Author's Note: I just wanted to take a moment to yet again tell you guys that I can't believe the acknowledgement and attention that this story received. At this point in time this story got 101 reviews, 131 followers, 76 favorites and 31481 views. It has always been both humbling and overwhelming but you all have made me feel like this was worth writing and I can't wait to see the reactions to this ending as well as the reactions that will come with the sequel. Keep an eye out for it because I'm working on it now and it should be up before this new week is over. Read and enjoy the final chapter. Thank you all for sticking with me. Hugs to you all!
Two Weeks Later
Steve couldn't remember the last time that he'd felt so damn nervous about anything in his entire life. Actually, if he really thought about it, he could probably name the last moment he felt this nervous. It was probably just before he was given the serum that turned him into Captain America. Or maybe it was the first time that he had taken Aly out on a real date. Or maybe the first time that they'd made love. Then again, he realized that he couldn't pin point the last time that he'd felt this nervous because he knew that he'd felt pretty damn nervous around Aly from the first moment that he laid eyes on her.
Steve thought he was at least partially over the butterflies he felt whenever he saw Aly but tonight was definitely different and just thinking about what was going to happen had him feeling like he was about to burst. Tonight was going to be special and he knew that was the reason that his stomach was doing somersaults. While he hadn't wanted to do it, he called in a favor from Tony Stark to make this night even more special than it would've otherwise been. If he was ever going to ask for a favor, this was one of those times. Steve knew that Tony would probably make him pay in some crazy way in the future but it would be worth it if it all worked out the way that he had hoped.
Steve, who left early in the morning before Aly had gotten up to get ready for work, had called Aly first thing in the morning and told her to put on something nice later and that he'd pick her up at 9 o'clock that night. He could picture her rolling her eyes when he said it, especially when he heard her softly sigh. He also told her to come hungry which had made her laugh, something that Steve liked hearing. She promised that she'd be ready and that she'd be hungry although she did ask why he was going to pick her up so late. He didn't know how to answer that question so he told her that she'd find out when they got where they'd be going. That seemed to be enough to make Aly happy.
Steve spent most of the rest of the day at the gym, working out his nerves by punching a few punching bags and lifting a few weights. He felt like he needed this though because he was a tightly wound bundle of nerves and he felt like he might snap in two if he didn't find a way to shake what he was feeling at that moment. It was a good way to pass some time as well although he had to watch himself because there were other people around that could have seen him. Steve couldn't hit things as hard as he wanted and he couldn't lift as much weight as he wanted but it was good enough to work out some of the jitters at least. When he was asked to spar with one of the guys at the gym, he passed although Steve did get Nate in the ring with him for a bit later on in the day. That had been fun and Steve could see why Aly liked to box with Nate. Nate didn't pull punches when he stepped into the ring with Steve. He went hard and while Steve had to lay off a little, it was fun to get into the ring and spar with someone who didn't hold back.
Instead of heading to the apartment when he was done for the day, Tony had offered a place for Steve to stay for the night. He hadn't wanted to accept but the best way to keep everything a surprise was to agree to this. At least this way Aly wouldn't be able to see anything accidently and he could maybe even bring Aly back here after the night was done. It wasn't the same as getting them a hotel room for the night but Steve thought that she might like it. He grabbed something to eat when he got to the apartment though, chuckling to himself when he realized that the place that Tony had offered him was basically a fully furnished and fully stocked apartment although Steve didn't want to know what Tony did with an extra place like this or what he used to do with it either. With his metabolism, Steve tried to eat a bit every few hours if he could because otherwise he spent a good portion of the day hungry.
While sitting on the couch, he managed to drift off to sleep for at least a couple of hours without meaning to and when he woke up, Steve had taken a long, hot shower. He needed it to give himself a chance to wake up and a chance to not think about what he was about to do and the shower did the trick for the most part. He had laid out a nice suit and tie and once he was cleaned up and had shaved, Steve slowly got himself dressed. He fixed his tie a second and then a third time and raked his fingers through his slightly damp hair as he looked in the bathroom mirror, nervously chewing on his bottom lip for a moment. He reached into the pocket of his pants and pulled out a small black box. Taking a deep, shaky breath, he opened it to take a look at the ring inside.
It was a rather simple ring in white gold since he knew that Aly didn't like yellow gold. The diamond was 1.5 karats and emerald cut without any other embellishments. It reminded him of rings that he knew had been popular back in the 1940s. That hadn't been the reason that he'd picked it however although he did like that about the style of the ring. He had picked it because it was simple and he knew that Aly would appreciate the beauty of its simplicity. He closed the ring box, letting out the breath that he'd been holding and slipped the ring box back into his pants pocket, patting it as if to check to make sure that it was still there.
He headed out to the street to flag down a taxi. It was almost 9 o'clock and by the time he arrived at the apartment, he was sure she'd be ready. Steve watched as buildings passed on the way from Stark Tower to the apartment that he shared with Aly. He asked the driver to wait while he ran up. Steve had just made it up the front stairs when he spotted Aly through the window in the door and he felt his breath catch for a moment at the sight of her. She was headed to the front door with a smile on her face, walking very carefully in what looked to him to be a dangerous pair of stiletto heels. He'd seen her in shoes like that before but this pair looked much taller than the pair she had worn to Tony's charity ball.
Aly gave Steve a wave before nervously smoothing her hands down her dress. It was strapless and bright pink and it looked to be made of silk. It was an impressive and seductive piece of clothing in his opinion. It was also more expensive than anything that Steve thought that Aly had in her closet, which made him wonder where she'd gotten it. His hand was on the handle of the door as she opened it and he held the door open for her with a smile. Aly did a little turn for him once she walked outside, giggling as she did it. She hooked her arm with his as they walked down the stairs and headed for the taxi.
"Where did you get this …" He didn't know how to finish that statement so Steve gestured to everything that Aly was wearing right now instead. He knew that he was blushing bright red right now as he looked her over, his eyes moving slowly over every inch of her in that sexy, slinky dress. She was always beautiful but right now he didn't know how to describe how she looked. She was stunning, beyond words.
Aly blushed and tucked some of her hair behind her ear, looking down at the small clutch purse she had in her hands shyly. "I came home after work, noticing that you were nowhere to be found by the way, and there was this box waiting. Inside the apartment," she said with a little shake of her head, softly laughing. Aly looked up at Steve with a soft smile. "There was a card in it that said it was from Tony Stark and that he wanted to wish me luck. Whatever that was supposed to mean."
Steve rolled his eyes at the mere mention of Tony's name, laughing a little. This was even more than Steve had expected from Tony and he knew now more than ever that he was going to owe Tony so big for tonight. It really wasn't going to be pretty when Tony called in the favor after all. Steve swallowed down that worry, trying to focus on the moment instead because it was a pretty amazing moment. "You'll see. Do you trust me?" he asked, cocking an eyebrow as he looked at her. When Aly nodded, Steve pulled out a little sleep mask and held it out for her. "The driver knows where we're going and I want it to be a surprise so will you put this on?"
Aly took the sleep mask from Steve and slipped it on without saying anything. She smiled a little, giggling when Steve leaned in to steal a kiss once the mask was covering her eyes. She shook her head and leaned against him, feeling his arm around her shoulders. She rested her head on his shoulder and quietly rode to wherever it was that Steve was taking her. What she didn't see was him patting the pocket of his pants again to check for the ring box or the deep breath that he'd taken when he realized it was still there.
Aly sat up when she felt the taxi come to a complete halt. She felt Steve shift to get out first and she blindly reached for his hand which she instinctively knew would be outstretched for her. Aly laughed as she carefully got out of the taxi, hearing Steve laugh and give her directions to make sure that she didn't trip and fall as she got out of the taxi or as they walked into a restaurant. She knew it was a restaurant because she could smell something incredible as soon as Steve opened the door.
Steve led them inside the restaurant, stopping at a table a bit of the way in. He reached for the sleep mask, carefully pulling it off of her. He didn't want to mess up her hair or her makeup although he knew that she would still look fabulous even if he did mess it up. The look on Aly's face when she opened her eyes was priceless though. He saw her looking around, brushing some hair from her face. She started to laugh when she saw where they were, throwing her arms around Steve. He chuckled and hugged her tightly, lifting her feet off the ground for a moment. He was smiling as someone walked over to them, setting a pizza on the table for them with a quiet nod.
Aly looked at the table with a smile. The entire restaurant was dimly lit with a few candles here and there. There was some jazz playing in the background and she felt her smile grow a bit. She recognized it as Count Basie almost immediately, one of her favorites. She also recognized the restaurant they were in. It was Grimaldi's and the pizza on the table was the same kind of pizza they had gotten on their first 'official' date. The fact that Steve remembered these kinds of details still amazed the hell out of Aly. She smiled at him and nodded to the pizza with a laugh.
"This is what I dressed up like this for?" she asked with a smirk, gesturing to herself a bit. Aly laughed when Steve blushed and then pulled out her chair for her. She sat down and let him slide her chair toward the table before he poured them each a glass of red wine and then sat down across from her.
He cleared his throat nervously before saying anything. He didn't want to give anything away after all. "This is just part of the surprise," Steve said with a little nod. "The rest will come later. It'll be worth it. I promise."
After they finished eating, someone came by and cleared the table for them. They talked a little about everything throughout the meal and after as well. Aly told Steve about her day, which had been filled with a lot of hyper but happy children, and he told her about his day. His day was much less interesting but it was nice to have someone to talk to about things at the end of the day. She asked how Steve got Grimaldi's to stay open for them and he admitted to asking Tony Stark for a favor.
"That explains the dress and shoes then," Aly said with a laugh after Steve told her. It made sense to her now that Tony was trying to help in every way that he possibly could. "Clearly Tony thought he was going to do you another favor by sending me this to wear tonight."
Steve was glad for the dim lighting because he was sure that he was blushing bright red. The innuendo in her statement wasn't lost on him after all. He knew that Aly looked stunning in the dress and that it left very little to the imagination as well. Tony certainly knew what he was doing when he picked out that dress for Aly. Steve gave a little shrug and chuckled when Aly laughed at him. He got ready to pour them each another glass of wine but when Aly shook her head, he put the bottle down. They'd each had two glasses but it wasn't like it would have affected him to have another glass. He did know that two was usually Aly's limit however. She liked to say that she was a lightweight when it came to alcohol after all.
"I think Tony wanted to make sure tonight was extra special," Steve finally said with a shrug. It was true and it was the only answer that he could give without totally embarrassing himself. "This seemed like the perfect place for something special to happen though. Do you remember what happened here?"
Aly laughed, nodding a bit. "Yes, we ended up going here for our first real date after I tried to get us to go to Il Buco instead," she said, smiling. She remembered that night quite fondly actually, for a couple of reasons, even though it hadn't gone the way that she had planned it to go. "I think it was the first time I realized how I really felt about you."
"Really?" Steve asked, raising his eyebrows at her. That was something she'd never said to him before and he was curious to find out what she had discovered on that first date. "What did you realize that night?"
Aly reached for Steve's hand from across the table. She wrapped her hand around his as best as she could with a bright smile on her face. "It's the first time that I realized that I was in love with you. Completely and irrevocably in love with you. I love you, Steven Rogers," she said as she started to lean across the table. Steve met her half way and kissed her softly which made Aly giggle.
He let go of her hand and slowly stood up. He walked over to Aly's side and slowly got down on one knee. When he saw Aly's eyes widen, Steve smiled although he felt that heat in his face and neck and ears. This was a moment he had never imagined getting to experience. Even after he told Aly the truth about who he was and how old he should have been, Steve never would've imagined that he'd be here with Aly tonight, getting ready to propose to her. It was just that he couldn't imagine his life without her now. She had been helping him so much with finding his way in the modern world but that wasn't the only reason he wanted her around for the rest of their lives.
Steve knew that he loved Aly more than he could put into words. She was a very special young woman. She was strong and self-reliant but she was also gentle and sweet. She was stubborn at times and could be such a force of nature but she was also giving and kind. Aly offered Steve a balance in his life that he wouldn't have had otherwise. When he looked at her, he saw a future that he never thought could exist for him. He wanted that future with her.
Steve took a deep breath, knowing that his hands were shaking right now. He could see when he looked at Aly that she was shocked. He could see the tears already forming in her eyes and he smiled, tearing up a little himself. She already had her hands up to her mouth and she was almost bouncing in her chair as she watched him. Steve looked at the ring again and took another deep breath before opening his mouth to say anything.
He took her hand in his and raised it to his lips, softly kissing the top of Aly's hand. He didn't let go though after that, softly holding her hand. "Aly, from the moment I first saw you I knew that there was something special about you," Steve said, trying to remember the speech that he'd scripted out. It was times like this where he was grateful for the photographic memory that he seemed to have. He was also glad that he'd written this down and memorized it because he would've really been tripping over his words otherwise. "It didn't take long for you to make me fall in love with you. You're not just the most beautiful young woman that I've ever seen but you're the strongest and the most amazing. You balance me out in so many ways and I need you more than I can say. You've taught me so much about the world around me and you've opened me up to things that I never would've experienced otherwise. I … I love you. I love you more … more than I can say. I just …"
Aly smiled softly and reached with her right hand to brush her fingers against his cheek. She didn't say anything though, just smiled at him and gave him a little nod. Steve took another deep breath when he saw that, mustering up the courage to finish what he was trying to say. He wasn't sure he would've gotten through it otherwise.
"I want to be with you for the rest of our lives, Aly. I can't imagine my life without you in it. So what I'm trying to say is will you … that is … w-will you m-marry me?"
Aly didn't say anything at first. She threw her arms around Steve's neck instead. She buried her face in his neck and murmured a 'yes' against his shoulder. Tears slowly started to slide down her cheeks and when she pulled back, Aly was smiling but crying as she nodded her head. She was biting her lip to keep her lip from trembling. Steve wiped her cheek with his thumb as he cupped her face with one hand.
When she opened her mouth, her voice cracked but she knew she had to say the words out loud. "Yes, Steven Rogers, I will marry you," Aly said, nodding. She looked down as he moved his hand from her face to slowly slide the ring on her finger. When she looked at him again, she could see that he was crying a little too. She leaned in and softly pressed her lips against his. When his hand slid into her hair, she let her lips part as she deepened the kiss. In that moment there was nothing but the two of them and this warmth and excitement that Aly couldn't even begin to explain. From the way that he kissed her back, she could tell that Steve could feel it too.
Slowly she pulled back from the kiss, a grin on her face. Aly brushed her fingers against Steve's cheek, giggling a little when she caught sight of the ring that was now on her finger. She looked at it for a moment and then looked at Steve. Nervously chewing her lip, Aly knew that she needed to tell Steve something right now. She didn't think that he'd be upset but she knew that he needed to know. She'd been trying to hide the news from him for too long. Now seemed like the perfect time to tell him.
"Steve, I … I need to tell you something," she softly said, looking down briefly. When she looked up and saw the look on Steve's face, Aly laughed. She stole a brief kiss and then brushed her fingers against his cheek again, tracing his jaw with her index finger. "How would you feel about having to look for a new place to live?"
Steve's eyebrows furrowed when she asked him that and he gave Aly a confused look. "What are you talking about, Aly? Why would we need a new place to live?" he asked, shaking his head a bit. He couldn't think of one good reason to give up the apartment that they had. It was perfect for the two of them after all. He stood up and held out his hand to her. "What's going on? What aren't you saying?"
Aly laughed as she put her hand in his, letting him help her to her feet. When she stood up, she let go of Steve's hand and placed it on her stomach. "We're going to need another bedroom in maybe 8 or 9 months. Give or take," she said with a soft smile. She bit her lip as she looked up at Steve, seeing his expression go from confusion to shock to happiness. When he grabbed her tight and lifted her off of her feet, spinning her around, Aly knew that he understood what she was trying to tell him.
"We're … you're …" Steve laughed and shook his head as he set Aly back down onto her feet. He took a step back and looked her over as if he was trying to see if there was something different about her but he couldn't see anything different. Sure, she'd been getting a little sick now and then and Steve had noticed that she ate a little more than normal. He even noticed her falling asleep a little earlier but he figured that it was stress from student teaching and nothing else. Now it was all making sense. "When did you find out?"
"A couple of weeks ago," she said with a little shrug. Aly took a couple of steps toward Steve and wrapped an arm around his waist as she turned them so they could leave. "I took a test and found out. I was just too nervous to tell you."
Steve chuckled and kissed the top of her head. Once they were out on the street, he hailed them a cab. "Looks like we have two reasons to celebrate tonight. Have you been to the doctor yet?" he asked, glancing down at her before walking over to open the door of the cab that stopped to pick them up. When Aly shook her head, Steve sighed. Once she slid into the back of the cab, he slid in next to her and put his arm around her. After telling the driver where to go, his attention was on Aly. "You have to go see the doctor. I'll go with you."
Aly laughed and nodded, although she was quite curious when Steve gave the driver an address that wasn't their apartment building. "Of course. I'll make an appointment soon so we can go together. I promise," she said as she rested her head on his shoulder. She hadn't been entirely sure how Steve was going to take the news so she was thrilled that he was so happy about this. She knew that she was happy too. "Are you ready to start looking for a two bedroom apartment?"
Steve chuckled and shrugged his shoulders lightly. "What about finding a place outside of the city? Somewhere that's a little quieter," he said with a nod. When he saw that smile on her face, he knew that she liked the idea. While he didn't mind the idea of staying in Brooklyn and finding a nice two or three bedroom place, Steve thought that a nice house in the suburbs might be a better place to raise their children. It wasn't like he thought they were only going to have one child after all. "We'll start looking soon. We can set up times to check out some houses. This is going to be amazing, Aly. Maybe not quite the way that I was hoping that this would happen but I can't complain that you're pregnant now."
Aly laughed, rolling her eyes. She smiled when the cab came to a stop and let Steve get out first. She put her hand in his as he helped her out and wrapped her arm around him as soon as they were walking toward the front steps of an unfamiliar building. "We're engaged now so I guess it's alright. Trust me. I know people who have two or three kids together and they've never gotten married. No one is going to think any less of us because of this," she said, putting her hand on her stomach when she said 'this'. She gave Steve a curious look and nodded toward the building though. "Where are we, Steve? I thought we were going home."
Steve scooped her up in his arms when they reached the stairs, carrying her up before carefully unlocking the security door. When Aly giggled as he held her with one arm and tried to unlock the door with his other hand, he couldn't help but laugh. He turned around and pushed the door open with his back before he carried her up to the apartment that Tony had borrowed to him. "This was sort of Stark's idea although I thought it might be nice to spend the night somewhere else tonight. I hope you don't mind," he said with a shrug as he reached the door to the apartment. Steve again carefully held her in one arm as he unlocked and opened the door. He kicked it closed behind them as Aly giggled and then carried her right to the bedroom. When he kicked the bedroom door closed behind them as well, she knew what was next and Aly couldn't help the little grin on her face. She saw the grin on Steve's face as well and laughed. Getting lost in Steve seemed like a very good idea right now after all.
"Oh I don't mind one bit," she said, shaking her head. Aly couldn't wipe the grin off of her face right now. "Just another thing for me to thank Tony for later, I guess. First I need to thank him for sending this dress and these shoes." She kicked off the shoes and then unzipped the dress, letting it fall to the floor. "Then I need to thank him for keeping Grimaldi's open for us because I couldn't imagine a more perfect place for you to propose." Her hands brushed Steve's chest before she started to slide his jacket off of him. Then Aly started to unbutton his shirt, laughing at the way Steve watched her because even now he could still get wide-eyed about the things that she did.
"Is that all?" Steve asked, his voice almost cracking for a moment with nervousness. He licked his lips and let his fingers brush lightly up her spine. "I was going to thank Tony for those things too actually."
Aly laughed as she slid the shirt off of Steve's shoulders before her fingers curled under the bottom hem of his shirt as she started to slide it up as well. "I'm going to have to thank him for letting us use this place too. I think we're going to have a lot of fun here," she said, nodding. Her body shivered a little as she felt Steve's fingers on her skin.
Steve just nodded in response before nudging Aly until she fell back onto the bed. He carefully climbed on top of her. Right now there was only one thing on his mind and it had nothing to do with Tony Stark or this apartment or the proposal or even the baby. All that he wanted was to get lost in Aly and he knew that was something that she wanted right now too.