Steve yelled as he ducked back into the shelter, the last block snapping into place as the suicidal mob walked towards his hiding place, the sinister hssssss instantly muffled and then stopping as the monster lost interest. they never seemed to learn, losing interest the second their target was lost to sight, and even relatively fragile dirt was more than enough to keep them at bay.
he turned away from the wall and felt something bounce off his shoulder and fall to the floor in a clatter of stone, fabric and flesh. he'd forgotten how small the hut was, and how his huge frame filled most of it. any port in a storm, but that didn't make it a comfortable fit.
"oof! Steve!" Alex cried from the floor. "watch it big guy, its tight in here, i can practically see the back of your eyeballs!"
"...wow.......whatever." she huffed, put off by his abrupt manner. "get a light or something, i think i cut myself on the sword when you bumped me."
he could practically feel her discontent radiating from her in waves. she was used to his gruffness by now, they'd been travelling together for several days after all, but he wasn't usually so...short with her.
and he knew that he'd been alone for a long time, that he hadn't talked to anyone who actually *spoke* in what felt like years. he knew he was being an ass, that she'd be angry if he didn't shape up, but he just....couldn't find his words!
"*shesjustsopretty*" he murmured unconsciously, his habit of talking to himself to drive off madness slipping past his guard. "*evenifsheburneddownthehouse*"
"did you say something?" she asked him, not quite able to hear him despite their close quarters.
"m-m" he mumbled negatively
*dammit Steve, you can use your* words *to talk! stop being such a mess just because she's pretty!* he furiously thought at himself, fumbling for a torch just as much as he fumbled for words to say. *you've been in mineshafts shallower than the hole you're digging by being an ass. you havent even asked about her, or told her that it's okay she burned down the house.... you havent TALKED to her. its no wonder she hates you*
"got one." he said, taking it to his hand and carefully holding it aloft as it blazed into light. "lets see the cut..."
His breath caught as he looked at her. pale skinned, bright haired and green eyed, tough as nails and able to lift just as much as he was, despite being much thinner, she was attractive like no one else he'd ever seen, especially since coming to this weird plane.
her tunic was plastered to her thin body by the rain that had caught them by surprise earlier in the day, it's green fabric highlighting her emerald-like eyes, the gentle swell of her chest and hips clear to see, her toolbelt fastened tight about her midsection. dark pants and boots covered long legs that he couldn't help but think of sliding his hands over....so delicate, so *soft* in a world of roughness and danger....
"Steve!" she half glared at him, flushed at growing impatient. "would you stop staring and get a bandage, i can't reach the cut myself, and i would like to have *one* shirt left thank you very much!"
*soft and fierce!* he thought, watching the flash of her eyes *how did i make such a perfect lady hate me so badly*
"mm." he said instead, getting out the requested medical implement and motioning for her to show him where the injury was. "where?"
"uh...w-well its on my back..." she uncharacteristically stuttered. "h-here. put the torch on the wall, you'll need bo-both hands."
he did as she told him, slamming the base of the torch into the soft dirt of the wall and leaving it to hang. Steve didn't think he needed to use as much force as he did, but he wanted it to stay, and even though he'd discovered the amazing adhesive properties of the torch long ago he didn't want it to drop off and leave them in the dark again.
as he did, Alex turned her back and undid her belt, the wide leather great for carrying things but not letting her hike up her shirt like she needed. once it was out of the way, she lifted the green fabric up her back, just enough that she was sure it was out of the way of the burning line along the back of her ribs.
she hoped the fabric could be easily repaired and cleaned, most of her other clothes having been lost in the fire...
"mm, not too bad."
she flinched as he spoke and felt his thick fingers poking at the cut. his dinner-plate sized hands were rough with callouses, earned from hard work and monster fighting, and she shivered at more than the cold as one of them moved along her back, searching for more injuries and wiping away blood.
this was a *man*, one who had survived who-knew-how-long alone, and one who outweighed her by at least 100 iron ingots. he was *massive*, every dimension almost absurdly filled out with muscle and heavy featured, with a ragged beard she'd seen him shave with *flint* of all things. all in all, Steve had a rugged build perfect for the difficult existence this world had to offer.
moreover, it was *exactly* the kind of body she found extremely attractive...which was a problem considering that he seemed to hate her.
"ouch! careful!" she squeaked as he pulled at her wound just a bit too roughly. "im not as fragile as i look, but i can still feel pain you know!"
"m. sorry. almost done."
*gods! why do i do that? why am i so angry at him! its not like he's done anything but help me, even after his house burned down...well, he probably blames me for that...no wonder he hates me*
she huffed to herself and hugged her knees, suddenly very aware of her body after drifting into her own thoughts. she was aware of the cool air of the shelter on her bare back...his warm breath brushing along her skin...his calloused hands, big enough that he could practically touch his fingers around her waist...the fact that he was *touching* her....she could feel her cheeks flushed and burning, and could only hope that he didn't see.
"mmmh." she groaned, unable to help herself. *dammit*
"are you...okay?" he asked, his voice gravelly from disuse, and deeper than she'd thought. "i don't mean to...hurt you."
"n-no, you're fine...."
and they lapsed back into silence, the longest conversation they'd had since meeting sitting heavy between them.
Steve finished his work quickly, using some wool and string he'd found. he could see the flush in her cheeks as he reached around her body as respectfully as possible and tied the string off, holding the bandages in place. she was so small he barely had to reach! he tied the knot off with a flourish and tugged at it to make sure it stayed.
it did. he was confident in his knot tying skill after failing so often at the start.
without thinking, Steve placed his hand flat on her bare back, enraptured by the smooth softness of her flesh, wanting to feel another person for just a moment longer. he knew that she probably wouldn't like it, but it had been *so long* and he just wanted a few more seconds of genuine ***contact***, so he was willing to risk her wrath.
Alex wasn't sure what to think. she didn't know what he was doing, though she was sure that he was done with the bandaging. she wasn't opposed to Steve touching her, far from it! after all, when he'd reached around her...damn she'd almost lost control of herself and jumped him! but she didn't know *why* he was doing it.
didn't he hate her? resent her? but she liked the feel of his hand, and didn't move to stop him, or say anything. he was so warm, almost burning, and *solid* in the best way...she liked touching Steve, even if he'd be mad that she was thinking of him like that
so they sat, enjoying the feel of another person, waiting for the other to break the spell, both praying it wouldn't happen ant time soon.
a massive explosion rent the night, and shook their dirt hut, sending pebbles and bits of dirt raining down on them, and electric tingle spreading through the soil. it was louder than anything either of them had heard, like a bomb going off right above them.
Alex jumped into motion, grabbing the stone sword and rolling to her feet, ready to meet the challenge of...whatever had happened. she wasn't sure, but she knew she wasn't going down without a fight.
"BRING IT ON! RAHHHHH!" she yelled at the dirt roof, only a few inches above her head. "I'LL TAKE YOU ON!"
Her blood ran cold as the creeper's hissing voice responded to her shouts, coming directly from above her head. she could picture it's long necked, rotten, almost-human looking visage staring back, hissing and charged with lightning, ready to explode at a moment's notice, and far more powerful for the super charging the lightning had brought...
"shit...Steve what do we do?" she whispered. "i don't think it will get us, but i dont know how to get out?"
the sound of a man weeping brought her up short, and she shot a glance at where she thought it was coming from. Steve was laying on the ground, arms over his head, biceps tight to his ears, his blue attire straining against trembling muscles paralyzed in abject fear.
"Steve! what's wrong? are you alright!?" she said, planting the sword in a wall and leaping to his side. "are you hurt? what!?"
"you dont like thunder?" she asked, almost disbelieving. he was so big, how did a little lightning and a creeper reduce him to this?
"when...when i first got here....there was...alone...icant"
"shhhh, shhh, its alright." Alex comforted him, patting him on the back and rubbing circles with her palms, trying to calm the massive man. "you're fine, im here."
it took some time, but eventually she calmed him, taking his head in her lap and rubbing his scalp calmingly, wiping his tears and holding him close. she did her best to not drool over his muscles, focusing on keeping him calm and feeling safe. still, it was difficult, as they were pressed close and she could feel him against her.
finally he looked up at her, his blue eyes still wet, but he smiled and squeezed her shoulder with a huge hand.
"its alright, everyone is afraid of something. ive got you."
"thanks." he paused. "but...i meant about before...i didn't mean to treat you badly...i just didn't remember how to speak...to pretty ladies"
"o-oh! well, uh."
"its okay if you hate me...i would too."
"no! no no no! i dont! i promise.." she hastened to reassure him. "i...was pretty sure you hated me though..."
"no. my house was full of things, but we got out...no harm done."
"are you sure?"
Steve heaved himself upwards, taking care not to crush her, or to totally disentangle himself from Alex. he pressed close to her, wide shoulder pressed to hers, hand holding hers gently, practically taking up the entire floor with his legs.
"yes." he said "i was going to move anyway, to the village we're going to. this just made it happen sooner...and i got to meet you too...so that was probably the best thing that's happened to me."
Alex blushed but leaned closer to his side, feeling his warmth. she ran her hand along his larger one, feeling his hardness, his drive and compassion for her.
"well, that is a good thing! im still sorry, but im really glad you dont...hate me."
"how could i? you're...beautiful...so soft...an actual person. and you're brave!" he gushed, his deep voice aching with his desire for her. "i dont see how anyone could hate you...or how they couldn't like you."
"like me? i mean...uh.."
"no! stop! you're selling yourself short if you think that wasn't a compliment!" she huffed and dropped her head to look at the ground. "seriously, a guy like you tells me that he likes me and then thinks that its a bad thing! geeze."
"a guy like me?"
"you know....big...and kind...gentle and honest and hardworking...likeable..."
she cast a look at him through her lashes, and saw Steve blush and run his hand through his hair. she'd flustered him, but he wasn't saying anything against what she'd implied...maybe he really did like her.
"you know...we could...probably dry our clothes out...with the torch..."
"oh...i think...you're right..."
hesitatingly, Alex moved to her knees, grasping the edge of her tunic and started to draw it upwards yet again. she felt Steve's eyes on her, burning into her like warm beams of sunshine, glued to her body. she didn't mind one bit.
still, she turned he back to lay her tunic down near the torch, and arched her back to show off her legs and rear to the large man behind her. and large he was, judging by the squirming she saw him do, trying to subtly make room in his pants.
Steve had no idea what he'd done, but things had gone from strained, to cool, to scary, then wholesome and finally...sexy? he didn't know how, but he wasn't about to complain as he got to his knees and fumbled with his own shirt.
"well? come on! i know you're quite good at digging holes" she laughed. "mine is nice and ready...."
Steve rumbled a laugh, and reached for the woman in front of him, taking her from the floor easily and turning her to face him, pressing her chest to his own, feeling her warm softness press into him. he smiled as she blushed at the display of casual strength, before taking her chin in his fingers and pulling her up, intent on her ruby lips and the sprinkling of freckles that he just knew he would spend hours kissing...
bwuk? buk buk?
"uh" the both froze, looking down at the corner of the dirt hut.
"is that a fucking chicken? did you build a chicken into our hole!?"
"er...yeah, looks like it..." Steve grumbled. cock blocked! "should we...stop? until we can get it out?"
"mmmm" Alex thought for a second. "nah. after all...cocks in holes is why we're here...."
it was a long night, but a very good one