Whispers of something familiar, the movement of her shoulders and the shifts he can almost feel against his body, the two of them are so close together. The light illuminates her profile and he steps into the apartment behind her; his head tilts curiously for a second, until he hears the slip of metal against reinforced polymer, the mechanical clicks of the gun.
Bruce uses the moment to glance around ( nothing’s changed, much ), but he’s not sure if he’s averting his eyes because of his deeply seated aversion to guns, or because it feels like Maria’s shedding a layer. Undressing, in a way – there’s no denying the action leaves her more vulnerable, and her movements are swift and decisive. It’s a thoughtful gesture, either way –
there’s a door in the hallway opening and he quickly closes Maria’s with a start, raising his eyes to meet hers and finding himself smiling. He takes a half-step away from the door so she can have access, still hanging close. The truth is he is exhausted, could probably fall into bed and sleep through the next day if the circumstances were different. But then, he doesn’t seem the only one: “Are you?”
The next question catches him off-guard, mostly because he has to look to figure out what she’s talking about. And by that point he can’t help it, reaches out to fold his fingers over hers, an easy smile pulled to his lips by her obvious concern.
“Not mine,” he confirms softly; with his eyes on hers he gently brings the inside of her wrist to his lips, kissing the scatter of veins there – testing the waters, before reaching for her hip to pull her in, guiding her hand over his shoulder to frame an embrace. It’s with a full-body sigh he leans against her, pressing his face into the crook where neck meets shoulder; finally.
She’s always experiencing some form of exhaustion, but Maria assumes that’s not the answer he’s looking for and so her mouth remains closed- tilted slightly, but expressing her silence nonetheless. It’s the stain she wants an answer for, and the extension of her arm is short-lived, her thumb brushing across the spot while the rest of her body follows: a step and then another until they’re not far apart at all. There’s a rush of relief in the way his expression doesn’t change; Maria knows that the blood isn’t his before he speaks and her shoulders slide down a few more ticks.
The quiet of the apartment settles in on them as if honing in on this one moment and he brings her pulse point to his mouth ( if there’d been anything left to convince her to keep distance between them, that was all out the window now- ). That shift forward, the barrier of space finally broken as they meld together, her fingers carding through the hair at the nape of his neck, lips glancing off his jaw before tucking her cheek against his shoulder.
A sigh, fully realized, and her left hand slips around his waist, fingertips dipping beneath the hem of his shirt, brushing against the skin of his lower back. Another inhale, she breathes him in, eyelashes dusting the tops of her cheeks until she can’t stand it anymore. Maria twists gently, her lips tracing the plane of his stubble-dotted cheek until she reaches his mouth.
The kiss is relatively short-lived with her palm pressing against the flat of his back, a sliver of space separating them. “Do you have anywhere else to be tonight?” A veiled hint within a question- what she means is, can he stay?
Thus far their relationship has been made of a series of missed chances and bad timing, destined by fate, it seemed, to fail. But there’s something still undeniably present in the way he folds against her, the trace of her fingers against his spine, her nose brushing the curve of his cheek, eyebrow twitching slightly, expecting an answer.