Domestic Tranquility

Chapter 23

Disclaimer: I do not own the Avengers. They belong to Marvel/Disney.

Rachel was in the kitchen, drinking coffee, leaning against the counter, staring out the back door, watching Phil play catch with Emily. She smiled, enjoying the scene. Phil was enjoying himself, and Em was so happy having him there. Maybe letting Em go to New York wasn't such a bad idea. Her daughter loved learning, and a couple of weeks of letting Phil keep up with Em would probably do him some good, give him some normal. She'd get some time to seriously thing about where her life was going, and what she should do about it. And then she heard a phone buzzing. Phil's phone. On the kitchen table. Again.

Reaching for the phone, she suddenly found her wrist in the vise-like grip of her brother's boyfriend.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Rogers chided, picking up the phone instead.

"Phil would, and has answered my phone because he's nosy," Rachel said, wresting her wrist out of Roger's grasp.

"He cares about you," Rogers said, frowning at the phone's screen before putting it in his pocket. Stark again. "Phil talks about you all the time. Maybe you should all come out and visit this fall, after you've had the baby."

"Shouldn't Phil be asking instead?" Rachel asked, setting her mug down, crossing her arms.

"Would it make a difference?" Rogers replied.

"Not really," Rachel said. "Emily has school, I have work, Mom has the bakery. . ."

"All excuses," Rogers said. "What is it you have against your brother, anyway? Phil's a good man."

Here we go, Rachel thought, but she answered anyway. "Nothing," she said. "Phil just has everything together in his life and I don't."

"Not everything," Rogers said. "Hardly."

"Really?"

"Really," Rogers said. Oh, he had dirt on Coulson, but he'd never admit it. Like how their relationship came to a head so quickly, how their first kiss was in Mexico, during a firefight, before they'd even had a proper date. All the little details he was now privy to, reasons he loved Coulson.

"Why aren't you out playing ball with them?" Rachel finally asked, wanting to change the subject.

"I wanted to get some sketches done," Rogers said. "Plus Phil gets to spend all the time he can with me, and he doesn't see you guys very often, so time with family wins out."

"Family means a lot to you, doesn't it?" Rachel asked.

"More than you can imagine," Rogers said.

"I'll think about coming to New York," Rachel said. "It has been a while since I've had a decent vacation. If not this fall, then a couple of weeks at Christmas. That might be fun."

Rogers smiled. "That would be fantastic," he said.

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Rogers lay awake, staring up at the ceiling. Coulson was unconscious beside him, drooling onto his pillow. Rogers reached for his phone on the nightstand, quickly taking a picture of his partner, hoping the flash wouldn't wake him. No such luck. Rolling back over after putting the phone back in its place, he found Coulson staring at him.

"I hope you're not going to send that picture to anyone," Coulson said

"No. Just for me," Rogers said.

"Me drooling?"

"It's proof you're human," Rogers said, trying to burrow under the covers.

"Sure," Coulson said, kicking the covers off.

"We're going to freeze to death," Rogers said.

"You can endure a little air conditioning," Coulson retorted. "Besides, there are ways to warm you up."

"Such as?"

"Continuing our quest of rounding the bases," Coulson said.

"We are not getting to third base in your mother's house," Rogers said.

"Fine. We can make out if you can't sleep," Coulson said, leaning in, kissing Rogers, but he gently pushed him away.

"It's the middle of the night," Rogers said.

"Bored, can't sleep now, so what else are we supposed to do?" Coulson said, running his hand under Rogers' shirt, then rucking it up over his head. Rogers gave in, helping him finish taking it off. He knew when he was fighting a losing battle.