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In Their Arms

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“How are you feeling, love?” Steve’s fingers brushed the strands of hair out of her face before he bent his head and pressed his lips to her forehead. “You feel cooler,” he murmured.

“I feel better,” Natasha said, her voice still weak after days of disuse. Her eyes felt heavy, but her body felt warm and content. The aches and the pain and the headache had faded away. She still felt like she could sleep forever and as if she never wanted to move again, but part of that was because of the strong arms wrapped around her and the way her head was cushioned against Sam’s chest.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d had anyone there to take care of her when she was ill — she couldn’t remember the last time she’d been ill — but neither one of the men had left her side the entire time, making sure she drank enough and was cool enough and that she got enough sleep.

But now, with Steve’s lips on her and Sam’s arms around her, she found she wanted something else too. Just something soft and slow so she could drift back into that contented sleep.

It was almost as if Steve could read her thoughts. He dropped his lips from her forehead to her mouth, slipping his tongue in as he kissed her, and she found herself moaning into his mouth. Sam’s arms, still around her, moved too, and a moment later his hands were wrapped around her bare breasts, under her t-shirt, squeezing and kneading so gently, like she would break if he were too hard.

Natasha whimpered, at their touches and at their tenderness, and Steve pulled back, his lips leaving hers, only to be replaced with one finger.

“Shhhh,” he told her. “We’re going to take care of you.”

Natasha couldn’t help the drowsy smile that seem to come over her lips. “I know you will.”

Sam’s fingers under her shirt softly pinched her nipples, and Natasha arched her back into him. Steve took that as an opportunity, taking hold of the waistband of her pajamas and pulling them, and her underwear, down in one fluid motion, then reaching up to help Sam pull her t-shirt over her head, until she was lying naked against Sam’s chest, with Steve between her legs, and her heart the lightest and happiest it had been in days.

(A few minutes later, as she trembled in Sam’s arms and Steve wiped his face, a huge grin across it, she was even happier.)