Edited version, 2014. Because everything could use some improvement, or in this case, this fiction could use a lot.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything. Except ideas. Everything belongs to their rightful owner(s)
of iPhone and touches
Maria Hill had always known Captain Rogers was not the most expert on technology, given the current position he was in since he did, somewhat, technically, leaped through a considerably amount of time and landed in an era where modern gadgets were life itself. But to witness his incompetence in the area was a whole other thing altogether (mainly because it was Sitwell who was in charge on his recovery, and Maria had no argument on that part)―
"What are you doing?"
Her voice was sharp when the words came flowing from her mouth. Rogers, who had just been sitting contently tapping his finger onto the screen of an iPhone with a frustrated expression on his face, looked up. It was then did she realised her mistake: she had spoken. It had been something of a principle to Maria when the Director decided to haul the Avengers under SHIELD for her to not speak to its member, unless it was absolutely, incredibly necessary― but here she was. How appropriate.
She zeroed her stare on the oh-almighty Captain, watched as the corner of his mouth curled in a friendly smile; it was small, but it was not a mistake to her that it was a smile. Maria wasn't sure if the sight was endearing or just hands-down offensive. "Commander," he greeted, "I was just―"
"It doesn't matter," she cuts him off, batting her eyes once. "I apologise I've ever interrupt you, Captain. I'll be going."
"No, no." He simply objected, golden lashes fluttering against pale cheeks. She narrowed her eyes, because she honestly did not want to be here when his smiles only widened as the seconds prolonged. Their eyes met and Maria had to avert hers to her boots once she realised just how freakin' blue his was. Dammit. She didn't have a thing for a blue eyes, did she? "Stay, please."
She shook her head naturally, "I have reports to finish, Rogers, and a whole lots of work to be done. There's no reason I should be here."
Maria wasn't sure if she'd seen it correctly, but she wasn't wrong (and she barely was), the Captain's expression seemingly faltered, but only for a second. "Of course," he nodded his head, gripping on the piece of metal in his hand uncertainly, frustration lining the wrinkles now crinkling around his face, "I just― Tony sent me this. I just, I thought I could use a hand at it. Tony, he, uh, he refused to send me the manual― I figured he got off seeing me... confused over this. I wouldn't blame him, really, although yes, yes I would. But um..., really, I just ― I need the help."
Ah. The innocence.
Maria hated it. But as her eyes glanced over the confused Captain, she knew the action of walking away and leaving him won't differ as to leave a child after he or she's informed you he or she had lost their parents. Maria was known for a lot of things, but being completely heartless was not one of them. So, she sighed and took a seat next to him. Steve smiled at her, grateful, and she told him to shut it, whatever he's doing with his face, because this was not going to work if he kept doing it.
He did it anyway.
("So, this... this internet. It can do even that? That's amazing!")
Have there been a day when she was not faced with a report?
Most likely not.
The bitter thought crossed Maria's mind for the umpteenth time that day as she flipped through another page while sliding a file under her armpits, knowing she had to read those for a de-brief later that day. It was a good thing she'd done this so many times before, reading a page would now only take her far not-more than two minutes, tops. But still.
Maria sighed just as she turned down a corner, and paused when she heard her name was being called.
She turned around, brows furrowing in confusion, the expectant of danger hung at the edge of her every nerves and her shoulders were squared.
Rogers jogged closer and Maria had to take a step back to avoid him (very large him, if she could say so herself) from bumping into her when he didn't seem to be stopping in his steps. He did stop though, collecting his breath a second later. His face expressed a worried expression and she curiosity piqued her interest. "Captain?"
"Maria," the way he said her name, as if he had known her enough, or for far too long, made her cringed. But he says it in a slow and whispering tone, only for her ears to hear. Which was weird, and okay, kind of special? (Yeah, give her a break okay.) He looked around and leaned closer, alarm tugging on his expression, "It's about the iPhone..."
Maria immediately groaned and step back. She looked at him pointedly, are you serious? before she kicking her heel to walk away.
He seemed frantic, "No," he muttered under his breath, jogging up to her easily. "No. This is really serious. I received a phone call..."
Maria stopped and raised an eyebrow. He slightly smiled when he picked on that she was listening and she held in a glare as he continued, "... a little girl called me. She said she needs help but I don't know what to do. She said something about drowning, I'm not really sure. The line was really fuzzy. I'm really worried for her safety. What do you think I should do?"
"Wait," she held her hand out to him, confused. "A little girl? First of all, how did a little girl have your phone number? That's impossible. Drowning?" Maria thinks to herself and let her gaze rests upon Steve's face. She watched him, his blue eyes might as well have been penetrating right through her soul, and Maria thought again: dammit those eyes. She looked away and sighed, "Have you ever considered it was a prank call, Captain?"
"Prank call. It's when people make fake phone calls and cause false alarms. People often do this to the police force, not an Avengers. So, this is probably an inside job. Did you say something about a girl voice? How high-pitched was it?"
"It was pretty high-pitched...," The Captain trailed off, thinking. "Now that you brought it up, it sounded a little fake too."
Maria shook her head lightly, his innocence's killing her. Very, very painfully. Yet somehow, sparing him another glance, Maria couldn't help but to find the quirkiness of his ways intriguing, and soothing, or at least it was, if to compare to the everyday stress she'd to endure everyday. That's enough, Maria, she shook her head and cleared her throat, "Ask Stark. He might have something to do with this since he had your number. I recalled you said he was the one who gave you this phone, right? If you'll excuse me now."
Maria, once again, kicked on her heel when his voice stopped her again.
"Maria," he breathed, smiling somewhat shyly.
She didn't respond, deepening her frown until: "Can I have your number?"
So, this is what they call texting right? -Steve
Maria read over the text message and nearly made out a quiet chuckle if she wasn't frustrated enough by the fact that her back was killing her and that her last sleep was seventeen hours ago. She blinks helplessly at her screen phone, reading the text once again, her thumb going numb to a respond, and she ended up just gnawing at the screen, re-reading it again.
What was she supposed to say?
Apparently, she didn't even have to say anything when his next text came through.
You look unsettled. Would you like a ride? Look up ahead. -Steve
Maria didn't bother hiding her astonishment when the Captain himself, now clad in a casual dress, came from behind the shadows holding up the familiar iPhone, a helmet under one arm.
"Captain," she said, through her teeth.
He smiled. "A ride?" he hands her the helmet.
She looked down at it, hesitating, and then: "This isn't necessary―"
"No, it's not I suppose." He shrugged a shoulder, "But it wouldn't hurt, would it?"
Maria, despite her belief, smiled just a little wider.
"I suppose not."
So, they drove into the night, and she might have slept against the Captain's back. Whatever.
"We can't do this," her voice was sharp when she said it.
He looked up, raising an eyebrow. She kept her stance and face emotionless as he stepped closer, just inches from where she stood. She didn't back away (she's too stubborn to) and kept her eyes ahead, not necessarily on him. Clearing her throat, she finally took in on how much he's towering her. She licked her lips, "This. Whatever this is, between us― we can't do this anymore."
He was silent.
When his silence prolonged, Maria felt an ache twisting at the pit of her stomach but she shoved it away and decided it was for the best. This was what she wanted, wasn't it? Rogers and her was a possible neither could explore, not even if they wanted to, not even if she privately yearned for it. He's a risk all in himself, and she's been a bitch her whole life. It wouldn't work. They'll end up just breaking one another, and Maria couldn't handle that. Anything, but that.
So it was for the best. Of course it was.
Maria swallowed down her disappointment and nodded her head in an acknowledgement she will leave now, but his words cut through the atmosphere just when she'd first taken her step. "Why not?" his voice cracked.
"Because we're...," she sighed, her mind reeling. "We're soldiers. We're co-workers. We're professionals. This shouldn't be happening at all. That's all we are."
"What if I want to be more than that?" he asked again, his voice hardening.
She sucked in breaths, collecting her courage. "T-then, we have a problem."
He sighs and slowly, Maria could feel his fingers fiddling on her wrist, before he took a grip on it, his voice low when he let out, "It's a wonderful kind of problem, is it not, Commander?"
"It's a stupid one." She answered instead, but did not turn around. Couldn't. Wouldn't.
He tugged on it, her wrist, and she, as if on cue, dropped her chin, shutting her eyes closed when he whispered: "Have breakfast with me, Maria?"
He's asking her out. Oh no.
"I'm not sure that's the best idea―"
"I'll call you," he said, finally getting her to turn around and face him, and Maria's greyish blue eyes met with his familiar blue ones, once again finding just how tight the grip of his stare could have on her. She bit her tongue. "Okay?" He asked her, swallowing, but his tone was gentle, near a plea.
She went still.
And: "Okay." She nodded, "Okay. I would... I would like that."
He gave her a kinder smile, blue eyes twinkling. "I would like that too."
"I got a present from Tony again."
She looked at him, hiking up an eyebrow in interest.
"It's an... iPad, isn't it?" he asked, holding it up.
"Yeah, it is. Did you need help figuring it out?" she took it from his hand when he offered it to her. She analysed it and started tapping on the apps it displayed on the screen. He shook his head simply, "No. I think I can handle this one."
Accidentally, her finger slipped and she opened up a paint app. He leaned in, "What is that?"
"This could be useful to you. But... it's mostly for kids, though," Maria frowned, sliding her hand up and down across the screen at the features displayed on the screen, "It's a paint app. You could draw and colour, and I suppose, write stupid stuff on it."
He nodded, although the confusion still twitched in his face. "Can you show me an example?"
"Do you want me to draw?"
She made a face immediately, "No."
He chuckled and gestured with his hand, "Just write, then."
"Okay. What do you want me to write?"
He smiled and leaned in closer, his blue eyes untangling her nerves still. "I think I might be in love with you."
Her fingers stopped and she looked at him, wide-eyed. Mutely, she began tracing her fingers over the screen, watched as line appears under her fingertips and made familiar shapes. She restrained a larger smile when she's nearly finished, and could feel him grinning as they both read over what she'd written:
I THINK I MIGHT BE IN LOVE WITH YOU TOO