him hoping. Only Jemma could do that.
In the silence, which rapidly darkens, he prepares himself for her to do just that.
“I’m tired of seeing our friends ripped apart from each other,” she confesses. “That can’t happen to us again. I won’t let it.”
“Then…we won’t let it.”
A smile tugs at his lips.
“Who needs space?” he continues. “I’ve got something magnificent right here.”
He knows he’s looking at her Like That. He can hardly stop it, even if he wants to, and he doesn’t want to. Let her feel it. Let her feel the full weight of it, soak it up, embrace it. He watches her grin soften, and then, there, is the flash of determination. She reaches for his shoulder and he finishes off.
“A picture. Of space.”
He points, pulling her hand and shoulder, interrupting her bee-line for his lips. He keeps his own face almost unfazed, but he’s surprised – so beautifully surprised, his heart swells in his chest – when instead of pouting or scolding or joining in the joke, she laughs.
He continues with his delivery, wondering if he can pull another such glorious sound from her before he becomes too distracted by her. She has other plans – of course, as usual – and swiftly interrupts him again, grabbing his face and swinging around to press her lips against his with the power of all their lost years.