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Dear Steve,

Chapter Text

November 17th, 1945.

Dear Steve,

Do you remember the last night we spent together? It was a few weeks before you died. I felt like a housewife sending her husband away to war. You said you'd come back for me when it was all over. I saw you again that morning, when I dropped you into a warzone. It was over so fast, if I had known what would happen, I wouldn't have let you go. I know it's selfish to sacrifice the lives of all those men you saved just to keep you for a little longer, but I'd do it. This pain is phenomenal, Steve. I still reach for you when I can't sleep at night.

I try not to remember our last night together, I try to block it out, but every night in my dreams I relive it. Instead of waking up in the morning to fly you to save your friend, we're in the plane you took down. I'm screaming at you to stop. You can't see or hear me. It's frustrating, I want you to stop so bad. There has to be another way, I scream, please don't leave me. Right as we hit the ocean I wake up. You don't.

It's been a week, there is no sign of you. I'm not giving up, you're out there. I won't stop looking.I really don't care if people find out about us now, I just want you back.  

Please come back.

Love,

Howard.

 

p.s

I know I promised you I wouldn't drink again. You aren't here to stop me anymore. I'm so sorry. 

Chapter Text

November 24th, 1945

 

Dear Steve,

I haven't written you in a week, but do not think I have forgotten you. It's quite the opposite, actually, I've been out on the ocean with my crews looking for you. We found a large energy signal, we think  it may be the tessaract. If it is, you can't be too far away from it.

I'm going to find you, Steve. Then it'll be you and me, A millionaire and an American hero. We'll laugh at this time when you were frozen. I'll be the hero this time. 

You kissed me, you told me you loved me. Then you were gone. 

We are going to laugh at this, I'll tell you to never scare me like that again.

Then we will be happy.

Don't worry, My love, I am coming. 

Love,

Howard.

 

Chapter Text

It wasn't you

Chapter Text

December 1st, 1945

Dear Steve,

This is becoming harder every day. I think I am fine and then something will set me off. I was escorting one of my crewmen out of my office and I shut the door behind him and suddenly it was like a flashback. 

I remember the last time I shut the door behind you as we said goodbye, at the time I didn't know it was our last goodbye.

Once the door clicked shut I started sobbing. I am a mess without you. I wish I had kissed you harder, held you longer. I wish everything was different. I remember I briefly descried you in the audience during my expo, I took little interest in you. I met you again shortly before you were injected with the serum. I thought you were incredible, your soul was much too large for your small body. Honestly, it was the most beautiful thing I'd seen, such a heart of gold. You held the sun inside of you, it was so strong and it was chained to the earth. I knew then I would have a privilege n freeing such a beautiful soul and I was exhilarated. I would help give you the body of a god, which was only fitting for a strong soul like yours. 

But sometimes... I wish I could've kept you small.  You were beautiful already and...  If you haven't had to become Captain America none of this would've happened.

I will always remember how no matter how much your body changed, your smile was always the same.

I wish that none of this was happening.

I want you back, I need you back. I don't know what to without you. That is why I will not give up I will find you. 

I won't keep you waiting for much longer.

I promise.

Love,

Howard,

Chapter Text

December 3rd, 1945

Dear Steve,

Peggy came to visit me. We talked about you like old friends. She observed us doing the search, her mouth was a thin line as she watched. I find it humorous that no one but us knows the truth. Peggy was a close friend but she was a cover up for us. A good one. She's an impressive woman. I could fall in love with her but I won't. We would be good for each other but we both know I'll never stop loving you.

She tried to convince me to go home but I can't. I will spend teh rest of my life staring at maps and monitors if I have to.

I find it outstanding that even in her grief she is still perfectly dressed everyday. Red lips, curled hair, and red nails. I haven't even showered in a week. She said its disgusting but I can't waste anytime. I need to find you.

She says I'm depressed. Perhaps I am.

She left after a few hours.

Her lipstick left a mark on my cheek.

I will miss her, she's good company.

I miss you.

Love,
Howard

Chapter Text

December 6th 1945

Dear Steve,

In the darkness you're there.

I grasp at nothing in hopes you'll be real

Your presence lingers

I feel you everywhere

I see you everywhere

In the light

I see you out of the corner of my eye

I see you in the faces of strangers

Sometimes I wish you would go away

I don't want to remember your face

I don't want to remember us

The pain is heavy

I am weak

Please stop haunting me

I'm so sorry. 

Love,

Howard

Chapter Text

December 16, 1945

Dear Steve,

When you crashed into the water you may as well have taken my heart with you.

Love,

Howard

Chapter Text

December 20, 1945

Dear Steve,

I had to go back to New York. I still have a team looking for you. Peggy returned and she is not a woman to be bargained with. She took me back to New York... I guess I can't ignore my responsibilities forever. You are a hero Steve. The public is mourning for you. Soon an official memorial will be held. It's funny because you left an orphan from Brooklyn, and now you're a martyr. 

They want me to speak at your memorial and I don't think I can do it. Everyone thinks you're... gone. But you can't be. I refuse to believe it. You're just... frozen. We can still save you, I can save you. I have no idea what to say. Peggy says I'm depressed. I'll drink to that. 

What am I supposed to say?

Steve Rogers was the most amazing man I ever met. He put his all into everything, he's smarter than he'll ever get credit for. Don't let his sweet smile fool you, he's a devious little fucker. He made me a better man. We had something beautiful. I know I'm not a good man, I've had my fair share of sins. Steve would look into my eyes and take it all away. I could've died in his arms, and that would've been okay. The last time I really saw him, he kissed me with so much reverence it took my breathe away. Steve put his heart in my hands with no hesitation. I thought I would be the one to break his heart. I'm a selfish drunk and Steve is too great for words. He made me feel safe, he was my home. We fell in love and... I won't stop looking for him. I know he'd do the same for me. Steve Rogers is so much more than Captain America, he's the greatest man you will ever meet. He's the love of my life and I will find him. He isn't gone, He wouldn't leave me. Not like this. When I find him I'll slap him for breaking my heart. He's an idiot. A self sacrificing idiot and I love him so much.

I can't say that. Can you imagine the world finding out Captain America was queer?

My reputation would be ruined, I could kiss my company goodbye.

I'm going to have to stand in front of America and lie to them. I can't tell anyone about us and it weighs on my heart. Peggy is the only one who knows but I still feel so alone.

I'm lost without you.

I'm so sorry. Please come back. I love you so much, I can't do this. I need you. I see happy couples and I can't take it. When I remember our happiness it kills me on the inside. I feel so empty. Nothing is the same without you.

I love you and it hurts so much.

Love,

Howard

P.S.

I need to get back out there, if they find you when I'm not there I will never forgive myself.

Chapter Text

December 22, 1945

Dear Steve,

I wish I didn't love you.

I wish we never fell in love.

I'm miserable. I wish this never happened.

I don't want to hurt anymore.

Love,

Howard

Chapter Text

December 23, 1945

Dear Steve,

I'm so sorry im so sorry Im so sorry Im sorry Im sorry Im sorry im sorry im so sorry im sorry im sorry IM SORRY

pleasecome back

please

i need you

im sorry imsorry im so sorry

i let you go on that mission 

I never thought you wouldnt come back

pleasecomehome

love,

Howard

ps

I'm so sorry I love you so much

pps

they're having a memorial for you on Christmas Eve and I cant do it but Peggy is making me go. I have to speak. I'll have to lie and say we were close friends. No one will ever know how much we loved eachother. They cant.

Chapter Text

December 24, 1945

Dear Steve,

I did it. I spoke at your memorial. I didn't cry in front of millions of people.

It hurt though. I ache for you. Please come back. I need you.

I see you in my dreams and they feel so real.

Please just come back and take away this pain.

Love,

Howard

Chapter Text

December 25, 1945

Dear Steve,

Merry Christmas. This would've been our first Christmas and truth be told I already had a present for you. I imagined us drinking apple cider and laughing. I would've never imagined the bitter taste of whiskey. I never imagined this stabbing pain in my heart that breaks me down into sobs. i've resorted to begging, and I am not a godly man, but everynight I pray for you to come back. Maybe if I scream my prayers loud enough whomever is out there will hear me. I don't think my prayers work, no matter how hard I believe no matter how hard I beg and scream for you to please come back it never works. Every morning I wake up and I am alone, all I got is money to show my worth. It's a hollow existence, I build things and flash a smile. Pretend to be charming with a glass of whiskey in my hand kissing dames and acting sleezy. It's all part of the appeal, Howard Stark Millonaire play boy. Manfacturing weapons that help win the war. The thing is... I don't want to destroy anymore. I wnat to make an impact on the world not destroy it. Peggy and I are working closely togther to start an organization of special people. People to look out for the world because if we could make you. god knows what's out there. We'll be only the lowest government radar performing experiements and protect those who need it. We will be invisible.. We will be everywhere but no one will know. We are going to carry out things effeciently and quietly to keep world peace. We call it Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.  It's a little wordy but we're working on it. Our main goal right now is to destroy whats left of Hydra. You did a pretty good job of killin' 'em all but you can kill a man but not his ideas.

But lets not focus on that, it's Christmas. You remember vibranium, the stuff I made your shield out of? I told the rest of SHIELD I used all of it to make your shield but it was a lie. I saved what was left and I made something. I wasn't sure of your ring size and I guess we'll never get to know if it'll fit. I made two rings. They're simple. On the inside is engraved Steve & Howard. I know its ridiculous. We could never marry but we could pretend. It was a long shot, I know. But I love you so much. I put mine on. I shut my eyes so I could pretend it was you putting it on. I'm still holding yours in my hand. I'm sorry this is pathetic, my tears are smudging the ink. I dont care if people ask if I'm engaged. I'm wearing my ring as I promise. I will find you. I'll put yours on a chain and wear it as a necklace. One day I'll put it on your hand.

I promise.

Love,

Howard

Chapter Text

December 26, 1945

Dear Steve,

You're everywhere. The true American hero. All the men want to be you and all the dames want a fella like you. They'll never know. They mourn for you but it's not... It's not really you. They mourn Captain America. They don't know you, They don't know Steve Roger. The man behind it all. They never will. 

How do you think they'd feel if they knew how much of a jackass you were. You weren't even a real Captain, but you'd never know. You were so intelligent; I really didn't expect that. An orphan from the streets of Brooklyn that drew comics. I honestly didn't expect much of you until I met you. After that I knew I was damned. Your blue eyes and clever smile caught my heart. 

And that was okay. You were worth it. You were worth so much more than I could ever give you. I spent so much time trying to memorise you. I think part of me knew you'd be a martyr. They treated you like a circus monkey. When really there was so much more. I wanted to know it all. Your laugh, what made you happy. The way your nose wrinkled when you didn't get your way. You were a stubborn thing but I never woulda put you off as a pouter. It worked well for you though.

What struck me the most, what amazed me the most, was that you didn't become some meat head. In fact the serum amplified your insecurities and it was so humbling. I don't know if anyone noticed how mortified you were. Suddenly all attention was on you. I knew though, you wouldn't falter.

I am so proud of you.

Love,

Howard.

P.S.

I've started working on something... Something huge. Something that might bring huge change. Everyone tells me I'm brilliant. It's not the same. You never told me how smart I was, you knew that I already knew that, you saw the true purpose of what I do. You saw the cause, not the flashy lights and charming persona. That was what motivated me. Now without you... I lost my muse. I keep working though, For you. For everyone. 

Chapter Text

December 28th 1945

Dear Steve,

Missing you feels like being stuck in time. The winter feels colder without you. I am swimming in grief, I feel like I might drown. I wish you were here to save me but I've got to save you. You're out there some where, I just know it. and I'm angry, I'm so angry that I've been left alone. How could you leave me like this? You selfless reckless piece of shit. I know it's selfish but I want you back and I can't help but think there must've been another way.I love you, Steve. All I want is for you to come home. 

Love,

Howard

 

 

Chapter Text

December 29th 1945

Dear Steve,

The new year is coming. The war is over, everything is changing, everything keeps going. Without you. I feel like time is moving but I'm stuck here, missing you. I'm a million miles away from everyone else, and I need to be here. Scandal is nearly ruining my image... The things I made... The weapons. I didn't think they would be stolen... I didn't think at all. Everything I make causes destruction. But you, you were the one good thing I ever did. Here I am, a man with everything he could ever want. I have money, I have status, I have power. But none of it means anything with out you. What am I going to do Steve? What would you say about me now? I don't know.

 

Love,

Howard

 

Chapter Text

January 5th 1946

Dear Steve,

I don't know what to do without you. I keep wishing for you to come back, why did you leave me? Sometimes I just cry... I don't know why. I feel empty. Please come back, you promised you'd never hurt me, but what happened? Are you really dead? I don't know if I can do this anymore, without you. If I die... will we be together again? 

Love,

Howard

Chapter Text

January 8th 1946

Dear Steve,

I need you like I need air, now my lungs are full of fire. From screaming your name, why wont you just come back? Why wont this pain just stop?

I love you so much.

Love,

Howard

Chapter Text

January 12th 1946

Dear Steve,
I just got back from looking for you, I was only gone a few days because Peggy would kill me if I stayed for longer than a week. She thinks it's unhealthy. It is so cold out there on the water, It makes wonder how you felt. It hurts me to think of you out there cold and alone. I have good men out there, we will find you.
Honestly I feel like I'm slowing sinking. I'm cold too, but it radiates from within me. I sit alone with a drink in hand, wondering what it would be like to have you here. I replay all our memories in my head. For hours I sit in the darkness, I dont know how to go on without you. Some days it's better, some days it's worse. I'm losing my mind, I am so restless. I keep hoping I will wake up, and this has all been some fucked up nightmare. I know that it isn't, though. I lay in bed and the empty space beside me mocks me. I stare at the ceiling for hours, my heart yearning for you so badly it hurts. Sometimes something small and insignificant reminds you of me and I cry. I'm fucking miserable. Please come home soon.
Until then I drink to forget.

Love,
Howard

P.s.
I love you so much.

Chapter Text

January 20th 1946

Dear Steve,

You know, I never really loved myself. But you, oh god did I love you. I loved you so much that when I was with you I forgot what it was like to hate myself. But you're gone now and I don't really have any friends, just enemies. I might actually hate myself more than I did before. I feel like I could've prevented this somehow. That maybe you didn't have to die, that you could still be here. I can't help but blame myself. I'm failing you even more now because I can't even find you. I will look till the day I die if i have to. I would sell my soul if it meant I got to see you again.

Love,
Howard

P.s.
Sometimes it feel like it was just yesterday that I lost you.

Chapter Text

January 25th 1946

Dear Steve,

You were the only thing I made that brought good into the world and I will do anything to bring you back into it. Do you even know how much I love you? Do you know how many nights I wake up screaming your name? I feel like I should be moving on but I can't. I fucking can't. I think you'd be disappointed in me. I think you'd hate the man I've become. It's only been two months. Two fucking months. The worst two months of my life. I don't care if it's unhealthy or if I'm obsessed, I need you. I need you more than anything. I don't care if I have everything because I don't have you. I would give up everything, my money, my company, to have you back. I think I'm slowly losing it but I don't care. I'm so alone without you. Everything reeks of booze because it's the only thing that gets me by. I miss you so much.

Love,
Howard

Chapter Text

January 30th 1946

Dear Steve,
I'm stuck searching for you in everything I do. On every street corner. On the empty side of my bed. On the other side of my door every time there is a knock. In the ocean. At the bottom of every bottle of whiskey. In my dreams. In my nightmares. But you aren't there. You're never there.

Love,
Howard

Chapter Text

Feburary 14th 1946

Dear Steve,
It's been awhile. I'd like to say it's because I've been busy, and I have been, but thats not why. I feel like I'm floating through time. I've sat down countless times staring at a blank page. I don't know what to write. Words can not describe how I feel, but I feel it in my bones. The piercing pain through my heart when I think of you, like someone has stabbed me. The flat out frustration because no matter how hard I try to find you, I can't. Sometimes its overwhelming.
Peggy says I need to accept that you're dead and gone forever. But if I did that means I'd be giving up on you and I will NEVER give up on you as long as I live.
It's valentines day. It would've been our first valentines day together and despite the fact you aren't here, I still planned it out. We would stay in (mostly because we'd have to), I'd buy you the biggest bouquet of rose I could find, and I know you hate fancy things but I'd order us the best dinner you'd ever have. We'd drink wine. Then I'd give you the rings I made us. Maybe I'd put on music and teach you how to dance. Then we'd make love and everything would be beautiful and amazing... Except you aren't here. I'm alone drinking too much wine and crying so much it's pathetic but what else can I do? I feel so lost. I should probably be at a bar picking up women, that's what people expect of me but I have no interest in anyone but you.

Love,
Howard

Chapter Text

February 26th 1946

 

Dear Steve,

This is probably illegible. I’m shaking while i’m writing this, I keeping having nightmares. They’re not nightmares in the official sense, more like memories. I dream about you and it feels so real. It feels like You’ve come back home. But it’s not real it’s never real. It feels like I’m being tormented every time I wake up because I remember you’re not really here and it breaks my heart. Lately I’ve been crying too much, and I had shouldn’t be. It’s been months since I lost you but it hasn’t stopped hurting, it probably never will. I will be miserable everyday until I find you, until I bring you home. I’m sorry it’s taking so long but I will find you. I promise.

Love,

Howard

Chapter Text

March 18th, 1946

 

Dear Steve,

 

You must’ve been a part of me, a part of me before the beginning of time. I wonder what cruel God decided to bring us together, only to rip you away from me? Is he laughing now? If we were destined for one another, then I am destined to find you again. If I could not feel my heart beat, I would not believe that it had not been ripped, still beating, from my chest. Will there ever be a day where I can think about you and not cry? I honestly don’t think so. I think that we were meant to be together and us being apart is something that should’ve never happened. The universe made a mistake, and I won’t stop till I’ve fixed it.

 

Love,

Howard

Chapter Text

March 30th, 1946

 

Dear Steve,

 

I see you sometimes. Maybe I’m losing my mind. My dreams about you seem so real. It’s like you really are there, and I wish I could sty in those dreams forever. It’s worse when I think I see you in person because it feels like I’m losing a bit of myself every day. I wouldn’t mind losing myself if it meant I got you back. I wonder if I will ever see you again. The real you. I’ve done the calculations and theoretically, the serum should keep you alive if you truly are frozen. I will hold onto that hope until I’m old and gray, I will never give up on you Steve. Maybe that’s selfish, but I can’t bring myself to care.

 

Love,

Howard.

Chapter Text

April 7th, 1946

Dear Steve,
Perhaps I shouldn’t be telling you this. I probably shouldn’t even write it down it’s so confidential. But so many things have happened lately. I was brainwashed. I almost hurt more people than I already have. Peggy, stubborn as she is, talked me down. It must have been hard for her considering she had to talk you out of crashing a plane but you didn’t come back. I did.
She reminded me that you were gone. She told me she understood how I felt because she had loved you too. I can’t seem to move on from this Steve. I feel like I’m stuck and you left me here to burn.
Project Rebirth was the one good thing I’ve ever done. You’re the best thing I’ve ever done. But you were good before I even got my hands on you. I love you Steve. With all of my broken heart.
Peggy says she understands but she wasn’t with you like I was. She didn’t love you like I loved you. I loved you with my whole soul, with every fiber of my being.
You shattered that when you crashed the plane into the arctic. I thought we were in this together. That we would also do good together.
But you killed yourself.
People say that you died making the ultimate sacrifice to our country. They don’t know the truth. I do. Even so it’s something I try not to dwell on. That you didn’t care if you lived or died. That you didn’t see yourself how everyone else saw you.
These days it seems the only time my hands don’t shake is when I’m working in the lab.
Me, Peggy, and Colonel Phillips are working on something. Something to keep doing good because I know you would want me to keep doing good. I want to make you proud.
Maybe if I go to Heaven when I die you’ll be proud of the man I’ve become. But I doubt they’ll let me in the pearly gates.
Love,
Howard