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Bruce is already hard as he ducks into the room, is already reaching for his zipper as the door slides shut behind him and the lock engages with a hiss, is already imagining the relief of his hand around his dick when he hears a noise -- a quick intake of breath, the quiet rustle of clothes. He's not alone.

Natasha is sitting on the floor across from him, her knees pulled to her chest, and she's staring at his half-open fly with her half-open mouth. Her eyes are huge. She's flushed, a hint of red splashed over her cheeks, down her neck, across the ridge of her bare collarbone. The tip of her tongue drags slowly across her parted lips. Her chest--

"Oh, no," Bruce says, turning for the door even though he knows it's too late. He drops his head to the wall and breathes, slowly, carefully, presses his erection back against his body and eases his zipper up.

He'd assumed he'd be alone. It had seemed a given. Who else would be in the Hulk containment cell? He and Tony had thrown out SHIELD's design and come up with something else, and it's something like comfortable, but only for him -- it's still a cell, after all, cold-poured adamantium and recessed LEDs and no way out, even for the Hulk. He can call up enough of Tony's holographics and VR systems to keep him in books and music and scenic humanity-free vistas for years to come, all without giving him a single thing to actually smash -- but this time, he'd just been looking for a safe place to ride out this drug. With someone else inside, 'safe' is the last thing it is.

"What are you doing here?" he asks, head still against the wall, eyes closed, pulse jumping in his throat. It's not a good idea to look at her again, not when she's staring at him the way someone dying of thirst eyes a distant mirage.

There's a soft rustle of clothing he does his best not to think about, and then she says, "Turns out I'm nearly as difficult to contain as you are." There's the barest trace of amusement in her voice.

"Ah." It comes out on a cough. Perfect. "You too, huh?" He tries to tell himself he's only asking about the drug, simple scientific curiosity, concern for a teammate. He doesn't wonder if she's wet, if she-- no.

"Yup," she says, an easy acknowledgement, and Bruce coughs again. "How long?"

Her voice sounds normal. Calm, even, like it could be something to hang onto, and Bruce risks a glance over his shoulder. She's cross-legged, her expression smooth as glass. Safe enough, he thinks, even if her back is a bit rigid against the wall, her hands a bit tight on her knees.

He turns and slides to the floor, draws an invisible line through the center of the room. His side, her side, only a few feet between them. Even so, he doesn't look at her too long. "The timer on the door is set for twelve hours," he says, though he doesn't think that's what she was asking. "There's no override."

"And the drug? I assume you put a little padding on the time release."

His turn to nod. "It should clear our systems in eight hours, give or take."

"Give or take?" An eyebrow goes up. "Where's your precision, Doctor?"

"Well," he says, shrugging. "We don't either one of us have standard metabolisms. I didn't get the chance to run a full analysis before I realized I... uh, needed to remove myself, and came up here." To be alone, he doesn't say.

Her eyes narrow. "No," she says, after some thought. "No, that's not it. What aren't you telling me?"

"Um." He has no idea how to say this. He rubs at the back of his neck but it -- it feels strange, his hair softer, his skin warmer, his fingertips rougher. He jerks his hand away, rubs at his arm instead, tries to focus. His arm's not much better, and he has to curl his hands into fists. "Please understand I'm just answering your question," he says. "It's not a suggestion, just… just a statement."

She waits, watching him, and when he doesn't continue, says, "Okay, so make your statement."

"I think… I mean, it would be-- it would clear our systems a lot faster if we…" He trails off, embarrassed, and then embarrassed by his own embarrassment.

"Fuck." Natasha finishes the sentence for him. "If we fuck."

Bruce picks a spot on the floor and stares at it. "Yes." He doesn't want to know how she's taking this.

"Hmmm," she says, and he tells himself it's simple curiosity in her voice when she asks, "Can you?"

Bruce closes his eyes and nods, tonguing at his lip as his mouth twists. It could almost be a smile. "I can." He thinks he can, anyway. He hasn't really tried having sex with anyone since Betty, and although he's mostly got it under control these days, the circumstances have never aligned. Anyone he's been interested in experimenting with has, almost by definition, not been someone he's been willing to risk experimenting with. "I just... don't."

Natasha, thankfully, doesn't ask him about any of that. Instead, she asks, "Would masturbation work?"

"I don't know," he says. He doesn't think so, but he'd been about to try it anyway when he'd realized she was in the room with him, and now -- well, Bruce has never been an exhibitionist, and the thought of Natasha masturbating only a few feet away, even with his back turned and his eyes closed, the thought of her orgasm, of the noises she might make -- "It's probably not a good idea," he manages to say.

"Hmmm," she says, as if she knows what he'd been thinking. "So, sex. You want to?"

His head jerks up and he stares at her, not sure he'd heard correctly. "What? I-- are you kidding?" He can't tell. Her voice was flat when she'd said it and her expression is more so.

"Do you want to?" she repeats.

Yes, he thinks, please, and then immediately no, and says, "Are you out of your mind?" He wonders if he can get any farther away from her than he already is. He tries it, presses his back into the wall.

"You could just say no," she says, her voice bland. "My ego can handle it."

"Natasha, I can't."

"You just said you could."

"Under normal circumstances!" There's more of an edge in his voice than there should be, and he sees Natasha react to it, sees her hands very deliberately loosen, one finger at a time. "It's not that-- I mean, you're very-- I just--." He sighs and looks at his feet, and starts taking his shoes off to give his hands something to do. They're soft suede, and they must be thinner than he remembers because he can feel his fingers stroking up and down the side of his foot, just along the arch, warmth starting to spread up his legs.


"What?" He looks up to see Natasha watching him fondling his own shoes, and he manages to yank them off and toss them a few feet away. "Right," he says. "Sex." He does want it, he wants her, and he's pretty sure he'd want her even if he weren't under the influence of some sex drug. But he can't imagine that she'd want him, and the drug makes him worry that he wants it too much, that he wants it like he sometimes wants to let go of the Hulk, that it's only going to get worse. "It's not a good idea," he says, again. Nothing is a good idea. He's afraid he wouldn't be able to stop, which is a thought too horrible to vocalize, unless-- "Unless," he says. "I-- I mean. I wouldn't-- do you want to?"

Her eyebrows go up and she tilts her head and looks at him, really looks, a frank assessment she doesn't even try to hide. It makes him an uncomfortable mixture of self-conscious, terrified, and turned on. It gets worse when she shows him even more, when she looks at his lips and licks her own, when she looks at his neck and her hand twitches, when she looks at his hands and shifts against the wall, her teeth white in her bottom lip. It makes him want to close his eyes and never be looked at again. It's unbearable, but he bears it anyway, or he does until her eyes make it to his crotch and his dick twitches under her gaze, somehow getting even harder as she watches, her breath picking up speed, her tongue flicking--.

"Natasha," he gasps, closing his eyes, dropping his head back hard and grinding it into the wall until it hurts. His clothes are too hot, too tight, too much like what happens when he changes, and he curls his hands against the floor and thinks he can feel the pressure on each individual whorl of his fingerprints.

"You're right," she says a few long seconds later, her voice flat. "It's not a good idea."

And he can't help feeling that he's sinking, a stab of disappointment twisting through his guts. No, of course she doesn't want to. She'd sized him up and found him wanting, even like this, even with a drug coursing through her body that should make him, or anyone -- and he can't even finish that thought, it's so fucked up, he can't even consider--

"Hey," she snaps. Her voice is sharp enough that it startles him into opening his eyes. "Whatever's going on in your head," she says, "you need to stop. You cannot change in here, with me, like this."

She's right. Jesus, she's right. Bruce closes his eyes, gathers up the guilt and swallows it down with a nice anger chaser. "Yeah. Yeah. Sorry."

"And I didn't say I didn't want to," she says, and the shame of her knowledge almost chokes him. He's glad his eyes are closed. "I said it's not a good idea, which is the same thing you said."

He nods, miserable.

She moves on. "Will it hurt us?"

"I don't think so," he says, grateful for something else to latch onto. "The biggest danger is we hurt ourselves."

She's quiet long enough that he opens his eyes, risks another glance. When she sees him looking, her smile is grim. "Okay, then," she says. "What's seven hours and 45 minutes? It'll be fun."

"Fun," he repeats, huffing. "Not usually a word that's applicable to my failed attempts at self-control."

She shrugs, and her smile shifts from grim to challenging, with a hint of promise so slight he thinks he's imagining it. "First time for everything, Banner."


"So," she says, her bare arms wrapped around herself. Her skin looks very smooth. "Do you like sports?"

"Sports?" He blinks in surprise. "Um, sort of. I don't really talk about it much."

She nods, something frustrated in her gaze. He supposes they should both get used to being frustrated. He stares at the floor and thinks about calling up a book to read. He doesn't think he should really be looking at her. She's just wearing a t-shirt, low-cut and tight-fitting, and it's fine, it's just a lot of skin, a lot of smooth, tantalizing skin he wants to taste and smell and touch and Bruce has a brief moment of wondering if he can get away with offering her his jacket, some way to cover up, and he has rarely felt more like an asshole. It's a fucking t-shirt. It's fine.

"Are you registered to vote?" she asks, startling him out of it.

"...what? No, not anymore. Why?"

"Local school board election coming up," she says, dripping sarcasm. "Should be a doozy."

"What?" he asks again, looking up. He has no idea what she's talking about; maybe there'll be some clue on her face. But no, there's nothing, and looking is the opposite of helpful. Her pupils are blown, and she's slowly dragging her teeth over her bottom lip, an unhurried rhythmic pull-and-release that goes straight to his cock. She's staring at the open collar of his shirt. "I--" He swallows, and her eyes darken, watching the movement of his throat. "Should I-- button my shirt?"

"Yes," she says. Her voice, at least, sounds the way it always does. "Please."

It's stupid to be flattered, he knows, it's just the drug, it's nothing about him. But he can't help it, and his hands stutter on the buttons as he tries to hide his skin. She stares the whole time, her gaze hot. "This top one--" He won't be able to breathe if he buttons the top one, and he's having enough trouble with that as it is.

"Don't worry about that one," she says. "It was just the--"

Bruce knows he shouldn't ask, but his mouth moves without permission, and he starts making plans to blame the drug for all this stupidity and candor. "The?"

She raises an eyebrow. "The line of your chest hair."

"Ah." His voice is faint.

"I was wondering how it would feel against my skin," she continues, and Bruce's brain sputters into silence. "How soft it is. And I've seen you, I know there's enough to run my fingers through, to grab." She holds her hands up in front of her and stares at them, her fingers twitching in his direction. "I was wondering if you'd like that." Yes, he thinks, god, yes, and he can almost feel it, her hands on his chest, nails searing lines into his skin, and he twists against the wall, trying to relieve the pressure building in his balls. Natasha puts her hands down and curls her fingers against the floor. "I was wondering how hard I could pull, how much you could take before--"

Bruce throws his head back against the wall with a groan at the same second she cuts off her monologue.

"So," she grits out, a few seconds later. "Sports?"

"Sports! Yes," he says, desperate, finally catching on, annoyed it took him so long. "Right. I, uh. I can kind of talk about sports." He pauses and takes a deep breath. "But first can I-- can I give you my jacket?"

She gives him a long look, and Bruce wonders what she expects him to say, whether he's supposed to reciprocate and tell her why he wants her to wear it, if he's really supposed to look her in the eye and say there's a thin scar right below the ridge of your left collarbone and I want to lick it, I want to feel the texture of your skin change under my tongue, I want to lick the salt from every hollow of your body and--

"Please," is what he says instead.

Natasha glances down at the bare expanse of skin her t-shirt doesn't cover, and her mouth twists oddly as she nods. Bruce tries not to read into it as he quickly pulls his suit coat off and tosses it to her. He feels better, so much better, so much cooler with more air on his skin. He's still wearing too many clothes, though, his undershirt plastered to his body with thin lines of sweat down his back, under his arms, across his chest. He feels guilty for subjecting Natasha to more heat just because he can't control himself, but then again, it's only fair, two layers for both of them. And she doesn't seem to mind, catches his jacket against her face and holds it there too long -- smelling it, probably, which is what he'd be doing if she'd given him her clothes, and he has to look away again, his body gone rigid with the idea of her scent all over him, of how it might get there, of--

"Baseball," he says, forcing the word out through the fog. "I like baseball, kind of."

"Kind of?" she asks.

There's a rustle of clothing, and when Bruce opens his eyes, she's wrapped in his jacket -- drowning in it, really, the shoulders drooping to mid-bicep, the sleeves rolled up to her wrists. It's unexpectedly endearing, and it's something else, too, something that tugs at the primal piece of him that likes seeing her in his clothes. Bruce ruthlessly shoves it down as far as it'll go and says, "It's the math, really," trying to focus on baseball. "I don't root for laundry." He exaggerates his disdain, says laundry like it's dirty.

"Ohhhh," she says, "you're that guy." Bruce tenses, but her smile is affectionate. "Please tell me you have a fantasy team."

"I have three," he says, grinning hesitantly.

"And they do very well." It's not a question, but Bruce nods anyway. Natasha's smile is growing, and Bruce is relaxing into it, the some of the pounding lust receding to the back of his brain. "And you can never, ever talk about it with Steve," she says.

Bruce sighs. "No, he gets upset about team loyalty and wants to talk about batting averages like they matter."

"Okay," she says, her smile widening. "Okay, math guy. Tell me what's better than batting averages."


Bruce is halfway through outlining his draft strategy, Natasha sprawled on her side opposite him, one knee cocked up, her head propped on her fist. Her hair keeps falling in her face and Bruce has to talk to the floor or he gets distracted by the curve of her thighs, the swell of her hips, the contour of her breasts, the bow of her mouth. The room just keeps getting hotter and Bruce is starting to itch, as if he can feel the weight of his clothes on each individual hair of his body. He thinks Natasha is feeling it, too, judging from the darkening flush of her skin and the way her eyelids flutter when she shifts against the wall. She's fiddling constantly with his jacket, the fingers of her free hand rubbing absently at the buttons, adjusting the way it drapes over her chest, showing him skin and then hiding it.


"Sorry," he says, tearing his eyes away. Again. "So where... okay, so then I calculate what I call a z-score for each player, which-- I mean, it depends on position depth, I guess, but it's based on--"


He trails off and tries a smile, a sideways glance in her direction. "Too boring even for this, huh?" He feels faintly disappointed, and then less faintly absurd.

Her lips twist. "Do you have any other hobbies?"

"Not unless you count hiding from the military." That gets half a smile out of her, and Bruce offers, "I could talk about science, I guess, I've been working on--"

"No," she says, quickly, the smile disappearing.

"You don't like science?" he asks. The disappointment is less faint, this time, and his voice comes out sharper than he'd intended.

Natasha pinches the bridge of her nose. "That isn't really the problem," she says.

"I... okay, so what's the problem?" There aren't a lot of other options.

In answer, she arches an eyebrow and stares at him in silence, and Bruce feels awkward enough to fill it by blurting out, "Does it take a lot of practice to raise just one like that?"

She raises the other and then switches, her eyebrows dancing on her forehead while the rest of her face stays still. It's like they're not even attached, and when she's not trying to express anything in particular, it's more than a little disconcerting. Bruce tries to mimic what she's doing, but there's absolutely no way, and he gives up when she starts laughing at him. "I'll keep working on it," he promises, some of the tension eased, but then Natasha sits up and turns, rests her head against the wall. Bruce's smile fades as he watches the rhythmic rise and fall of her shoulders, the smooth curve of her spine under his jacket. "Nat?"

"I need a minute."

"Yeah, sorry."

Suddenly she says, "The problem is I like a man with a brain."

"Oh," he says. He starts to smile in spite of himself, but gets it under control and turns to face the wall, like she's doing. "I'm turning around, too," he tells her, resting his forehead against the cool surface of the wall, annoyed he hadn't thought to do it sooner. It helps, a little, takes his temperature down, gives him something to look at that isn't her. "It's a good idea."

"Lights," she says, and when the room plunges into darkness, it's one more thing Bruce is annoyed with himself for not thinking of. He stretches out on his back and laces his hands on his stomach. He hears Natasha move, too, and tries not to think about what she's doing. He wonders if he can unbutton his shirt now, and as soon as he thinks about it, he's doing it, his fingers fat and clumsy on the buttons before he gives up and just yanks it open and sucks in several deep breaths as the pressure eases off his throat and some of his body heat dissipates.

"Is there a truth serum component to this drug?" she asks, after he's been still for a few seconds. "I'm not sure how much I wanted to say that."

"Ummm... sort of," he says, both surprised and regretful. He doesn't want to know things she doesn't want him to, but if he were to make a list of things he thought Natasha might find attractive, 'brains' would have been the first thing he wrote down. "It's similar to alcohol, lowers your inhibitions, but it ramps up your physical responses so much that it... it just makes it hard to keep a lid on things with your focus split."

"You seem to be doing all right."

"I have some practice at this," he says, although he's not sure how he's managed to convince her he's doing all right. He's asked her things he didn't want to know. He's said things he shouldn't. His erection still tents his trousers, a constant aching pressure it's getting more difficult to ignore. He's doing it, but barely, and now he's stripping off his shirt and tossing it aside because it's too hot and too small and he wants to feel air on the bare skin of his arms.

"At being drugged and asked a lot of questions?" Her voice is dry.

"Not as such," he says. "But feeling spectacularly out of control while carrying on a somewhat normal conversation, that I can do."

"That you can." A brief pause. "I can do the other thing."

"Yeah," he says. "I did catch that. Should I... stop asking you questions?"

He hears her laugh softly, a quiet puff of air that makes him wonder what he might smell on her breath, how it would feel ghosting across the surface of his skin. "I think I can resist your interrogation techniques, Doctor."

"No doubt," he says, "but you shouldn't have to resist anything. I don't want... this isn't..." He breaks off, frustrated.

"Easy," she says. "I was kidding. It's fine, ask whatever you want." Bruce can hear the wry smile in her voice. "I think we should try to keep talking if we can."

Ask whatever you want, she'd said, and so Bruce opens his mouth and asks the first question that comes to mind: "How good is your hearing?"

She laughs again, and Bruce is glad the lights are off and she can't see him blush. "If you try jerking off and I hear you, I'll let you know." She's still smiling, he can tell.

"I didn't mean--" But he can't get the sentence out. "Okay, yeah, that's what I meant." He realizes her laughter, quiet though it was, would have been a perfect cover for getting his zipper down, although he's suddenly not sure what he would have done after that. Is the point to hide it from her, or not to do it at all? As impossible as the second feels, it seems easier than the first.

"You can, you know," she says. "If you want to."

"No," he says, although he's not sure he's wanted anything this badly in a long time. At this point, just moving would probably be enough to make him come. His plan to ignore his erection in hopes it would go away is not working out. Even so, "I'm fine," he says. He doesn't sound fine, and he doesn't imagine he's convinced her that he is, but if she's determined to sit there and grit it out, he's doing the same. It can't be any easier for her, but she's sitting over there blazing so brightly with control that he can almost see her in the dark, and Bruce has had to lock away worse things than lust.

They fall back into silence. It's not comfortable, exactly, but it's not awkward, either. She'd said they should keep talking, and Bruce is about to say something when he hears her move. There's noise, like she's shifting against the floor, like she's taking off his jacket, like she's crossing her legs. Her breath hitches, almost a moan. Bruce turns his head away and screws his eyes shut, but it doesn't help; his oversensitive dick is leaking against his abdomen, and somehow, the pressure from his pants is increasing, like gravity picked up when he laid down. Even his skin feels heavy. He stretches and aches and imagines Natasha doing the same, her body hot and flushed, her sex swollen and dripping between her spread legs.

He feels his own breath catch at that image, hears it hiss through his teeth as he pictures his hand spanning the creamy skin of her inner thigh, blunt fingers dimpling her flesh. She's killed men with those thighs, he knows, he's seen it, but it only makes him harder, only makes him want to feel them clenched around his hips and bruising or better yet, clamped hard around his head as he eats her out. Would she pull his hair, would she leave marks on his shoulders, does she like a hint of teeth? Would she let him do it if he asked nicely, he wonders, would she say yes if he begged her to let him go to his knees so she could ride out this drug on his face? It'd be hard to breathe, he'd be deaf and drowning, but it'd be worth it for the blissful, obliterating assurance of purpose, of existing only to give her what she wants. He wouldn't even need anything for himself; he'd come untouched in his pants like a teenager the second he flattened his tongue against her clit, he'd come like he's about to do now, his balls drawing up against his body.

"Dammit," he gasps out, curling on his side around his erection, twisting his legs to try to cut it off. He unleashes the voice in his head, that constant sneering refrain of stupid and pathetic and not good enough and don't deserve anything and disgusting and worthless but he has to cut that off, too, before he gets angry. At least it worked, though, at least the heat coursing through his body has changed to shame that he'd use her for his jerk-off fantasies when she's a few feet away and can't do anything about it, when she's said flat-out she doesn't want him, when she -- "Lights, dammit," he says. "Lights."

They flick back on and his eyes go straight to Natasha, rigid and radiant, on her back with her knees bent and her spine arched and her face tucked into his jacket, her hand fisted in the lapel pulled over her nose. She's also frozen, and Bruce knows he should look away, should give her this moment, but he can't turn his head, and not even the snarl in the back of his mind calling him pathetic can get him to close his eyes. He watches, rapt, as she slowly relaxes, visibly forcing herself back under control, the effort it costs her obvious in the sheen of sweat on her forehead, in the jittery rattle of her breath.

"Sorry," he whispers, ashamed and reverent, but still he can't tear his eyes away. She's exquisite.

When she can sit up, she does it, her eyes on his as she pulls his jacket closed, and when she tilts her head and says, "Tell me," it's not a suggestion.

Bruce does look away, then, sitting up and trying to curl against the wall. He knows what she's saying but he can't do it, not like this, he can't sit here under these too-bright clinical lights and look her in the eye and say let me lose myself in you. He says, instead, "Tell you what?"

In answer, Natasha ducks her head and looks at him through her eyelashes, the look piercing enough that Bruce blurts out the most obvious thing he can think of: "You. I was thinking about you."

"What was I doing?"

He swallows, and again reaches for the obvious. "You were-- fellating me."

She smiles, then, slow and wide and too many teeth, one corner of her mouth lifting at a time. "Was I," she says, not really a question. "And how was it?"

"Um. Good?"

When Bruce doesn't elaborate, she asks, "Is this your idea of dirty talk?"

"No." Bruce is close to panic. "Are we-- am I-- is that what we're doing?" He's not sure anymore. He just knows he's hard and sweating and she's asking about his fantasies and he's lying and she's not buying it for a second and her smile is, quite possibly, the most terrifying thing he's ever seen.

"Mmmm," she says, her eyes falling to his crotch. His dick twitches obligingly, and her lips quirk. "Why not? Not talking about it obviously wasn't working. Situations like this... alone in the dark, listening... our imaginations getting the better of us..." Her voice is changing as she speaks, deepening from its normal tones into a low throaty purr that hits him in the base of the spine and spreads, weaving its way around muscle and bone. "I don't know about you," she murmurs, and he feels it on every inch of skin. "But I have a very. good. imagination."

He has no doubt of that, and no doubt she could simply talk him to orgasm if she wanted to, her voice a sultry insinuation that sinks into his pores, exposes his nerve endings. "I don't," he says, but it's all too easy to imagine her circling him, predatory, a single finger on his chest as he trembles, her lips a whisper on the shell of his ear. He shudders, tries to focus. "I'm pretty boring, really, since I can't... too much excitement..." He sighs, feeling ridiculous, and gives up, lets go his embarrassment. They're already well out of his comfort zone, and Natasha doesn't seem to have one. He shoves his hands through his hair. "Look, I can't really do dirty talk. It's not an embarrassment thing, usually, in the moment I'm-- well, it doesn't matter, this doesn't qualify as a moment. I just don't have the facility for it. I'm too clinical or something, I don't know."

She tilts her head, considering. "Some people like clinical."

"Yeah, I'm sure," he mutters, and pitches his voice as low as it gets, adds some grit. "That's it, baby, tongue my meatus."

She blinks at him and then bursts out laughing, a bright sound that takes him totally by surprise. He's heard her laugh before, but not like this, not long and loud and from her belly. Her shoulders are shaking as she closes her eyes and covers her mouth with her hand, and it goes on long enough that Bruce starts laughing, too. "Okay," she says, holding up her hands and smiling, a genuine-looking smile that crinkles her eyes and dimples her chin. "Okay, you win this round, Banner."

Bruce ducks his head and smiles back, some of that knife-edge tension gone, and then he takes a chance. "If that's all it takes, Romanoff, there's plenty more where that came from." Natasha laughs again, and a different kind of desire settles somewhere deep. He likes the sound of her laughter, wants to hear more of it.

"I am almost tempted to ask what could be worse than 'meatus,' but… No. Never mind." She trails off, shaking her head. "The voice wasn't bad, though."

"The voice?"

"You did a thing with your voice." She pauses. "It was pretty good."

Her mouth tilts, a little self-deprecating, a little nonchalant, but there's a splash of red over her cheekbones and Bruce can't help himself. He drops his voice and says, "Your face is red."

She raises an eyebrow. "So's yours."

He nods and deepens his voice even more, sends it as low as he can, and then he lets go of the Hulk just enough to round out the bass tones. "Vasodilation of the skin." It feels good even to him, a scrape in his throat, a rumble in his chest, a ringing in his ears.

Natasha tips her head back, both her eyebrows up now, and he'd almost think he'd managed to surprise her if not for the wicked gleam in her darkening eyes. "All right," she says, around a sudden grin. She holds out a hand, palm up, and gestures for more. "Game on."

Bruce is in trouble and he knows it, but the thought feels distant, something he can barely see through the haze that's been encroaching on his brain. He's starting to feel light-headed, too much blood too far south for too long, maybe, or the suffocating heat of the room finally getting to him. He's nearly sweat through his undershirt, can feel its warm wet fabric plastered to his torso.

Still. "Increased blood flow," he tells her, his voice low. "Causes pink or reddish splotching and is a sign of sexual arousal. It typically starts with the epigastrium."

Natasha's hand disappears into his jacket. "Here?" she asks, the coat moving as she rubs her hand across her body. "Under my breasts."

Bruce nods. "And then up," he says, and her hand moves. His voice is gravelly without even trying and he stares, transfixed, as she opens his jacket and trails a single finger up her sternum and over the skin bared by her low-cut shirt, following his voice as he names parts of her body. The sides and undersides of her breasts, her chest, her neck, her cheekbones, all of it stained red. He says "hands" and she blinks slowly, holds them up so he can see them shake.

He expects her to tell him to stop, after that. It's not just her hands that are shaking, and there's sweat at her hairline, and her eyes are glazed and her nostrils are flaring. But she still has half a smile on her face when she asks, "You can't just say 'hot and bothered?'" Which she is, he guesses, because she strips off his jacket and tosses it aside. "Then what?" Her voice is lower, too, a throbbing hum that curls his toes.

"Tachycardia," he says, skipping some steps, and Natasha puts two fingers on her carotid. "Myotonia. Tachypnea." He watches the too-rapid pitch and roll of her chest, the jumping pulse at her throat.

"Rapid breathing," she says, more of a gasp, "like I'm panting for it, like I want it so much I can't breathe, need it like air, I'd rather have--"

"Dysphagia," he chokes out, interrupting the stream of dirty talk like it matters, like she's not going to swallow her words and wrap a hand around the slender column of her throat.

"And gagging for it," she says, her fingers pressing and dragging and leaving white trails down the flushed red skin of her neck. "You think I'm having trouble swallowing now, wait, just wait and I'll be choking on--"

"Engorgement of breast tissue," he says, desperate, and she doesn't even stop to think before she changes course, she's using both hands now, her breasts spilling out of her palms as she lifts and kneads and Bruce wants it to be his hands on her, wants to feel the heft himself, the softness that contrasts with everything he knows, and "god," she says, "they ache, they're so tight, and--"

He gets as far as "manual stimulation" before her thumbs flick over her nipples and she sucks in her breath with a hiss and says, "fuck, that's good, that's so good, but it's better when it's someone else touching, twisting, pulling"--and she does it, not gently, arching into her own hands as she works her nipples over--"or maybe your mouth, Bruce, you want to put your mouth on me," and he burns with how badly he wants it but he bites down hard on himself instead, the inside of his cheek, and somehow he manages to sit there, unmoving, trying to breathe his way through the obscenities spilling from her mouth, Bruce, fuck, your lips and your tongue and your teeth, biting and sucking and--

"The genitals," he says, when he can't listen to it anymore, "increased blood flow to the genitals," and he barely recognizes the sound of his own voice but Natasha doesn't hesitate, just slides a hand down her stomach and into her jeans, and Bruce doesn't know how she's doing it, because if he did the same thing he'd be done, he'd spill inside his pants with the barest hint of pressure. "Causing plasma to sweat through the vaginal walls, and secretions from the Bartholin glands to lubricate--."

"Just wet," she grinds out through her teeth, knees bent and legs spread and hand moving, her head thrown back. "Fucking dripping wet and ready, it's all over my thighs, soaked through my underwear and into my jeans, surprised you can't see it from there"--but he can, if he looks, the denim dark over the movement of her hand--"I'm so wet, say it, say 'wet,' say--"

"Wet," Bruce says, and his mouth is dry but his dick isn't, it's dripping just like she is and he thinks there's a growing stain on the front of his pants, but checking would mean taking his eyes off Natasha, and he can't, he won't, he doesn't even want to try. "And contraction of the pubococcygeus muscle--"

"Tight." She gasps, her back arching, her wrist bending as she rides her own hand, and she's barely coherent when she starts in again, or maybe Bruce can't understand her through his own hazy brain. "God, that's tight, even just two fingers is so fucking good, glad I'm so wet it'd be easy to take more, I want more, I want--"

Bruce doesn't know what he wants, if it's to taste her or to smell her or to feel her but he's too close to think about it without plunging over the edge and he doesn't know what would happen then, if it would be better or worse and he can't, he can't do it, he can't risk it, he can't want it. She hasn't come either, not that he can tell; he hasn't said anything about her clit and he doesn't think she'll touch it unless he manages to force the word out of his mouth, and he--

"Stop," he says, "stop, please, it's too much, I--"

And somehow, she does, she goes still and walks herself back from the brink, and in the end it's her control that turns him on more than the lack of it, that ignites the fire he's somehow managed to keep banked. She closes her eyes and slows her breathing, relaxes her body one muscle at a time, and Bruce finally has to turn away with a guttural groan he doesn't recognize, his body convulsing as he curls in on himself and tries to force back the tide.

He's not sure how long he lays there, utterly still and focused on his breathing and thinking about math, waiting for his orgasm to withdraw back inside his body. It does, eventually, and he's still hard and aching but he's almost used to that by now, is pretty sure he can ignore it when it's not an urgent pounding thing, beating at the last vestiges of his self-control.

Natasha starts laughing, a weak sound with a slight edge of hysteria to it, and Bruce pries his eyes open. She looks wrecked, her lips swollen from where she'd been biting them, damp hair plastered to her forehead, sweat glistening on every inch of her skin he can see. Her laughter slowly dies off, but she's still smiling at him, a small tilt of her mouth that feels gentle somehow, no hint of embarrassment in it.

"You're enjoying this." He feels dizzy.

"Mmmm," she says, curling against the wall with a slight shudder, her smile shifting to contented. "You're not?"

"I... have no idea," he says, finally.

She thinks about that. "Is there some reason we shouldn't?"

There are several hundred reasons they shouldn't but when Bruce tries to list them, he can't. He's angry he was dosed with something, he's scared of what might happen if he loses control, he's upset that Natasha's there with him and doesn't want to be. But mostly, he just feels good, stoned on pleasure, on the low frissons just under his skin that aren't going away any time soon, and it forces everything else to the background, remote and subsumed into the need to stay exactly where he is.

"No," he says. "I guess there isn't."


After that, they more or less stop pretending they're not trying to get under one another's skin. Bruce isn't under any illusions, though: He knows she's going easy on him. They try talking more about baseball but Natasha stops him almost immediately, her eyes dark and her jaw clenched. He doesn't think she has a math fetish, but he knows she likes what he can do with his voice and he uses it against her. He likes it, even, likes the heady rush of power he gets from watching her come apart while he talks, and he likes it even more when she stops him, puts herself back together, turns the tables.

Natasha retaliates by exercising, trying to work off some of the surplus energy humming through her body. Bruce doesn't think it's fair, since he can't do it; he might as well be tied down. The head of his oversensitive cock rubs painfully against his pants every time he shifts, and the pain isn't worth it if it won't lead to orgasm. All he can do is dig his fingers into his skin and watch as Natasha moves through the room. He's mesmerized by the stretch and flex of her muscles, the planes and curves of her body, the grace and economy of motion. He starts talking again, describes what he's seeing in a rasping voice that doesn't sound like his, and she gets close enough that he can smell her, sweat and shampoo and arousal, and Bruce cries uncle. When she sits down, she's smirking, and Bruce growls, and Natasha sucks in her breath and laughs, and maybe Bruce is so high on some sex drug he can't see straight, but he's had worse days.

Every time they do it, it's better, it's closer, it's more intense, until finally it's like he never walks away from it, and he can't tell if it's the drug or if it's the frustration or if it's Natasha, and all he can do is lie on the floor and tremble with need, his clothes a wet and smothering weight, his nerves gone supernova. He thinks Natasha's in the same predicament, but he can't be sure. He can't really see anything when he tries to look around, the room spinning in a vaguely psychedelic haze, fuzzy and too bright and strangely colored. He's light-headed and dizzy and he can't hear anything over the persistent pounding of blood through his ears, although he knows Natasha's still talking, somehow, a steady stream of filth pouring from her mouth that he's sure would drag him over the edge if he could grab her words and hold them tight.

In the end, he can't hold on anymore, not to any of it, and he's feeling so much so intensely that the only choice left is to close his eyes and go away, retreat into the small dark place inside himself where he can't feel anything at all.


It's pain that brings him back.

It's a bright pain, small and sharp, not overwhelming, not overpowering, not threatening. It's hardly pain at all, in fact, and Bruce growls until it recedes. He chases it back to himself and his body and finds Natasha, curled around his back, one hand hard on his crossed wrists and the other fisted in his hair, a leg thrown over his hips, her teeth gentling on the muscle of his shoulder, her forehead pressed to the damp skin of the nape of his neck.

No, he thinks with sudden panic, thrashing, she can't be near him like this, he can't control it if she's on him, she-- "No, get away from me, I can't--"

"You can," she says, insistent, twisting and pinning him harder to the floor, face-down, and somehow she knows, somehow it's exactly right, it's enough to ground him but not so much it scares him. He tries to listen as she keeps talking, pouring words over his skin, her breath hot and her body shaking. "You can, Bruce, it's over, just breathe, it's all right, breathe, come back to me."

"I--" He's about to say he can't, but he realizes he can, realizes that he can think clearly, he can breathe, his bones don't hurt, his skin doesn't feel like the surface of the sun, he's not going to change. "Oh," he says, and relaxes, slowly, slowly, focuses on the strength of her grip and the weight of her body, the cadence of her breath, the sound of her voice. "I, uh--" He coughs, clears his throat. "Okay. I'm here."

"Good," she murmurs, but her grip on his wrists doesn't loosen, and when she moves it's only to press herself closer, a slow insinuating slide that leaves him gasping, suddenly too aware of her breasts against his back, her lips against his skin. He's hard again, if he ever even stopped being hard, he's instantly and painfully hard, and he bends his back into her body with a groan before he can stop himself.

"Are you still...?" And god help him, if she says yes he's fine with it, if this is what she needs he'll give it to her, he'll let her use him however she wants and he'll thank her for the privilege. He's spent too many hours wanting her and fighting it, and he just can't do it anymore. He's not sure he'll ever be able to do it again.

"No," she says, and his stomach twists with disappointment, and he disgusts himself, but her lips are still on him when she says, "I'm fine. It wore off for me a while ago."

"Oh. Then what--? You don't seem like it's worn off." She sounds like she had at the end, her voice more a purr than anything, a low-pitched vibration he'd felt in his bones even as he couldn't make out her words.

"Horny's horny," she says against the shell of his ear, "and you have something I want." She moves again, somehow gets her hand flat against his stomach, slides it slowly through the sweat-matted trail of his body hair. Her fingers dip into the waistband of his pants and then stop. "Say yes."

"You're sure you're not--" He breaks off, his breath whistling through his teeth as her nails dig into the soft skin of his belly. He tries to roll, manages maybe a quarter of a turn.

"I'm fine," she says. Her hair's in his face. "Are you?"

"Yes," he says, "yes," and "for god's sake, yes, please, just-- yes."

"Good," she says, a low laugh in his ear. "Because you owe me one."

He's about to say something, he's about to ask her what she's talking about, but her hand closes on his dick and her mouth closes on his and language deserts him entirely. It's been so long. He remembers what it was like, being touched, being kissed, but it had never been like this.

Bruce tries to keep up, tries to get his hands on her skin and his tongue in her mouth, tries to test some of his theories about her texture and her taste, but she smiles against his lips and says into his mouth, "stand up." He laughs because he doesn't think his legs will hold him, but she says it again and he does it, staggers to his feet and leans against the wall, gulping in air, so turned on he forgets to feel self-conscious about his pants around his ankles.

He's not sure what he expects her to do next, but she stays on the floor, on her knees in front of him. She shuffles closer, eyes on his cock, and wraps a loose hand around the base and smears the leaking head across her lips, paints her mouth with moisture. "Is this what you had in mind?"

Bruce bites down on his cheek and tries to clear his head, but her hand on his dick isn't helping, small and rough and loose, the pattern erratic. "What?"

"Before," she says, close enough that her lips touch the sensitive head of his cock when she moves them. "I asked what you were thinking about." She strokes him once, waits, licks a broad stripe up the underside of his dick that makes him shudder, makes him wonder, makes him want more. "You said it was me, sucking you," and she does, sucks the tip into her burning mouth.

"That was a hundred years ago," he says, resisting the urge to beat his head against the wall just to stay anchored. "And I said 'fellating.'"

She hums around him, starts sucking with a slow and gentle rhythm, still only the tip in her mouth while her hand moves in counterpoint. Bruce groans, presses his hips against the wall to keep himself from thrusting. She notices and pulls off, lets his cock spring up before she grabs it again and lays a line of open-mouthed kisses down the underside. "Tell me the rest," she says, her lips against the top of his balls and moving down, her hand stroking. It's gentle, light, arrhythmic. He'll never come like this. "Was I on my knees?"

"I-- no," he says. "No, it wasn't--"

"No?" Her grip tightens so much it's almost painful, and Bruce's hips jut forward helplessly, trying to get more friction, more feeling as he presses into the tight ring of her wet fingers. "That's it," she says, looking up at him through her hair, her lips impossibly pink against the dark skin of his cockhead. "Feed it to me, make me choke on it," and then she is, she's stretching her mouth around him and taking him in, and in, and in, and all he can do is bury his hands in the mess of her hair and hang on, his head thrown back as his body jerks and he tries not to come straight down her throat with no preamble.

Bruce doesn't know how long they stay that way. He's trying not to move but can't help it, his hips jerking infinitesimally every time her throat convulses around him as she fights back the gag reflex and swallows around him. He's not going to come like this but he's not going to last, either, not judging by the sparks on his skin and the way his vision blurs every time she flattens her tongue against him. He pries his eyes open and looks down, sees tears leaking from her eyes, her mouth glistening with spit and precome, stretched wide around his cock, her nose buried in his pubic hair. It's obscene, and it's gorgeous, and he gropes for her hair and shakes his head. "No," he says, but even so, it takes him a second to gather up enough willpower to start pushing her away. "This wasn't-- I wouldn't-- it's not what I was thinking about."

He pushes a little more and his cock slides out of her mouth with a wet pop, and he swallows his whine as she drops her forehead to the crease of his hip to catch her breath. Her shoulders heave. Bruce reaches down and runs his thumb over the tears on her face, tilts her chin up so he can wipe her mouth, runs his fingers over the muscles of her jaw. "I'm sorry," he says. "I'm so-- I shouldn't have lied."

She takes another few breaths and then sits back on her heels. "So what was it?" Her voice sounds shredded, and shame spikes through his gut. He should have stopped her sooner. He pulls his pants back up.

"I... can I show you?"

Her eyes glint, and Bruce gets the impression she knew exactly what he'd been thinking, that this was what she'd wanted all along, but she just nods, and Bruce is on his knees and kissing her before the nod is over. He tries to go slow, leaves his hands on the sides of her face as he licks into her mouth, their tongues in a lazy tangle until there's no taste of himself left, until it's all just her. When she pushes closer, he leans away to tug her shirt slowly up and over her head, gliding the pads of his thumbs and the backs of his fingers over every inch of her skin as he bares it. He keeps kissing her, his fingers at the clasp of her bra, and he breathes relief into her mouth when he finally spreads his hands over the bare silk of her skin. She's smoother than he thought and somehow not as warm, and everything is better than he'd imagined: the weight of her breasts and the spaces between her ribs and the way his hand curves comfortably over the flare of her hips.

He gets her jeans off, too, pausing to let her deal with the knife holstered at her ankle, and then he lays her on her stomach, head pillowed on her arms, and works his way up her naked body. He presses open-mouthed kisses to the soles of her feet, the backs of her knees, the curve of her ass, the base of her spine, the nape of her neck. He tries not to think of her as an experiment, but it's difficult when all he wants to do is memorize every sound she makes in response to what kind of touch and where on her body and how much pressure he applies at what temperature. His fingers find every imperfection of her skin, every scar and mole and birthmark and scratchy place she missed last time she shaved, and he puts his mouth on all of them. Natasha writhes against the floor, bucking against him and occasionally swearing under her breath, but for the most part, she seems content to let him explore.

When he turns her over, her thighs are wet, smeared with her own juices, and Bruce spreads her legs and licks them clean, his stubbled jaw moving against her slit as he sucks the salt from her skin. He blows gently on her clit but moves away, and Natasha makes a frustrated noise. "Asshole," she mutters, an arm thrown over her eyes, and he laughs into the curve of her hipbone, dips his tongue into her belly button, tastes the cooling sweat gathered underneath her breasts. He moves away from them, too, focuses on the ridge of her collarbone, the join of her shoulder, the hinge of her elbow, the pulse in her wrist. He sucks on her fingers and drags his teeth across her throat, and finally she yanks on his hair and shoves his head to her breasts, her nipples dark red and straining. He closes his mouth over one and his hand over another, and he circles and sucks and bites and twists, everything she'd said he should do when she was doing it herself. He moves between her breasts until she's grinding against his thigh, her fingers mapping and scratching and finally bruising his back.

When she's had enough, she grabs a fistful of his hair and hauls him up her body, her teeth sharp against his throat, his jaw, his bottom lip. "I don't believe you," she snarls, wrapping a leg around his, arching into him. "You didn't almost make yourself come thinking about rubbing my back and sucking on my tits."

"No," he says, agreeable. "That I just wanted." He pulls against her hand, fighting it, wincing when she doesn't loosen her grip, and licks again at each nipple before pulling away and sitting up to gather all their discarded clothes into a pile. "Up," he says, but her hips are already in the air, and he slides the clothes underneath her and then he's on his belly, his face between her legs, her thighs over his shoulders, her scent surrounding him, salty and narcotic-sweet. "This is the other thing," he mutters, not sure she can hear him, and not caring either way as he finally, finally licks her open.

He wants to take his time with this, too, wants to be slow and methodical, wants to carefully work her into the same euphoric haze of subsumed desire that he's been in. But he forgot that she's been waiting as long as he has, and she's not bothering to fight it anymore. He remembers the second he pushes the flat of his tongue to the side of her clit and her back bends nearly double underneath him, her hands fisting in his hair to hold him in place. Her heels slam into his back and he hears a harsh cry escape her throat just before her thighs lock around his head, and then all he can hear is the roar of blood in his ears as she convulses around him.

She fucks his face through her first orgasm, a drawn-out series of intense shudders that he tries to extend as long as he can, grinding his tongue across her clit with a steady relentless rhythm. He moves away from her clit when she relaxes, licks down and in, lets her guide him with the movement of her hips and a hand in his hair, the salty sweetness of her flooding his mouth and overwhelming his senses. It's not long before she's coming again, her hips rolling against his tongue, and then he loses all track of what's happening. He can't breathe, and he can't see, and it's perfect, it's everything and nothing all at once, and his erection's nothing but a distant ache in his memory.


"Okay," she says, her body limp and her voice a wreck, the occasional aftershock still rippling through her body. Bruce stays where he is, licking gently, more to soothe her than anything else. She allows it for a while, catching her breath, and then she tugs on his hair and says, "Enough, fuck, come here," and then a disgruntled, "Why do you still have your pants on?" Bruce is out of them more quickly than he'd thought possible, and she shoves him to his back, one hand splayed on his chest, and sinks so slowly down on top of him that his eyes roll back in his head.

Bruce doesn't expect to last very long. Truth be told, he usually doesn't. It's not that he doesn't enjoy sex, but he thinks too much, he can't relax, he doesn't trust himself. His issues make things difficult. Natasha makes them easy. Or maybe it was the drug that makes it easy, that starts him from a place where he's too far gone to think, and he's been so close for so long that he's afraid of what's going to happen when he finally lets go.

She's riding him hard, her head thrown back and her breasts bouncing as her hips move in dirty rhythmic grind. He reaches down to the join of their bodies and puts his thumb on her clit, lets her rub against it as she moves. He tries to just relax and enjoy it, listening to her throaty moans and the wet friction of their bodies, but he can feel his own orgasm building in the distance, a roiling mass of stormclouds that threaten to break over both of them, and he wants it but he doesn't, it's too much, the scorching heat of her body and tight squeeze of her muscles, the sweat-slick slide of her skin against his as she moves, the edge of her teeth on the tendons in his neck, the damp huffs of her breath and the sting of her fingernails and her hair in his mouth and the roll of her hips and the pressure inside him and the tingle of his scalp and the curl of his toes and the white behind his eyes and his skin is too small and he can't, he can't, "I can't," he gasps, "stop, stop, I can't-- it's too much, I can't--"

He digs his hands into her hips, hard, and it has to hurt but she doesn't complain, she just stops. He tries to breathe and she does the same, and eventually she straightens, slowly, carefully, and then peers down at him with a look of slightly dazed concern on her face.

"Sorry," he says.

She's shaking her head before the word gets all the way out of his mouth. "Don't be sorry. Should I--" He feels her muscles tense; she's about to stand up.

"No," he says, his hands clenching on her thighs. "No, please. Stay." He doesn't want her off him, he just needs a minute.

"Okay, so what's too much?" she asks, settling back down with a twist of her hips, a clench of her muscles that feels so good he forgets what he was trying to say. When he doesn't respond, she says, "Bruce? What's too much?"

Right. Bruce covers his eyes. "Um," he says, hoping she can read his mind.

She can. "Coming. You don't want to come?"

He shakes his head. "I... I guess not." He doesn't know what the hell is wrong with him.

"I thought you said you were boring," she says. "Not kinky."

He uncovers one eye and stares at her. "What about not orgasming sounds kinky to you?"

Surprise isn't really the word for what's on her face when he says that, but she shuts it down before he can get a better read. "All right," she says, eventually. "But you want to keep going?"

"I-- yeah. I mean, if you do."

She rolls her hips in answer, and Bruce sucks in his breath, tries not to thrust into her. "You don't want to come now, or ever? Eventually that door's going to unlock."

"I... I don't really... do I have to decide right now?"

"Do you want to decide at all?"

Bruce uncovers the other eye. "As opposed to what?"

"Letting me decide."

"Oh." He thinks about that, about all the ramifications, about losing control, about when exactly sex got so wrapped up with his other issues. But then again, it's just sex, and they're still locked in this room and not going anywhere, and Natasha... he doesn't even know how to form coherent thoughts about Natasha, not when he's still inside her and she's waiting patiently for an answer, no hint of judgment on her face. "You--" he starts, and then, "oh," because handing her the control isn't the same as losing it, because he's been doing it all day and she's been giving it back, because she's given him no reason not to trust her with it. This is the next thing. He can do this. "Okay. You decide."

She moves immediately and he whimpers, not liking the loss of contact, the sudden chill. She looks around and heads toward the small pile of clothes a few feet away. "Keep your hands off your dick," she says, not looking at him, and Bruce doesn't even ask her how she knew he'd been reaching for it. He turns on his side and watches her rummage through their clothes.

"What are you looking for?"

She holds up her t-shirt by a finger, and Bruce is about to ask her to please not put it back on when his attention's caught by the glint of the knife in her hand. "Um," he says, but she ignores him. The knife flashes, and the next thing he knows, her shirt is in shreds. She snaps the knife back into its sheath and then takes a few minutes to mess with the scraps of her shirt, doing something he can't really see from this angle. Then she's back, sitting cross-legged in front of him.

"Okay," she says, her gaze flicking between his flagging erection, his eyes, and the pieces of cloth in her hand. "I... do you want to talk about this?"

Bruce isn't entirely sure what 'this' is, but he can't think of anything he wants less than to talk about it. When he says so, Natasha takes a deep breath and then tells him to lie on his back, spread his knees. He's not even all the way over before she's maneuvered them so his hips are resting on her lap, angled toward her, his own legs spread to either side of hers.

He's never felt so exposed in his life.

But Natasha tilts her head, her gaze sharp and starving. He shifts against her, waiting, and she licks her lips and then her thumb and presses it against his asshole. Bruce nearly levitates off the floor, but her other hand clamps on his hip and forces him back down. "Stay," she says, her tone perfunctory. She's entirely focused on what she's doing, which is moving her thumb in slow wet circles.

Bruce breathes into it and tries to relax. It feels good, a more languid pleasure curling through his body, but he feels so vulnerable and anxious, neither of which is helped by the fact that he doesn't know what she's planning to do. It's his fault, he knows, he hadn't asked, he hadn't wanted to talk about it, but he's second-guessing that decision now. Or he is until Natasha wraps her other hand around his cock and starts stroking, slow sure steady movements, eased by the lubrication from her own body, and then she does something with her wrist that has her knuckles twisting under his balls and against his perineum while her thumb keeps circling, and Bruce stops caring what she's going to do next as long as it does not involve stopping.

"Natasha," he gasps out, hips riding up into her hand as the pressure builds and converges, so close he can taste it, but he's not ready yet, it's not enough, he--

Natasha grabs his balls and twists, and it's a lightning-strike of wrenching pain that sends his orgasm screaming to a halt, his vision going white around the edges as he's yanked back from the edge. He slowly goes limp on the floor, waiting, breathing as the orgasm and the pain and the worry all recede back into his body, leaving pressure, somewhere, restraining him, holding him back.

She leans to press her lips to the inside of his knee. Her hair is a soft tickle against his thighs, it's cool against the fire in his groin, and then she licks gently at the head of his dick and then sits up again. "You okay up there?"

Bruce mumbles something unintelligible and tries to prop himself up on his elbows so he can see. It takes several attempts, and he squints down at himself. "I-- oh, fuck." The shreds of her shirt are tied around the base of his cock and wrapped around his balls, which he supposes explains the pressure. "Holy shit," he says, and sprawls back on the floor, his erection still throbbing painfully.

She smiles, hot and hungry, and says, "Now fuck me properly."

Bruce needs a few more seconds, but then surges forward, puts her on her knees, and fucks her properly.

It's a blur, after that, after she comes, gasping, her arms braced against the wall while Bruce slams into her, his fingers on her clit. She doesn't let him stay inside her for long, keeps pulling away to change position or put her hands on him or suck him into her mouth. She takes him to the edge over and over again and then stops, leaves him hanging until he can pull himself back, but he gets closer every time and it gets harder to stop and eventually he never leaves, he just hangs there, suspended and shaking on the precipice of some yawning chasm.

She's back on top of him, she's slowed it down but it's only made it more intense, the sinuous motion of her hips driving him inexorably forward. Their hands are twined together, sweat-slick and slippery, Natasha's damp hair brushing his face as she moves. She's beautiful like this, her eyes distant and her mouth slack, lost in her own pleasure, pure abandon on her face. Bruce cranes his neck to reach her, mouths mindless nonsense into her skin, begging incoherently for something he doesn't know how to ask for as he shakes beneath her, relentless pressure building behind his eyes, his balls, his heart.

She untangles their hands and reaches down, settles the knot that ties off his cock against her clit, arches her back, comes again with a soft sigh and a shudder, her hands curling against his chest. She never stops moving, the fluid roll of her body on top of his building to a crescendo he can't avoid anymore, but it still takes him completely by surprise when she pulls the knot free without warning and clenches hard around his cock. There's a moment of pure white nothingness, when he can't see or hear anything at all, when he can't feel Natasha's body around him or her hands curled against his chest or her thighs clenched on his hips, when all he knows is that she's split every atom inside him, and then he simply comes apart.


He comes back to himself naked and aching, wrongness and worry crawling through his gut as he wonders what happened this time, how many people he hurt, where--

"Bruce," he hears, and it's Natasha, and his eyes snap open. He's somehow collapsed half on top of her, his face buried in the crook of her neck, but she's got both arms and one leg wrapped around him, a hand on the back of his neck and the other at the base of his spine, rubbing slow circles into his skin. "You're fine," she tells him. "We're both fine," and Bruce stiffens and then shakes apart all over again as the relief washes over him, immense and breathtaking.

Her arms tighten around him and he doesn't know what to do, doesn't know why he feels so raw and exposed, like his skin's on inside-out, like every shudder that wracks his body spreads the pieces of himself farther apart and he's helpless to do anything about it, he's never going to be whole again. "I--" he tries to say, but it's almost a sob, and he flat-out refuses to open his mouth again after that.

Natasha grabs his head by the back of his hair and lifts, takes one look at his face and swears under her breath. He shudders again and tries to turn away, embarrassed and ashamed that she's seeing him like this, that she's seen any of this, seen him begging, seen his legs spread open as she worked his cock, seen him afraid and mindless and out-of-control. "Lights," she says, and Bruce is devastatingly grateful that she can't see him anymore. She lets go of his hair and he tries to breathe, tries to focus, and is barely aware of moving as she jostles him around.

He ends up mostly on his stomach, her body stretched out over his, one hand clamped on his wrist and the other hooked around his shoulder and behind his neck, her hips and legs pinning him to the floor. She bites softly at the back of his neck and doesn't move, just forces him to stillness as he trembles, as he tries to gather up the shards of himself and put them back together.

He manages, eventually, anchored to his body by her teeth and her hands and her hips, by whatever Russian she's whispering into his skin, and when he manages to think again, manages to feel, he's nothing but a quiet, peaceful blank, his boneless body floating in lassitude and exhaustion. Even the Hulk is silent, unmoving, and Bruce himself couldn't move if he tried.

Natasha knows, somehow, and she pulls away to roll him over, and then she covers his body with her own again and kisses him, long and deep and slow, no urgency to it this time, just the languid tangle of their tongues, and he cradles her face in his hands and kisses her until his strength is gone. "Okay?" she whispers, her forehead against his, and he still doesn't think he can talk, but he manages a nod.

"Okay," she says again, sitting up. Bruce isn't ready for that yet, doesn't want her to go, but he's starting to feel awkward, uncertain. His senses are coming back online and he hurts everywhere. His knees ache, his back, neck, his jaw. His dick feels like it's missing a layer of skin. He's got bruises blooming in all sorts of interesting places, and his shoulders burn with scratches from Natasha's fingernails. He feels sticky with sweat and semen, and he's pretty sure he's going to sleep for three days straight.

"You want to get out of here?" she asks, and he does, but he's not sure how to do it, not sure if he's supposed to say something, not sure if they're just going to go their separate ways and pretend this never happened, not sure how he's ever going to look her in the face again. He doesn't say anything; he thinks if he opens his mouth the only thing that's going to come out is jesus fucking christ.

"Bruce?" She brings up the lights and Bruce jerks into motion, starts groping around for his pants. Pants, socks, shirt. He can barely move.

"Um," he manages. "I'll just. Go."

Natasha is sitting still, watching. "Now do you want to talk about it?" she asks, when he gets his pants on. She hasn't made any move to get her own clothes, although he realizes he needs to let her have his shirt. He goes red, thinking about what had happened to hers.

Bruce shakes his head, frantic. "Okay," she says. "But if you want to do it again, we'll have to talk about it."

Bruce stops, one sock half rolled on to his foot. It had never occurred to him that would be an option. "I-- what? I just thought, you know, with the drug, and us locked in here... we were. Passing the time."

"Passing the time?" She raises an eyebrow, unimpressed. "You think I just spent a few hours having sex with you because I was bored?"

"Um." It does sound pretty stupid, put that way. And possibly insulting. "Sorry, I didn't..." He trails off and scrubs at his face, feeling ridiculous. He's a grown man; this shouldn't be so difficult. "No, you're right, I just-- didn't want to make any assumptions. I don't really... do this. I don't know what happened." He'd be lying if he said it wasn't good, though, that he didn't want it again, touch and trust and shattering, staggering intimacy.

"Well, I do," she says, standing up and pulling on her jeans, and Bruce can't help but be gratified to see she's none too steady on her feet, either. He hands her his oxford and she shrugs into it, not bothering with a bra, only buttoning a few of the buttons. "But I'm not coherent enough for this. I need to sleep." She balls up her socks and stuffs them into her shoes. "You have a real bed, right? Not just a cot you got at Army surplus?"

Bruce looks at her, startled. "Yeah." He has a very nice bed, actually, and he wants very badly to be in it. "Are you... coming with me?"

"I'd like to."

"Oh." He's not sure what to do with that, so pulls on his undershirt. It's gross, still damp and clammy with sweat. He's so tired. He blinks, bleary-eyed, thinks about Natasha in his bed, and reaches for her hand. "Okay." She's right next to him when the door slides open.