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a little taste of sunshine

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“Let’s get away.”

She moans, neck arching as his body slows above her, his lips teasing at the rapid pulse in her throat as she digs her nails into the muscles of his back. “Really,” she lets out on a breath, attempting to sound annoyed, though the quiver in her voice gives her away. Not that she could hide anything from Steve, especially not like this, in their bed, with her body quivering right on the edge until he decided to snatch it back, holding it just out of her reach. God, she married such a little punk. “You want to talk about this right now?”

He hums, lifts his head and pulls back just enough so that she can stare up into those blue, blue eyes, hazy with arousal and glinting in amusement.

“I’m being strategic.” He grips her hip with one hand, holding her in place as he slides out – slowly, so fucking slowly – then back in, making her lips part as he sinks in deep.

“You’re playing dirty,” she retorts, breathless.

“Oh, pardon me, ma’am,” he drawls as his lips slide into a slow, lazy smirk, dipping his hand between them until his thumb finds that little bundle of nerves that has her body shivering, squirming against the bed as her breath catches. His touch is teasing, the pad of his thumb a little rough and a little calloused as he circles and circles, and her vision blurs at the edges as she tries in vain to hold his stare. “All I want is to take my beautiful wife and our perfect baby boy to a nice, quiet place to relax. How selfish of me.” He dips his head down, takes her lower lip between his in a kiss, then murmurs, “Let me spoil you, Nat. You’re a mother. You just started going back to work. You deserve a break.”

She feels the pleasure spiraling down her spine, hot and urgent, coiling tightly in her stomach as he continues circling his thumb.

Steve,” she gasps, her body tightening around him, quivering, and she drags her nails harshly down his back. She’s close. She’s too close, and he’s still not fucking moving.

“Say yes,” he urges, giving her a dimpled smile. “Please.”

Even in this moment as she’s slowly losing her mind, he makes her laugh. Always so polite, her husband.

He knows how she feels about this; they’ve discussed it before. She just started going back into Headquarters a few months ago and she’s handling it just fine. She thinks she’s doing a pretty damn good job at being a mother and a leader of the Avengers, thank you very much, and she’d believe that even if Steve – and just about everyone else – didn’t tell her almost every other day like they do. Still, it’s been an adjustment and she expected it to be. Her body went through one hell of a fight, because of course a child of Steve would be stubborn, even during birth—and while she’s been cleared to go back into the field, she doesn’t want to just yet. She doesn’t want to be away from James for that long.

And she knows Steve can handle it. God, of course he can. There was never any doubt that he would be a good dad, and he and James are fucking adorable together, okay?

It’s just that she would miss them, and no, she’s not ashamed to admit that if anyone asks. It’s odd to feel relieved to be at work, away from nothing but baby shows and baby talk and baby diapers, yet also itching to be with James as soon as she steps into Headquarters. She can’t quite imagine leaving him for more than a few hours right now.

Despite this, however, she thinks it’s a little ridiculous that Steve is insisting on a weekend away. She just started working again, and she feels like she finally got her momentum back. She shouldn’t disrupt that with a vacation, even if it’s only a few days.

Steve seems to think otherwise.

“Just a couple of days,” he says against her lips, kissing her again, and again, as she slowly starts to fall apart. “You, me. James. A nice pool to splash around in.”

“You do love me in a bikini,” she breathes out, squeezing her eyes shut as her spine arches. She doesn’t want it like this—not without him. “Steve,” she whimpers, pleading.

“Please, Nat.” He sounds every bit as desperate as she feels.

Yes,” she moans, maybe a little too loudly considering James is asleep just across the hall, their doors open so they can listen for him. Steve covers her mouth with his to stifle her as he pulls his hand away, grips her hips and finally starts moving, frantic and desperate. His muscles feel taut under her fingertips as she clings to him, kissing him harder and deeper. “Yes, yes,” she breathes, and she feels that delicious heat unraveling her stomach, bursting through her veins and making her senses go hazy and tingly and light.

He stills above her moments later, following her over that edge as he groans into her mouth, and the sensation is nearly enough to send her over the edge again.

She’ll never get over this—how it feels when they’re together, slick and sticky and still shaking from pleasure, pressed as close together as possible.

When she finally catches her breath, she feels sated and sleepy, already half out of it when he pulls out of her with a soft grunt and pulls her against his chest, tucking her into his side. “I know I played dirty,” he tells her, his voice rough yet light, “but we don’t have to go if you’re really not comfortable with it, Nat. I want you to enjoy yourself.”

She presses her face against his shoulder, smiling. “I want to go,” she promises. “I just like making you work for it.” I like knowing you’ll fight for me, she means.

“Well, you know I always love a good challenge,” he retorts, dipping down to kiss the top of her head. You know I always will, he means, because of course he hears her. He knows her, and he knows she doesn’t run to find out if he’ll chase her. She runs because she knows he will, and, well.

Running together has always been their thing.

... ...

“That’s it—you got it, bud. There you go.”

Natasha takes the straw between her lips, sips at the sweet iced tea Steve made as she tries (and fails) not to smile even wider as she watches Steve and James from her perch on the lounge chair. Steve stands in the pool with the water barely up to his hips, both hands holding James just low enough at his chest to let him flail his legs around, kicking happily at the water in a burst of giggles that Natasha never, ever tires of hearing. His little hat is halfway across the pool, floating atop the water after James had yanked it off after she had barely put it on his head, but Steve is basically shading James with his broad shoulders and they just put a fresh layer of sunblock on him, so Nat isn’t worried yet.

James has always loved taking a bath, so it’s really no surprise at all that he’s in love with the pool. He’d sat in her lap on the steps of the pool for half an hour, content to idly splash at the water with his hands and play with the boats they bought for him.

They bought a baby floatie for him, too, which he enjoyed for maybe three minutes before he got frustrated and whined for them to pick him up.

He and Steve have been wading around for a while now, and she’s willing to bet that James will pass out as soon as they take him out of the water, which they probably should do soon, anyway. They had an early flight and then jumped into the pool almost as soon as they got to Tony’s beach house, and James is long overdue for a nap.

And, of course, it’s only a few minutes later before she sees Steve lift James up into his arms, holding him against his chest as James’s little mouth parts in a yawn and his head falls against his shoulder. Steve walks up the steps and over to her, giving her a dimpled smile as he catches her gaze, and she stands and grabs a towel to drape over James as soon as they’re within reach. James is all but passed out as she gently pats him dry, and she’s willing to bet he’ll stay asleep even when they bring him inside to wash him off.

She tucks the towel around James as best as she can in Steve’s arms, presses a kiss to his soft, damp hair, and then Steve grabs her by her hip and draws her against his other side. She’d completely dried off while she was lounging, and Steve is obviously still soaked, and of course he grins at her like a child because he’d done it on purpose.

Funny,” she mutters. He dips in, letting his lips hover over hers, and she lets out a laugh before tipping her head up to kiss him.

“I’ll never get tired of this,” he murmurs against her lips, his fingers toying with the knot at her hip as he leans back to arch an eyebrow at her, smirking. “You in a bikini.”

“Glad to know you only married me for my looks,” she quips, cupping her hands together over the back of his neck and pulling him in for another kiss, and another, and another. He tastes like the sweet tea they’ve both been drinking, and also a little bit like sunshine, somehow, and she drinks him in as if they have all the time in the world.

And for once, they kind of do.

Eventually Steve draws back with a throaty chuckle, giving her hip another squeeze. “I’ll get this little guy bathed and tucked in,” he tells her, nodding at James, who’s fast asleep against his shoulder. She’d offer to do it, instead—Steve was the one who spent most of the time in the water with James, anyway—but she knows he’ll just tell her to relax and put her feet up while she waits for him. He genuinely loves to spoil her, loves being able to wait on her, and it’s rare that she gives him any slack to pick up at all.

She hums in agreement, nodding, but lingers for a moment longer before finally letting go. He grins at her, boyish and bright and so very Steve that her heart flutters.

Flutters. God, this man has turned her into a fucking sap. She smiles at his back as he heads into the house, then shakes her head, draping the towels over her arm and grabbing their emptied glasses of sweet tea off of the table to bring inside.

She drops the towels into a pile in the laundry room (Tony scheduled for a cleaning service to come after they were gone, so she and Steve wouldn’t have to worry about it) and loads their glasses into the dishwasher. She contemplates changing out of her bikini, but it’s more than warm enough to keep it on, and she’s pretty damn comfortable in it right now, so she pours herself a glass of wine, grabs the stack of takeout menus she’d found in one of the drawers earlier and hops up onto the kitchen island to flip through them.

“Well, he’s definitely down for the next few hours,” Steve says as he walks into the kitchen a few moments later, still dressed in nothing but his swim shorts.

“Probably for the rest of the day, considering all the excitement he had,” she points out as he steps between her knees, braces one hand on either side of her on the counter. She holds the wine glass up. “Want a taste?” she asks, and he hums in response, gently nudging the glass aside and leaning in to kiss her lips, instead. His tongue darts out to lick the taste of the dark liquor off of her mouth, then he prods at the seam of her lips until she parts them for him, letting him kiss her hard and deep, drinking her in the same way she had him. Not with desperation, as if he’d never done it before—but with familiarity, like he knows exactly what to expect, and he can’t get enough of that anticipation.

“What’re we having for dinner?” he asks against her lips between kisses, and she sets her glass down haphazardly, only narrowly avoiding dropping it entirely before she’s winding her arms around him and tugging him close, their chests pressing together.

“Don’t know,” she murmurs in reply. “Don’t care.”

Nat,” he laughs, but then she’s kissing him again, winding her legs around his hips and pulling one of his hands from the counter, guiding it to her side. His fingertips brush the ticklish spot beside her ribs, making her whine ever so slightly against his lips, and then he skims his hand up, up, until he’s toying with the knot at the back of her neck.

“Our beautiful, sleeping boy is down for the count,” she points out, stroking her fingers over the stubble along his jaw, “and you want to spend it waiting for the delivery guy?”

He arches an eyebrow. “I can think of a few creative ways of passing that time.”

Then he tugs the knot undone at her neck, reaches around and does the same to the knot behind her back, letting her top fall off right there in the middle of the kitchen, and—okay. Maybe she needs this vacation after all.