When we reached back at the Headquarters I Immediately called Tony to let him know that the mission went well and I'll be home within an hour. I excused myself to Fury and to the rest of my team and head home. Nick told me to be back tomorrow for some reports and we needed to make a run through the whole mission. I nodded and then I went home.
I made it in time for dinner. The elevator went to a stop at our floor and I went to check that no one is around. There are only 3 people living in the mansion. Me, Tony, and Bruce. Tony is missing in action—or is in the lab again—I thought. I went to my room to change and when I got out a delivery man was waiting from the living room.
"Delivery for Mr. Stark?" the man said anxiously looking at me. It's a bit rare for a random person to just step into the house without permission—very rare since Pepper is the one mostly doing things for Tony—but since Pepper wasn't here maybe Tony made an exception.
"Thank you" I said paying for the Chinese that supposedly Tony ordered.
I went downstairs where Tony's lab is, where I hope he is because there is no other place to look for him besides his room or his lab. I walked down the stairs carrying the Chinese dinner that we're having. I saw him still busy forging his robot. He's so busy he didn't even notice my presence.
I just stood there behind him hoping he would turn his back any minute now.
"Sir Stark. Mr. Rogers is in the lab" JARVIS announced.
Surprised, Tony flinched and hit the arm of the machine he was fixing. He took off his mask and looked behind him. He saw me holding a paper bag he stood up to fix himself up.
"You've forgot about the delivery huh?" I said to him smirking as he went to his desk to take a sip of his coffee. He nodded and I handed him his share and we ate quietly in his lab.
"How did the mission go?" Tony asked me munching on his Chinese.
"Successful" I replied not looking his way.
"Well you've been gone for two days and—." He shifted his gaze at me looking straight to my eyes. "I've missed you so much" he continued, his hands now wrapped around my waist.
That's it. I can't contain my smile anymore. He kissed me on my cheeks, his kiss slowly going down to my neck. My soft spot. "Tony we're eating." I said smiling pulling a little bit from his grasp.
Tony didn't budge; he bit my chin and whispered to my ear "Can I eat you then?"
That gave my spine some chills. I looked away from him blushing when I heard footsteps coming down the lab.
"Hey you guys—wanna—order—something" the voice said slowing its pace. It was Bruce.
Tony was cockblocked again. For the nth time Bruce has been cockblocking Tony. He thought that maybe Bruce was doing it on purpose. Well he isn't he just happen to ran into the most awkward situation possible.
The brunette rolled his eyes going back on eating his Chinese. Bruce on the other hand is scratching his head looking "Am I interrupting again?" he said "Maybe I'll just go and find something to eat."
"No. Uhh, Tony ordered Chinese." I handed him another box of fried rice with dumplings. I can see Tony making faces beside me. I just ignored him.
Bruce thanked me when he reached for the food and headed upstairs to eat quietly.
I remembered something about our previous mission and decided to tell Tony. "You know the mission involved Germans trying to replicate the Hulk or something" I said "They've already killed hundreds. Fortunately we've saved plenty of them who were locked." I continued. He just listened and finished his food. He looks like a 5 year old whose candy's been stolen. I chuckled and he looked at me.
"I'm going back to the HQ tomorrow for some work" I added. After he ate he went back on forging his machine.
Weird. He's been quiet today. Very unlikely for the great Tony Stark. I went to him and whispered to his ear "Maybe you can have dessert later after you finish" and I kissed him on his cheeks.
Honestly I don't know how to talk dirty and that my dear is the best I can do.
I went upstairs with the same paper bag—only all the food was consumed—to go and put it to trash. I saw Bruce sitting quietly on the couch munching on his share. I went to sit beside him.
"Hey cap." He called. "About me bringing the topic of settling down. Just forget I said it okay?"
"It's . . . okay" I murmured. I have almost forgotten about it because of the mission.
"You know. I've been thinking that for quite some time now." I looked at Bruce who just finished his dinner. "And I can't bring the topic to Tony because I'm not sure what reaction would he give" I slightly frowned.
"I'm not really the right guy to talk about with these things but yeah. Why don't you give it a try" he comforted.
Maybe I will. Some other time when I have my confidence back.
The next morning I woke up and got ready to go to the HQ. Last night I didn't notice Stark go to his room so I figured he slept on his lab or he hasn't sleep at all. It looks like he forgot about last night. He seemed a bit odd this couple of hours after I came home from the mission. I didn't bother to ask him what's wrong, I just thought maybe because of the meeting he had.
I went inside the conference room and there I saw Bruce who seems to be present earlier than I thought. He's been working with the virus that S.H.I.E.L.D had obtained from the last mission. Natasha came in saying "Dr. Banner we're ready." Bruce was to examine if the victims were dealt any damage from possible gamma radiation.
Bruce, Natasha and I went to where the victims were. I was walking with Bruce when I noticed a familiar face in the room.
It was him!
This time I am sure. It was Bucky—or a look alike.
I decided to go and sit beside him. He was sitting in the corner when the others were sitting somewhere else.
"Hey" that's the first word that came through my mouth.
He just looked at me puzzled as to why am I talking to him.
Finally he calmed down a bit and he said "Thanks for saving us back there"
"It's our job" I told
"You don't happen to be from Brooklyn are you?" I asked suddenly
He looked confused. "Yes." He said. "I live alone actually."
"I'm sorry. The names Steve Rogers" I almost forgot my manners. I tried to shake his hand and fortunately he did.
"Bryan Johnson" he introduced shaking my hands
"You know I used to live in Brooklyn." I smiled at him but he seems confused on what's happening around him.
"They're testing everyone from gamma exposure." I explained. "You know. Things that might be dangerous for everyone." I added "If you're clean then you can go home"
Bruce called him for his turn and I watched Bryan as he walked in front of me. I know this is not Bucky he only looks alike Bucky but he isn't him. Still I can't help but remember the time when I could have saved his life but I failed. I resented it and now it's haunting me again.
Dr. Banner was in the middle of examining him when the machine alarmed. He was positive for exposure. Bryan had been exposed with gamma rays. Most of the people panicked but they are calmed down by the other agents. I went to check what's going on and Bruce had told me he was exposed to a large amount of gamma radiation. "Lucky he's still alive" he muttered.
Director Fury ordered to monitor Bryan until he is stable and is ready to go home. For the mean time he would be staying in the old room I used to have.
I went to check Bryan in his room and I saw him sitting uncomfortably in his bed. Well I understand what he feels because that is in fact one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever laid myself into. I sat beside him quietly. Waiting for him to speak.
"Am I gonna be alright?" he said with a worried look in his eyes.
"Of course! Dr. Banner specializing in these kinds of things so I'm sure you'll be alright" I comforted him.
We chatted some more and I find out we have a lot in common aside from both being from Brooklyn. I invited him to come and visit at Stark Towers some time and maybe have some dinner together with Dr. Banner and he agreed.
We we're in the middle of our conversation when Tony called.
"Hey Steve, babe, I'm sorry I can't pick you up for lunch. I have an emergency meeting" he called from the phone.
"I'm really sorry. I'll make it up to you sometime" he added.
"I get it Tony. It's okay." I replied
"I've gotten used to this emergency meeting thing" I joked.
"I'm really really sorry Steve. I've gotta go the meeting's about to start." He said and as he was about to hung up I heard Pepper say "Hey Steven!"
"Guess I have to eat lunch alone" I muttered after the call.
"Well, maybe I could join you then?" Ryan muttered.
I agreed since I would love to know more of him and besides the guy's not bad. He asked me if there's a cafeteria in the HQ and I said "Yes there is"
I showed him to where the cafeteria is and took a seat not too far away from the counter. It seems like they're serving mashed potatoes and mac' and cheese. Hmmm not really a healthy meal but it would do.
We sat and put the trays in front of us. He seems calmer than he was minutes ago. We started to munch on our food when he said. "You know. You remind me of my Grandfather."
Am I that old fashioned?
He chuckled when he saw my reaction and I almost choked. I know I've been suspended in the ice for more than 70 years but modesty aside I still look good for a 90 year old.
"No. I don't mean your looks." He continued. "My grandfather was in the army and you pretty much reminded me of him with your looks." He smiled.
"Also . . . he's as kind of a man as you are"
"Well I'm still adapting on today's trend you know. I kinda liked the 40's better" I smiled back abut he looked puzzled.
"You know—I was in the army too"
"70 years ago" I said.
"Alright" he said with doubt and then he laughed.
He knew I was Captain America but he didn't know my tale. I told him my story to kill some time and because I was feeling comfortable with him. I narrated my life before I was found in the ice and he listens amusingly.
I never knew that narrating my life to others would be so nostalgic. It brings back memories, painful memories. That feeling was doubled when I remembered I was talking to someone who looked alike like my old friend Bucky. Can this get any better?
"So there you go. 5 years after and here I am living in the 21st Century." I ended my speech
He looked shocked. He told me that he thought I was the 2nd generation of Captain America and not the real deal. Tears almost fell into his eyes. He informed me that his grandfather used to tell him tales about Captain America and on how great of a soldier and a man he was.
"Oh my God. I've collected vintage cards of you when I was a kid!" Now I felt really old. I suddenly remember Phil Coulson and a pinch in my heart came.
He combed his hair with his hand showing how overwhelmed he was that I—the original Captain America—was sitting across him having lunch together.
After that one heck of a lunch we headed upstairs to his room. When we reached there we saw Dr. Banner waiting patiently. We told him that we just had lunch on the cafeteria. He told us that Bryan needs to be monitored carefully until he's safe to go and he escorted Bryan to the lab for further examinations.
Bryan was sent to the lab first as Bruce talked to me. "Steve we need to monitor him and as of now you're the only one who he trusts"
"Do you mind looking out for him?" he asked and I agreed. I asked him about the condition Bryan has and he explained "He was exposed to a high level of gamma rays. How did he get exposed? We don't know yet. All we know is that it's far too dangerous for a man to be exposed on that same amount of gamma rays." Being expert in that department he sounded confident on what he's saying with a little hint of worry.
Meaning Bryan shouldn't be alive. Or he has to die sooner or later.
Well that was a lot to take. I wouldn't know how to tell that information to him.
After Dr. Banner and I talk he went inside the lab and proceeded with the examination. I went to the meeting room where everybody seems to be at.
As I thought, everybody was having a free time and decided to hang out in the conference room where they just had a meeting. I took a seat near Natasha whose sitting comfortably on her chair. Clint was sitting again at the edge of the table. He seems to like that spot.
"Has Tony asked you yet?" Clint—out of nowhere—asks. I looked at him with total confusion not knowing what he's talking about. Natasha glared at him which made Clint shut.
I remember that glare.
I decided to ignore the latter and read some magazines in the rack. Weird, there's actually a magazine rack in the conference room. I was flipping the pages when my phone—that I still have trouble working with—rang.
It was Tony.
"Hey. Is your meeting done?" I asked as soon as I answered the call.
"Uhhh . . . About that. I—Well there has been an emergency and I needed to fly to Afghanistan this evening." He said over the phone.
"Well—have you eaten?" I asked—not really knowing what to say at this moment.
"Hmmm. Not yet."
"Well food can wait" he said back.
"Tony!" I scolded him. He always forgets to eat when he's busy.
"Sorry have to go. Been so busy."
"Bye bye. I'll call again when I reached Afghanistan. I love you" then he hung up.
I took a deep sigh and I decided to get something to drink.
A big cup of juice would be good.
To be continued…