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Alone Together

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The window opens from the outside, letting in cool night air, and her. She drops through it nimbly, almost soundlessly, avoiding the edges and landing lightly on the carpeted floor.

"Took you fucking long enough." From the room's queen-sized bed, Samantha is already sitting up. She'd woken the moment the glass moved, but hadn't reached for the shield leaning against her nightstand by the bed.

Gwen grins and tugs her white mask and hood off in a fluid movement. "You're swearing, as Captain America."

"Shut up," Samantha laughs. "Don't even start."

She has her hair put up in a scarf for the night and a nightgown on that looks like it belongs in a different era, but even bedclothes and a sleep-softened smile don't make the woman look any less like she could have snatched up and winged that shield right at the window if it had been anyone else but Gwen.

Gwen toes off her sneakers, also white because hey, she's got an aesthetic that yes requires an incredible amount of vinegar and bleach, and shucks her uniform down to her bra and panties.

Samantha doesn't look away, though her expression goes from appreciative to a little concerned as she takes in the bruising all along Gwen's right side. She does her the favor of not asking about it. If Gwen hasn't complained then she doesn't want to be babied.

"I need a suit that also somehow supports boobs," Gwen complains as she pauses in the mirror to look at the bruising herself, then reaches back to unhook her bra. "Who designed Wonder Woman's? Hire that costumer at any cost."

Samantha chuckles. She's already scooted over to make room on the bed for Gwen to join, since by herself she slept squarely in the middle. "Too bad it's fiction."

"Yeah. She'd probably have boobies flapping around in the wind otherwise."

Samantha makes a face. "Can we please not?" but Gwen's got a growing grin as she climbs into bed.

"Just whump! She brakes midair and they smack her in the face."

"How old is Wonder Woman exactly in your weird fan fic?"

"Don't give me that. They're huge!" Gwen protests. "There's no chance they wouldn't reach. Just. Mwah!"

"I'm not talking about this any more with you," Samantha decides. "You're ridiculous. I'm going to bed," and she stretches out only to crack halfway through. When she starts to grin, it makes Gwen laugh and twist to settle down next to her.

At 6'1", Samantha easily dwarfs her, so Gwen is always the little spoon. Tonight, Samantha's particularly gentle as she wraps an arm around her waist. "Is this okay?" It's soft, the words a breath against Gwen's ear, making goosebumps prickle across her arms.

"Yeah," she breathes back, quieting her voice too, then remembering twists her head to steal a soft, sideways kiss, their lips lingering then breaking apart. "Though maybe not…"

Gwen sort of grimaces and Samantha presses a kiss to her shoulder. "It's fine."

"Are you sure?" There's concern there. Lately it feels like all they do is cuddle, since one or the other of them is hurt or exhausted and just not in the mood. Their nights together aren't that frequent anyway. They have trouble meshing their schedules, making anything work that isn't a quick nod from opposite sides of the street or a kiss stolen in an alley where no one can see. Publicly, Samantha and Gwen are dating, but they're only dating as Samantha and Gwen. Gwen has a hard enough time keeping her secret identity a secret, and Spider-Woman acting too friendly with Captain America might make a few people connect the dots.

"I'm sure." Samantha's voice is no-nonsense about it, certain. "I'm just happy to hold you."

"You're so sappy," Gwen murmurs but it isn't a complaint. She's soothed by the reassurance and let's her eyes close, her head lowering to the pillow.

Samantha's smiling, and though Gwen can't see, she can hear it in her voice. "How's Jess?"

"Good." Gwen shifts and lifts her arm free of the covers so Samantha can skim her fingers gently up and down her skin, light and tickling. "She's gonna go back home soon."

"With Cindy?" Gwen nods her head against the pillow and Samantha hums. "You like them both."

"I'll be able to visit," Gwen says but they both know it won't be the same. Jess and Cindy came from another universe where they were their own versions of Spider-people, to help train her. They had very different counterparts here.

Samantha comments, simply but heavily, "No more Spider-women," and the words fall between them like weights.

Gwen is silent for a long time. "I didn't think I'd like being on a team," she begins and goes quiet.

Samantha's hand has come to rest over Gwen's stomach, just under her breasts, but the touch isn't sexual. She's holding her, grounding.

"But you do," Samantha prompts, and Gwen sighs.

"It's just… fun. Some girl time. I don't know. It's just us three."

"It's nice. Being able to share something with other people when you thought you were it."

Gwen swallows. "But I'm it here. Cindy's a supervillain." The chuckle that follows it is bitter.

"Hey," Samantha chides, soft. "I'm here, aren't I? Plus," she adds, and it's mostly joking. She knows Gwen's opinion on the topic. "You can always join SHIELD."

"Once I'm done with college," Gwen suddenly says, surprising both of them, because it's an impulse. "Maybe."

Gwen feels Samantha lips against the back of her head. "I'll be here either way," she whispers against her hair, a promise Gwen knows she means to keep.

She can fall asleep easily like that, under the weight of that arm. It's harder, sleeping in her own bed. Her senses are good and even with a sleep machine she can't drown out the city. Here though, Gwen's never had trouble drifting off.

The warm weight stays at her back throughout the night, grounding, protecting.

They're both alone, on paths they chose that require it, but for tonight at least they're not.