When Phil woke up, he felt beat down and hung out to dry, even through the pain meds. There were tubes in every orifice except his ears, and a few new holes thanks to two separate IV drips. He was not altogether comforted by his matching set of IV poles draped with approximately five different bags of liquids.
He shifted, annoyed by the feeding tube going down his throat and the respirator taped to his mouth. It was all painful in a distant, frustrating way; his chest hurt, his skin felt tight, his throat was sore, the catheter was disturbing and his lips were chapped but he did not actually care because of the drugs.
“Phil?” A soft voice drifted up from his right. He looked over, more with his eyes than his head because he felt weighed down by all the tubes, into the blue, earnest eyes of Captain America.
Which was when Phil decided heaven sucked, because really, it was like some cruel tease to be dead next to his favorite superhero and still be in pain. The irony was not appreciated.
The Captain, who was dressed in a button down shirt and not his uniform, scooted his chair closer. “You’re awake again. You keep floating in and out. But we’re here, Phil. We’re here waiting for you,” Steve said, placing one of his large, warm hands on Phil’s arm. “So just get well, keep getting better, and know that we’re looking out for you. Okay? Phil? You’re safe.”
Phil nodded just a little, knowing he was probably not dead after all, because Captain America was looking sincere and worried, promising to take care of him.
The Captain smiled, his expression a little mischievous. “I’m watching you sleep. We’re even.”
Phil smiled behind the respirator, the world around him falling away as the meds started overtaking him again. Everything was going to be okay. Captain America was on the job.