*** Quick Author's Note: This takes place after CATFA and Avengers, but before CATWS. Obviously slightly AU, although we know next to nothing about Steve Roger's life in between the Avengers and TWS. Not in the same "universe" as my other Bucky/OC fic either!
In CATWS, Steve's asked a question about first kisses and this story is my answer to that question.
Think it's pretty obvious that beyond my OC not a damn thing in the Marvel Universe is mine! Read, Review, and Enjoy folks! ***
Things would never be the same again, of that she was certain. Hannah looked down at her smashed phone, the screen crackled into a thousand tiny pieces, the body of the device squashed flat, and felt her heart give a little twist. I never backed up to my damn cloud, she thought sadly, thinking of all the pictures, memos, and videos trapped on the ruined thing. It had happened so quickly; she was walking to work, just like she had every day this week, and had stopped to cross the street, just one of the horde of people on their way to work. Some clumsy oaf had rudely shoved her from behind, and the phone she held in her hand had launched out into thin air.
Hannah had let out a breathy little shriek and moved to step out into the street after the phone, recklessly, by instinct. That was when the motorcycle had rolled up to the stop line of the street she was waiting to cross, crushing her precious little phone. She had stopped her forward motion just in time to avoid adding her foot to the mess under the motorcycle's front tire.
"No!" She had screamed, reaching a hand out uselessly towards the little wreck. People around her had begun to mumble as if she were crazy, and Hannah glanced up quickly to the driver of the bike, unable to see his face beneath the visor of his helmet.
"You idiot!" She yelled at him, before stepping into the street and waving her hand at the rider, "Back it up! Back it up! You're killing it!" The motorcycle lunged backwards quickly, about a foot, and Hannah dropped to her knees in front of her phone, heedless of the street-dirt she was surely getting on her pants. Cradling her nearly-new phone in her hands Hannah frowned, disappointment and ridiculous sadness spreading across her face.
She climbed to her feet when she heard a voice behind her say, "I am so sorry." Hannah turned to face the voice and saw the driver of the bike standing next to his two-wheeled, phone-crushing beast, helmet still on his head. She knew it was irrational, but she was furious at the guy, imagining a mocking smirk on his face beneath the helmet.
"Why don't you watch where you're going?" She snapped, moving past him and back up onto the sidewalk. She moved towards a newspaper box and swung her large purse up onto the top of it. Placing the phone next to her purse, she rummaged around inside until she found the plastic baggie her lunch-sandwich was sitting in.
"I honestly didn't see it, I'm sorry miss," the rider said again, coming towards her. Hannah pulled the sandwich out of its baggie, tossing it out onto the ground, and dumped the baggie upside down, shaking it to get the crumbs out. She ignored the man as she carefully slid the phone into the baggie, sealing it with great care. Easing the phone-bag into a small inner pocket of her purse, Hannah let out a sad breath.
When she finally looked up at the man, she noticed he'd taken off the helmet, and she absorbed the fact that he was gorgeous, absent-mindedly. He had a slightly hang-dog expression on his face and she felt immediately bad for over-reacting. "It's just a phone," she replied lamely, wincing slightly at the memory of the destruction of the possession she used most.
He nodded a little and looked away and she decided it was time to leave and get to work before she was fired, on top of being phone-less. "Yeah, well, bye," Hannah blurted quickly, swinging her bag over her shoulder and turning on her heel to stride away. She stepped out into the street, the memory of her behavior over the past few minutes making her cringe. I must be coming down with something, she thought wildly, god I'm such an idiot! Why did I have to act like such a spaz?
A strong hand gripped her upper arm and yanked her back to the sidewalk harshly. Hannah squawked loudly and stumbled backwards, narrowly avoiding being struck by a car as it sped through the intersection. She realized belatedly that in her haste to escape her dumbass behavior, she'd stormed out into traffic. "Are you alright?" The motorcycle rider asked her urgently, shaking her arm a little.
Hannah turned wide eyes up to him and nodded, nearly panting from the close call. "This isn't your morning," he commented, releasing her arm when she glanced down at where his hand still gripped her. Hannah took a deep breath and shook her head, taking a step back. "Jesus," she muttered, not able to say much else. He raised an eyebrow at her, as if he might admonish her language and Hannah closed her eyes for a moment.
"I'm sorry I yelled at you, and I'm sorry you had stop me from becoming a smear on that guy's windshield," she told him, her voice hurried and embarrassed, "I swear I'm not normally so stupid." He smiled at that and shrugged a little. "We all have off days," he told her, his smile growing. Hannah managed a small, slightly crazed smile in return. She glanced down at her watch and flinched.
"Oh shit!" She cursed loudly, making the man jump, "I'm so freaking late! I really have to go now! Thanks for, well you know, me, car, smush." She gestured a little wildly with one hand and turned to head back to the crosswalk, determined to cross it successfully this time.
"Hey, this might be a little strange, but do you want a ride to work?" He asked from behind her. Hannah reached out towards the crosswalk button and pressed it rapidly, shaking her head before turning back to him. "Um, no," she replied, trying to sound polite, but wondering what the hell was wrong with him that he'd think such an offer was even remotely ok to make to a strange woman.
"I'm not a bad guy," he told her quickly, his cheeks flushing the slightest bit, "You just seem to be having a hard morning." Hannah smiled awkwardly at him as her hand kept pressing the crosswalk signal, internally begging it to change for her. "The worst," she agreed, "Look I'm sorry, you may mean well, but I'm going to pass." He pressed his lips together and nodded at her a little sheepishly.
"Of course, of course," he told her, "Have a good day at work….?" He raised an eyebrow at her and she shot him a puzzled look. "What?" She asked, the expectant look on his face confusing her. "Oh, uh what's your name?" He asked her, the sheepish expression growing even deeper. Hannah blinked at him and shook her head.
"You have boundary issues," she told him in response, her tone slightly teasing. He smiled at her then, a winning smile; it went well with his all-American good looks. "Sorry, again, it just seemed like introductions were in order," he said pleasantly. Hannah heard the beeping of the crosswalk signal then and nearly sagged in relief at the opportunity to escape this whole strange, ridiculous, awkward encounter.
"I have to go!" She chirped brightly, turning away and scurrying across the street. "My name's Steve!" He called after her, "Steve Rogers! Have a nice day!" Hannah reached the other side of the street, waving a hand back at him in farewell, without looking back. She was just walking in the front door of her office building, ten minutes later, when his name well and truly hit her. She paused stock-still in the revolving entrance doors, causing the person behind her to slam into the glass and push the door roughly into her backside.
"Move it, lady!" The angered man snapped, and Hannah bumbled quickly through the doors, racing for the ladies washroom on the main floor before she fell to pieces. Pretty much the one man in the universe you could trust to drive you to work, unmolested, and you brushed him off, she chastised herself. She reached the sink and leaned both hands on the counter, looking up at the mirror and laughing a little hysterically for a moment.
"Captain-fucking-America," she muttered, glaring at herself, "You gigantic idiot."
… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
Her day passed mostly in the normal way it had this whole week. She was a new transplant to DC, having lived in Seattle her entire life up until this point. She'd worked as a payroll admin for a major clothing retailer in Washington State, before she was put up for a fairly major promotion. When it was explained to her that she'd have to move to literally the other side of the country, part of a start-up group in a new satellite office on the East Coast, Hannah had jumped in feet-first. She'd been coming off a nasty break-up, the death of her beloved dog, and a flood in the little basement apartment she called home; her life was turning into a sad country-music song and it was time for major change.
Her apartment in DC was in an actual apartment building, a nice one too, rather than a basement suite, and with her pay raise, she was able to maintain the price pretty well, despite what she felt was price-gouging rent. It helped that she had no social life, no car, and went to and from work each day without much detour, and therefore no unnecessary expenditures. That will change, she'd soothed herself again and again over the past week since she'd arrived in DC, and eventually you'll make friends with real live people and have a life again. Maybe date someone other than Netflix.
On her trek home from work, Hannah paused a little longer than normal at the crosswalk of destiny, as she was now calling it, and looked down at the ground where her phone had met its untimely end. There were still a couple tiny shards of screen shining up at her, and a chunk of pink case, too. Hannah sighed and looked around, knowing she was unlikely to see Steve Rogers (Captain America, you were a dick to Captain America) ever again.
She stopped at the tiny grocer's on the corner across the street from her apartment building and picked up some dinner, a couple staple foods, and a case of beer, smiling wanly at the cashier as she paid. Her feet were sore, her day had been long, and she couldn't stop wincing at the memory of what a dink she'd been in the morning. She was loathing the idea of buying a new phone, of trying to get all the stuff from her old phone onto the new one, and she was embarrassed for acting like such a rampaging idiot. And now you're going to have to find a mall for a new phone, good luck with that task, genius.
Taking special care crossing the street to her building, Hannah unlocked the front door and made her way into the lobby, making a beeline for the mailboxes. After placing her grocery bags onto the ground, she proceeded to jam the small mail key into her mailbox and did a little fist-pump to see actual mail sitting in there. "Yes!" She crowed, pawing through what was likely a stack of bills. She wasn't pleased to pay them, but was delighted that her change-of-address seemed to have worked. A week without mail had made her feel fully disconnected, as if she didn't even exist in this new city. Hannah bent to pick up her bags and heard the lobby door open behind her.
She turned with a civil smile pasted onto her face, prepared to greet another new neighbor, and felt her jaw drop open in shock when she saw who it was. "Hi!" Steve Rogers said, sounding genuinely pleased to see her. Hannah opened and closed her mouth a few times, trying to think of what to say.
"Did you follow me?!" She cried, deciding to go with suspicion and indignation. His eyes bugged open and he shook his head, turning to watch as she eased herself towards the stairwell.
"No!" He nearly yelled, looking aghast at the insinuation that he had stalked her all day and had now cornered her on purpose, "I live here! This is my building!"
Hannah blinked and realized distantly that she was crushing her handful of mail in her hand. She didn't know if she should believe him. On one hand he was Captain America and he was unlikely to be out to hurt her. On the other hand you actually don't know him at all, and being Captain America would be like the best cover ever for a serial killer. He seemed to be following her thinking by her mildly horrified facial expression alone. She took a big step back when he reached into his jacket pocket suddenly.
"Look!" He said triumphantly, pulling out a key ring and jingling his keys at her. Hannah couldn't help the shocked laugh she let out suddenly. "Well, keys, wow," she said flatly, "Now I know you're not a weirdo, you've got keys." He rolled his eyes and strode towards the mailboxes, singling out a smaller key and jamming it into a mailbox. Even from where she stood, she could see the little nameplate that said "Rogers, S."
Hannah sagged a little, relief again coursing through her veins. How the hell did I not see that earlier?
"See? Mail – my mail," he explained carefully, gesturing towards her with his handful of envelopes. Hannah nodded, conceding that there was no way he would have such an elaborate plot such as this planned just for her. "I'm sorry," she said weakly, looking away. He chuckled and joined her on the stairs as she began to go up them.
"I don't blame you, a, uh, co-worker of mine explained to me that women tend to be a little more cautious these days than I might remember," he explained to her. Hannah glanced over at him and smiled. "I guess so," she answered, not sure what you were supposed to say in awkward stair-climbing conversation with an almost 100 year old super hero.
"You know about me, right? I got an earful from my, uh, co-workers, for yelling my name across a busy street today, apparently that's not safe either," Steve shook his head as if the new safety rules of this day and age were massively inconvenient. Hannah nodded and mumbled something that may have sounded sort of like "Oh yeah, sure I know." She let out an audible sigh when they reached her floor, the third. "This is me," she said quickly, stepping away from him and moving quickly towards her door.
"Have a good night…?" He called out after her and she smiled a little at the way his voice trailed off again, before turning around. "Hannah," she replied, "Hannah Baker." Steve grinned at her and she felt her heart stutter a little bit at the charming expanse of white teeth. "Nice to meet you, Hannah," he told her. She smiled crookedly in response and waved quickly.
"You too," she answered. Hannah turned away and headed to her door, unlocking it quickly. "I live right above you," he called to her, just as she stepped across the threshold, "If you ever need anything." Hannah looked over her shoulder to offer him another unsteady smile, but was only greeted by an empty hall and the sound of his feet tromping up the stairs to the next floor. She closed her apartment door then and locked the deadbolt, the chain and the floor-stop, before leaning against the door for a moment to gather her thoughts.
She laughed a little shrilly, and then kicked off her shoes, listening as they bounced off the wall and thudded down the front hallway. Hannah laughed again as she put away her meager groceries and stuffed the beer into the fridge, all except one, which she put in the freezer. As she went through the motions of taking a shower, changing into sweatpants and a t-shirt, sliding on some slippers, heating up her dinner, and retrieving the now-icy cool beer from the freezer, she laughed on and off at the absurdity of the day.
From her shocked and over-dramatic reaction to having her phone run-over, to realizing just who Steve Rogers was, and then discovering that he lived directly above her, Hannah knew this was hands-down the weirdest day she'd ever had.