Hello all. I feel like writing three stories concurrently, for some reason.
This one is mostly standalone, but is meant to follow my earlier stories 'What Happened to Everyone?' and 'The Man Comes Around'. Cheers.
He was in Philadelphia once again, visiting his old friend Prof. Gabriel Jones. He made a point of doing so every few weeks, and SHIELD's aviation wing was very obliging in transporting between Philly and New York. Even though Gabe was old and withered, and had his mind shaped by decades of experience, he would revert to the twenty-two year old college kid soldier he was when Steve first knew him, and they'd spend time together like old friends do. It didn't hurt that Steve was always an old soul, if not after the war and the depression, then certainly after waking in this age.
As fortune would have it, Gabe was having one of his very good days, feeling revitalized and full of energy. So in lieu of the usual brandy and conversations in his study, he and Steve went out for a long walk around Cedar Park, endeavoring to visit St. Francis church and then walking back.
As Gabe talked, he thinking of something else. He'd been out of the ice for nearly a year now, and a lot had transpired in that year. That thing with Pat Roark, joining and leading the Avengers, that whole ordeal with the so-called Loki. The world wasn't getting any less crazy. He'd met a lot of people and made friends, some of them very good friends, like Wilson and Barton. And then there was-
"-Hitler was an okay guy, come to think of it."
"...Huh?" Steve muttered as Gabe's statement registered a little bit late.
"Your head is somewhere else, isn't it?"
"What're you thinking about?"
He could've said nothing, or made something up, but he didn't feel like lying to the only person who knew him from before, and he really was dying to tell someone.
"I'm thinking about a girl."
"Well, hallelujah!" Gabe exclaimed jubilantly, "Good to know you decided to get in the dating game. You're late, as it happens."
Steve chuckled, and after a moment of quiet, Gabe asked, still grinning,
"So who's this lucky girl?"
This time, he was a little more apprehensive, but he wanted Gabe's advice, so he gritted his teeth and told him.
"Her name is Sharon, Sharon Carter. She's Peggy's grand-niece."
"Ah." Gabe said.
It was a vague kind of 'Ah'. Steve didn't know if it indicated surprise, shock or understanding.
"How'd you meet her?"
"Remember when I left New York to find Richard Roark's family? Fury sent her to find me and get me back. I thought you'd have met her then."
"No, I was visited by a black kid called himself Agent Hawk."
"Sam Wilson, he's her partner. Anyway, I haven't actually asked her out yet."
"I'm not sure. Should I?"
"I cann't say, I don't know the girl. What's she like?"
"She works for Fury. She's smart, she's classy, she's tough… She's looks exactly like her."
"I'd suppose she would, them being family and all."
"No. She could pass for Peggy. She's a little slimmer, and a readhead, but she looks like her in every other way."
"I see." Said Gabe, and his grin disappeared as he thought and prepared to dispense wisdom.
"It's weird, right?" Steve asked, "I shouldn't date her. It wouldn't be right."
"Well, a psychiatrist would probably say this is a symptom of your inability to let go of the past, trying to find a measure of familiarity as a coping mechanism, and that is all around unhealthy.
"But I'm a History professor, and I say Peggy Carter was an amazing woman and quite easy on the eye, so anyone like her is worth going after."
"I don't know, Gabe."
"Well, find out. You don't have to marry her, you just ask her out, spend some time with her. If she acts un-Peggy-like in whatever way, and she's bound to do that, then you'll know what to do. If it throws you off or annoys you, you break it off. If you're fine with it, you know you made the right call."
Steve thought about it for a moment. He was relieved Gabe didn't judge him, and was somewhat emboldened by the advice.
"Don't mention it. Of course, you've got that other problem."
"You're a lost cause with girls, Steve. You're gonna need some serious help."
Hope you like where this is going. I realize Sharon Carter is a polarizing figure in the fandom, but I will do my best.
Next Chapter Hawkeye! Sam Wilson! Hamburgers! And Steve nuts up and makes his move!