Five of the Avengers team were arriving right now in that new Avengers facility... the newest ones: Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson and a seriously injured Vision, and also the former Avengers and now know as Nomads, Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff, the black widow.
After a call from Bruce Banner, warning of a big and eminent danger, Steve decided to return to his home country, along with his team of fugitives from the US court.
In one of that new facility' room, Tony Stark's best friend, Rhodey, was in virtual conference with the government, talking about political issues, when Steve arrived with his team. The government demanded the arrest of Steve and of the others, even though he came to assist in a matter of the world's safety... Rhodey ignored ther government order and ended his virtual conference.
Rhodey greeted everyone and Steve and Natasha were glad to see him and to be back on America again.
One more person joined them: Bruce Banner, missing for two years, who is now back to talk about the new great villain... Thanos, who is on his way to Earth.
When Banner joined them in that room, everybody was in silence. Banner seemed to be ashamed and awkward as he stood and faced Natasha after so long.
N: Hi, Bruce.
Natasha said to break the ice and she didn't even know how to react or how to talk to him, after so may time, but she needed to say something. Bruce looked at Natasha and smiled, he nodded oddly and Steve, watched Banner and discreetly watched Natasha after.
Sam: Dude, this is so weird...
Sam commented, looking at Bruce and Natasha, then at Steve and then at the floor.
Wanda and Vision were not happy, he was hurt and Wanda was only thinking about him.
Before proceeding from this moment, let's go back two years ago, in the post-civil war period...
Shortly after Steve's team being jailed for justice, Steve found himself between two choices: running away or rescuing his friends and risking being arrested as well.
Of course Steve is no man to run away and leave friends behind, even more friends who stayed with him, so he had already decided that he would take friends from jail, he doesn't know how, but he will.
There was two persons Steve could ask for help, but one of them, Steve considered that she already had risked herself too much by helping him to get away with Bucky and Sam, plus she is still in mourning for her aunt's death and so he is. No, Steve didn't want to get Sharon Carter's help, and he's not sure if she alone could solve it for him.
Steve was staying in a hotel, or we might say, in a dump, in a small town, with enough inhabitants for him to blend in without suspicion, he has been there for five days, since his friends' arrest, planning what to do next.
One more morning had arrived and Steve was still unsure of how to proceed, the only thing that was going through his head, was to enter the jail by the front door, facing whatever appeared and taking them from there in brute force.
Steve decided that this was the solution, he put on his sunglasses, a cap and left the hotel. Steve crossed the street, walked two blocks and entered a diner, he went straight to the counter and didn't even sit on the stools, he stood, because he intended to take his request and leave as quickly as possible.
"What do you want this morning, handsome?"
The waitress asked Steve as she wiped a cloth on the countertop to clean.
S: A double express for travel.
- So you're in a hurry, today, huh? I was going to offer the promotion of the day... Pancakes... Whipped cream is free.
S: No, thank you, ma'am.
Steve answered dryly.
- You're the boss.
The waitress went to prepare Steve's expresso and while Steve waited, he turned to watch the TV news. Both he and Tony have been on the news in the past few days, almost all day, and they were talking about them now.
Steve's cell phone rang and he frowned slightly. Few people have this number of him, to be precise, only Sharon owns that phone number, she who arranged this new phone for him, so that he had a way of communication, without being tracked, because it was a very old model of cell phone.
Steve looked at the cell phone screen and he didn't save Sharon's contact there, but he knows her number. That number, he doesn't recognize, so it wasn't her, so... who else it could be??
Steve was in doubt if he should take the call, it could be just a mistake, so he chose to ignore the call, but the person insisted, so after the third time, he was sure it was not a mistake.
Steve took the call and put the device to his ear and lowered his head a little and he said nothing, he wanted to know who was first.
- They say that television fattens people around eleven pounds, I think that might be true... look at you there...
The expression on Steve's face changed, his frowned forehead, gave way to an expression of relief. That voice was easy to recognize, and that ironic way of commenting on a commonplace subject could only be her.
Steve still remained silent on the line, he is not quite sure what this person wants with him now.
- You should have accepted the pancake, it's really delicious.
Steve lifted his head and looked around the diner. Steve had already been looking at the place before, but he was in search of police or government agentes... but she knows what he was talking to the waitress, so she is in there and he didn't see her. How can she be so discreet?
Steve spotted Natasha Romanoff, sitting at the third table, from a row of tables leaning against the wall with a large glass window.
Natasha put a piece of pancake in her mouth and smirked to Steve, who didn't smile back. In fact he was even annoyed at being discovered by her, he thought he was hiding well.
- Here you go, handsome!
The waitress put Steve's order on the counter.
- It's 4 dollars.
S: Thank you, I'll sit down.
- Oh, you decided to stay then... fine! You are a refreshment for my eyes.
Steve didn't smile at the waitress's comment.
S: I'll pay in the end.
- As you wish, handsome.
Steve got the coffee and went to Natasha's table, he sat facing her, who was also wearing sunglasses.
S: Was it that easy to find me?
Natasha shook her head.
N: No, you're getting good at hiding.
Natasha grabbed her coffee mug and lifted it to her mouth, she lowered her head slightly and stared at Steve through the sunglasses.
N: But I'm better at finding you.
Natasha stated and took a sip of the coffee.
S: What do you want, Nat?
N: Prevent you from being arrested. What are you still doing in America, Steve??
Steve sighed and took a sip of his coffee, he looked at the window.
N: In fact, I think I know what you're up to. Don't do it. You should go away. I am...
Steve just listened.
N: Once again... there's plenty of room in my jet. If you want to come with me...
Steve shook his head, still looking at the window.
S: You know I can't do that, Nat.
N: I know. I was just testing you.
Steve looked at Natasha.
N: I'm here to help you, I owe you a debt.
S: Forget about debt, Natasha. You already paid your debts when you allowed me to get Bucky out of that airport. You don't owe me anything else.
S: But I need to get my friends out of jail.
N: I know. Don't worry. I'm here for that too.