A/N: I'm not exactly sure what direction I'm heading. Could be a series of ficlets somehow strewn together. Hope you enjoy it, though. :)

Steve's head rested on his pillow, his face covered with cold sweat. Another nightmare had come and gone. He couldn't ever remember what it was about; all he knew is that whatever he dreamed of made his heart race and his skin clammy. Sitting up, he put his feet on the ground. The ceiling fan blew cool air against his bare skin. Reaching over, he picked up the shirt that lay on the ground and pulled it over his head.

Going out into the living room of his apartment, he noted that it was three forty-two in the morning. He slid the glass doors in the corner of the room open, stepping out onto the tiny porch that overlooked the city. The street below hurt his ears like it always did, and he wondered how he was ever able to sleep here before.

Sighing, he rested his hands on the railing. He missed the New York he knew. He missed the life he once knew. Waking up was like becoming a whole new person, being born all over again but missing your childhood. The lights reflected in his eyes, making his smoky-colored irises seem to glitter. A light breeze blew through the air, ruffling his hair.

The shock and fear from the nightmare slowly wore away. He didn't know if this was shell shock or not. He didn't believe it was, but he had no clue what else it could be. Exhaling, he stepped back into his apartment, the sound of screeching tires and blaring horns muffled as he shut the door. Running his fingers through his hair, he went back to his room where he threw his shirt off and laid down.

He situated himself where he could stare out the window on the right side of the room that allowed the tops of the buildings and whatever part of the sky that slipped through the smog to be shown. Imagining what the sky would look like if the stars were brighter, he drifted back to sleep.

A face. A voice. A laugh. He jerked back up again, breathing heavily. His shoulder shuddering, he hunched over and put his hand over his face, crying softly to himself. As the tears rolled down his cheeks, the fragments he could remember from the dream went with it. He wished he could know what he was dreaming about, what was doing this to him. Slowly, his crying ceased, wiping the tears away from his eyes. His alarm clock said it was now five fifty-seven. He sat silently in his bed, staring at the clock as the numbers changed. As the clock displayed that it was six thirty-five, he got out of bed.

As he took his shower, he tried his hardest to recollect anything from his nightmares. Nothing came to him. After getting dressed and shaving, he went out and threw some bread in the toaster and made a bowl of cereal. His appetite seemed surprisingly small for him today. Something was bothering him, though. There was just something about those dreams that held on to his mind, and he was determined to know what it was.

Sighing to himself, he opened the door and headed out to another day at SHIELD.

He spotted her at his lunch time. She was finishing the last of her meal, standing up with her tray. Steve cautiously approached her. "Agent Romanoff?"

She turned around, her hair bobbing around her chin. "Steve," she said, glancing down his body and up again. "Do you need anything?"

He wasn't sure what he wanted to ask; he wasn't sure why he wasn't there in the first place. It was if he felt almost drawn to talk to her. "Um, were there any meetings I needed to attend today?" He felt his face get hot. He had never been great at making stories up on the spot.

"Not that I know of. What happened to your schedule?"

"I, uh, was just double checking." He nodded, as if approving himself of what he just said.

Her lips curved into a faint smile. Eyes going up and down his body once more, she said, "See you later then."

He nodded once more. She stared at him for a second longer before turning back around, dumping her tray of the excess trash and putting her tray away, and heading out of the room, her hips going back and forth as she walked.

Steve watched her leave.