The snow reached well above your ankles by now and you wondered how much further it would be. You were so tired, but didn’t want to say anything. Steve walked a few steps ahead of you, oblivious to your ever slowing steps. The muscles in your leg were protesting the movement, screaming at you to rest, but you couldn’t give in. You had to keep moving, there was no other way about it.
You’d been walking on this frozen mountain for hours now and there seemed to be no end in sight. The terrain was uneven and unpredictable, it was getting tougher to put one foot in front of the other. For you that was, Steve seemed no worse for wear. His steps were as light as they had been at the start of this unintended hike. Of course it wasn’t fair to compare yourself to him. Not only did he have the serum running through his veins, it was also your first mission since getting shot three months ago. The bullet had been a through and through, luckily. It had healed nicely, but you had not been able to follow your regular training routine and it was showing. You were even too tired to overanalyse the lack of conversation with Steve.
You’d have a crush on your captain for months now and would always use the downtime on missions to get to know him better. It made time move faster and was a nice distraction. You just couldn’t bring yourself to do it now. You barely even focused on his ass as he walked ahead of you. It would’ve been the perfect opportunity, but walking took too much focus right now.
You really needed to rest, but there wasn’t too much daylight left. And spending the night in these woods, in this cold and with no form of shelter, was the last thing you wanted. So you soldiered on and kept your mouth shut.
At least, you tried. But when a fallen branch required you to jump over it, you winced. The landing straining your already painfully tired muscles too much to keep it in. Steve turned quickly, concern on his face as he looked at you. You smiled, trying to convince him everything was fine, but in an instance you knew he wasn’t falling for it. You shrugged, straightening yourself up, ready to walk again.But as you reached up to him, he wasn’t moving and his beautiful blue eyes were still trained on your every movement. He was assessing you.
“Let’s go, Cap,” you said, forcing a bright undertone to your voice even though you knew he had seen through you now.
“You’re hurt,” he stated as he looked you over. The blue in his eyes seemed grey in these surroundings, you noticed.
“I’m fine, Steve. I just want to get off this mountain,” you sighed and began walking again, assuming he would follow. And he did, begrudgingly, but he followed anyway.
Steve tried to strike up conversation, asking random questions, trying to get you to talk. You gave him short answers, needing to focus on your footwork. If you wanted to keep going, you couldn’t spend too much energy on speaking and Steve seemed to realise this when the amount of questions subsided. Finally there was silence, Steve walking behind you now, instead of in front like he had done up until then and he kept his steps in sync with yours.
When the fallen darkness was moving in on you, you grumbled. It didn’t seem possible to get off this mounting before nighttime. And since sleeping in the snow wasn’t an option, you’d be moving throughout the night. It was the safest option, you knew, even in the pitch black. The temperatures were far too low to stop moving now.
“I’m sorry,” Steve whispered and you turned around to face him, confused. Why on earth was he apologising to you? You didn’t need to voice your wonder, he could see it on your voice and after a deep intake of breath he offered an explanation.
“For making you hike,”
“It’s not your fault that the car stalled,” you smiled, “We’ll just blame Tony for giving us a faulty car,” you added as a joke and he chuckled. Reaching forward, you took his hand in yours and squeezed it softly.
“You’re freezing!” Steve exclaimed and you laughed waving your hands at the snow. What did he expect? He took both your hands in his and took a moment to rub them warm. Or warmer at least. It would take a while for this chill to leave your bones, you thought.
A spark ran through you at his touch and you allowed yourself to relish in it a little. It would only be a moment, you promised yourself. Stepping closer to him, you had to restrain yourself. Heat was radiating from him and you just wanted to bask in it, but that would be inappropriate.
“That’s it,” he said with a determined finality to his voice, “We’re getting you out of this snow.”
“And how were you going to do that?” You wondered with a chuckle, raising an eyebrow. He was always optimistic, but you really didn’t see a way out of this. There had not been a road in sight for hours. And nobody would be crazy enough to venture outside in this weather. Except you.
He shrugged, unsure, and you started walking again.
“How about that,” Steve mumbled thirty minutes later and you halted your steps, looking back at him. He smiled brightly and pointed to your left. Following the direction of his arm, you stared into the trees and tried to figure out what he wanted you to see. It took a moment for your eyes to adjust to the darkness that had quickly fallen, but when they finally did, you saw what was hidden the tree-line. You could barely make out the outlines of what appeared to be a cabin, but the sight of it flooded your senses with relief.
Steve quickly started walking again, getting ahead of you. You followed a little slower, but with a newfound spring in your gait. Resting your feet, closing your eyes, it all seemed too good to be true, but it was close now.
By the time you reached the small building, Steve had already walked around it and determined that nobody was here. He carefully breached the door and guided you inside. It was just one room with a bed in the far corner and a couple of comfy chairs near a fireplace, but it was shelter. The collecting dust on the table that was placed between the chairs told you that it had been a while since anyone had been here.
You carefully walked further into the cabin and looked around the cabinets above the sink. Some canned foods but nothing much. And since there was no real kitchen, you didn’t think they’d do much good.
Behind you, the door slammed and you glanced behind you to see Steve walking up to the fireplace with his arms full of firewood. You hadn’t even thought to look for that, but obviously Steve had. Luckily there had been some, the snow would’ve made it hard to find anything that would burn.
Rummaging through his backpack, Steve pulled out a box of matches and he managed to create a small fire. You smiled and kicked off your shoes, they were wet from the snow and would do nothing to warm you up. Neither did your coat. Hanging it over the chair, you hoped the fire would dry it up enough for it to keep you warm again tomorrow.
“There isn’t that much wood left, I don’t think anyone was coming back here,” Steve confessed,
“you should take off as much of those wet clothes as you can and get in the bed. Sleep, get warm.”
“What about you?” you asked as the first flames began to roar. Okay, it was more of a crackle, but it was such a welcome sound that you liked to imagine it bigger.
“I’ll be fine,” he said and sat down in one of the chairs, “I’ll keep the fire burning for as long as possible.
“Or you could catch some sleep,” you offered.
“What do we do if the fire goes out while we sleep?” He said pointedly.
“You keep me warm,”you winked and Steve laughed as he shook his head, not even dignifying it with a reply. Instead he repeated his refusal and remained in his chair. He watched as you moved around the bed, cleaning the sheets from the collected dust as well as you could. When you were finally happy with the results, you removed your clothes quickly and crawled in bed.
“What was that?” Steve called out just as you laid down.
You grimaced, but didn’t answer his question. You knew what he must have seen. The massive bruise that had formed on your ribcage, covering much of the left side of your torso. It was near your recently healed bullet wound and the blue of the bruise created a strong contrast with the redness of the scar.
The bruise was from the dat before, when the target you had been after realised who you were and tried to get away. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, if you had been able to drive home. Which had been the plan today, until the car had given out.
“It’s nothing,” you said, but Steve was already up and pulled back the covers from your body in one swift motion.
“Now captain, you wanted to see me so scantily clad, all you had to do was ask,” you joked, wishing to break the tension you could feel building. He was either concerned or angry and you were too tired to deal with either.
A blush worked it’s way up your cheeks from your neck under the scrutiny of his gaze and your fingers itched to pull the covers back up. Unfortunately, he still had them in his grasp. It suddenly seemed like a really bad idea to have stripped down to your underwear.
His left hand carefully traced the bruise, from there his fingers moved to the red scar next to it and stalled there. Goose bumps rose up all over your body and your heart skipped a beat. His touch was electrifying to you and you wondered if he felt it too. Your breathing got a little more irregular and you tried to take a deep breath to calm yourself. As you did, you regretted it, because it pushed your bosom up. It drew his attention to your bra and he swallowed thickly.
“You should’ve told me, Y/n,” Steve whispered, not retracting his hand yet and you glanced up at his face, realising that he too had discovered just how close he was. Still, he didn’t pull back.
“There is nothing you could have done,” you whispered, struggling to make more sound. You looked up into his eyes and saw a warmth there that lit a flame in your heart. Why was this man so beautiful? A long lock of his hair fell forward as he leaned over you and you reached up to push it back. It had been on instinct, you hadn’t really thought it through and as your fingers carded through his hair you feared he would jump away from the contact.
But he didn’t. His eyes kept gazing into yours, his hand now flat on your ribcage, his inspection of your bruise long forgotten.
Licking your lips, you moved your fingers from his hair to his neck and kept it there. For a moment you paused, wondering what he would do. Then you gently tugged, pulling him forward as you lifted your own head from the pillow. You moved slowly, giving him time to stop you, before you moved your lips gently against his. He leaned down further, placing his right hand on the bed to support his weight and his lips moved with yours, exploring your mouth. His tongue slipped out, asking for entrance and a moan slipped from your mouth, prompting a sexy grumble to erupt from his throat.
Brazened by his response you pulled him even closer and he fell unto the bed, the kiss quickly deepening and becoming all consuming. All thoughts of the mission and the cold forgotten as his hands roamed your body and you pulled at his clothes.