It’s a soft yet constant stroke of his fingers on the thin, delicate skin of her inner wrist. The way he outlines the shape of her tattoo.
On the cinema movie screen, Simon Pegg’s wrist’s are exposed. Covered in bandages practically to the elbow, a hospital tag firmly attached. She winces, flashing back to those two awful weeks in late summer years ago.
Before she can curl into herself, his head is tilting against hers and his hand is moving up to play with her hair. Carefully. He doesn’t say a word. He knows better than to ask.
When they are out in the parking lot, he does finally speak.
“This work schedule is hard. I’m glad you came tonight. I miss seeing you.”
He’s parked his car right next to her’s and they stand between them, her leaning against him. She’s quiet before she says softly.
“I almost didn’t. I love spending time with you, you know I do. But…after the other day, I’m worried about being able to include you in my general social life.”
“You mean Horrorama.” He murmurs. She nods against his chest. “And Rogers.” He adds. She nods again, then looks up at him.
“I know you have very different viewpoints on…specific matters. But you’re both important to me.”
“You’re important to me.” He replies carefully, his eyes hesitant. He doesn’t want to fight again. “I don’t want to ruin Horrorama for you.” His eyes move around the dark and mostly empty parking lot carefully, “And I didn’t mean to cause issues with him with my comment the other day, but you know how I feel about proper protection.”
“I know.” She slips her hands into his pockets and tugs lightly, affectionately. He smiles and adjusts his legs so she can lean more comfortably between them.
His hands stroke up and down her arms as he sighs. “Anything for you though.”
She stares up at him in surprise. He’s never said that combination of words towards her. About her.
“I’ll be on my best behavior.” He agrees. Then he pauses. “But if he brings up politics first…”
“Well.” She lets out a small chuckle, “I suppose he brings it upon himself then. But be nice.”
“So like…at nerf level? So he won’t get butthurt?” He says, a twinkle in his eye.
“You can’t talk about anything without being slightly asshole…” She replies with an eyeroll.
“Twenty percent.” He offers, “If he brings up politics first, I’ll argue back at twenty percent.” His head moves closer and drops lingering kisses on the crown of her hair, one arm moving down to wrap around her hips. She lets out another chuckle.
“I’m awful.” He agrees easily. “You’re not. You’re wonderful.”
She moves her hands around his belt, marveling at how easily he lets her maneuver over his holster and clip holders without tensing. She’s aware of his PTSD and the history with his ex wife (stealing his own weapons and threatening him with them).
She isn’t interested in removing or touching them, just moving around them to snag the hand he has placed against his car. She interlaces her fingers with his and turns her head to lay flat against his chest.
There are days when she wonders if it would be better to just stay at home, locked in her room, never dealing with other people.
There are days when she wonders if she’s ever meant to have any sort of relationship that actually works. If she’s just punishing herself by picking people who seem unavailable for the most part (whether physically or emotionally).
Then there are nights like this. When it all makes sense. And even though he has his faults, his hangups, sometimes he actually lets it drop for her.
When her hand fits perfectly into his and his words crawl into her soul and build a nest to rest and remind her that she isn’t unworthy.