Steve Rodgers sat at the quaint little corner cafe. A cup of coffee and his sketchbook sprawled out on the black cast iron table.
It was September and a slight chill permeated the summer air. The leaves on trees were beginning to change color once again. Steve watched the pedestrians pass by, cross the street and cars honk their horns angrily at them. Many of them were on their cell phones and ignorant of those around them. Shut off from the rest of the world. Isolated in their own little bubbles.
Honestly, Steve loved watching people, how they reacted, how they walked, spoke, dressed, ate and so on. It was so different compared to 70 years ago. Sometimes a little too different, considering that he had woken up not too long ago. He was still trying to get used to everything. Reaching for his mug, he realized that there was no more coffee. Giving a sigh, he placed the ceramic mug back on the table, lamenting that there was no more.
"Here you go." A brunette, blue-eyed waitress said, leaning over and pouring him another cup of coffee with an amused smile. "I haven't seen you sketch today. No inspiration?" Steve looked at her. The waitress was young, about 19, with a heart-shaped face and freckles across the bridge of her nose. The name on her name tag said, Rose.
"No, ma'am. I haven't decided on what to sketch." She gave him a smile and straightened back up. Giving a small look around, blue eyes brightened as they landed on something not too far away. With her free hand, she pointed to it.
"You could always draw him. He'll be here for a few more days, and he won't be back until next year. This is your only chance." Rose stated. Steve looked to where she had pointed, questions popping up at her almost all-knowing statement. The first thing that had caught his eye was a small splash of orange. Partially hidden under a grey beanie, was blazing orange hair. That shock belonged to a slender young man that was just standing on the opposite street corner and staring off into the New York skyline. Unfortunately, he could only see a side profile of the man.
The orange head was tall. Taller than most of the people around him. Looking closely, Steve noticed a single silver piercing in his ear which was mostly hidden by his hair and beanie. He was wearing a pale green military style jacket, a dark brown shoulder bag resting at his hip, ripped skinny jeans and sand colored combat boots. Steve's fingers itched to sketch the young man and capture the color of his hair.
"I'll leave you to it." With that said as the sign to go, she slipped away as he scrambled to grab his pencil and sketchbook off the table. His eyes never leaving the young man on the sidewalk lest he moved.
Time passed by in a blur. Steve sketched countless drawings of the young man. Those drawings ranged from just his face to full body to including the people passing by and partial backgrounds. He vaguely remembered Rose coming and checking up on him. What broke him from his hazy drawing was when the young man finally moved, looking at a watch on his wrist, spun on his heel and vanished into the crowd. Steve had lost track of him as soon as he turned his back to him.
Sighing he placed his sketchbook down and stretched stiff muscles. Wondering how long he had been sitting there, he looked at his own watch. It read 14:00 on the dot. He had been there for over three hours. Two of the three committed to sketching the orange-headed young man.
Rose having spotted his movement idled over to him, a fresh mug in her hand. He hadn't even noticed that there was no mug on the table. When had she taken away his previous drink? Giving him an indulgent smile, Rose placed the cup of coffee on the table.
"Here you look like you need it. Can I look at your drawings?" Steve gave an affirming nod and gracefully lunged for the caffeinated drink, scalding his tongue on the hot liquid. Rose leaned down and opened up to the page held by his pencil. Her eyes opened up in surprise and continued to scan and flip through the pages. "These are really good." She said not looking up from the pages.
"Thanks, I just drew what I saw." Steve thanked her, placing his empty mug back onto the metal table. Standing up, he placed cash on the table for his coffee and a tip for Rose. "Will he be back tomorrow?" Steve questioned, hoping that the young man will be there the following day. He wanted to draw him in color next time. Rose looked up from the sketchbook and thought about it.
"He should be here tomorrow. It's getting close to that time of the year. Let's see, today is the eighth, that means he will be here until the tenth. You could probably find him at the memorial on the eleventh if you want that extra day." She answered, a faraway look in her blue eyes. Steve wondered how she knew all of this, and he asked as much.
"Do you know him?" Rose shook her head. Her brown ponytail swishing back and forth.
"Not personally no. It's just that I see him every year at the memorial. He's been going longer than I have." Rose sighed and stood up, closing the sketchbook before her. "We all lost something that day. Do you think you could visit the memorial for me? I couldn't get the time off." Steve agreed even when he didn't really know what she was talking about. Rose beamed at him, waving at him as she rushed off to take care of another customer.
Shaking his head in amusement at her antics, Steve snatched up his sketchbook and headed back to Shield Headquarters. Maybe to find something about what happened on the eleventh of September.
Steve sat at that same corner cafe as yesterday, even in the same seat. His sketchbook in his hand and colored pencils set before him. He was admiring one sketch he had done of the young man with orange hair. He was just standing there and blurs of people zooming pass him. He was like the calm in a storm, and the expression he had was challenging to draw. It was solemn, nostalgic and resigned at the same time. Steve wondered what he was thinking as he stood there for two hours gazing at the skyscrapers before him.
He also couldn't get his mind off of what he had found out yesterday. September 11th, as he found out, was a painful day for many and eye-opening for the entire world. He found it atrocious that people would attack innocents all because they hated that certain way of life. Steve also knew his sorrow for what had happened would amount to nothing compared to those who had lost someone that day. This made him wonder if the young man had lost someone like Rose had.
Speaking of Rose, she came bounding up with a mug of coffee in her hands and a happy grin plastered on her face. he smiled back and greeted her with a good afternoon. Technically it was still morning, but close enough to noon for it to be considered an appropriate greeting.
"So you decided to come back?" Rose questioned as replaced the mug down, her eyes finding the colored pencils. "Are you going to do color sketches?" Steve gave an answering nod and went for the delicious coffee. It was his favorite cafe for that very reason. Good coffee.
Sticking her hands on her hips, she scanned the bustling crowd on the sidewalk. Apparently not finding who they were talking about, she shrugged her shoulders and turned back to Steve.
"Don't worry he should be here soon. He should show up at noon. That's when he typically comes. Is there anything else that you want besides coffee?" Rose asked, clasping her hands behind her back and rocking back and forth on her heels, looking at him expectantly.
"No, ma'am. Thank you for the coffee. It's perfect." Rose rolled her eyes so hard he thought they might fall out.
"I appreciate the sentiment, but I keep telling you that you can call me Rose and not ma'am. It makes me feel old." Steve chuckled awkwardly. He knew that very few used those terms anymore, but he can't seem to shake the habit. Besides if his mother, or Bucky for that matter, ever heard him speak ungentlemanly to a lady, then she would tan his hide for his bad manners.
"Sorry, it's just how I was raised." Rose waved it off with an exasperated smile and moved on to her other customers. Steve went back to his coffee and occasionally glanced around, trying to spot a flash of orange.
At exactly at noon, the young man showed up again. He was standing in the exact same spot as before, slightly out of the way to prevent blocking foot traffic, appearing like a ghost. The grey beanie was still on his head, but it was only halfway on so more of that shocking orange hair showed. Steve wasn't the only one to notice. Quite a few other pedestrians spotted the orange head and were blatantly staring as they passed. The young man didn't seem to care if they stared or not, all he looked at was that same spot on the horizon.
Steve wished he could see his whole face. He could only see the right side of his face. The orange head never looked this way even once, and Steve desperately wished he would, just so he could complete his sketches. Taking note of the difference in clothing and the extra accessories he had with him today, Steve spotted a street bike rested against his right hip, black fingerless leather gloves on his hands, a zipped up tan racer jacket, dark green parachute pants, those same combat boots and shoulder bag that now rested against his lower back.
Even the slightest change in clothing blew his breath away. Steve didn't know why, but that young man seemed like he was from a different world altogether. Just the way he carried himself set himself apart from others and made him outshine even the best-dressed businessman on the street that had fancy gold watches and custom suits. The orange head made simple clothes look like luxury items. Not wasting any more time, Steve snatched up different colored pencils and started drawing the man across the street, starting first with that bright orange hair and working his way down.
He spent those two hours that the young man stood there capturing every detail that he could in his drawings. Everything from the scuff marks on his boots to the bruised knuckles and wear on the racing jacket to the fraying on the bottom of the parachute pants. There was also the shine of that single simple piercing, and the honey brown eyes shadowed under extremely long eyelashes.
And again like yesterday, the man looked at the watch on his right wrist, turned to the left and vanished back into the crowd. His vibrant hair disappeared and became untraceable among the moving blobs of black and grey. Steve stared after the guy, hoping to get a glimpse of where he was headed.
"So… how did your sketching go?" Rose questioned, startling him and causing him to nearly drop his sketchbook. Quickly clutching the book to himself, he let out a relieved breath that it did not hit the ground. He'd hate to ruin any of his drawings, especially of the orange haired man. Rose gave an unladylike snort. "No need to be so worried. Can I see the drawings?" Rose practically begged. "I brought more coffee." She bribed, holding the ceramic mug in front of him prisoner. Sighing, he traded with the waitress, happily gulping down the hot coffee. He needed it after concentrating so hard on drawing everything perfectly. At least to his standards of perfection.
Cracking open the art book, Rose gasped at the beautiful drawings. She gently traced the figures drawn on the worn pages. Each of them carefully drawn to precision, and so lifelike. Steve watched as she lightly traced each of the drawings, a look of awe on her face. Satisfaction swelled in his chest at her expression, happy that he was able to give her this excitement.
"Steve these are stunning. Are you sure you are not an artist and you have just been hiding it from me?" Chuckling at her antics, Steve shook his head no.
"I am not an artist, but thank you for the compliment. I enjoyed making them." He held his hand out for the sketchbook. Rose reluctantly handed it back, her gaze never leaving the colored pictures. Snapping the sketchbook closed, Steve paid for the coffee and thanked Rose again.
Lying on his bed, Steve's mind refused to shut down and his eyes would always wander back over to the worn black sketchbook that rested on his nightstand. He would flashback to those hazy two hours that passed by much too fast. He would see that grim angelic person there, a beacon calling and demanding everyone's attention. Hair as bright as the sun or a blazing fire, a warning to those who might wander too close.
He wanted to capture the young man's entire face and see the whole picture for what it is. Giving in to his desire, Steve snatched the notebook from the nightstand and flipped through the pages. The first twenty or so pages were filled with extremely rough sketches of people, places, and animals all doing different things. Then it was as if a light switch had been turned on. The next was of the young man and every single one was well detailed and much better than the first twenty or so pages. Those were drawn with slight interest that quickly waned as he drew, but the ones of the orange haired man were imbued with avid interest and growing intrigue. Each sketch grew steadily better and better and then all of them became filled with color and almost leaped off the page. Steve, himself, was surprised by how well he had drawn the pictures. He did not remember drawing them hardly at all. All he could really remember was staring at that guy that stood there on that street corner.
Picking up a pencil, he attempted to sketch out a frontal view, but it never came out how he wanted it to do. After several attempts to do so, Steve gave up and put the sketchbook back on the nightstand, turned off the lamp and rolled over in an attempt to sleep.
It was difficult, but his body eventually gave in and he sunk into slumber.
Steve gave a frustrated sigh and slouched into the cafe seat at 14:05. He had missed him and this was his last day too. Now he will probably never see the guy again. He might see him again, but his hopes were not high.
"Rough morning?" Rose asked as she came over with his regular coffee, a small disappointed smile on her face. Steve ran a hand down his face.
"You could say that." He had spent all morning and up until 13:45 training with the new SHIELD recruits. Reaching for the coffee, Steve downed it in a few gulps and kindly asked for another. Rose gladly left to get him another refill on his coffee.
After coming back with his second cup, she silently stood there staring at him, not saying anything. Her eyes contemplative and thoughtful. A single brown eyebrow quirked slightly at the corner. Almost as if she was silently asking a question both to him and to herself.
"Don't look so down, you are going to see him tomorrow at the memorial. Maybe even talk to him." Steve looked up at Rose, a hopeful feeling in his chest. She crossed her arms and looked at him skeptically. "Did you forget that you promised to visit the memorial for me?"
A faint hue flushed across his face as he recalled his promise to Rose. Steve couldn't believe that he forgot about it. Vaguely recalling Rose saying that she had seen the young man when she visited every year.
"Sorry, I did." Steve apologized, ashamed at his error.
"No problem. Just stop by before you go tomorrow." He readily agreed. Picking up the book he had snatched up in his hurry to get to the cafe, he noticed that it was not his sketchbook. It was a novel called Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelly. The novel had the same black leather cover and was roughly the same size and shape, the reason that he mistook it for his sketchbook.
Noticing the book, Rose read the cover and gave a small thoughtful hum. Steve raised an eyebrow at her.
"I never thought you would read that book," Rose stated, her eyes still glued to the black cover of the novel. The blood-red lettering glinting in the partial sunlight that filtered through the cloud cover. Steve's curiosity skyrocketed and he too looked at the novel in his hands.
"Why? Is it a bad book to read?" He questioned, concerned that this was a book that he should not read. Rose chuckled, drawing his attention away from the book. She was shaking her head and a small smile dancing across her lips.
"No, it is not a bad book, just one that very few have read in this day and age. I read it and I liked it, but it's different from any other book out there. I suggest you read it." Rose recommended, causing his worries to slip away like water. "Now I have to get back to work. I'll stop by later okay?" Steve nodded in confirmation as she wandered off to bus the other tables.
Steve stared at the black book before him, taking every detail. Every crack in the leather, the bend of the spine, the red letters, and smooth paper under his fingertips. Opening the novel, he began to read. His attention being sucked up and fastened onto the novel in his hands. The outside world forgotten about him. The thrum of noise became background noise as Steve sucked up the story before him.
A third of the way through the book, Rose came up and poked him in the shoulder, startling him and breaking his focus. She chuckled and sat across from him. Rose was wearing a long tan cotton coat and a pair of gloves resting in front of her on the metal table.
"Are you enjoying the book?' She asked with an amused smile resting on her lips. Her brown hair was let down and framing her heart-shaped face.
"Yeah. I don't know how to describe it really. It's just different. I'm not sure if I like it, content-wise, but the style is really good." Steve responded. Rose gave a slight hum and watched the crowd around them. After a short moment, she looked at him.
"You will like it in the end, but for now you need to head home. The cafe is closing soon, and they need to bring the tables indoors." She said, gathering up her gloves and standing. Steve looked at his watch in surprise. It was nearing five o'clock in the evening and he had a meeting early tomorrow. Quickly standing himself, Steve bade Rose a goodnight and said he would see her tomorrow.
There he was, standing there staring at the memorial with a deep red rose and a white lily in hand. His vibrant hair standing out with no cover. Steve was only looking at the man's back, but he could tell that he was very stiff. His left hand flexed, but he made no other movement than that. Others around him moved and placed flowers at a somber pace. Words of sorrow and grievances could be heard, and people wept for loved ones lost. Taking note of what the young man wore today, Steve was surprised at his dress. From what he could see, the orange head was wearing a black suit, making his hair stand out even more. The brown shoulder bag was still resting on his hip, but he wore no other outstanding accessories.
Gathering what courage he could, Steve stepped up beside him on his right. He wasn't sure if he could face the man head-on at the moment. It just didn't seem right. Taking out his sketchbook, he began to draw the scene before him, acutely aware of the eyes on him from the man beside him. Steve drew the people and the parts of the memorial that he could. He was drawing where the north tower stood, of people touching the stone, blowing kisses to loved ones and praying to the Lord. The pink lily in his hand, heavy and increasingly hard to hold as he continued to draw.
Rose had given him the flower for her older sister that had worked in the tower. She said pink lilies were her sister's favorite and asked him to place one on the memorial for her.
"Are you here for someone?" The voice spoke, startling him. It was the young man next to him that had asked him. His voice somber and filled with an inner sadness as bottomless as the ocean. Looking at the orange haired man, who was now staring at the memorial again, Steve noticed the almost pained expression on his face. He didn't need to wonder why.
"No, I'm here on a request from a girl named Rose. She had lost a sister to the attack." The young man interrupted, surprising Steve.
"Andromeda. She worked here in the North Tower. Her favorite flower is pink lilies." Steve openly gaped at the man beside him, wondering how he had known. The man's honey brown eye looked at him from his peripheral, making Steve feel smaller than ever before, despite being almost the exact same height. It was like looking at his mother, who knew so much more than he himself did. Someone who had seen much more of the world then he had.
"How?" Steve managed to ask. His throat constricted and a rock had settled in his stomach. The man beside him gave an almost nostalgic smirk, one filled with memories both good and bad.
"I've spoken with her many times before she passed on. She always talked about this younger sister she had. One that had the name of a beautiful flower." He stated, a slight hitch in his voice when he spoke the words passed on, almost if he struggled with finding the right word. Otherwise, his steady voice was calm and thick with memories.
"Yeah. Rose wished she could be here, so I came for her." Steve explained again. Almost as if to justify his place beside the man and at the memorial.
"There is no need for her to worry. Her sister has moved to a better place. One full of happiness and light." He spoke almost as if he had known where she would go. As if he had been to heaven himself. Steve's logical mind misused that notion by thinking that he must be religious. That note being tucked away for possible later drawings. Giving a small smile, Steve replied in kind.
"I will tell her what you had just told me. Thank you for sharing with me. If I may ask, are you here for someone as well?" Steve questioned hesitantly. He didn't want to bring up any touchy subjects and trouble the man beside him. Said man hummed in response. A thoughtful look resting on his face, thinking about his question and the answer he would give. His honey brown eye roamed over everything before him before resting back on Steve.
"You could say that I am here for those that have passed over and those that still remain within this realm." Baffled by his answer, Steve could only think that there was a second meaning to his words. He just didn't know what. The way he said it was too vague, and the words he used would not be what Steve would use if he had said that. Not sure how to reply, Steve remained silent and looked at his drawings. When he flipped to the colored drawings of the man beside him did he realize what he had just revealed to the young man. That he had been watching him and drawing him.
"So you were the one watching me." The statement spooked Steve, who was hoping that the young man had not noticed the drawings, then the rest of the sentence registered in his brain. His head whipped up and to the orange head, eyes wide with shock.
"You knew?" Steve questioned, surprised that the subject of his drawings knew that he was being watched. That honey brown eye held amusement at his shock, his lips curling upwards.
"Yeah, it felt like someone was watching me on the eighth and ninth. I'm guessing that you would have been there on the tenth as well if you could have. You must have been busy if you could not make it."
"Sorry." Steve sheepishly apologized. The tips of his ears turning a bright red at being caught. The young man gave a slight shake of his head, almost imperceptible if Steve had not been watching.
"No worries. There was no harm done. I just wasn't expecting to become a model."
"Sorry anyways. As you can see, I like drawing my surroundings, and when Rose pointed you out on the sidewalk, I couldn't resist. Why were you standing there on the street corner for two hours?" Steve questioned. A deep frown slid onto the young man's face. He stood there quietly, thinking of an answer. Steve hoped he would give one. It was baffling that he would waste so much time just doing that. The man moved, catching Steve's attention, and shrugged. His hands coming up halfway to exaggerate his shrug.
"A bad habit. I come here every year, and I need that time to work up my courage you could say."
"Why would you need to do that?" Steve blurted out without thinking. Not making the connection that it might be especially hard for him to come to see those who have died until after the words left his mouth. Steve mentally slapped himself and opened his mouth to quickly backtrack, but the orange head beat him to it.
"Because I was there." Those four words stopped his train of thought, bringing it to a screeching halt, and left his mind stumbling to start up again. What he saw in that honey brown orb was one that has seen pain, death, and terror on that fateful day. Those memories flashing before those very eyes, still as sharp and as painful even after so long. Steve knew how the man felt. He would sometimes think that the war was only yesterday and wake up in a cold sweat. He would see ghosts as he walked the streets of New York. People that he would never see again. The man beside him probably saw them every day. He never knew how right he was.
Steve went to apologize again, but the man gave a small shake of his head, only the right side of his face still visible.
"No need to apologize. You did not know. The only regret that I have from that day was that I could not save more people. So many had lost their lives that could have been saved if I had stepped in sooner." Steve knew that feeling too. If he had just known what would have happened beforehand then so many people could have been saved in the war. So many families would not have been torn apart. But, Steve knew that despite trying his hardest people would have died anyway. The same could be applied to the man beside him. He went to speak, but the young man beat him again, almost as if he could read his thoughts.
"I know that it's not my fault that those people died, but I can't help but feel responsible for it. I could have done so much that day. I knew it then and I know it now, but death is inevitable and no one can escape. Not even me." Steve seriously doubted that. If he still looked like his early twenties, possibly teens, then he must have been very young when the attack happened. He would only have been a child then. There was nothing he could have done at the time to help.
"You were a child then. You could not have done anything, even if you knew." The man shook his head in amusement, his eyes closed and an almost sly smile shaped his lips.
"Oh to being young." The man looked upwards towards the darkening sky. "I wonder if this is how the others felt about me." Steve cocked his head in question but received no answer. Then what he had said filtered into his brain. Steve frowned.
"You are younger than me." Steve protested. The orange haired man hummed but did not say anything else. He did not like the lack of response, and the look in the man's eye said that he only went along as if he was humoring a child. The man beside him was treating him like a child, despite being older, much older than the man knew. Huffing in anger, Steve stomped up to the memorial to place the lily on the memorial. Giving a glance back, he nearly missed the man turning away with an almost nostalgic and hurt look on his face, his right eye still watching Steve. Shaking his head, he placed the flower upon the stone as thunder began rumbling overhead. Several other people looked up as well at the sound, many grabbing small umbrellas that they carried in their bags.
He turned around and spotted the man also pulling out his umbrella. It was black like his three-piece suit. The only spot of color besides his hair and white undershirt was the tie he was wearing. It was an aqua blue that stood out against both the white and black. He opened the umbrella and held it over his head, covering his vibrant hair and shading his face. Steve wondered back over to the man, surprised at how large the umbrella actually was. There was enough room for both the man and himself to fit under despite Steve's size and the man's lean frame. As soon as he was under the umbrella the sky broke open and rain poured down from above. Some dispersed, searching for cover from the cold water while others remained in the rain despite getting rained on.
Cracking open his sketchbook again, Steve began to draw the scene before him. Of people rushing in the rain, of others choosing to remain and of some that stood there under their umbrella much like they were doing.
"Thanks for letting me stay under."
"No problem. It's the least I could do, Steve Rodgers." Steve blinked in surprise and looked up from his partial sketch. A sly smile stretched on the man's features. It wasn't a large smile, but it was the largest Steve had seen him give so far. How the man knew his name was a mystery. A frightening one.
"How do you know my name?" He questioned, with a hint of caution. His shoulders tensing at standing so close to a possible threat. Did this man work with Shield? Did he work for another organization? Was he spying on him? The man seemed to know what he was thinking once again. That sly smile morphing into a knowing frown.
"There is no need for you to be concerned."
"That does not soothe me in the least." Steve shot back. His danger warning shooting higher. Red flags were waving high. This man knew who he was, and he had not given his name to the stranger. The said stranger sighed, his shoulders giving a disappointed slump before jumping back up into proper posture.
"I recognize the face of Captain America. I'm surprised others had not." Steve's rising caution ground to a halt, then rose at an even faster rate when he heard that he knew his other name as well. No one besides Shield should know that he was Captain America in this day and age. How did this man know? That same all-knowing smile came back, one that knew the secrets of the universe and much more.
"Are you telling me that others should know who I am? Is it just common knowledge to know about a man that should have died 70 years ago, but is now standing beside you?" Steve asked, wondering if this man truly did work for Shield. Said man snorted and rolled his honey brown eye.
"Of course it is. You are a superhero in the eyes of many. However, many believe you to still be dead, despite walking among them. Normal people don't expect the dead to be coming back to life, especially the superhero's declared dead. I am not a normal person, but you knew that already." The stranger answered, making more questions rise instead of answers. Steve sputtered at the accusation that he knew that the young man was not normal. The man waved his hand and continued speaking. "I know that people don't consider me normal. I'm used to it."
Steve was so confused. This was not how he thought this conversation would go. Not at all.
"How can you just stand there and talk to me like that? I'm supposed to be dead, and yet here I am, 70 years later and still looking like this." Steve said gesturing to himself. The orange haired man's eye roamed up and down. Searching down into the very depths of Steve's soul. At least that's what it felt like to him. A considering hum left the man before he spoke.
"I'd say that you have aged well." At the strange answer, Steve began sputtering again, not sure how to react to the strange person beside him. Strange and dangerous, and yet he still let his guard down around this man.
"I'm supposed to be dead." Steve nearly shouted. The man gave a glance around as Steve's shout drew attention, alerting Steve to what he had just said very loudly in public. Blush shot up his face, covering his face in a very embarrassed hue. He couldn't believe that he had acted like a child no less in front of this man. His eyes not leaving the figure in front of him, he watched the amusement in his eyes bleed away to a more serious look.
"Not yet." He spoke deeply, almost a whisper. Steve had to strain his ears to catch the words despite his enhanced hearing.
"What?" He asked, confused by his answer once again. The young man sighed and looked at his watch. He turned and forced the umbrella into Steve's hand and stepped out into the rain, becoming soaked in seconds. His breath caught in his throat. He could see the young man's entire face. It was almost too surreal. His left eye flashing a startling gold on a black background before a blink erased all evidence of being unordinary.
Steve attempted to follow or to stop the man, but each step he took the man was two steps farther.
"Stay." The redhead commanded. Steve's feet froze in place and he could move no further. He watched as he turned, gave a backward wave and melted into the crowd. Over the hustle and bustle of the city noise, he clearly heard the man's words.
"If only Howard could see you now."
Steve's fingers lost their grasp on the umbrella and it slipped unhindered to the rain covered concrete below. He was left standing there in the rain staring at the spot where the mysterious man vanished from. Thoughts tumbled and jumbled together in his head, making a mess of knots and an intangible mess. Memories long forgotten rising up like a tide and threatening to overwhelm him. How was it possible? It was the only question that his mind could come up with.
Someone appeared at his side, speaking something to him, picking up the dropped umbrella and holding it above him. A hand lightly brushing his forearm shook him to his reality.
"Sir? It's time to go back to headquarters." Steve didn't respond, he just kept glancing back at the spot and the surrounding crowds, desperately searching for that specific color of orange. "Sir, what is it? What's wrong?" The agent's questions brought his frantic searching to a complete halt. He couldn't bring attention to the young man, besides it was impossible for him to be here. Right?
"It's nothing. I thought I someone I knew."
Hello Everyone! Sorry for not updating in a while. We had a bit of writers block, but we will be updating soon. We also were working on some other stories and one-shots like this one. We wanted to give you guys something as a thanks for being so patient with us. Let us know what you think. We might expand this into a story if all of you like the story idea enough. It would be a fun story to tell. This one-shot is a tribute to today and all the souls that were lost to this world,we hope that they moved on in peace. We also give thanks to those that risked their lives and worked at Ground Zero. Have a nice day everyone.
- The Crew