Cap crushes through another robotic neck, pausing as he looks up. There seems to be a lull in the plaza around him. The ground shudders and he braces his legs as cars jolt a little where they sit. Tony’s voice comes over the coms, breathing heavily. “Steve! Do you hear me? You need to move!” A repulser blast punctuate the sentence.
“I hear you. Why?” Steve’s panting as he begins walking toward a street.
“Steve that tower’s collapsing. Move!” Tony sounds a little desperate. Steve looks up again. An apartment building, probably twenty stories tall or something, is leaning precariously his way.
“I was wondering what that noise was,” the Captain mutters to himself as he continues on his way. Trotting perpendicular to the building’s lean, he pauses and examines the base of the building. Something pink and green moves inside a window. He starts running.
“Team, I think someone’s in the building. Can I get some air support? ASAP?”
“Sorry, Steve, me and Sam are pinned down at the moment. It’s probably nothing, Cap, and you need to get out of there now.” Tony sounds stressed and dismissive, too focused on the battle to really process what Steve is saying. So Steve, being Steve, begins to sprint toward the building. About a hundred feet in, he can see that it’s a girl. She looks young, probably about sixteen or so. Her hair is blue underneath the neon pink and green beanie. She also has headphones on, and seems completely oblivious to the world around her, busy… Doing whatever she’s doing. It actually looks like she might be crying. Steve slams the door to the complex open and skids into the foyer, where the girl is sitting, phone plugged in, and yes, she seems to be sobbing her heart out over her phone. Steve totally doesn’t roll his eyes.
He touches a knee when he gets to her. She looks up, face going white, and pulls off her headphones.
“Oh my god, are you okay? You’re bleeding!” She startles violently, unplugging her phone from the charger. Her voice is raspy, sounding thoroughly strained from the crying.
“Hi. We need to go. I’m Captain America, this is a war zone, blah blah blah let’s go please. This building is currently collapsing. He hauls her to her feet and begins to walk with her. The building makes more noises and starts to finally fall. He sprints, shielding the girl under him as much as he can while racing a building. But he doesn’t make it. A steel beam, part of the framework of the stairwell, he thinks as he starts to black out, falls and lands square on his back, much as he tries to roll from it.
Mitch has been having a shitty day. Her mom kicked her out, saying that she was sick of seeing her, at about 4 in the afternoon. Before that, an ex-girlfriend had screamed at her in the hall at school, saying that she was only trans because she hadn’t had the balls to be a real man. And she’d had to give a speech in third period. Now, Captain America, who she knew had to hate the LGBTQ+ community, being such a self-righteous dick, had just shown up to escort her from the trash apartment complex that she’d crashed in, the one with good internet. She was so sick of homophobic bastards ruining her day. And interrupting her writing. Dammit, she’d been on a flow. Oh, and also a building fell on her.
The garter falls down, hitting Captain America straight in the back, and he crumples to the ground, body still shielding her. A surprised grunt escapes Mitch, and she rolls from underneath the hefty body into the dusty, dark space the garter had left. The girder was above them, having batted the Captain to the ground before being propped up on a wall three feet later. She crawls over the the man on the ground, turns him over, and checks for breathing. There isn’t any, not that she’s surprised. A hit like that would have crushed her back to jelly. She doesn’t have time to check for spinal damage though, not breathing would be worse than further injuring his back. She begins CPR. 1-2-3-etc. breathe in his mouth twice, 1-2-3, etc. She keeps it up for about two minutes before checking again. Nothing. How exasperating. With her luck this is going to get blamed on her. A slight rasp emerged from his ear, which was really weird until she realized it was an earpiece. She took it out and put it in her ear before continuing CPR.
“Steve!! Come in, man, you’re freaking me out.” Some person was talking on the other end, so she assumed it was one of the other avengers.
“Hello, this is Mitch, Cap’s down. I’m performing CPR.” She paused to breathe in his mouth. “He’s not responding, what do I do?” She did it again.
“Oh God. He has a miniature defibrillator in his left thigh pocket. Use that. It’s the only thing strong enough if his heart stopped. We’ll get you guys out as soon as we can. Is the building stable for now?”
“Ok. And yeah the building’s fine.” Mitch checked for a heartbeat. Nothing. She dug around in his pocket until she pulled out a tiny pack that labeled it as the defibrillator. Sighing, she undid his stupid uniform until she could reach where she needed, cleared, and shocked him. His body arched up much farther than she’d expected from such a tiny thing. She checked for a pulse, sighing when it was there. Thready, but there.
“Ugh. I did not sign up for this. He’s fine.”
A relieved sigh filters through the earpiece. “Good. Thank you, we’ll do recon when the rest of these things are dead.” Mitch pulls the earpiece out and puts it back on the Captain before sitting back to wait. She puts the headphones back in and turns her music on as loud as it’ll go. But she keeps an eye on the Captain in case anything else happens.
About an hour later, Mitch is shocked when the Captain stirs and opens his eyes a moment later. And frowns looking up at the beam that smacked him. Mitch pulls an earbud out as the Captain groans and looks around.
“Oh. Hi. You’re alive.” His voice sounds raspy and he also seems like he’s in a lot of pain. Mitch throws a water bottle from her bag at him. It hits him in the chest; he’d tried to catch it and then has flopped on the ground again as a bolt of agony ran through his back. He tries to move a leg to help himself up and looks absurdly confused when nothing happens. Panic starts to show on his face.
“Um…” Steve looks down. His combat outfit is soaked around his crotch. He tries to move a leg again and begins to hyperventilate a little when it doesn’t move, and also from the feeling of a railroad spike being pounded into his spine. Mid-back. His eyes are wild when he looks up at the girl.
“It won’t move.” Steve notices in an oddly detached way that his hands are getting cold. He tries to move a leg with his arms but the girl stops him, rolling her eyes.
“Dude chill. You’re Captain fucking America. It’ll heal. Also pour the water on your crotch. It’ll get itchy if you don’t.” The girl he’d saved sounds bored and unconcerned. “Actually you can probably blame me. I exacerbated it when I resuscitated you. You’re welcome for that.” Steve frowns a little, unused to such behavior, when he notices that it pulled him out of a panic attack and grins a little.
Steve takes a swig from the bottle before impending it over his crotch. “Well. This is awkward. It looks like we’re stuck here for a bit. What’s your name?” Steve figures they might as well chat while they wait.
“Uh, Mitch, actually. That’s going to be an issue isn’t it.” Steve grimaces.
“Why would that be an issue? I don’t care what sex your name is.” Honestly, why does everyone think he’s so neophobic.
“Yeah. You’re Captain America. Everyone knows you hate people like me. Because you’re Christian, and good people don’t get put in the wrong body. Sorry.” Mitch sounds irritated too.
Steve looks at her quizzically. “You have to put up with a lot of assholes, don’t you. Most people aren’t this vehement about this. Would you prop me up? My neck hurts.”
Mitch shrugs and maneuvers the massive man until he’s seated comfortably. “Meh. My mom’s a dick. She wasn’t happy when she figured out her son was actually a girl. Actually she still calls me Mitchell. And son. It’s really stupid.” Mitch wipes tears out of her eyes in frustration. “Actually I got kicked out this morning. That’s why I was at the apartment complex.”
Steve nods understandingly. “My mom was really supportive of my decisions, so I don’t really get the parental part. But I definitely understand the hate in general. I remember this one guy, back in Brooklyn, who apparently was seen holding hands with another man in a theater. They beat him and broke his arms and legs before crushing his face in with a brick. I’m pretty sure I’d never met a straighter guy.” Steve sighs. “People always think that I hate people that know who they are. I was the one to find Tommy, though, and me and Buck hauled him in to a hospital. He was already dead. I know what it’s like to be hated. I don’t… I don’t want anyone else to feel that.”
Mitch is subdued. “I didn’t know you were gay.”
“Bi, actually. And before you ask, no, I didn’t date Bucky. That was entirely platonic.” Mitch snorts out a soft laugh.
“Hey, it’s not for me to judge who Captain America fucks. Or anybody to judge anybody.” Steve laughs a little.
“Rough day? Me too.” Steve gestures at his lower body, drawing a rippling laugh out of Mitch.
“Your legs moving yet?” Steve concentrates, and a foot twitches. Steve gasps, pale all of a sudden.
“Ow. Ow-ow-ow. Ow.”
“Mm. One of those ‘hurts worse when it heals’ injuries then? Talking helps. Usually I’m pretty obnoxiously distracting.” Steve huffs out a laugh and acquiesces.
Which is why three hours later, the garter lifts to reveal dusky skies and Steve and Mitch lying next to each other on the dusty ground with an earbud each, in the middle of a story about Steve figuring out he was bisexual. Tony just laughs as he pulls Cap to his feet, shattered spine evidently healed. Steve puts his number in her phone and tells her to call him if somebody’s being a dick.