Steve was floating on cloud nine. He could dance up and down the hallway, colourful cartoon birds flying around his head. The smile on his face was enough to light up any room.
This was happiness. This is what it meant to be happy. Waking with you cocooned against his chest, your soft hair scenting his cheek, your gentle breath warming his skin.
Stevie, the small, weak, fiery young man who had fought his way into the army; he would be so happy to wake up in your bed. His early years in New York, the army, they were all a rehearsal for this moment.
The dark first reared his head as his body began to change as a young teenager. Stealing panties. Stealing shoes. All petty, innocuous actions that flew under the radar. Over time, the urge to have more became too much for the teenage boy to ignore.
The escalation started innocently enough. Following a lady home from the shop or the hairdresser. When he went unnoticed, the chase became riskier. And then he met Erksine and everything changed.
Steve would have given anything to waste the day away with you tucked beneath his chin, hands wandering and teasing. But Steve had a plan. He had to stick to his plan if he had any chance of winning your trust.
And standing in the shadows, watching your tired eyes dance over the photo, the faint smile on your lips, an idea was born. He finally had this power move, your weakness.
Your attention was focused on the photo in your hands, too engaged to notice Steve in the shadows watching you.
The longer you stayed at the compound the more you found Captain Steve Rogers to be a conundrum, an enigma. How could the young sweet man in the photo in your hands turn into the egotistical, domineering force who could turn the charm on in the blink of an eye?
Your thoughts mulled over your grandmother’s warning.
“Do not trust men in suits or costumes. They use their facade to hide something dark from the world. And do not trust the man who calls himself Captain America. There is a darkness that resides deep inside of him .”
The doctors, your family had cast her aside thinking she had been mentally unwell. Spewing vitriol and prophecies. You had stayed by her side to the bitter end, certain that she was mentally competent. Your grandmother had been the smartest, bravest person you had ever met. She had been revered amongst her peers.
Perhaps it was childish, wishful thinking. Maybe she had been unwell.
Placing the framed photo back on the mantle above the cozy fireplace, your attention firmly fixed on the shield, casually laying on the coffee table. You couldn’t help but scoff at the domesticity of the world’s strongest shield just lying on the communal coffee table.
Kneeling before the table, your fingers caressed over the cool metal. The vibranium, unblemished and smooth, vibrated as your fingers ran along the lines. It was a true thing of beauty, forged back together after the destruction of Thanos.
“Looks good on you, doll.” You turned to see Bucky leant against the doorway, a plump smirk playing against his skin. “Captain wants to see us,” a warm smile gracing his lips. “How are you feeling this morning?”
Your brows furrowed. You had woken up exceedingly hot, your sheets neatly cocooning you and warm, masculine scent faintly teasing the air. Your body felt thirty pounds heavier, you were sluggish and drained, and yet you had slept so soundly you’d missed breakfast. You hadn’t had a hangover like this in years, however, you’d never been so intoxicated over two beers.
“Nothing a pastry and a cup of coffee can’t fix,” you smirked standing up and following Bucky out of the sitting room and into the kitchen where Steve stood. He looked so handsome in his fashionable bomber jacket, tight black jeans and boots, a ridiculously tight t-shirt underneath. His smile was soft and dare you say, shy.
“Good morning,” he said gently after sharing a knowing look with Bucky. “I have spoken to the High Hills sheriff and we have been able to come to an arrangement allowing us access to the local farmer’s markets this morning. We will have plain-clothed agents patrolling the area and you will require an escort…”
“I get to leave the compound?” you asked, excitement and thrill bubbling under the surface.
His smile was warm, genuine and charming and you couldn’t help the slight pull on your heart. You had to stop yourself from throwing your arms around him. Freedom. Freedom with strings, but it was a small win.
“Thank you, Captain. I’ll just go grab my stuff.”
Steve’s heart could have burst with joy as he watched you skip down the hallway towards the bedrooms.
“That was very generous of you, Captain,” Bucky teased. “Are you sure this is a road you want to go down?”
Steve ignored the cool prick at his spine, busying himself with rinsing out the coffee pot. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, buddy.”
“You’re sweet on her. She’s sweet, I like her, but she’s here to do a job…”
“And she is doing an excellent job. The first couple of blog entries have been fine, professional. She needs to be comfortable here and it’s in the best interest of the Avengers that we keep her on our side.”
Bucky scoffed, pulling his hair back into a high bun. “Sure thing, buddy. She’s a sweet kid and I would hate to see either of you get hurt.”
“Why would I…” Steve stopped as he heard your footsteps drawing near. His heart swelled seeing the knitted beanie on your head, boots and jacket, your polaroid camera hung around your neck. “Ready, doll?”
“Absolutely. You’re coming right, Bucky?” Steve bit back the jealousy.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” Bucky chuckled leading you towards the elevator. “I’m going to eat my weight in eclairs.”
The autumn air had a certain bite to it as you make your way around the charming outdoors farmers market. It was all so picturesque. Burnt orange, crisp red and muted yellow painted the trees. The warm, homey smell of pumpkin spice filled the cold air.
Sure, it wasn’t quite as bougie as your local markets, but the produce was outstanding and to be honest, you were enjoying Steve’s company.
Perhaps the overwhelming claustrophobic atmosphere of the compound had been influencing and escalating your feelings towards the Captain. You were aware of the plain-clothed agents subtly surveying their surroundings, but they were a far cry from the ever-watchful A.I. You felt free, normal for the first time in weeks.
Of course, Bucky served as the perfect buffer.
You huddled close together examining the pastry case, salivating over the perfect morsels. “Oh god,” you moaned clutching your hot chocolate to your cold hands, “I can’t choose. They all look so good.”
Bucky chuckled. “I think I’m going to try one of everything.”
You couldn’t help the huff that escaped your lips. “Unfortunately not all of us have serum-enhanced digestive systems. If I tried one of each I’d be the size of a house. It’s not worth the subsequent gym session.”
“I think you look great.” You turned to see Steve, his lips drawn tight, the tips of his ears turning pink in embarrassment. You couldn’t help but blush. What the hell was wrong with you? Not last week you could barely be in the same room as him, the memory of the damn red pen fresh like a paper cut.
Bucky did indeed order one of everything, insisting you try a bite of as many as you could fit in.
You huddled under your jacket at the picnic table, emitting a pornographic moan as you licked the pistachio cream from your finger. “I think I died and went to heaven,” you moaned before licking your fingers clean. You missed the groan Steve stifled watching you closely. “I would actually murder someone to have one of those a day.”
“Was that the pistachio cream on the eclair? Oh, that was amazing,” Bucky moaned, ripping into the peach cider doughnut and shoved it in his mouth. “Oh god, I think I had a foodgasm. Steve, you have to try this,” he cried ripping another piece off and shoving it in Steve’s face.
Steve chuckled, relaxing in the familiar and homely atmosphere. The doughnut was amazing, however, his gaze was transfixed on you as you split a blueberry macaron with Bucky before picking up your camera and taking photos of Bucky stuffing his face with the perfectly blue pastry. His eyes sparkled humorously as he laughed before moaning.
“I’m really glad we were able to get out today,” Steve confessed quietly, turning his coffee cup slowly, his eyes drawn to its lid, coming across timid and reserved. “I can’t remember the last time we got to do something… normal.”
Your heart instantly tugged, your eyes drawn to his crestfallen, distant face.
Your attention was immediately drawn to a tall, built man approaching the table at speed. He was so close Steve couldn’t react quick enough, the man pulling you from the table and all but throwing you across the field. You hit your head against the hard ground, pain shooting through you. You clutched your head, trying to sit up as the man fought against Steve, his fierce, vile eyes fixated on you.
It had all happened so quickly, your equilibrium thrown completely off course. Your body shook violently as Steve crouched before you, but you couldn’t process the words coming from his mouth, his azure eyes pinned to yours.
“Bucky, she’s in shock. Get the car started, we need to get her to Cho,” Steve ordered, his concerned eyes never leaving your face, hands running over your face and hair. “It’s okay, sweetheart, he’s gone. The Sheriff is taking him off to the county jail. We’re going to go back to the compound.”
You weren’t conscious of the comforting hands smoothing your hair, or the calming words directed at you. You weren’t aware of Bucky’s concerned eyes drifting to the rearview mirror, monitoring your condition from afar as he sped back to the compound at speeds most citizens would be arrested for.
You didn’t become aware of your surroundings until the cool touch of metal hit your chest. “What…” Your chest heaved painfully as you fought against hands. “Get off! Let go! God, please… Steve…”
“Get your hands off of her.” Your eyes darted across the room to see Steve blocking the doorway.
“Captain,” Dr Cho approached him cautiously.
“No Dr, I’m giving you a direct order. She has just been through a traumatic experience.”
“I am well aware, Captain Rogers, but…”
“And I am giving you a direct order,” his azure eyes pinned the young doctor down. “Give us a moment.”
The hands fell from your body as the doctor followed her marching orders.
“I’m sorry Steve,” you started, “you didn’t…”
“Am I also going to have to give you a direct order?” he asked playfully, approaching you slowly. “How are you feeling sweetheart?”
“Who was that man?” you asked drawing your knees to your chest. “He came out of nowhere…”
“He was a drunk fool who thought himself bigger than his own shoes.” Steve sat on the bed beside you, so close you could feel the warmth radiating off of his skin. He smelt clean and fresh.
Tears prick in your eyes. “If you hadn’t… he could…” Your throat ached, closing up as you thought back to the moment the man had pulled you from the bench and launched you across the ground.
“Doll?” His voice was but a whisper as your mind raced, the sudden urge to run taking over. You hauled yourself from the bed and began to pace the room, ripping your coat from your body. “Sweetheart?”
“I can’t… I don’t…” You didn’t know what you wanted. You wanted out. You wanted fresh air, to feel your legs pounding against the pavement. You wanted your bed in Brooklyn, in your crappy sublet with mismatched furniture and clashing fabrics.
Everything stilled as your back came into contact with the wall, blue azure eyes pinned on yours; hot, overwhelming pressure against your body.
“Steve?” Shame burned through you as you felt his erection pressed against you and you forced yourself to look away. “Steve…” but you couldn’t look away. His eyes were pinned to yours as his fingers softly ran over your hair. His eyes fluttered to your lips. “Please, Captain.”
The shaky breath falling from his lips stopped you cold, his lips dangerously close to yours. You could feel your heart beating against your chest, the sound almost deafening. You struggled to breathe as his hand drew near, the familiar grinding against your brain, suffocating until the panic set in. Your chest ached, your equilibrium drained out of your body as you grasped onto his shirt.
“Steve,” your voice trembled as tears streamed down your cheeks, “please…”
You could feel the warmth of his hand against your cheek as you gasped for air. “It’s okay sweetheart, you’re having a panic attack.”
“I know it’s a panic attack, shithead…” if you hadn’t been numb with panic it would have felt euphoric to call him names.
“Language, sweetheart,” he said, his voice like a soothing lullaby. His warmth was overpowering, drawing you away from the panic. But it shouldn’t have. “Name five things you can see around you.”
You took a shaky, shallow breath and tried to look around but all you could see was Steve, his hands clutching your cheeks. “Your nose. Your eyes. Your wrinkles. Your hair. Your lips.”
“You need to focus. Describe them, doll. Tell me like the writer you are.”
He was right, but you were struggling to focus in his overwhelming presence. “Your imposing nose. Your oceanic blue eyes. Your old man wrinkles. Your dirty blonde hair. Your rosy lips.”
You barely missed the small smirk painting those rosy lips. “Name four things you can touch.”
Your hands gripped his shirt tightly as a wave of dizziness swept over. “Soft cotton shirt.” Your hands moved to grip his arms. “Insanely strong biceps.” Your fingers trailed over his beard. “Your surprisingly soft beard. Do you use oil?” Your comment earned you a chuckle. Your hands came to rest against his chest. “Your well built-chest. Fuck Steve, it’s like a brick wall.”
The small groan escaping his lips was barely audible, but you didn’t miss it. “Name three things you can hear.”
You focused on the room around you. “The rattle of the air vent. Your small breaths. My racing heartbeat.”
“Good girl. You are doing so well, sweetheart. Name two things you can smell.”
His hand was hot against your cheek as his thumb caresses your skin. “Describe it.”
“Fresh bergamot. Warm cedarwood. It smells good. Comforting.”
“Good, you’re doing so well, doll.” Your chest puffs with warmth at his words. “Name one thing you can taste.”
Your eyes fell to his lips, anticipating the feel of his warm lips against yours, but it never came. “Mint. From my toothpaste.” You seized a large breath, leaning your head against the cool glass as his eyes roamed your body, examining you closely. Your balance returned and your breaths evened out as the cloud in your mind settled. “Shit. I’m sorry, it’s been so long since…”
“It’s fine,” he assured you, his hand resting on your cheek, the other on your waist. “You did really well when you did as you were told.”
You chuckled weakly. “I’m sorry. I’ve been a real asshole to you.”
Steve scoffed, his thumb caressing your cheek, “I don’t feel it was totally unwarranted. Come on, Dr Cho is going to make sure you don’t have a concussion. Maybe after we could all watch a movie together, so you’re not alone.”
Your hands gripped his forearms as you took a calming, but shaky breath. “That would be great. Steve, thank you.”
“Anything for you, doll.” And he meant it.
Later that afternoon, you sat beside Steve on the sectional, wrapped up tightly in your favourite green blanket, Bucky and Sam in the kitchen arguing about the consistency of the caramel they were making for the popcorn.
“They’re like an old married couple,” you teased, your fingers playing with the stitching of your blanket. The scent of Steve’s cologne was comforting, the heat of his body calming.
“Don’t let them hear you say that,” Steve chuckled, his fingers toying with the pillow in his lap. “I would never have forgiven myself if something had happened to you today.”
“I’m really grateful you were there to stop him,” you smiled, putting your hand over his. “Please don’t beat yourself up about it.”
“I just…” he sighed, “all those agents, on my call, and not one of them…”
“It’s okay, Steve,” you said, turning your body to face him. “Nobody was hurt. You’re not infallible. You’re human, albeit a suped-up human.” You looked to your lap thoughtfully, choosing your words carefully. “When I first met you, I thought you were the most egotistical man I’d ever met. You rubbed me the wrong way. But now, I don’t know why, but I see that young kid from Brooklyn inside of you. I was wrong about you.”
“You thought I was egotistical?” Steve asked dramatically, a small chuckle falling from his lips.
“I mean, you did make me watch you tear apart my writing. I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to stab someone before.” You both chuckled. “You also dictated what I was supposed to write, which as a journalist goes against every fibre of morality and ethics that I have. But I’m also at fault because I came in with a preconceived notion of who you are.”
“What made you change your mind?” Steve’s eyes sparkled as he shifted close to you.
“Seeing you come home from that date, actually. You looked so… lost and defeated. I don’t know, it was like seeing that young kid from Brooklyn who couldn’t pick up if he tried. I guess I saw the human side of you.” Steve chuckled. “I’m sorry.”
“You have nothing to apologise for. I’m sorry I gave you the wrong impression.”
“Well, to new beginnings,” you said holding up your hot chocolate. Steve grinned and clinked his cup against yours.
Line drawn in the sand, you settle down to watch the movie, Sam and Bucky putting enough food to feed an army on the table. It wasn’t long, your tummy full and satiated, the adrenalin dumped like an Advil and you were asleep on the couch.
Steve watched you sleep, your face the picture of serenity as a few wisps of hair fell over your face. Long, lithe fingers gently brushed the locks from your face, before idly running over your hair as his attention drawn back to the screen.
Dark, stormy grey eyes locked onto him, but Steve ignored the silent warning from Bucky. His friend would come around to his intentions, your relationship.
Steve lazily hummed as his fingers trailed over your skin, your breathing slow and laboured as you slept soundly. Bruce’s ‘nighty-night’ sleep powder was Steve’s new favourite toy.
Lithe fingers travelled over your breasts and sternum before resting over your stomach. Steve’s hot hand spread over your stomach before pressing hot kisses over your skin, relishing in the shudder of your stomach as his lips came into contact with your skin.
He lay his head against your stomach, one hand resting against your hip.
“I can’t wait for the day I get to come home and see you standing in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant. You are going to be so beautiful pregnant, my doll. We’re going to have a big family, I can just see it. And I will be retired so I can help out as much as I can.” He chuckled. “Who would ever imagine Captain America changing diapers?” A soft laugh and another kiss against your stomach.
“Oh no sweetheart, don’t worry. At home I will be your Stevie. I promise. Once I hang up my shield I will not be Captain America.” He sighed, caressing your stomach, relishing in the scent of your grapefruit body lotion. “I mean, of course, we will have to attend functions, but you will be by my side.”
Kneeling over you, Steve took your hand and wrapped it around his cock. “You were such a good girl today, sweetheart. You were so brave. Help daddy come and I will give you something nice in return.”