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Sleepless

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He knocks on her door just after she’s gotten out of the shower, finished washing away the remnants of the fight and ready to climb into bed. She doesn’t bother to wonder how he knows exactly when to come - he’s learned her habits well enough over the years to guess how long she’d take after a day like today, with a sprained ankle and three fractured ribs.

“Come in,” she says, pulling an oversized shirt out of a drawer to use as a nightshirt. Her things are all back in her apartment, where she’d honestly rather be, but the medical team wanted both of them to stay the night at least, in case there were any emergencies. He closes the door behind her, and she hangs her towel on a hook just inside the bathroom door.

“How long d’you think it’ll take for those bruises to fade?” he asks, watching her carefully pull the shirt over her head.

“A couple of weeks, at the least,” she says, and lets out a soft sigh. ”I don’t have the energy tonight, Clint, I’m sorry. Between dealing with Banner and the battle—”

“No, it’s not—” he interrupts, then hesitates. ”I don’t think I’d have the energy for it, either, just…”

He trails off and doesn’t finish his thought, just standing there awkwardly a foot inside the door. She quirks an eyebrow at him, silently willing him to finish.

“I didn’t want to be alone,” he says after a moment’s silence, and she nods. It’s a feeling she knows far too well, one she hoped he’d never experience for himself.

“You’re not,” she says. He takes that as his cue to kick off the slippers he’d found, and slides into bed next to her. She turns the light out and lets him fold himself around her, and doesn’t say a word when he holds her just tight enough for her ribs to ache.

He probably won’t sleep tonight, she knows. Neither will she.