Steve could not sleep.
It wasn’t a rare occurrence for the super soldier. Ever since he had come out of the ice it was almost nightly. Some nights were better than others. One thing he found helped was when he worked himself to the point of exhaustion. The moment his head hit the pillow he would be out like a light. He loathed dreaming of the past, of his final moments and hearing Peggy’s voice.
Yet that night was different from most nights. It wasn’t dreams of Peggy that haunted him or his past. Instead it was all due to the last mission that he had worked. It was supposed to be a simple extraction. They were going after the head of a human trafficking ring. It was going to be like any other mission that he had worked as Captain America. In and out, get the bad guy and that would be it. At least that was what he had thought up until he had arrived at the house.
The last thing that he had been expecting was you.
He almost wouldn’t have noticed you if he hadn’t heard the sound of your staggered breathing. That noise had stopped him in his tracks. He had been unthinking when he sought you out. He had been the one to break the chains that kept you against the wall. You had been crouched in a corner, covered in nothing more than rags and practically skin and bones.
All protocol had been forgotten the moment that his eyes had landed on yours.
He had ignored Natasha’s voice in his ear piece, asking him where he was. After all he was not where he was supposed to be but that didn’t matter. He had scooped you up and made his way out the same way that he had come in. He remembered thinking that your fingers were deceptively strong for how small you were. You had practically latched onto his suit. Even when he had gone to hand you off to the EMT’s you refused to let him go. He had practically yelled into his ear piece that he was unable to move forward.
Before anyone had the chance to stop him he had turned off his ear piece. He had gone with you to the hospital and tried to get you to talk. The entire time you didn’t say a word but you held onto him for dear life. The paramedics had asked you questions but not a single word came from your very dry throat. He had been forced to hand you off to the doctor’s once they arrived at the hospital.
He had no idea what had possessed him to scribble his number down and thrust it into your hand. You had shown signs of distress but your fingers had grasped at the paper instantly. The nurses had practically shoved him back as you had been wheeled away.
He had no idea why he couldn’t seem to get you off his mind.
It was like you had looked into his soul and scooped a piece out for yourself.
Steve had witnessed horrific things in his time. Things that would make most men cringe and cry in disgust. For some reason he couldn’t stop seeing you curled up in that corner. That was how he found himself sitting in one of the common areas of the tower. He had put on a movie but he didn’t even know which it was. His mind was far off from whatever was playing on the screen.
He had been so out of it that he hadn’t even heard his phone ringing.
By the time he grabbed for it, it had gone to voicemail. It wasn’t a number he had saved in his contacts. It took him all of five seconds to realize that it was a number that belonged to one of the hospitals. He didn’t even bother listening to the message and instead hurried to get into something other than his gray sweatpants. Quickly he donned a plain white t-shirt, jeans and some old boots. After throwing on a brown leather jacket he was rushing down to the garage of the compound.
It was a relief that no one else seemed to be awake.
He tore off like a bat out of hell on his bike.
You couldn’t remember the last time you had slept on an actual mattress. The smell of cleaner tickled your nose with every breath that you took. Everything around was just so white and so clean. You had no idea what time it was due to the fact that you had emergency surgery. You had barely been able to process anything that the doctor’s had told you. It all went flying over your head considering how long it had been since anyone had even treated you like you were a human being.
You had no idea how long you had been held captive.
You had been viewed as an object and nothing more for what felt like an eternity.
Part of you still feared that your captor would come find you. The cop stationed outside of your door had mentioned that the man was caught. That didn’t make you feel any less anxious. You had been unthinking when you dialed the number of your savior from the phone in your room. He hadn’t answered and all you did was mumble one world, Please over and over.
You had no idea who he was or what his name was.
All you knew was that he was the only one you felt like you could trust.
The nurse had shown you how to turn on the tv. All you could do was flip through the channels. It shocked you to be able to watch whatever programs were on. There was so much on and they were all so different. It was nothing like what little you remembered. You had left it on a cartoon that looked vaguely familiar. You faintly remembered watching, Tom and Jerry when you were a kid.
All that you knew was that you were grateful for the distraction. Your mind was whirring and you couldn’t seem to make it stop. You knew that law enforcement was going to want to interview you. It was likely that you were going to be sent to see a therapist of some kind. It was incredibly overwhelming and you felt like you couldn’t trust anyone.
At least anyone who wasn’t him.
Part of you had thought you were imagining him when he had first approached you. It wouldn’t have been the first time that your own mind played tricks on you. When you had first been taken you used to fantasize about being found by the cops or even your parents.
You had no idea if your parents were even still alive or if they were still looking for you.
It had been so long since that fateful day.
There was the thundering sound of footsteps in the hallway which made your body jolt. Your head instantly turned towards the door that was firmly closed. At first panic filled you but you knew that you were safe. All you had to do was press a button and help would be on it’s way. The door to the room slowly opened only for the cop to poke his head into the room.
“Someone is here to see you.”
Instantly your mind went back to the phone call and the message that you had left. You nodded to let him know that it was alright. You did a once over of yourself due to the fact that you knew you looked like a bit of a mess. You were already sitting up and the blankets were drawn up towards your chest. There was an IV taped to your hand and a cannula in your nostrils.
The door opened a little further and soon he was stepping through. It took you a few moments to register that it was indeed the man who had saved you. He wasn’t wearing the same suit that he had been when he had quite literally stumbled upon you. Instead he was dressed like a normal person. There was a look of pure concern etched in his bright blue eyes.
“I saw you called,” he explained, suddenly seeming nervous,” I didn’t think-I just-I wanted to see if you were doing okay.”
You could tell that he had arrived in quite a hurry. He shuffled towards your bed side and that was when you realized how tall he was. He also looked built from what you could tell. There was no doubting that he was incredibly easy on the eyes. That was something that you hadn’t noticed in the haze at first. Then again there had been a lot of things that you didn’t notice.
Steve couldn’t help but think that you looked so fragile in the hospital bed. You almost reminded him of himself before the serum. You were just so incredibly small and hooked up to so many different machines. He had no idea what kind of condition that you were in but he knew that it had to be bad. There were evident signs of malnutrition and other obvious injuries.
“I didn’t-I didn’t think,” you choked out,” I got worked up and I called you, I’m-I’m sorry if I woke you.”
“You don’t need to apologize, I am here for you.”
You knew that he was being sincere from the look in his eyes. You knew that it was probably strange for you to feel so trusting. Especially since you had not been able to trust anyone in years. There was just something about him that you couldn’t quite place. You were reaching up with your free hand to rest it against the railing. He seemed to take the hint and reached to take your small hand into his own.
His fingers linked very slowly with your own.
“My name is Steve, Steve Rogers.”
It was a relief for you to at least know his name. All you had been thinking of him was your savior. You knew that you couldn’t keep thinking of him as that.
“Do you have a name?”
The question should have been an easy one to answer. Once upon a time you surely would have been able to answer it without even thinking about it. Yet your mind was so fragmented. You had a faint memory of being called something but you had been referred to by other names. The man who had kept you as his little pet had always referred to you as Eva. You had no idea why he had but you knew that wasn’t your name.
“I don-I don’t remember.”
His eyebrows furrowed and it was clear that it was a surprise. You almost wanted to explain that most of your personal facts had been washed away. It hadn’t been your choice and you had tried to cling to memories. After a while it was just easier to try to forget about it. You had lost hope after being held captive for so long. Who could blame you for breaking?
“We could come up with something else to call you?”
You were surprised by his suggestion but you were nodding.
“Would you be alright with a pet name?”
“Maybe,” you told him,” Do you have any suggestions?”
“Sweetheart, sugar, darling, doll?”
Your eyebrows arched up in surprise at the last one. It wasn’t a pet name that you assumed was common. Some of the men that had come around had called you things like honey and sweetheart. You were certain that you had never heard anyone use that one.
“Doll?” you repeated,” That’s, well, different.”
Steve’s cheeks flushed when he realized that he was showing his age. He nodded as he squeezed your hand in his, gentle.
“Does that mean you like it?”