DISCLAIMED

Hey- to my old readers, welcome back and to my new ones, welcome. I hope you enjoy this story. I recommend that you read 'Sparks and Spies' in order to understand this, but if you do not want to, there are only a few details you need to know. It basically boils down to the fact that Emily is a SHIELD agent, works with the Avengers sometimes and is the niece of Phil Coulson. This is set two years after Sparks and Spies, in late 2014.

So without further ado, I present 'Fights and Flames.' I hope you have a good time reading it.

Chapter 1

Location: SoHo, New York City, New York

The bar at the fancy hotel was filled with activity on the Friday night. It seemed that none of the guests had a dime to spare as they sipped the finest wine and champagne, celebrating whatever was going well in their lives. Engagements, birthdays, business deals, maybe just having the money to afford a place like this. It was probably worth the cash though, even though the drink prices were borderline criminal.

Hell, the entire place screamed money. These weren't suits from the wedding sections of the local department store- these were your high end Armani and Vivienne Westwoods, a place where you'd have to have to be actually wearing those brands to get in. You wouldn't get these dresses in the discount section of Macy's. Well, they would cost nearly triple the monthly paycheck of the average American citizen. Diamonds and jewels lifted from the highest security vaults of the jewellers. Shoes that you wouldn't wear out to the club, bags that wouldn't be out of a place at the latest celebrity wedding- it was all there. The bartenders wouldn't get you beer at all; you'd have to walk down to the nearest sports bar for that. Music was played from the strings of the band, the beauty of the rhythm swaying throughout the room. It was quiet, delicate with mindless chitter-chatter and the clink of the celebratory glasses. No one raised their voices above a gentle, calm tone, apart from the loud laughter that came from the groups and pairs every so often.

No one looked out of place. This was obviously quite good, because the person who most wanted to blend in the most was indeed doing so.

She was alone, unlike the other members of the bar, not gossiping with a group of girls, celebrating a business deal or spending some quality time with a significant other. Her hair was pulled up into a smooth bun; the only hair out of place was purposeful- wisps falling down from the sides. The dress was just from some boutique in Tribeca, nothing expensive- same story with the shoes and bag. To the untrained eye, the necklace and earrings were dripping in diamonds. The earrings were an old birthday gift and the necklace was from the same store as the dress. The black material hugged her curves- nothing too revealing, but it was far from conservative at the same time. The champage sat, half-drunk, in the flute next to her, having lasted nearly an hour. She brought it to her lip, sipping it gently. The taste was pleasant, but not too much to her liking. She had no time to enjoy it, however, as this woman was not here to listen to the music and drink to her heart's content. She was on a mission, and she was going to suceed.

Unlike the other people in the room, Agent Emily Collins was not here for business or pleasure- well; she was for business, but not in the way others were. She brushed a wisp away as she stretched her leg upward, surveying the room, trying to avoid a gaze of the young man who had been staring at her for the best part of forty-five minutes. A part of her wished to try and give him some kind of signal that would let him know what she was not interested, but this would blow her cover and that was something she could not afford to do. Instead, she sighed and looked around, running her finger around the glass in a soft manner. The Undercover Unit had been disbanded, as SHIELD just thought that there weren't enough operations, at least ones that could be done at short notice, so she'd been sent- there were no Avengers activities for her to work on.

Her current interest was a businessman, Charles Hensridge, who was believed to have partaken in some very…unsavoury business deals that had involved SHIELD personnel. They could charge him with being an accessory for murder, which carried a very heavy penalty and prison term. Instead of charging in and arresting him, they wanted to lure him out. He always had heavy security with him- nothing SHIELD couldn't handle, of course- but he'd seemed to have taken the night off. It was just easier that way. Apparently, he had a taste for women. So Emily was dressed up and sent off. She wasn't complaining, as it was one of the better assignments. Well, she'd have to flirt with a fifty year-old man but she was in a nice, posh hotel and the drinks were being paid for. There had been a lot worse.

She scoured the room for him, but hadn't spotted him yet- he hadn't arrived yet, it seemed. She was growing restless, bored even, but she knew that she would have to remain patient. Patience was a virtue, as the proverb went. She wasn't sure if it was true, but it couldn't be too wrong. As if she were speaking to someone, she shook her head. Well, she kind of was – there were cameras everywhere.

But, just as she was beginning to get really annoyed, he appeared in her line of sight. Tall, balding with a growing waistline. He was nowhere near fat, but he was starting to let himself go. She could tell that he was the kind of guy who used to be very handsome. The suit was perfectly tailored, obviously expensive and she had to admit that his taste was excellent- it suited him right down to the tie. His drink was already nearly finished- it hadn't taken him long. She slipped her compact out of her bag and flipped it open, surveying her reflection in the gleaming glass. Adjusting her lipstick- only the most seductive red, she flipped it back shut and placed them both back in the bag.

Emily straightened her back up, making herself look confident and poised. She wasn't Emily Collins. She was Elizabeth Jenson, a 25 year-old businesswoman from Los Angeles, born and raised. Went to a fancy school, a top college and was high up in the company Global Computers Inc. In town for a very important meeting that would make or break her company- they would need someone charismatic, so they sent Elizabeth, or Lizzie, as she liked to be called. Recently broken up with her boyfriend- sad, heartbroken, in fact- they'd been together for nearly four years.

The young man from earlier had gone so she now had a clear view of him- he was straight in her line of sight. Right, perfect. This was all going very smoothly. All she needed to do was catch his attention and hoped that he would take the bait.

As if on cue, she caught his eye and she waved slightly, a little flick of the wrist. He turned around but then realised that there was no one behind him. He looked back and not being able to resist, she sent a little wink along the way. He smirked slightly and with a little nod of her head, he knew to come over. Collecting his drink, he strode over, confidence oozing out of every pore. Or so it seemed. He portrayed someone who was trying to seem cool, calm and collected but she could see the slight quiver of his hand and the sweat lining his forehead, falling down in beads.

He finally arrived at the table.

"Hey," he nodded.

"Hi," she pushed the chair back with her foot and indicated at it, "Why don't you sit down?"

He gave her a dashing smile, his pearly whites twinkling. She involuntarily shuddered, but the Elizabeth in her told her to maintain straight-faced. He settled himself down as she took a sip from her glass, looking at him over the top of it.

"I think we should start with introductions," he held out a large hand, "Charles."

"Elizabeth Jenson," she took his hand and shook it firmly, high in the air, but no longer than she had to, "It is a pleasure to meet you."

"No, the pleasure is all mine, Miss. Jenson, I'm not used to having beautiful women invite me over."

She faked a laugh- well, more of a giggle, "Oh dear, I'm not sure that I can quite believe that, Mr. Charles. I'm sure that women flock to you. You are, after all, a man of handsomeness and charm. Why a woman would not be attracted to you remains a mystery to me."

He laughed too.

"Oh dear, you are too charming, Miss. Jenson. Or may I call you Elizabeth?"

"You may but I must say I do prefer Lizzie," she leaned forward.

"Then Lizzie it is."

They lapsed into silence as he his eyes raked her. It wasn't exactly lust or hunger, it was more of…well, she wasn't too sure. She admired the tinkering of the ivories as a piano player mounted the stage, playing a tune unknown to her. She wasn't too well versed in music beyond the radio and her iPod, especially the classics that were probably playing now. That was more of her mother's forté- she was an excellent pianist who enjoyed spending hours playing the classics. Her instructions had been to invite him up to her hotel room, where the other agents would be laying in wait. The thought made her skin crawl, but she had to do what an agent had to do. She was quite good for following orders, unless they somehow went against her strongest moral beliefs. Unfortunately, this didn't quite count.

"So, , what brings you here?" she leaned back in her chair.

"Well, Lizzie, m'dear, I was hoping to meet a friend, but most unfortunately, his wife fell ill so he had to stay home to care for her. At least he had a legitimate reason for leaving me; I agree that it is quite a good one."

She shook her head in sympathy.

"I agree, that it is quite a shame that you got all dressed up to come here but as you said, your friend seems to have a good reason for leaving you here all alone."

"But what about you, what are you here for? Business or pleasure?"

She leaned back even further into the plush upper cushioning, "Business, but I'm now starting to think that pleasure may be on the cards now."

Hensridge looked almost pleased with himself. She brought her hand forward to enforce the fact that there was no ring on her finger, something that she knew that he was wondering. She didn't even need to look- she knew that he had never been married. He looked coyly downwards and upon seeing her empty hand, a twisted smile appeared on his face at his good fortune.

"May I ask what kind of business that is?"

"Just a meeting, nothing important," she twisted a whisp in her finger, "Well, not important to me, more to my superiors. I just enjoy the city life, reminds me of home."

"So you're a city girl, hm? Let me guess…Chicago? No, not Chicago…how about Los Angeles?"

"Very good, well down, a Los Angeles girl born and bred. What about yourself, are you a city boy too or a country lad strong and proud?"

He nodded at the first part, "Yes, I'm a city boy too, but I'm a native New Yorker. I've missed it a lot, as I've been working all around the country recently, especially in the South but I'm not really accustomed to Dallas or anywhere like that."

She gave what she hoped was an excited smile as she tapped her foot against the table leg. That was one difference between her and 'Lizzie.' Emily had grown up in Hampton Township, Pennsylvania, a regular sized just twenty minutes away from Pittsburgh. She'd moved to New York after graduation.

"So, what do you do for a living?" she asked him, with (fake) interest.

"I run my own finance company," he suddenly looked happy (of course, he was due to get a buttload of dosh for his illegal earnings), "And yourself?"

"A businesswoman myself, too. I'm a Junior Executive at Global Computer Inc."

"Oh yes, I've heard of it, didn't you rank high in a Forbes list recently? You must have, I'm a regular reader, and I remember everything about it. You must be excellent at your job if you're a Junior Exec at your age, must mean you're smart. I do know someone there, Daniel Cooper. You know him? He works in legal? He's a great guy."

She nodded, biting her lip slightly.

"Yes, I think so, that name certainly does ring a bell, but then again, I don't really encounter that department in my job. Is he is in his mid-thirties? Dark hair? Or am I thinking of someone else?"

At that point, he nodded so rapidly that it looked as though his head was about to break off, "Oh yes, that's him! Cracking guy isn't he, really smart? Got me out of a few sticky situations myself, he's an excellent lawyer, very good at his job."

Bingo.

"Oh yes," she lied smoothly, "I think I've encountered him at a few office parties."

"Oh, I must mention your name next time I get into contact with him. He recently got engaged to this girl called Lucinda, lovely girl, around his age, another lawyer. God, she's bloody smart she is."

She gave another slight nod.

"Well isn't that lovely? I must pass on my congratulations when I get back."

His eyes travelled back to her hand, which was resting on the table. She tapped her fingers against the wood as she followed his line of sight.

"So speaking of engagements, it looks like you no-one's put a ring on your finger. How can no guy have wanted a dashing lady like you yet? If I knew you, I'd be putting a rock on that so fast that you'd need to slow down the footage just to see."

He chuckled to himself and she forced a grin.

"No, no engagement quite yet. I was hoping for a proposal recently, but I broke up with my boyfriend."

His eyes faked sympathy, but she could see the slight pleasure in them.

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"Don't be, he was a jerk. Caught him in bed with his co-worker and that put an end to our relationship pretty quickly. Should have seen it coming, there were so many warning signs, but oh well, at least I'm out a toxic romance. There are plenty more fish in the sea. But what about you?"

She made sure that he noticed her eyes raking him up and down in the process.

"Well, that guy is insane to cheat on such a hot young thing like you. And to answer you earlier question, I'm afraid that there's no one that at the moment. There have been a few ladies in the past, ones whom I was quite serious about, but things get in the way. Long-distances, work, lack of communication on both parts. I admit I was quite to blame in some cases, but it was the ladies in others. I'm getting far too old to settle down now, so I've given up looking for The One."

Emily grimaced as Hensridge shook his head.

"Anyway, it doesn't matter. All the happiness one needs is in corporate satisfaction."

"I'll drink to that," he agreed, lifting his glass. They clinked together and both drunk simulatenously, both taking polite and delicate sips. That look of…interest had now appeared on his face.

"So how long are you in town for?"

"A couple more days for a business deal, got to do some company stuff in Florida then I'm back here indefinitely, thank God. Where else can you get Chinese food at 3 o'clock in the morning?"

She faked yet another laugh.

"Oh, how true, but I prefer Thai myself."

Another lie- Emily loved Chinese food; it was her ideal take-out choice. She didn't mind Thai but if it was her choice, she wouldn't choose it.

"Thai, seems very like you."

She smirked, "Oh, how so?"

"Well, you're mysterious, sensual like the Middle East. Hot, sometimes."

"Sometimes? Should I be offended, Mr. Charles?"

A look of fleeting panic rushed across his face as he worried that he'd offended his 'date' for the night.

"Oh, sorry Lizzie, I…"

She actually laughed this time, "Oh dear, I was just pulling your leg, don't worry though."

He looked slightly relieved as they both sipped their drink. Emily now knew that it was the time to invite him back up to her hotel room. That was where the other agents were lying in wait, ready to arrest him. If she had to, she could. Her gun was hidden somewhere on her person, somewhere that Hensridge would not be able to see unless he had the abilities of a federal agent. They'd gotten a room free of charge (they had to push the badge a lot), but Emily wasn't allowed to stay in it. She wanted to, but her apartment wasn't far from the hotel, so there would admittedly have been no point.

She sighed.

"Something wrong?"

Emily made a point of looking around, "This place is kind of dead."

He looked like he wanted to disagree, "So what do you suggest?"

She leaned forward, face in hand, "Why don't we take this upstairs?"

Hensridge's eyes glittered with excitement, even happier than earlier.

"How about my room?" he suggested in a low, husky tone, "It's got a nice view."

Emily laughed once again, her fingers once again tracing the rim of her champagne glass, "Oh Mr. Charles, I think we both know that it is not the view that we're both interested in."

"Your room it is."

They both got up, leaving their glasses for the staff to collect. They both headed towards the elevator, Emily's heels clicking against the marble floor. The doormen opened the bar doors for them, exchanging knowing looks as they were thanked- it was evidently not a rare event for older men and younger women to go back to the hotel rooms together. As they walked down the corridor, she felt Hensridge's hand fall across the small of her back. Resisting the urge to move it away, they finally reached the elevators and Emily leaned forward, pushing the button that would take them up to the fifth floor, where 'Lizzie' was staying. She tapped her foot against the floor as Hensridge checked his (expensive Cartier) watch. Eventually, the elevator doors opened.

"Fifth floor please," she requested of the bellhop, draped in a neat black uniform. As it shot upwards, Emily inwardly prayed that it would go faster, but for a completely different reason that Hensridge did. Making it look as though she was merely scracthing the back of her leg, she made sure that her gun was in place. Even though there was a team waiting, she wasn't stupid enough to go in without a weapon. Even though she was nearly entirely sure that she could drop him in an instant, she knew that there was a chance that he could attack her bad. She wasn't stupid enough to think she could underestimate him.

They finally got to the floor and Hensridge took away the arm from Emily's back. She gave a kindly smile to the bellhop as they headed out of the elevator. There was silence as they walked over to the hotel room. She withdew her room card and pushed it into the slot. Hensridge, who was now extremely excited, pushed the door open to allow Emily in first.

"Nice room."

"It is, isn't it?" she sneered at his back as he looked around admiringly, "Why don't your pour us a drink at the mini-bar whilst I go and freshen up?"

He nodded as she went into the bathroom, leaving the door slightly ajar. She extended her leg up and pulled her gun out of the holster that it was waiting in, locking and loading the pistol. She could hear the clanging of bottles and glasses as he hurried to make a drink.

"You want bourbon or a scotch?" he called.

"Whatever you're having, I don't mind!" she yelled back, slipping the gun in her bag and carrying it out of the bathroom. She walked back into the living area where the older man was stood, two glasses of scotch in his hands. He approached as she slipped the back onto the side table.

"Here you are, my dear," he handed her the glass, "Cheers."

"Cheers," she smiled back, clinking their glasses together, sipping the scotch neatly, her hands hovering near the bag, ready to place a gun to him as he walked straight into the trap. To their credit, the SHIELD agents were being incredibly quiet and had not given themselves away just yet. Then again, it was their job, wasn't it?

"It's good scotch here," Hensridge admired the drink.

"Oh yes, it's one of the best I've ever had," she lied. She wasn't really a scotch kind of person- it just wasn't to her taste. She was more of a cocktail person, but didn't mind wine or champagne at social occasions such as dinner parties and weddings. The best scotch she'd had was from her grandather's drinks cellar.

"Are you ready to go?" she winked, placing the drink down as she inconspicuously drew the pistol closer to her.

"Oh, yes," he whispered, excitedly.

"After you," she indicated towards the door with a flattened palm.

"Oh, ladies first, of course," he went to slide the doors open for her.

"No, I do insist," she tried to sound as innocent as can be.

He nodded and pulled the doors open, looking slightly over at her. She took the time for him to turn around to grab her pistol and position it at his back. As soon as the doors were opened, the agents sprung into action, their guns pointed straight at him.

"Hands in the air," one of them yelled.

Hensridge's eyes widened with fear as he threw his hands in the air in a surrender motion. He circled around to see if 'Lizzie' was doing the same. To his utter surprise, Emily smirked as she pointed the gun at his body.

"Hey," she gave him a cocky grin.

"You're a f…fed," he stuttered, his mouth wide open.

"Yes, yes I am, SHIELD to be precise. Charles Hensridge, you are under arrest for illegal trading and being an accessory to murder. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights? "

"B…But…"

"Is that a yes or a no?" she pressed her gun into his chest.

"Yes, that's a yes!" he stuttered as several agents went forward to put him in handcuffs, "But I haven't done anything, I swear. Those receipts totally checked out, I swear."

"You really think it would be SHIELD arresting you if it concerned illegal receipts? No, we've got other things on our mind."

A thought flashed through the criminal's mind.

"Look, I swear…"

"Listen, you'll get your chance in court but right now, the evidence is stacked against you."

He glared at her as he was pushed away by two female agents, whom, like Emily, seemed immune to his charms. She watched him walk away with great satisfaction, knowing that they had got him before she'd had to go any further. She would have stopped it before it had gotten there though; there was no way in hell she would have gone through with it.

"Nice work, Emily."

This came from Agent Young, a redheaded agent in her thirties. She liked Agent Young quite a lot, mainly because she was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan like herself. Jenny, as was her first name, had recently gotten married and Emily had attended the wedding. The two weren't close friends, but they got along fairly well and had been on a few outings together, but mainly with other agents.

"Thanks, Jenny. I could get used to this luxury; it's very nice in here. Can I stay the night?"

The redhead laughed.

"I know it's nice, but they're throwing us out before Midnight."

Emily resisted the temptation to look at the clock.

"How's the marriage going?" she indicated at the ring.

"Pretty good, we're still in that honeymoon faze. I'll have to tell you about Antigua when we next meet up, it was absolutely amazing. But anyway, you can go now, nothing else to do, I'll expect you'll have a lot of paperwork to do tomorrow."

Emily made a sarcastic yes-motion.

"Captain Rogers is back, if that makes you feel any better. He's waiting for you outside."

That immediately made the brunette extremely happy.

"Anyway, I'll see you around, Jenny."

Emily was given a wave and a smile in response, giving her the signal to go. She swung the doors back opened and walked into the hall.

There he stood, Steve Rogers or Captain America to the rest of the world, leader of the Avengers. It felt like just yesterday since they'd started dating, but it had been over two years now. They were living together now, which was pretty cool, as he was an excellent room-mate, even if he was far too tidy for the fairly neat her. Emily was more New York-based but being a super soldier, Steve was sent all around the country and sometimes even the world, so she was used to not seeing him for days on end some of the time, but this didn't bother her, as she sometimes had to do the same. But she loved him, and that was all that mattered. It seemed cliché, but she never thought she'd be this lucky. She'd fully accepted that she might never find someone for the long-term, as was a common problem at SHIELD.

"Hey!" she beamed.

He looked up and smiled.

"Hey you," he reached out and pulled her into a hug, "You look beautiful."

It had been a couple of days since she'd seen him, as he'd been on a mission a couple of states away.

"Thanks," she blushed, never really able to get over the compliments he gave her. They joined hands and headed towards the stairs, not bothering to wait for the elevator.

"So, how was your assignment?"

He shrugged, "Boring, got the job done pretty quickly. Yours?"

"Well, I did get to dress up nicely and have free drinks, but I had to flirt with a guy my parents' age, which wasn't fun, especially since he was pretty creepy and ya know, a criminal. Having to invite some old fatcat into your 'hotel room?' Yeah, not fun."

She shuddered at the very recent memory.

He had to laugh a little at her- it was rather funny when she moaned about her work. Sure, she loved her job far too much and it had been her ambition since she was young, but she sometimes didn't like what she had to do.

As he listened to her complain about Hensridge, he went to feel in his pocket.

He didn't even know how or even when he was going to propose. He'd had the idea for a while, but he wanted to do it when it felt right. It was his mother's engagement ring, a simple gold band with a single diamond atop. The problem was that he didn't even know if it would fit Emily. He didn't her ring size and he wasn't exactly going to go out and blow the surprise by asking her. He didn't want to ask her best friend Claire or her fellow SHIELD agent and close friend Natalie, in case they said something. To be honest, Steve really wasn't planning on telling anyone apart from Emily's dad Tom, whom he would be asking for permission from. He was a traditional guy, so he wanted to ask for permission.

Emily must have noticed his quiet demeanour and immediately spoke.

"You okay? You're rather quiet."

He nodded, "Just thinking about stuff. I should be the one who's more worried if you're quiet."

She rolled her eyes and smacked his arm playfully. Even though the two of them were fairly opposite, they balanced each other out well. Whilst they were moral, loyal and intelligent, Steve was more reserved and gentle-hearted compared to the more impulsive and extremely quick-tempered and hot headed Emily. Even with all that, she was still a fairly good person.

As they tottered down the stairs, Emily yawned loudly.

"Gonna go to bed when we get home?"

The brunette looked down at Steve's watch and made a snort of disbelief.

"Honey, I think I'll be ok. Think I can start my 'Game of Thrones' marathon which I have been promising myself for a while but have not actually gotten round to. And if I get tired? Well, there's coffee for that, it'll keep me awake tomorrow."

"Coffee was not made to make up for a lack of sleep."

"Psh."

He shook his head.

"You're going to be a terrible influence on Jake when he grows up, you know that?"

Jake, named after the Chinatown character, was Emily's nephew, born over a year and a half ago to her brother Ethan and his wife, Kate. She was sure that her brother was a fantastic father and that he would be in the future too, but that was measured on whether Jake stayed a Steelers fan (he was pretty much born a fan, considering that his father, grandfather, aunt and great-uncle were all huge fans and gave the poor boy no choice in the matter), or Emily swore that she would no longer see herself related to the boy. Kate was pregnant again, with another child due to be born early next year, around February time. Emily loved sending over stuff for both Jake and his unborn sibling, to the point where Ethan probably wouldn't need to buy any clothes for his kids.

"Nah, I'll be a cool aunt. I'll teach him pranks and buy him beer and stuff."

Steve raised his eyebrows at her.

"Joke. Maybe."

They finally reached the bottom floor and as they passed the ballroom, Emily stared at it hungrily. Classical musical could be heard from it, with the couples dancing in their beautiful ballgowns and dashing tuxes. Emily was an avid dancer, having taken lessons for most of her child and teen life, so she absolutely adored anything to do with it.

"Can you imagine dancing there?" she sighed, "I bet it's amazing."

Part of her just wanted to run in there, but as a mature twenty-something, she knew that it was not an option and was totally unprofessional.

"How about I take you there soon?"

She turned round, internally jumping up and down.

"You would do that? I imagine it's not cheap."

"Maybe when we have something to celebrate," he kissed her temple.

"What do we have to celebrate?"

An engagement, hopefully.

"When, I said when," he smiled as the music started to seemingly drift further away from them.

They walked silently for a while, admiring the deco of the beautiful, fancy hotel that was pretty much way out of their price range. Something Stark was used to, but not something that they could ever afford or even dream about.

"You should watch Game of Thrones with me tonight. You probably have nothing better to do and you can finally understand all the references Nat, Aaron and I make! I was whining to Uncle Phil the other day that you wouldn't watch it with me, but he just told me to get on with my work or he'd made me clean out Fury's office with my toothbrush."

He chuckled.

"You always whine to Coulson. And besides, you always make obscure movie references that literally no one understands, least of all me, I'm used to it now. Anyway, what is your obsession with that show?"

"I get obsessed with shows for a while; you should know that by now- it's just a phase. Well, I'm not sure about that, I do like the show. I mean, there are better shows but it is one of the best."

He rolled his eyes.

"Maybe."

She turned around and gave him her puppy eyes. He'd quickly learnt that he was immune to her puppy eyes, but Emily could be rather manipulative (for both the sides of good and bad), so he usually gave in just to keep her happy. She wasn't aware that her puppy eyes didn't work and he didn't plan to tell her.

"Please?"

He sighed and nodded.

"Fine, but only one. I have to put my foot down at one. We know what happened when you introduced me to a show last time, that didn't go down well."

Emily made another annoyed noise, mingled with happiness.

"Actually, it went fine for you, Mr. Peak of Human Physical and Mental Fitness, it was just me. I hate it what you're right, it happens far too often."

He tried listening as she garbled on about him being right all the time, which she supposed was good, but he just couldn't keep his mind off the proposal. They'd never really discussed marriage explicitly, not even after they'd moved in together. All he knew was that she was not opposed to marriage and had briefly stated she wouldn't mind getting married one day, but that had been quite a while ago and she might have changed her mind. Probably not, she would have said something by now. He had walked in on Emily and her best friend, Claire, talking about wedding dresses once but again, that was a while ago, not long after they'd started living together.

"Steve? Earth to Steve?"

He blinked to find her waving her hand in front of his face.

"Did you bring the car or the motorcycle?"

"Motorcycle."

She gave him another funny look.

"Are you sure you're okay? You're usually fairly quiet but this is quiet even for you. Plus, you're not even paying attention to me and you're all spaced out and stuff."

He nodded, keeping a firm grip on her hand.

"I'm fine, sweetheart, don't worry about it."

"Sure? You can talk to me about anything, you know."

"I know that, Em, but I promise that it's absolutely nothing, just thinking about stuff."

They walked back out into the cool evening, the motorcycle waiting at a side street. It suddenly Emily that her hair was probably going to get mussed up, something that she usually wasn't bothered about.

"Ready?" Steve asked.

After they had both settled down, they sped off back home.

So, that was the first chapter of 'Fights and Flames.' This chapter underwent multiple changes, but I finally settled on this one due to the fact this story will focus on SHIELD as well as the pair's relationship. The last few chapters are fairly action packed. I personally like what I've planned for one of the later chapters the best. Sam Wilson will be appearing in this story quite a bit, as he is one of my favourite MCU characters and I love how his relationship with Steve was done in Winter Soldier.

Next time: Emily hangs out with her friends, but their laughter stops when something rocks theirs and SHIELD's world.

Thanks to everyone who took their time to read this and I hope to see you again soon xxx