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Is That a Challenge?

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Fitz put down the tablet he had been poking at, trying to distract himself until Simmons got home, when he heard her come in the door and drop her bag on the counter with a thud. He had been both dreading and looking forward to this moment all day. He watched her, still silent, as she began noisily filling the tea kettle and then slammed it on the stove.

“Alright, Simmons?” he asked cautiously.

She snorted at him in response and he could almost feel the frustration radiating from her. That was good. It was the insecurity he thought was underneath it that was a bigger problem.

“So...Sally told you—“

“That Jonathan is ready to take the next step. Yes, she did.”

Simmons turned to face him and he could see the effort she put into not letting him see the full depth of her emotions. Men were really awful sometimes, though he thought they didn’t mean to be. Especially the men that Simmons seemed to be attracted to. Always older, none of them appreciating how amazing she was. He doubted the wanker had even considered what Simmons wanted.

He got up and put an arm around her, only a little surprised when she tucked her head into his shoulder.

“You knew?” Her voice was muffled by his shirt, but he knew what she was asking.

“Yeah...I heard him talking to...well, it doesn’t matter. He was talking about his plans for this weekend. For the two of you know. He said he had something special planned since it would be your first time.”

“Why didn’t you tell me, Fitz?” She pulled away from him and he was forced to look her in the eyes.

“I...uh, well.” He felt heat up his neck. “It didn’t seem like the kind of thing we would talk about. I thought Sally could do a better job talking to you, so I told her, knowing she’d run right to you. I didn’t want you to be surprised.”

“Well, I think he is the one who’s surprised now.” Her words were low but he thought she had intended for him to hear.

“Why’s that?”

“I broke up with him,” she said with a sad smile. “I asked him flat out and he said the reason he asked me out was because he’d never had sex with a virgin before. How disgusting is that!”

Fitz had never liked that Jonathan was interested in Simmons and now it all made sense.

“Honestly, Fitz, what is the big deal? It’s just sex, right? You’d think a virgin was a mythical creature or something, the way they talk about it. Virginity isn’t anything but a social construct. Having sex doesn’t make you a different person.” She was on a roll now, so he didn’t interrupt, but they were already way past his comfort zone on this topic. “But it feels important. I don’t want to do it wrong or be bad at it. It’s just that I’m ready for an actual adult relationship and I want to be proficient at all the sexual skills a man that I would date would expect, not the token virgin they’ve never had a chance to screw before.”

Fitz let out a choked sound. This was why he hadn’t wanted to be the one to talk to her about this.

“And it isn’t about Jonathan or any other man, not really,” she went on, “but about my own enjoyment. I would like to enjoy my first sexual experience...and all the ones that come after that.”

“Simmons, shouldn’t you talk to Sally about this?”

“Talking about this with Sally would be awful. She’s just so patronizing. Like it’s a big mystery that I’m too young to understand. You’re the only one I feel comfortable talking to about this.”

He knew they were best friends, but her words gave him an odd feeling.

“Sometimes I just wish there was a decent guy out there so I could try it out without all the pressure of a relationship. Just sex with no strings attached. I don’t even know what I like yet.”

Simmons went to pour each of them a cup of tea and he hoped this conversation was over. He felt for her. He really did. But maybe the only thing worse than having someone they worked with think about her like that was the fact that he knew none of the women even thought of him at all.

She handed him the mug and seemed to study him for a moment.

“I can’t believe it’s never occurred to me before,” she said excitedly. “You’re a man.”

“Ouch, Simmons...this is really the first time you’re noticing that?” He tried to keep his tone light, but this seemed to be one of those times when her thoughts had skipped several steps beyond his. It was an asset in the lab, but he often found it confusing when it pertained to their personal lives.

“No, Fitz. I know. It’s just that you have a penis.”

He spit out the tea he was trying to drink, slightly alarmed by her words.

“Yes, I-I know that.”

“So, we can have sex and then neither one of us will be virgins anymore. And we’ll have some experience, which will be very useful for dating.”

And there it was. Considering all the possible ways for this day to end, having Simmons suggest they sleep together wasn’t that bad.

“What makes you assume I’m a virgin?” he asked, stalling for time. It wasn’t that he was opposed to the idea. It was actually a really good idea. One he’d had many times since they’d first met three years ago.

“Oh! Are you not? I just assumed…” She looked embarrassed, which wasn’t what he had intended at all.

“Yeah, I just seems like this all started because of people making assumptions about the sexual experience of someone else.”

She blushed, and he thought she looked really pretty like that, slightly uncertain and flushed.

“You’re right, of course,” she acknowledged, “but we are best friends and I like to think I’d notice if my best friend brought someone home to our flat or spent the night someone else after a date.”

“Or went on a date,” he mumbled.

“That too,” she said with a smile. “It’s nothing to be scared of, Fitz,” she said softly.

He jerked his head up, surprised by her change in tone.

“I’m not scared, Simmons.”

“You can say no --”

“I didn’t say no.”

They stared at each other, and it felt like the air around them got heavy. If he was going to lose his virginity to someone, Simmons was a good choice. Plus, she was the only one who had offered. So there was that.

“So...your plan is to just have sex and, ah, get it out of the way.”

“Yes, of course,” she said with a frown.

“You don’t want to date or anything? Just sex? Just this once?”


This was what he was afraid of. Simmons could be such a girl sometimes. But she was his best friend and he didn’t want to ruin that with sex.

“Look, Simmons, I know you love me and everything, but --”

“Of course I love you, you idiot. You are my best friend.” She didn’t seem to be joking. “That’s why I know you are the one I should do this with. You love me too,” she insisted.

“Course I do,” he responded, a little gruffly.

This was not how he had anticipated his evening going. He’d thought they'd grab dinner, just like they always did, and then maybe Doctor Who. Not a discussion of their feelings followed by sex.

“You don’t need to worry about anything. I have read up on the subject, and we know each other so well I don’t think it will be unsatisfactory.”

“That’s quite the endorsement,” he said dryly.

“Well, two virgins can’t be expected to have much in the way of expertise, can they?”

“Could you quit saying that word?”

“Which word? Virgin?”

He nodded, and she smiled. That triumphant smile she got when she was sure she had won.

“I won’t have to say it ever again if you say yes.”

He looked at her. His best friend. The most wonderful woman he’d ever met. Sure, she only wanted to have sex with him so she’d have some experience. But she wanted to. And he’d be crazy to say no. He wanted to have sex too. And he’d wondered more than once what she’d look like with her clothes off. Just out of scientific curiosity, of course. And she was absolutely right. They were friends. They trusted each other. And if he was rubbish, she wouldn’t tell anyone. That was comforting.



“Yes, Simmons, I will have sex with you, just this once, if you insist.”

“That is very magnanimous of you.”

“And now you are just using big words to try to annoy me...but I’m about to see you naked, so there isn’t anything you can do now that would upset me.”

“I’m sure I could think of something that would annoy you,” she said, licking her lips.

“Eyes on the prize, Simmons,” he said, bumping her shoulder with his. “So, we are agreeing to have sex one time, today, and then go back to being best friends and pretend this never happened. Is that right?”

She frowned and wrinkled her nose at him. She was really cute when she did that. “We don’t have to pretend it didn’t happen. It’s not like we can erase our memories.”

“Alright...just try not to let your fantasies of me interfere with our work.”

“In your dreams, Fitz!”

“Maybe,” he agreed, and they both laughed. This whole having sex thing wasn’t nearly as stressful as he thought it would be.

“I have one amendment.”

He looked at her curiously and waited while she took a breath.

“We will agree to have sex once, with the option to try again if we are both interested.”

“Why would we need to do it again? We won’t be virgins anymore.”

“Um...well, in case the first time is over really quickly, or isn’t as enjoyable as we’d like...or if we just want to do it again.”

He raised his eyebrows. “You’re worried I’m not going to be any good in bed?”

“No, that’s not it--”

“Or that we won’t be any good together?”

“No --”

“Then maybe we should just try it.”



Jemma’s skin started to feel like it was on fire, a pleasant sort of burning that went from her toes all the way to the tips of her fingers...and all the important places in between. Not willing to wait a second longer, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a kiss. He seemed startled, though how he expected them to have sex without all the other bits she didn’t know. Finally his lips moved beneath hers and his arms pulled her close.

It was heavenly. He may not be the best kisser, but she knew he cared about her, which was more than she could say for the guys she’d kissed before. But then his tongue pressed against her lips and she had to revise her previous thoughts. The way their mouths slid against each other was like an extension of their work - an effortless meshing of two people into one seamless, driving force. Today they just had a very different goal.

She pushed her hands inside his cardigan and tried to push it down his arms, suddenly eager to get him out of his clothes. When they parted for breath, she panted, “Your room, or mine?”

“That sounds like a terrible pick-up line, Simmons,” he said into her skin as he left big, open-mouthed kisses down her neck. She squirmed beneath his attentions, and then he answered, “Yours.”

“Did you forget to do your laundry again, Fitz?” she teased.

“I got busy helping you meet your deadline on the dendrotoxin project, or did you forget?” he shot back at her, though it was hard to believe they were somehow still having a conversation when his lips were hovering over the most sensitive skin on her neck that he had discovered so far, and her hands were quickly dispensing with the buttons on his shirt.

“Thank you for that,” she said quietly. Finally reaching the end of his buttons she untucked his shirt and made her way underneath to stroke across his ribs and back.

“Should we...ah, go to bed now?” he asked, turning bright red. “I want to make you come.”

Those words sounded strange coming from him, like he forced himself to say them. She really appreciated the effort he was making to help her...and so did her libido.

“You can’t make me come, Fitz.” she squeaked at him, indignant. Though she though the effect may have been ruined slightly by the shiver that went through her body as his hands worked their way under her blouse.

“Is that a challenge, Simmons?” He was looking at her with those impossibly blue eyes and there was so much she thought she saw there, things she couldn’t even begin to understand.

Releasing him and taking a step back, she said, “I don’t want this to be a competition.”

She grabbed the hem of her blouse and tugged it over her head, smiling in delight when Fitz’s eyes dropped to where she knew her breasts swelled over the cups of her bra. Even though she hadn’t been thinking of him when she’d put it on, his reaction was almost certainly better than the one she would have gotten from anyone else. “I have the advantage, obviously, so it wouldn’t be fair.”

Fitz squinted at her and furrowed his brow, as if he didn’t understand how she could possibly have an advantage when it came to sex.

“Honestly, Fitz,” she said, rolling her eyes at him. “I have a PhD in biology...I know all about the human body, erogenous zones…” She drifted off as Fitz’s laugh interrupted her.

“Simmons, I’ve been a horny teenager for years. I think that amounts to more practical knowledge than what you’ve learned from a textbook.”

“I hardly see how that makes you an expert.”

“Really? I’ve been thinking about sex for years. I can picture it in my mind...and I have a plan for how I want to touch you.”

“What? Me?”

“Well, of course I’ve thought about having sex with you. Uh, not because I wanted to, but because you were always the one next to me. Who else was I supposed to think about?”

His words sent a not unpleasant heat through her that settled low in her belly. Rather than continuing to stare at him open-mouthed, she kissed him again, this time attacking the button on his trousers, and they clumsily walked towards her bedroom, scattering clothes as they went.

When she finally dropped on her bed, pulling Fitz after her, all that was left were her knickers and his boxers.

From the way his mouth was exploring her body, it seemed like he did, in fact, have a plan. Lovely. That meant she could focus on the things she excelled at, including her thorough preparation for this event.

Obviously her main goal was out of reach at the moment, so she focused on what she could reach, dragging her hands slowly through his curls and letting her fingernails scrape against his scalp. She smiled when he let out a growl, but then had to stop her body from arching off the bed when his lips latched onto her nipple and sucked gently.

That was extremely unfair. She needed to use her mouth too if this was going to work. She let him continue for a few moments longer, because it really did feel very nice. She could feel the wetness between her legs and she was warm all over. But when he attempted to switch his ministrations to her other nipple, she grabbed his head, directing his lips towards hers once again, and pushed at his shoulder until he was on his back.

His hands had returned to her breasts and he was doing maddening things with his fingers, and she moaned involuntarily. Dammit. He was surprisingly good at this. They definitely should have done this before. Now that she could study him she saw that his boxers were tented. She bit her lip, pondering. She’d get to that, but first she wanted to torture him like he was doing to her.

She lowered her head and dropped kisses across his jaw, lingering behind his ear, before kissing her way down his neck. He released her as she started to shift down his body, and she allowed herself to settle over his thighs, grinding down on him tentatively as she kissed across his chest and swiped her tongue over his nipples. He drew in an unsteady breath and she smiled. It was an erogenous zone for him too, after all.

But his hands had redirected themselves to her hips, helping her move against him more firmly. Even through two layers of fabric, she could feel how ready he was.

“Do you think we should…” her voice was more breathless than she intended as she gestured down between them.

“No...we should take care of you first. I wouldn’t want it to be unsatisfactory,” he said, emphasizing the word she had used earlier.

“I didn’t mean --”

“Of course you did. I’ve done research too.” He pulled her down to him, and, arms securely around her, rolled them both over. She followed his lead without complaint, not sure what he intended. “You might not like having sex...not, uh, the first time.”

She started to protest, but he was already tugging at her knickers and laying kisses across her stomach. So she lifted her hips to help him and then he lowered his head between her thighs. As his mouth settled against her heated flesh, all she could think that it was very wet. Between her own arousal and his mouth, his tongue slid easily over her. It was a little disappointing really. She didn’t see what the big deal was. But then his tongue started circling her clit with more pressure than before.

“Oh, Fitz,” she moaned, startled by the sound of her own voice.

He seemed encouraged by her words and continued licking her eagerly.

“Use your fingers too,” she tried to say calmly, though he probably had no problem figuring out how she felt based on the way her hips kept lifting off the bed.

He looked up at her and their eyes locked. She felt nothing but desire. He held her gaze while he slid his hand up her thigh.

“Is this what you wanted, Simmons?”

She frowned at him. “Jemma.”

“Is this what you wanted, Jemma?” he asked again, seemingly amused, but she could see the tension in his face. His accent had become thicker and the way he said her name sent another jolt of electricity straight to her center.

Finally feeling useful, she showed him what to do with his hand, sliding her fingers inside in a frantic rhythm. He put a hand on her wrist and replaced her fingers with his own, so she let her fingers drift higher, rubbing circles on her clit. The familiar feel of her own hands on her body along with the unfamiliar feel of his fingers inside her was a little distracting at first, but once she concentrated she felt her orgasm building and then almost without warning, her inner walls tensed around his fingers as they continued to slide in and out. Her eyes fell closed as her release crashed over her. He removed his hand from her and the mattress shifted as he moved away.

She tried to calm her racing heartbeat, but it was pointless. She opened her eyes at the crinkling sound of the foil packet being ripped open. He apparently had time to remove his boxers while she had been trying to relax.

“Did you still want to?” he asked, more shyly than she would have expected given what they had just been doing. But maybe he had lost some of his bravado now that they were here.

“Yes...absolutely, yes.” She sat up to help him with the condom. Between the two of them they managed to unroll it, though Fitz had to tell her to stop when she’d taken the opportunity to explore the feel of him. This was all so different from what she had expected.

“Kiss me,” she insisted, suddenly feeling nervous. But this was Fitz, they would be fine. She trusted him.

When their lips met again, her desire flared to life, and she pulled him down over her, laughing when he almost ended up right on top of her, not expecting the sudden shift. But her laughter ceased when he settled into the cradle of her thighs and the head of his cock dragged across her folds.

He sucked in a breath and Jemma reached down between them to guide him to her entrance.

“Best do this part quickly,” she suggested.

She closed her eyes, expecting him to push inside her. If this was going to be uncomfortable she’d rather just be done with it.

But he was moving slowly, pushing inside her a little bit at a time before pulling back. His face was tense and he was biting at his lower lip, low noises coming from his mouth. The sensation was different than she expected. The intrusion was not unwelcome and her body stretched around him. He experimentally thrust shallowly and she could feel the tension coming off of him in waves. This was clearly awkward for both of them. She stroked a hand down his back and felt his muscles move under her fingers.

While she appreciated how gentle he was trying to be, she just wanted this part to be over. Waiting until he moved inside her again, she planted her feet on the bed and thrust up, gasping as he moved deeper inside her. It felt amazing...and very uncomfortable.

His eyes, wide with concern, found hers as she flinched and pulled away from him instinctively, and he tried to move off of her.

“Don’t,” she said. “Just...just stay still a minute.”

“Are you alright? I didn’t mean to—“

“ didn’t. I’m fine.” She took three deep breaths and felt calmer when she started to adjust to the sensation of having him inside her.

She pulled his head down to hers and kissed him again, trying to reassure him. But as she stroked her tongue against his he started to move again, his hips mimicking the thrust of her tongue into his mouth. She hadn’t expected to feel it again, but the movement of their bodies created a delicious friction that clouded her mind. He moaned into her mouth as she shifted beneath him.

“Jemma...I can’t…” But whatever he was trying to say was lost as he let out another low moan.

“It’s okay, Fitz...come for me.” She was still too far from another orgasm and she didn’t think he’d last much longer anyway. The way they were joined was very comforting and she had never felt as connected to someone as she was to Fitz in this moment.

He kissed her one last time before dropping his head to her shoulder. She wrapped her arms around his back to hold him as his hips rocked against her and he said her name over and over. He was kissing her skin wherever he could reach and she wrapped her legs around him, trying to get closer.

“Jemma...fuck.” His voice was low and hoarse.

She felt fire everywhere they touched and his teeth scraped against her shoulder as he bit down slightly. Then he pushed deep inside one last time.

“Oh, god...Jemma.”

His hips stuttered against her briefly before she felt his whole body start to relax. She stroked her hands up and down his back as he panted into her skin.

“Jemma...that are. Sorry,” he said, rolling to his side. “I should —“

“Don’t go.” She hadn’t meant to say that, but her mouth was running on autopilot after everything that had just happened.

“I’ll just take care of this,” he started, then stopped, looking at the condom in horror. “I think you’re bleeding.”

“It’s hardly a drop, Fitz. It’s okay...that’s supposed to happen. Now you can go brag to your friends…” she didn’t know what was wrong with her. Without his warmth surrounding her, she felt bereft. A single tear slid down her cheek and she wiped it away before he could see it.

“I would never do that, Jemma,” he said softly. After a moment of silence when she didn’t know what to say, he continued, “Get dressed. I’ll be right back.”

He grabbed his clothes and headed for the bathroom before she could say anything, so she gingerly got out of the bed and looked for her clothes. His shirt was on the floor next to the bed, so she grabbed that along with her knickers and climbed back into bed. She was finishing up the buttons when he came back into the room and after a moment’s hesitation sat down next to her.

“I’m sorry, Simmons.”

“What? You don’t have anything to be sorry for.”

“I hurt you,” he said simply.

“Oh, that,” she said, trying to brush his concern away. “That was nothing. And the rest was quite lovely.”

“But you didn’t…”

“Well, I did before. Thank you for that.”

“It seemed like the right thing to do.”

They say next to each other in silence again. She thought maybe it would be different now, but he was still Fitz. Her best friend.

“You know, Fitz, with a little practice I think you’ll be really good at this.”

“Uh...thanks, Simmons. You too.” His voice sounded funny and she glanced over at him to see that he was staring very intently at something on the other side of the room and his face was flushed. So maybe this was a little awkward.

“Would you like to try it again? I think I’d like to try being on top next time.

There was a choking sound next to her and then he asked, “Now?”

“Oh, actually I’m a little sore now. But later...if we both want to.” She reached out to take his hand. “I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have done this with. No one knows me the way you do.”

“So...ah, Simmons, if you want to do it again, does that mean it wasn’t rubbish?”

“Of course it wasn’t rubbish. I just told you it was lovely.” He didn’t seem convinced, so she continued. “You gave me an orgasm. Fitz.”

“You helped, though.”

“Well, I can show you how to do it on your own next time —“

“I think I know how, Jemma.” He had switched back to using her first name and it made her feel warm inside.

“Of course you do,” she agreed with a smile. She was feeling more grounded with him beside her. “Do you want to watch Doctor Who?”

“And order pizza? I’m starving.”

“You are always starving.”

“C’mon, Simmons, you just made me exercise.”

She giggled, actually giggled, and swatted him on the arm. “You order the pizza and I’ll get changed.”

“Can I have my shirt back now?”

“You could...but then I’d be naked again,” she teased.

“No, ah, no, that’s fine. You can just give it back when you’re done with it.”

She smiled as he turned and fled from the room. She had no intention of giving him his shirt back.

Inhaling deeply, she breathed in his scent. She knew it was normal to develop an attachment to the first person you had sex with. But she was already so attached to Fitz she didn’t think this would make much of a difference. Nothing would ever change the way she felt about him. They would always be best friends. And maybe there were other things they could share as well.

But for now, she had to get changed and get out there before he could eat all the pizza.