Daisy took a deep breath and pressed the elevator open button. The first thing that the two saw as the door opened was Joey and Pietro Maximoff making out on one of the couches that ringed the room, set apart from the bulk of the teams, who stood chatting in little clusters.
Steve took one look at Joey and Pietro entwined on the couch and turned to Daisy with a smile on his face and in his eyes. “See, I told you the teams would get along.”
Joey and Pietro finally stopped sucking face once they became aware of their team leaders standing still a bit shocked in the elevator. Joey looked nervous as he tried to explain, “This is … we’re-“
Pietro laughed a little as he took over the explanation in his thick Sokovian accent. “What Jos means to say, is that we are Соулматес, um, soulmates, I believe is the English word.”
Daisy shook her head and smiled. Joey deserved to be happy. All of her team did. “I kinda figured that. Not even Joey is that good.” She smirked and bumped her shoulder against Joey’s - or more accurately, against his chest. Then she leaned up to whisper to Joey, “I’m really happy for you. And, as your team leader, I give you permission to scram whenever you want. You’re not obligated to stay the whole time.”
When Joey looked ready to argue, Daisy leaned back and spoke in a normal tone. “I’m just giving you the option. It’s your choice. I just want you to know that you’re not obligated to stay the whole time. Now, c’mon. If you guys aren’t leaving, then let’s go introduce everyone.”
Daisy had noticed that the groups standing around the room were mostly divided between Avengers and Inhumans. That wouldn’t do at all.
Once brief introductions were made, everyone sat down at the long table on one side of the cozy room. Tony had made sure that the teams were split up so that they had to talk to each other, a factor which Daisy was extremely grateful for.
Dinner led to several interesting developments, chief among them being several soulmate pairs. To Daisy, Alisha and Wanda made sense together. Both of their powers were out of the norm, even for superheroes.
Sam Wilson and Anthony Sanders were another, odder pairing which Daisy couldn’t quite believe. Though, Anthony was very different than he had been three months before. He smiled and talked more than he had before.
As dinner finally finished up, the teams dispersed throughout the room, with most of the soulmated pairs opting for either the dancefloor or one of the more secluded areas around the room.
Daisy and Steve moved in unison to the dance floor and started swaying along with the slow, quiet music coming from the speakers all around the room. Soon, other couples had joined them. Looking up from where her head was buried in Steve’s shoulder, Daisy took note of the other couples swirling around them on the dance floor. Clint and Natasha were wrapped around each other; Tony was snuggled up against Pepper, who towered over him in her very classy three-inch stilettos. Lincoln held his soulmate Lacey close. Mack stood tall over Elena, whose pale blue dress accented very well against her olive skin.
Lincoln and Daisy made eye contact over their soulmates’ shoulders. Both smiled, in absolute bliss of the way that things had all turned out. Daisy remembered the long-past time where she had a short-lived crush on Lincoln. Then Lincoln met his soulmate, and Daisy saw how perfect they were for each other. That was the moment that Daisy began to truly want for her soulmate. Now here they all were, one large, strange family. Filled with love and joy and laughter.
Daisy was pulled out of her thoughts as the music in the air changed. From a slow, melodious tune to an upbeat swing song. Steve leaned down closer to Daisy and whispered, “Can you swing dance?”
“Um, yeah? I mean … theoretically. I haven’t exactly had time for my dance classes since I joined SHIELD.”
“Well in that case, Daisy Skye Johnson, may I have this dance?”
“Of course, Steve. Wait, can you dance? All the history books seem to universally agree that you were terrible with it.”
“I’ve always known how, but until the serum, I was really clumsy. Then, there was a war, so I really never had a chance to practice either. I guess the two of us could piece it together if you want?”
In answer, Skye pulled Steve back into the center of the dancefloor and started a slow rhythm, each trying to learn the other’s movements. They began picking up their pace until they were doing a frantic swing which left them both out breath, panting for precious oxygen.
As Daisy pulled Steve off the floor, she let out a breathless giggle. “Well, it looks like both of us remember a bit more than we thought. That was fun.”
Steve laughed and pulled his soulmate to his side as they sat on a loveseat. “Where did you learn to dance like that? I thought you were joking about dance classes?!”
Daisy looked him in the eye and deadpanned, “I never joke about my dance classes.” Then she got serious and said, “When I was a kid, I needed an outlet. Shit was pretty bad about 99.9% of the time. One of the few good foster moms suggested dance as an outlet. She was a dance teacher. I was only there for 47 days, but I guess she made an impact. I did odd jobs in the couple blocks around the orphanage, stupid stuff. Walk dogs, babysit once in a blue moon, that kind of thing. Enough that I could go to dance class and take all the kids out for ice cream once in a while.”
“You got them all ice cream?” Steve’s look told her that she was about as cute as a box of kittens and puppies napping together. “Even though they weren’t your responsibility?”
“They weren’t really anyone else’s responsibility either. No one except the nuns, but there were a lot of kids, too few adults, not enough money either.”
There were practically hearts in Steve’s eyes as he looked at his beautiful, wonderful soulmate. “That is why I love you.” He could see the blush start to grow on her cheeks as she ducked her head, could hear her heart beat a bit louder in her chest at the words that he regretted not having put in her head so much earlier.
Steve slid off of the loveseat and onto his knees before her, entirely at her mercy. He took her face in his hands and pleaded with her from his heart.
“Daisy, please don’t look away. I love you. I will say it as many times as I need to, until you believe it. I love you. I know I should have said it before, but I didn’t want to push you into anything that you didn’t want. Daisy Skye Johnson, I love you, and I want you to be a part of my life forever. I want to make up for not saying how much I love you by proving it every day for the rest of our lives. Would you make me the happiest man alive and do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
He reached into his back pocket and pulled the ring out, which had been sitting in his nightstand for over a week, and held it up in his palm. When Daisy sat dumbstruck in her seat and didn’t respond except to clasp a hand over her mouth, Steve waited, nervousness like he hadn’t felt since before the serum blooming in his stomach.
Steve looked so vulnerable in front of her, as if he held his still-beating heart in his hand for her to either cherish or destroy. Once Daisy got over her immediate shock, there was only one thing that she could say, “That depends, Captain Rogers,” Daisy let a wicked smile curve her mouth, “Can you make it worth my while?”
Steve’s voice was deep, pupils dilated as he answered, “Oh doll, you’re about to see just how worth your while I can make this.”
While he swooped in for a kiss, Daisy took the ring from his hand and slipped it onto her finger, where it fit perfectly, as if it was always meant to be right there. Next thing she knew, Daisy was being scooped up and walked to the elevator amidst hooping and hollering. She didn’t really care though, since she and Steve never broke their kiss.