Steve Rogers truly thinks he was meant to be alone.
The thought doesn’t really bother him all too much anymore, he saw it as more of a fact. He would never really be alone, he knew that. The Avengers were his family and he knew he could always count on them. But as far as romantic love? He had simply accepted that it wasn’t for him. He has been in love before but it had never lasted. And now, the world was in constant chaos and Steve Rogers ran right into chaos. How could he ask someone to put up with that?
Steve had loved Peggy, that he knew for sure. When he came out of the ice, he had been so relieved to hear she was still alive. But all of that came crashing down when he went to see her. She was still strong, no matter her health Peggy Carter would always be a strong woman. But she didn’t always remember Steve and that hurt him more than anything else. He probably could have loved Sharon but it didn’t seem right to date Peggy’s niece. Plus they never got the timing exactly right. So Steve ha accepted it. He was meant to be alone.
Until he met you.
He was coming around the corner, looking over a file when he crashed into you. Luckily he was quick enough to wrap his arm around you before you met the same fate as all the papers you had dropped. You were stuttering out an apology when you finally met his eyes.
“Oh my god. Captain Rogers, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
“Hey, it’s okay. No harm, no foul, no permanent injury. And please, call me Steve. And you are?”
“Y/N. Y/N Y/L/N.”
It was at this moment you both realized Steve had his arm around you. You straightened up and pulled away while clearing your throat. Steve instantly missed the contact. The two of you crouched down and went about picking up the papers that were swatted around. As you finished up and went to move away, Steve spoke up again.
“Y/N, do you wanna grab a cup of coffee? Consider it an apology for running into you.”
You looked down at the ground.
“I don’t think so, Captain. Thank you though,” you mumbled out.
Steve Rogers once again thought he was meant to be alone.
It didn’t take long for Steve to ask Tony who you were. Tony informed him that you had just been hired to work in the med bay of the compound as a nurse of sorts and you were going to be staying in the compound for the foreseeable future. It was a few weeks after your first encounter before Steve saw you again.
It was the middle of the night and Steve had gone down to the gym. He often found himself here when he couldn’t sleep, needing to work out his issues on a punching bag. As he entered the gym, he heard someone inside running on the treadmill. He peeked around the corner and saw you. Feet pounding and headphones in, you clearly hadn’t noticed him yet. You had been down here a while, that much was obvious from the sweat-soaked tee shirt you were wearing. Not wanting to scare you, he made a show of slamming the gym door a little more forcefully than he would have usually done so he could alert you of his presence. You pulled your headphones out and quickly looked at who was there. Upon seeing Steve, you slowed to the speed of the treadmill until it eventually stopped.
“Captain,” you greeted.
“Y/N. And please, call me Steve,” he replied.
“Okay, Steve. I’ll get out of your hair.”
“No!” He replied a little more forcefully than he had intended. “You’re fine, please stay.”
“Well if you insist,” you said with a chuckle.
“Not so much. You?”
“Nope,” you replied simply.
You both went about your workouts in silence until you finished your run and left the gym.
Things kept on like that for weeks. Polite conversation when the two of you happened to see each other but nothing more. Until one movie night, something changed.
You had been coming to the movie nights on a semi-regular basis. You had gotten to know the other Avengers and liked spending time with them. You would normally find a spot with Wanda or Nat, sometimes even Thor if he was around. But this particular week, you were running late and last to arrive. Your usual spots where occupied so you wandered over to Steve who was situated on the floor with his back leaned up against an ottoman. You nudged his thigh with your fuzzy sock covered foot.
“Is this seat taken?”
“Nope, all yours,” he replied with a smile.
You settled in next to him but it didn’t take long for you to start shifting uncomfortably. Steve could feel it so he slung an arm over your shoulder and pulled you into his side, hoping to ease the discomfort. It didn’t take long for you to cuddle into his shoulder and fall asleep. Steve had never felt luckier in his life. Until about halfway through the movie when, in your attempt to get comfortable, you shifted down Steve’s side, eventually laying your head in Steve’s lap. He looked down and smiled at you. If he died right at that moment, he would die an impossibly happy man. If all he could have with you were these little moments, he would take them. Steve started absentmindedly playing with your hair, causing you to let out a sleepy sigh and nuzzle into his leg.
A little over a year later, Steve was once again playing with your hair. Only this time, you were both tucked into your shared bed, you snuggled into Steve’s bare chest. Steve thought about the past year as he held you in his arms. He thought about how he had asked you out again and you had said yes, your first date, first kiss, the first time the two of you of had sex, the first ‘I love you’ and the other million little firsts the two of you had shared. Steve wouldn’t trade those moments with you for anything. Unknown to you, another first would be happening very soon. As Steve drifted off to sleep, holding you protectively in his arms, he thought of the black velvet box holding the diamond ring hidden in the back of one of his drawers.
Maybe Steve Rogers wasn’t meant to be alone after all.