Windy Night in Perthshire
By Izzy

There are things they both have that still get to them. Fitz’s big one is he still tries to avoid going into any virtual reality if he can, even though that seemingly gets harder with each passing year. Jemma doesn’t really have a big one like that, but a lot of small ones. She hates wearing earpieces nowadays, for instance. Also, windy nights are bad.

After three years in their cottage, it’s not an ordinary one anymore. They built a small extension for the lab, and they ended up reinforcing the walls in general. Fitz reminds her of that when the wind gets loud. They also turn on most of the place’s lights, and she’ll start cooking something with a savory smell. Sometimes she’ll take an extra shower.

Except she didn’t put anything on before fleeing to the bathroom this time. She’s long past the morning sickness, but certain smells still irritate her, so they’re foregoing quite a few of their normal choices of meal at the moment. Fitz makes them both sandwiches, Jemma’s with more fruit than a sandwich should have.

As he carefully carries them to the bedroom, the memories brought back by the sound of the wind howling outside aren’t too pleasant for him, either. But they’re just memories of days, not of months, and not of being totally out in the open and alone.

Jemma’s already in bed, clutching the covers close and tight. She’s on her back, turning her head only slightly as he comes in, and there’s a wide, faraway look in her eyes for a moment, before they change as she comes back.

Fitz puts the plates on the bedside table, and pulls up a chair. He takes hold of her hand for just a moment, their wedding rings clinking against each other. “Do you want some music?” he asks her.

She shakes her head. “I’ll still be able to hear it.” She looks at the sandwich, and then at the covers, clearly reluctant to let go. “My bathrobe?” she asks, her voice tiny.

He gets it, and though, like her nightgown, it’s now tight around her, she still just fits into it. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she wolfs her sandwich down. “Nectarines,” she grins at him.

“Of course,” he replies. “Though I’m afraid we’re running low again. At least the weather’s supposed to get better tomorrow afternoon; I can go for more then.” Not that he’ll like leaving her alone, although that’s more his anxieties than hers.

He’s halfway done with his own sandwich when she finishes hers off, crouching down a little, hands over her swollen abdomen. A particularly loud gust passes right on the other side of the wall, and while it’s solid and unmovable, Jemma still flinches slightly. In a single quick move, she unceremoniously shoves the robe down and to the floor and is back under the covers, and he’ll have to get her to let them loose to get under them himself.

Even under them, she’s shivering. “Turn up the heat?” he offers.

“You know it’s not that,” she sighs, and yeah, he does. She explained that part to him back when she still couldn’t talk about Will without guilt in her voice, how even when they’d been in each other’s arms and wrapped up in what covers they had, they hadn’t been able to escape the endless cold. In the earliest days of their own relationship, any night spent in flight had her shivering against him. That’s no longer the case, but nights like this one still bring it out. The knowledge that it’s freezing outside probably doesn’t help.

Seeing her as scrunched up on the bed as she can currently manage, Fitz is tempted to forgo changing into his pajamas, but just strip and join her there in his boxers. He settles for only putting on bottoms, leaving his chest bare for her to place her head against. As expected, he has to very gently coax her hands free from the blankets. “Sorry,” she mumbles when that’s done. “I should know better, anyway. I mean, if the three of us hold on to each other, the wind can’t do anything to us, right? We’re collectively too heavy.”

“That’s right,” he agrees. She’s gotten a little too big for them to press completely body to body, but she still settles against him, and it does him good when he can feel her breathing.

He’s even more glad when she pulls the blankets over their heads. They’re definitely not turning off the lights tonight, but it’s much easier for him to sleep when it’s not directly in his face. Also, ever since the events that had led up to their engagement, he’s always felt most at peace when they’re huddled up like this, contained in a space where it’s just him and her, and it feels like nothing can get in. Certainly not the wind blowing beyond their walls.

He thinks that’s true for her too, even if it means she’s only getting the light through cloth. She leans up to press a kiss to his chin, and whispers, “Sleep. Sleep. We’ll be all right in the morning.”