moonlettuce: (Avengers: Clint v2)
[personal profile] moonlettuce
Title: Catch Your Breathing
Author: Claire
Fandom: The Avengers
Pairing(s): Phil Coulson / Clint Barton
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,057
Summary: Because once the monster's inside you, there's nothing you can do to get it out.
Additional Notes: Written for the AU: Were / Vamp / Supernatural square for trope bingo.

Catch Your Breathing

The sunlight is harsh as it hits your face, bright and there, forcing you to turn away, the carpet rough under your cheek. And there's no time to wonder why you're on the floor before your stomach rebels, sharp and painful, gorge rising in you as you scramble to the bathroom.

Your throat constricts as you vomit, liquid and soft chunks of something you're afraid to identify hitting the white porcelain in a splash of vivid red. There are sharp shards of white mixed in, cutting your mouth as you spit them out, swirling together with matted browns and blacks. And you know what they are when you look at them, know it with every inch of your self, even as you steadfastly avoid the words swimming in your mind.

Because giving them a voice makes it real. Means that you're hunched over in the bathroom vomiting bones and blood and fur. And there are other words in your mind. Words whispered out in the darkness, words that you heard when you were fourteen and hiding behind Magda's trailer as she spoke to the stranger that had come to her that day. Words that she spoke as she told him she couldn't help, that his curse was forever.

The water is bitter as you rinse your mouth out, running down the drain in a whirl of pink. You leave your clothes on the floor where you drop them before you step into the shower, sticky and red in ways they weren't before last night. You turn the shower as hot as you can stand it, but even the torrent of water battering down onto you can't drown out Magda's voice in your mind. Cursed. Garou. Forever. And not one part of you feels clean when you finally step out.

*

You feel their eyes on you as you walk in and you can't help but wonder what Jarvis has told them. If he's mentioned red against white or the state of the clothes that are back in your bathroom, waiting to be burned.

You ignore them all as you look at Coulson, banking down on the growl sitting low in your throat as he meets your gaze. A heartbeat passes, loud and roaring, before he nods and stands. You don't need words, you never have, not with him.

His coffee is left to grow cold on the table as he leads the way to the room he's claimed as his office, closing the door quietly behind you.

He leans against the desk, fingers wrapped around the edge of the wood, as he waits for you to talk. And even though there are words there, they're wrapped heavy in stone and blood, locked inside you and unable to escape.

It's not until he moves, closing the distance between you and wraps his fingers around your wrist, that they spill out.

He doesn't query what you're telling him. Doesn't question, doesn't interrupt, doesn't look at you like everything you're saying is just a mad, wild dream that makes no sense. He just murmurs your name when the words finally stop and you sink to the floor, the hold he still has on your wrist bringing him with you.

The words are between you now, sharp and jagged and willing to tear you both apart. They're between you and they can't be taken back, can't be ignored, can't be anything except the ringing knell of everything you care about.

You think that maybe this is when he'll leave, this is when he'll realise that he's in here with a monster and that the only thing to do is lock you up, cage you and bury you so far down that there's no hope of sunlight ever reaching you.

But he doesn't leave. He doesn't condemn and he doesn't look at you with the horror that should be in his eyes. He gently tugs you forward, wrapping his arms around you as you bury your face against him.

He smells sharp and chemical, and part of you recognises the cologne you bought him for his birthday, but it's steadily being drowned out by the part that wants to scrub it off him until you can't smell it any more. The only thing that stops you is that under the sharp and chemical and wrong, underneath it all, he smells of you.

And you know there's no hope, that the one chance he had of escaping this is gone. You know that if he runs now you'll chase him. Run him to ground until you're over him, pinning him in a way that begs him to submit.

Because he's yours, his scent tells you that even more than the way he looks at you without fear in his eyes.

But he should fear you. He should fear you because you know that, after today, you'll never let him go. Fear you because you'll chase him, chase him until he's under you, chase him until you can rend him flesh from flesh, burying yourself inside until you're locked together.

You don't know what scares you the most, that you know that's what would happen, or that you know that he'd let you.

He loosens his hold as you pull back, but doesn't let you go completely. His fingers are slack as they circle your arms, a hold that isn't. His thumb runs over your skin as he meets your eyes, and even though there's no challenge in them it still takes a moment for you to relax, for you to move back into his touch.

He keeps his voice low and careful as he tells you it'll be okay, shot through with a submissiveness that sounds wrong to your ears when it comes from him but that makes the beast inside you settle in a way nothing else has since this nightmare started.

He tells you it'll be okay, but you can't help but hear it for the lie it is.

He tells you it'll be okay, but nothing will ever be okay ever again.

He tells you it'll be okay and somehow, whether it's the tone of absolute certainty in his voice or the way his hand moves to run through your hair, soothing in a way that makes you want to curl into him, you find yourself willing to believe him.
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Claire

May 2017

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