SO MUCH SLASH! Okay, just making sure we're all still on the same page ^.- Just my shameless excuse at fluff! Hope you enjoy! :D

It had become something of a routine after that first night, their own way of dealing with the stress and fatigue and pent up energy of a battle won. Sometimes one or the other would be too injured or exhausted to engage in sex but they always found each other, wandering around the halls with no sense of direction, and then they would just lie there, tucked in each other's arms and waiting until they had to move again.

It was the worst/best kept secret on the team; everyone knew something was going on but no one bothered to say anything because they had no room to talk. Steve and Thor was a secret in the way Clint and Natasha and Bruce and Tony were; it happened and none of them really cared who knew. Fury never seemed to care, so long as they got the job done, and even though Coulson and Maria Hill would exchange somewhat knowing looks as they passed by, no one said anything. It could have been out of fear but more than likely it was simply a matter of choosing one's battles; everyone had their own way of coping and so long as it didn't effect the outcome of a mission, not one seemed to care.

The only acknowledgement anyone had ever shown of their post-battle routine was from Fury when he quite casually requested that they restrict their personal activities to their own rooms so they didn't have to completely refurnish anymore of the lower rooms of the helicarrier. Both Steve and Thor's rooms were more than capable of withstanding the desperate sexcapades of a super soldier and demi god and it just seemed to make more sense that they move to one of their rooms before anything got out of hand. Honestly, Fury was just tired of buying new beds for the lower rooms of the carrier.

When they weren't on the carrier, they had their own rooms in the Stark tower they could retire to with the same teasing request from Tony as they passed: he didn't care what they did but JARVIS was sensitive so make sure not to do anything that would cause the AI to go completely Skynet on them and burn down the whole tower in an effort to rid himself of the memory. Everything else was fair game as far as they were all concerned.

They're currently in Thor's room, sprawled out across the bed and tangled up in each other's arms like two pairs of sheets that had just come out of the dryer. They hadn't had sex the night before, both being too bone-weary to so much as move once they'd retired to the bedroom but they'd gone through the shower just the same. They'd staggered out side-by-side and collapsed onto the mattress with little more grace than a puppet being cut from its strings. Steve had gotten clawed a few times during the battle and had some nasty cuts on his chest and torso that were healing slowly and Thor's left leg had taken the brunt of a falling support beam that had left a rather impressive array of bruising from his hip to his shin. So no sex for the time being but the bed more than made up for that.

Thor wakes up first, eyes opening to the darkened ceiling and staring at nothing for several minutes. The night sky filtering in through the windows and the soft clamor of traffic from the streets below tells him its still late. He lays still for a long time, controlling his breathing and simply allowing his body to adjust to the change in consciousness. He's used to waking up at all hours of the night, the warrior in him ready and alert at all times for the threat of battle but it never comes. He's awake now because there's someone in the room with him and he's formed a habit of checking on him in the middle of the night.

Steve is curled up next to his side, his body flush against his own and his head resting on Thor's outstretched arm. His breathing is soft and even, face relaxed in the darkness of sleep, and his expression is relaxed and peaceful. In this light, at this hour, Steve looks years younger than he should, "just a kid from Brooklyn" curled up in the arms of a prince from Asgard.

Thor watches him for several minutes, scanning his face for any signs of distress or pain. When they had first begun sleeping together, there had been several nights where Steve would come awake with a start, the remnants of a scream on his lips and his eyes wide and seeing things only he could see. The nightmares were violent and brutal, visceral enough to make him tremble, and it would be several hours before Steve fell asleep again. On those nights Thor would simply bundle him up in his arms like a child and hold him, whispering soft lyrics to the songs of old that he'd been taught when he was a boy. Steve didn't understand the words but it didn't matter; all he heard was Thor's voice and it seemed to be the only thing he needed in the world.

There are no nightmares tonight though, probably because they're both so exhausted they can hardly move, let alone dream. Thor watches Steve sleep for a few more minutes, taking in every detail and feature of the younger man's face. This was different from his time with Jane, his lovely, beautiful Jane who was so strong and fragile at the same time. He loved her more than he could have thought was possible but he knew it would only be a matter of time before his strength got the better of him and he injured her in a way he could never forgive. He loved Jane but she was very human and very breakable in a way she probably wasn't even aware of; one too many deep bruises and unintentional swelling made that point obvious.

Steve is different though because Steve isn't entirely human even though he looks it; the super soldier serum made sure of that. He'd seen Steve survive things that would have felled ten humans in one stroke and watched him perform feats that no man should be able to accomplish alone. Steve is strong and powerful and so wonderfully innocent and vulnerable at times that Thor feels himself falling in love all over again. He never has to worry about injuring him during their times together and he knows Steve can take whatever Thor has to give him. Their relationship works because neither has to worry about injuring the other, either intentionally or unintentionally.

He snakes his arm out from under the soldier's head as carefully as he can and sits up slowly, coming to realize there was another reason he woke up in the first place: he's thirsty. Breathing in several lungful of dust from the floors and walls that collapses around him earlier have made the inside of his mouth feel comparable to sandpaper and there's a certain grittiness against his teeth that he can't ignore. He slips out of the room silently, limping just a bit as he walks quietly down the hall to the kitchen at the far end of the tower and retrieving a bottle of water from the cold metal box always stocked with food. He's completely naked save for the flickering of shadows that snake across his body as he walks but seeing as how he's the only one awake at such an hour, it hardly seems worth worrying about. He re-enters the room to find Steve propped up on one elbow and squinting at the darkened windows on the other side of the room.

"I hope I did not wake you," Thor says quietly as he closes the door behind him, crossing the space of the room in a matter of seconds and sitting on the edge of the bed next to the bleary-eyed super soldier.

"No, wasn't you," Steve answers with a slight shake of his head, his words still heavy and muffled with sleep. "Heard a car horn or…something…" He gestures vaguely with one hand toward the window but it seems lost in shadow.

"How are your wounds faring?" Thor asks, indicating the still visible claw marks streaking across Steve's chest and ending just above his hip.

The younger man looks down and touches his fingers to the healing wounds, fingertips brushing over dried blood and deep cuts that haven't quite healed yet. He shrugs one shoulder slightly. "Better than they were, should be gone completely by tomorrow. How's your leg?"

The bruises are still dark and ugly, much more so because of the dim light in the room, but they're healing just as Steve's cuts are. "Better with time," Thor answers simply, opening the water and taking several large gulps from the bottle. He passes it to Steve who takes it gratefully, finishing the remainder of the bottle and setting the empty container on the floor next to the bed.

"What time is it?" He ventures, looking out at the darkened windows again with a frown that shows he's still not completely awake.

"Very late," Thor replies, sliding back onto the bed and readjusting the blankets that have been haphazardly thrown all over the mattress. "Or early, depending on your preference of time."

Steve is already slumping back down onto the mattress and curling into Thor's open arms like a kitten being woken from a nap. "I don't have a preference of time so long as its not time to get up yet," he mutters sleepily, pressing a few soft, feather-light kisses to the underside of Thor's jaw.

The demi god responds in kind, capturing Steve's lips in a soft, un-pressured kiss that's sweet and gentle. He can feel Steve sigh against him, happy and content, and he brings his hand up to card his fingers through short, soft blond hair. Steve's body is warm and solid against his own, pressed flush against his chest like it's always belonged there and he feels like he could stay here in this bed for the rest of his long, long life.

He breaks the kiss gently, tucking his head beneath Steve's jaw and running his lips lightly over the smooth column of his throat. Steve closes his eyes, shivering a bit against the brush of Thor's beard along his neck, and holds on. He's semi-hard from the attention, Thor is too, but it's a half-hearted gesture on both of their parts and they both seem to know they don't have the energy required to do much of anything about it at the time.

Instead, Thor stops just at Steve's collarbone, nipping once lightly before moving back up and dragging them both down onto the mattress. He cocoons the blankets around them, making a warm little nest for the two of them in the center of the mattress and wraps his arms around Steve again. The smaller man's back is pressed against his chest, curled up against his body like a puzzle piece that had been missing for a long time. One of Thor's arms in tucked back underneath his head, fingers absently stroking through Steve's hair in slow, rhythmic patterns he's not aware he's doing. Steve has his other hand locked against his chest, his fingers woven through Thor's and holding his arm like child holding a teddy bear.

The shadows grow longer and darker as the night passes on and they both find themselves drawn deeper and deeper into the realms of sleep. Steve's breathing evens out to slow, rhythmic inhales and exhales and while his grip on Thor's hand lessens a bit, he doesn't let go. Thor can feel Steve's heart beating beneath his hand from its position still clutched to the soldier's chest, steady and strong and more reassuring than anything that they're both still alive. He closes his eyes, drawing the younger man a bit closer in his arms, and drifts off into a deep, peaceful sleep.

Thanks for reading! :D