The only sound filling the room is the slick slip of skin on skin, lips sucking bruises into necks and collarbones but never touching.
That’s the first rule, no kissing. Kissing implies intimacy, and this is about want, need, and all the things that neither of them can ever have.
Her nails scratch down his back, and he imagines another woman’s hands, his fingers brush over her hips and she imagines another man. Names that belong to neither of them are moaned softly, both lost in a fantasy.
The second rule; no talking about the names.
This is their thing, a text, a call or a look leads them here, two broken souls fucking on the bed and finding their release.
For a moment after, they just lay there, panting heavily, both following the second rule.
Eventually she shoves him off; she has somewhere else to be. Yanking off the condom, he rises as well, crossing over to the trash, and picking up his underwear as he goes, his uniform crumpled into a pile.
When he turns back to her, she’s already got her dress on, clearly eager to be as far away from here as possible. For a moment, he lets himself wonder why she’s as lost as he is. He knows it just the light in the room, but her hair looks like fire and even he can’t deny that she’s one of the most beautiful women he can remember seeing.
In another life, he muses, they might have actually found love together, instead of just mutual satisfaction for a brief moment.
She’s almost done, fixing her hair in the mirror to look less sex-crazed and he finally breaks the silence.
“Thank you, Pepper.”
Freezing, she catches his eyes watching her in the mirror, and for a moment Clint Barton swears she smiles at him.
“You’re welcome and thanks too, I guess…”
It’s the most they ever address this thing they do, running into each other’s arms at every dismissal from ones who unknowingly hold their hearts.
Because the third rule is never to talk about this.
(not a happy ending) - an avengers/once upon a time AU