Steve had just dropped off his suspect in an interrogation room the first time he saw him. It was his first day as an official FBI special agent, fresh out of the academy and straight into the New York field office – one of the toughest in the country.
He was feeling thoroughly out of his depth, having already been called to the scene of two separate robberies, as well as a double homicide. The images of blood splatters and unfocused eyes were still burned into his brain. Thank God he had is partner. Natasha Romanov was scary as fuck and alarmingly competent. She clearly took no shit from anybody, which Steve had already seen first hand when she had kneed a suspect in the balls and slapped him in handcuffs for concentrating too hard on her ass and not on answering her questions. Steve could already see a lifetime of being good cop in his future.
When they had been partnered up earlier that day, she had told him in no uncertain terms that he had better not fuck up, or it’ll be her head in the block.
“I’m responsible for you out there. At least for now. It’s your job to listen, learn and do what I tell you to. Don’t do anything stupid, or you’re likely to get both of us killed.” She had stared at him unflinchingly, not even blinking. Steve had felt himself start to sweat under the scrutiny. She seemed to relax a little under Steve’s deer in the headlights expression, and clapped him on the back. “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. Welcome to the FBI.”
Steve liked her. She was petite and beautiful, fiery red hear cut to a soft curling bob, deep green eyes and a ballerina’s body. At first glance she wasn’t even remotely intimidating, but thinking she was harmless was a monumental mistake. As Billy-bruised-balls had found out first hand. He was kind of scared to train with her – he had a feeling she could drop him to the mat with little or no effort.
He had just come back out of the interrogation room to find Natasha so they could start questioning the suspect, when he caught sight of the man through a glass wall of a conference room across the corridor. The man was facing him, talking animatedly to someone and gesturing wildly. Steve’s mind sort of ground to a halt as he studied the man.
He was dressed in what was clearly a tailored three-piece suit, a deep royal blue that hugged his body to perfection and made his dark, tousled hair shine. He seemed totally at ease and in full control of the room, a slight smirk creeping onto his face, like he new he was winning whatever argument he was having. And what a face it was. Smooth, creamy skin, a complicated looking scruff of facial hair framing pouting lips, stained raspberry red. Steve imagined sinking his teeth into that plump bottom lip and had to supress a shiver of heat that rushed through his body.
Steve’s eyes were taking another leisurely trip down his trim body when he noticed the man go still. He dragged his eyes back up to mystery man's face, and saw him staring back at him with one eyebrow raised, eyes amused. Steve blushed at having been caught staring, and his breath stuttered slightly as the man slowly looked him up and down, Steve feeling the perusal like a physical caress. The man looked back up and met Steve’s stare with a smouldering gaze, eyes dark and pupils blown. As Steve watched, rooted to the spot under the weight of his stare, the man’s tongue flicked out to lick at his top lip briefly.
Steve felt his stomach clench with want at the sight, but was saved from doing anything potentially embarrassing by Natasha appearing in front of him holding two cups of coffee, and drawing his attention. She was small enough that he could still see over the top of her head, but the interruption was enough to distract, and the moment was gone. When his gaze flickered back to the glass, the man had his back to Steve, once again addressing the room.
Steve shook himself and focused on Natasha. She was just looking at him expressionlessly as she handed him one of the cups of coffee.
“Ready?” she asked with a head tilt towards to the interrogation room.
“Yep… Uh, yeah. Ready.” Steve cleared his throat and cursed internally for allowing himself to be so out of sync because of a pretty face. And body. And eyes… He straightened and kept his gaze determinedly on Natasha’s face. “Yes. After you.”
He ignored her knowing look as she flicked her gaze towards the glass wall, and followed her into the interrogation room, trying to get his head in the game and concentrate on the suspect.
He didn’t really succeed.
He did have to pull his head out of his ass pretty quick when a witness started to freak out and try to attack him with a knife. He managed to subdue the woman with little fanfare, but it was still a shock. Natasha actually looked mildly impressed afterwards. It wasn’t like he was new to that side of the job, though. Six years in the marines had him well prepared for physical altercations.
The paperwork, though. That he was not used to – his hand was cramping terribly by the end of the day. Luckily he had people to talk to while he slogged through the never-ending stack of forms. The team he was part of was made up of three sets of partners. There was Natasha and Steve of course, then there was Clint and Sam, for some reason nicknamed the ‘birdboys’. Steve decided not to ask. They were both loud and boisterous, always making jokes and keeping up morale as everyone scribbled away. Sam invited Steve to train with them after they clocked off, bragging about his superior fitness. Steve readily accepted, already looking forward to giving him a run for his money.
The last two were Bruce and Thor. Bruce was quiet and engrossed in his work for the most part, stopping only occasionally to add something to the conversation. He seemed reserved and calm, but Clint whispered to Steve that Bruce had a wicked temper. You didn’t want to see him when a suspect was disrespecting him, apparently. “Anger management issues,” Clint had said. Steve found that hard to believe, looking at Bruce’s kind smile as he explained one of the forms to Steve. (He would find out several weeks later just how right Clint was.) The last team member was Thor. He was originally from somewhere in Scandinavia, and still had a slight accent. He was big and blond and earnest. He seemed to care very much about justice, and was passionate about honour and fair play. Steve liked him immediately. That is, as soon as he recovered from the crippling handshake of welcome he received, which almost brought him to his knees.
Eventually, though, they defeated the paper monster and made their way downstairs to change into their workout gear.
“Fuck off, Steve!” Sam wheezed.
Steve just laughed and picked up the pace. He had always been good at running, ever since he got over the poor health he had as a kid. As soon as he hit puberty he had the growth spurt of a lifetime and started to build up some endurance to illness. He’d kept up with running ever since. It was a stress release as much as anything.
He lapped all of the others and tried not to look too smug. After an initial workout in the gym, they had led Steve down to the parking garage for some cardio, making the most of the large structure.
“There’s nowhere near enough room in that shoebox of a gym to get any decent speed up, Steve.” Sam had explained to a dubious Steve as they led him down to the garage.
He had to admit it was a good idea, though. He felt more relaxed than he had all day running laps. He let his mind wander as he ran, only vaguely registering what was happening around him and catching a glimpse of Clint staggering to the floor with a breathless gasp of “Aww, lungs, no,” as the rest of the team booed at him.
They all wound down eventually, walking the circuit to cool down. Steve stopped to lean against a pillar and raised the hem of his t-shirt to wipe the sweat off of his face, getting his breath back. He stood for a few seconds with the shirt covering his eyes. He registered movement to his right and lowered his shirt slightly, so that his face was uncovered, only to stop and freeze when he saw mystery man standing in front of him, only inched away. The man’s gaze lingered on Steve’s bare chest and abs, shiny with sweat under the lights of the parking garage. Mystery man flicked his eyes up and locked gazes with Steve, a predatory smile spread across his face, making Steve’s stomach swoop.
Steve struggled to breath, for a whole different reason than the workout, as without breaking Steve’s gaze, the man reached under his jacket and into the pocket of his waistcoat, withdrawing a business card. He took a step closer; so close that Steve could feel his warm breath on his cheek, before reaching down and slipping the card into the waistband of Steve’s sweatpants, one knuckle just grazing Steve’s bare skin.
Mystery man backed away raised his eyebrows at Steve, before turning and climbing into a nearby shiny black Audi R8, and speeding out of the garage without a backwards glance. Steve slumped against the pillar and sucked in a shuddering breath as soon as the car was out of sight, trying to calm his racing pulse. He let out a short burst of incredulous laughter – this man managed to make him completely lose his mind, and they hadn’t even said a word to each other.
Steve finally relaxed his grip on his shirt, letting it fall back into place and grabbing the business card out of his waistband. Printed on one side were the words, ‘You know who I am.’ Steve snorted and turned the card over. The second side was more helpful. ‘Tony Stark, Defence Attorney,” was printed in thick black letters, and underneath was a cell phone number, hand written.
Steve exhaled long and slow, happy to have a name to go with the face. He slipped the card carefully into his pocket and re-joined the others, who didn’t seem to have noticed his visitor. Most of them were collapsed on the floor in a heap of exhaustion.
Steve’s thoughts raced the whole way back to his apartment, and he finally fell asleep with thoughts of deep caramel coloured eyes and beard burn running through his mind.