April 27, 2015
Steve Rogers sighed looking at the glass of whiskey in his hand. He sipped the golden liquid and he regretted, for what seemed like the millionth time, that he couldn't get drunk.
The Captain looked around to see his colleagues and friends drinking and laughing. They had just come back from destroying another HYDRA base somewhere. He didn't even remember where it was, not that he cared at all. He just wanted them to disappear so no more civilians got hurt because of the terrorist orgnatitation.
He heard Thor booming, as loud as he was right next to him, although he was at the opposite of the room. The laughs of Jane, Thor's girlfriend, their friend Darcy and Pepper. He turned around, seeing Bruce talking lively with Sam and Rhodey, the last one looking like he was about to shoot himself if the other two didn't shut up, what made him smile a little.
And then he felt a hand on his shoulder, patting his back. Steve swallowed the sigh that rose from his throat and looked up to his friend.
"Hey, Capsicle!" Tony gave him a wide smile; his brown eyes twinkling with a childish shine.
"Hi, Tony," Steve replied, raising his glass.
"Are you having a good time?"
The Captain glared at him. He didn't even know how in Hell he had let Tony to drag him there. But, after discussing with Stark for almost an hour and being harassed by Natasha and Clint, he had finally given in and there they were now, in a bar in the heart of Brooklin, with lots of other people around.
He had to admit it was an extraordinary, unreal place, tho.
In first place, they weren't being disturbed by fangirls and fanboys. Although he always tried to be friendly, sometimes it was a bit tiring. He had seen some badges and regulate guns, so he wondered absently if it was a "cop bar". That could be the reason why they didn't say anything; they were exhausted of fighting crime, and, just as The Avengers, just wanted a break.
In second, the walls were all covered with posters of rock bands, some even of his day (and he wasn't referring only to the bands, also to the posters themselves, that seemed to be able to be reduced to nothing but ashes if anyone dared to touch them), and unknown songwriters who smiled at the camera from the shelves.
Despite the festive atmosphere, he would rather be in his apartment. But he wouldn't say that to Tony, it wouldn't be polite, and for once, the man seemed to be legitimate just trying to cheer them all up.
"C'mon Stark," he heard Natasha at his other side. "You can't just ask supersoldiers from War World II if they're having a good time since we're not showing patriotism and singing gospel. That's not polite."
Tony snorted and Steve glanced at Natasha, who was standing there with a beer in hand and a bright, though fierce, smile.
"Hilarious," Steve replied, trying to look angry. Which, of course, he failed.
"How are you doing, Rogers?" The Widow asked looking right into his deep, blue eyes to make sure he wouldn't lie to her.
"Good, I guess," Steve shrugged. He really didn't want to talk to them about the nightmares he was having since the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. Specially about Bucky. Despite the help Sam had provided, he had found nothing about his best friend. It was as if he had vanished, again. And that was driving him crazy.
"BEEEEP" Tony said, imitating an alarm. "The polygraph says that your nose will grow, Capsicle." There was a moment of silence while the Captain looked at him with a blank expression. "What?" Tony blurted out. "You didn't get that reference?"
Natasha laughed at the comment and Steve rolled his eyes.
"You know what would make you good?" Natasha intervened.
Don't say it. Please, don't say it. Steve thought, closing his eyes.
She has said it.
"Why don't you ask Sharon out?" the redhead asked innocently.
Steve sighed. Despite what everyone believed, including Sharon herself for what it seemed, he didn't see anything more than a colleague, another agent, and the granddaughter of the woman he had come to love 70 years ago. Of course she attracted him, but it was for her resemblance to Peggy Carter. No more no less. And he didn't want that in a relationship. He wanted love, true love, not an attraction created by the ghosts of the past.
"Hey, wait a moment," Tony interjected, rasing an eyebrown and looking at him with a smirk. "How I didn't know about that? You lucky bastard!" Tony pointed then to Natasha, who seemed more than pleased with herself. "Nat, you've gotta tell me everything!"
And that moment, the Captain's glass almost overflowed. He tried to calm himself down and looked at his two friends.
"I haven't told you anything, Tony, because there's nothing to tell," both gave him the 'I-don't-believe-a-single-word-you-are-saying' look. Steve sighed, again. It was gonna be a really long night. "Listen, I just don't-"
Steve's dialogue was abruptly cut off by the sound of what he recognized as country music (or at least, for what it looked to him as country from what he had listened. At his time, it wasn't called that. Just music from the South.) He looked up and saw a stunning, beautiful girl that left him breathless. She seemed to be very young, even more than him. He was just on his mid 20s, but maybe she hardly reached them.
She had big, bright, (c/e) eyes shining with joy, (h/l) (h/c) hair and soft (s/c) skin. She was wearing a white strapless dress that ended just above her knees and a dark blue acoustic guitar in her hands.
The instrumental of the song seemed to come from speakers on stage, since no one else was up there with her, at least it seemed to him like that; it was hard to say, because the back was completely dark.
The sound of the guitar that she was carrying began to ring around the bar, and then… then he heard her voice. A sweet, melodic voice which sang with feeling.
The song was about having hope and fight till the end, about never giving up. And Steve just could stare at her, completely mesmerized by her. He was briefly aware of Tony calling him, shaking him by the shoulders, but he put a hand up, asking his friend to leave him alone while the song lasted.
At the end of the song, she changed the lyrics: while she had been singing all the way in 'present' tense, then she started to do it in 'past'. And then she was claiming about how the battle the song talked of had been won.
While the music faded off, a girl with wavy golden hair and blue bright eyes went up the stage and hugged her. Everyone who was in the bar started clapping like crazy, Steve stronger than anyone, cheering her with a huge smile.
Natasha, who hadn't lost sight of him while the young woman sang, noticed the excitement in the eyes of the Captain. That was not the way he looked at Shannon. It was ... it was almost like the way she looked at Clint when no one was present. She smiled to herself and moved, no one noticing her slipping away.
Steve followed her with his eyes when he saw her get off the stage, but suddenly she disappeared into the crowd of the bar. He frowned and sighed looking at his hands, out of his trance.
"She's pretty," a voice said next to him. Steve almost choked on his whiskey and Sam burst out laughing, patting the back of his friend.
"I-I wansn't- I just- Can't- I mean, I didn't-" Steve stammered, her cheeks turning into a light shade of pink.
"Hey, man," Sam whispered. 'It's okay if you think she's pretty. That's not illegal, you know? And... Wow!' Sam raised his eyebrows in an incredulous gesture as he took his bottle to his lips. "What a voice".
"It's good you two think that, because she's right here."
Both friends turned around to see Natasha with a hand on the girl's shoulder, a broad smile on her face. Steve's jaw dropped slightly before he came out of his stupor.
"I'm Steve, Steve Rogers, ma'am," the Captain said, standing and putting out a hand.
She shook his hand, smiling as she looked straight into his blue eyes, as deep as the sea.
"I'm (y/n), (y/n) (l/n)".
Steve smiled. Little did he know that three days later he would have to face Ultron, but always with her presence in the back of his mind.
At least, until the final battle with the evil A.I., when everything changed again.