I wrote this one first. The only reason I wrote the first two was so this one would make some sense to everyone else.
Steve Rogers felt exhausted. Not physically of course, he doubted he would ever really feel that again, but totally mentally drained. The Avengers saved the world again and while the others gathered together to celebrate he just wanted a shower and maybe to see her. He walked down the gangway in the helicarrier to his temporary room to change. Maybe he could go on vacation, Hawaii, maybe. He wondered what she would look like in a swimsuit. He smiled to himself, they may have seen a show together and talked a few times on the phone, but he doubted would ever be able to convince Maria Hill into a bikini.
He let himself remember their date, well at least he thought of it as a date. She insisted it was just two colleagues who happen to see a Broadway show. But, they sat together, he bought her a green keychain that said Wicked during intermission and he even with a little persistence on his part walked her home. In his day that was a date and good one too. He remembered the slight curl of her lips as he exclaimed his delight of the show as they walked to the subway. He remembered the surprise on her face when he slipped the key chain into her palm as they stood outside her door. She tried to give it back murmuring something about fraternization to but he refused to take it. It was just a keychain, not an engagement ring, and besides he wasn't an official part of SHIELD. It couldn't be fraternization if he didn't work for them, he reminded her. He remembered the way she gripped the keychain and turn to the door. He remembered cursing himself for being an idiot and saying too much. Mostly he remembered the way she spun around, kissed his cheek, whispered thank you and hurried through the door.
Steve stopped in the gangway, his thoughts interrupted and turned to see Director Fury striding confidently towards him. Maria followed quietly in his wake. The two men shook hands and Steve glanced over at her. Her shoulders were ridged and her hands were clasped behind her back as she scanned him up and down. When her eyes finally hit his, the little muscle in her jaw twitched the way it did when she was angry and he knew that something was wrong.
"Just the man I need to see." Director Fury said almost jovially to him.
Steve eyed the man warily. "Why?"
"Well, you see," Fury began as he clapped a hand on his back and began to steer the Captain back in the direction where he came. Steve glanced at Maria again as he allowed the director to maneuver him past her, she stared at Fury coldly. "I just got off the phone with the President and..."
"Of the United States?" Steve interrupted surprised and then admonished himself for sounding like an awestruck little boy.
"Yes." Fury continued. "And he wants to talk to you."
"Me? Why?" Steve said as he followed Fury down the gangway, aware of a surly Maria following behind them.
"Why? With this summer's Loki escapade and this most recent adventure you're the hero of the hour."
They stopped in front of the elevators and Steve ran a hand through his hair tiredly. He should be used to all the hero stuff by now, but it still made him uncomfortable. He was just doing what others would if they could.
"Sir, I still think it would be better to wait until the morning. Captain Rogers must be exhausted." Maria said from beside him. He looked over at her and gave her a small smile of thanks. She looked at his face and he thought he saw a flicker of concern. He must ready look terrible.
"Nonsense." Fury waved them into the elevator as the doors opened. "It will only take a few minutes and it's best to get it over with now."
"What about the others? I wasn't the only one out there today." Steve asked as he stepped to the back of the elevator. He felt Maria slide in to stand beside him. Fury hit the button and turned to face the door hands behind his back.
"I'm sure the President will want to speak with them soon, but he wants to speak with you now." Fury stated, and then launched into the intricacies of politics, funds and tele-confercing.
Steve sighed and rolled his shoulders, trying to relieve the sudden tension. He should be excited to speak with the President of the United States and if it were any other day he would be. He just wasn't sure if he could face a doubtlessly pointless conversation filled with thank you's and promises right now. He felt a sudden feather light pressure on his fingers and glanced down to see Maria's pinkie and ring finger of her left hand grapple with his index finger. He looked up to her face as she stared resolutely ahead at Fury's back. The silent show of support squeezed the air out of his chest and fortified him. He turned back to watch Fury's back as she was doing and squeezed her fingers gently in thank you, suddenly glad he had the chance to take his gloves off.
The elevator came to a halt and she quickly disengaged her fingers from his. He missed their warmth immediately. Steve followed the two shield agents down a corridor he had never been and into a dark room. Fury gestured for Steve to stand at a small raised stage area surrounded by a podium of monitors with blinking lights and he felt a little claustrophobic. Maria walked into a little room off the side and Steve heard the spray of water for a moment. She returned and stepped up onto the tiny stage with him as Fury began to have an agitated phone conversation.
"Turn around." She said quietly with her hand on his arm. He did and found himself about a foot from her. Too far, he thought.
"Let's get you cleaned up." She said as she began to wipe the grime from his face. "Can't have Captain America looking dirty when he talks to the President, can we?"
He grinned at her attempt at a joke and said "Admit it you just wanted to touch Captain America." She stopped wiping the dirt off his jaw and looked up into his smiling eyes with a start. He thought he might have overstepped some line for a second until he saw her eyes soften a bit. His right hand drifted unthinkingly to her hip and she opened her mouth to make what he was sure would be a scathing comment on superheroes.
"Two minutes, Cap." Fury said as he punched the end button on his phone.
The two flinched away from each other and Steve was glad the room was dark enough to hide the blush on his face. Though he didn't know why he should be embarrassed, except maybe for the fact that he completely forgotten Fury was in the room. He looked over at Maria and saw her studying the floor. Maybe she forgot about him too. Why the thought pleased him was beyond him.
"Okay," Fury said as Steve turned back to the podium. "Just keep it simple. Yes sir, no sir. Well, you know what to do." He waived dismissively at him. "Agent Hill and I will be right outside. Good luck."
"Thank you." Steve said stood a little taller as the monitors in front of him began to flicker on. Fury strode out the door with Maria close behind him.
"Wait." She said at the door way and Steve turned to see her step back up to him, Fury nowhere in sight. She reached towards his face and for a brief heart pounding second he thought she was going to kiss him, before she pulled his cowl up over his head.
"The president wants to see Captain America." She said by way of explanation and he smiled a small sad smile, looking away. Of course he did. Her fingers lingered on his cheek and he look back up. Was it his imagination or did a hint of playfulness glimmer in her eyes. "For the record, I didn't want to touch Captain America." Her mouth twitched with a smile as he stared dumbly down at her. "I wanted to touch Steve Rogers."
Her fingers trailed across his lips before she spun and strode towards the door.
"Why do you always get the last word in?" He called out to her.
"Habit." She said over her shoulder as she disappeared through the door. She did it again, he thought as he shook his head and smiled.
"Uh." Steve blinked. What was he doing? Oh, right the President of the United States wanted to talk to him. He turned back around to face the older man on the monitors before him. "I'm sorry, Sir."
"That's quite alright, son. You've had a trying day. How are you doing?" The President asked with genuine concern.
"I'm good, sir." Steve said his lips tingled where she touched them and smiled. "Really good."