The strangest thing wasn't seeing Fury without the eyepatch--the dark sunglasses he wore performed the same function but were far less memorable--or even in civvies; it was seeing him wear colors. The longsleeved green shirt and blue jeans were perfectly ordinary, which only made them seem more incongruous. Fury looked like any middle-aged man on the street; Steve really shouldn't find that as disturbing as he did.
"Is something wrong?" Fury asked, sounding a bit annoyed.
Steve's gaze snapped up to his face. "No, sir," he said promptly. Fury's eyebrows rose, and Steve winced. "Nick," he corrected himself and almost winced again at how awkward the name felt in his mouth.
"Steve," Fury said, so easily that Steve couldn't help but wonder if Fury were showing him up on purpose. "There's still time for you to back out of this assignment. You don't have any experience in going undercover, and the stakes are high on this one. If you have any doubts about your ability to do the job, I'd much rather swap you out for someone else. No one's gonna think less of you for it. You're a tremendous asset to SHIELD whether or not you add espionage to your resume."
All of which Steve knew to be true...as much as he knew that he didn't want to be left out of a factfinding mission that had the dismantling of HYDRA as its final objective. He shook his head firmly. "I can do this."
"Okay," Fury said. "Any last questions before we head out?"
"I think I'm good," Steve said, just before Fury kissed him. Steve stiffened momentarily, then forced himself to relax. He'd read the background file SHIELD had created for this mission--read it four times, actually--and it had occurred to him then that he might at some point be called upon to kiss his supposed husband. He should've expected this particular test.
Fury's lips were soft and warm against his, the scratch of facial hair unfamiliar but not unpleasant, and it was easy enough to respond to the gentle press of Fury's mouth and to kiss back, parting his lips just enough to turn the kiss from a chaste touch to something wet and (embarrassingly) electrifying. Steve's arms were still dangling at his sides; he needed to fix that. He slid one hand over Fury's hip and let it settle at the small of his back, curled the other around his neck. Fury immediately wrapped his own arms around Steve, his hands pressing with a solid warmth against Steve's shoulderblades.
Steve wished that Fury weren't wearing sunglasses, so that he could see his expression better and maybe figure out how well he was doing. In the absence of such cues, he let his own eyes drift shut and concentrated on the play of their mouths and on his fingers stroking gently at the nape of Fury's neck.
He'd just started wondering whether he should try putting his tongue in Fury's mouth or if that would be overkill when Fury stopped the easy give and take of their kiss with a firm and somehow final press of his lips and stepped back. Fury's expression as he gazed at Steve was softer than usual--even with the sunglasses--and knowing that he was only staying in character didn't make it any less unnerving.
Steve straightened his spine under the weight of Fury's gaze, and at last Fury's mouth curled into a satisfied smile. "Well, that answers my only question. We're good to go."
Steve grinned at him. Fury opened the conference room door, and Steve got it with one hand and placed the other on Fury's back to guide him through the doorway.