So it seems this has been getting a lot of attention since the Winter Soldier came out...which is wonderful but this was written after I'd seen The First Avenger and had a very basic knowledge of the Marvel World. But recently I've been rewriting some chapters, mostly the Bucky ones, know that I know quite a bit more about him. So if you're reading this for the first time, rewrites and completely new chapters will be posted soon. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing.
1 – Wicked Game.
[July 1943 - Seattle, USA]
The thick red velvet curtains swung across the stage as the orchestra lingered on the last deafening cord, and the crowd erupted into thunderous applause. I fought the urge to roll my hazel eyes in reply. I mentally scolded myself for allowing my friend; Belle to choose the entertainment for our first night of leave in Seattle.
The two of us were stationed in Miami with the Army Nurse's Corps, and while the worse injuries we dealt with were sunburn, it was refreshing to be away from the sandy beaches and sun soaked palm trees in favor of some good old fashioned rain.
Bette clapped wildly, grinning ear to ear as she jumped up from her seat. Captain America came waltzing back on stage and her delight was all too consuming. The crowd cheered as he waved and smiled to them, touching them with his charm so they'd buy war bonds on their way out of the theatre.
"Wasn't that amazing, Genevieve?"
"It is if you enjoy watching a man prancing around on stage pretending to be a soldier." I retorted rising from my seat, running my hands over my knee length skirt to smooth out the wrinkles in the fine black material. I adjusted my matching black jacket, feeling the crisp white shirt underneath grace my bare skin. "It's insulting to the men actually fighting and dying in Europe." I added seeing Bette cringe at the scorn in my tone.
"He's distracting people from thinking like that. Not everyone can be fighting over there; I think he's doing a wonderful thing by entertaining the people."
"By being a dancing poodle?"
She rolled her eyes at me as we followed the crowd into the theatre entrance, but while most headed out into the cool night, we lingered near a quiet corner. Bette ran a hand back through her blonde locks and then pulled a piece of paper from her purse.
"Do you want to meet him or not? My uncle has arranged a backstage pass for us."
"Do I get a choice?"
She took me by the elbow, walking us towards the actor's entrance beside the ticket booth where a lone burly looking guard stood, holding back some of the enthusiastic females fans from gaining entrance.
"Excuse me!" Bette and I weaved through the crowd, and she handed over her note to be scrutinized.
"All right ladies, you can go through." The guard stated opening the door for us.
We descended the grand staircase covered in lush red carpet into the chaos of the backstage area, lit up by a chandelier looming above us like a beacon. Female dancers still dressed in their stars and stripes costumes stood in small groups, smoking and talking while male crew members moved back and forth with large pieces of scenery or equipment.
"There he is! Captain America!"
I followed Bette's wide eyed gaze across the room to where the man of the hour was signing autographs for a small group of children. They were eventually ushered away by their parents and their hero pulled off his blue cap, revealing the man beneath.
"Let's go over."
"Oh, the joy." I muttered under my breath as Bette dragged me over.
"It's such a pleasure to meet you, I really enjoyed the show. I'm Better and this is my best friend; Genevieve." She tugged on the sleeve of my jacket, causing my attention to be instantly caught up in the tall, handsome blonde man standing before me. He shook Bette's free hand, projecting the awkwardness of someone not use to attention - the opposite of the man we'd just been watching on stage.
"It's nice to meet you both." He extended his hand to me and I accepted it with a small smile.
"And you, Captain."
"Call me Steve." The corners of his lips twitched slightly as I tugged my hand from his strong grip, my fingertips tingling with the lost contact of his warmth.
"Well, Steve, I think what you're doing for the cause is heroic." Bette gushed while digging through her purse again. "Would you sign my poster?"
"Sure thing, ma'am." He accepted the poster and pen she handed him and signed his name. "Are you two from around here?"
"Washington D.C actually." I answered causing his gaze to lift and focus upon me.
"You don't sound American, ma'am."
"That would be because I'm not." A small tint of red formed in the apple of his cheeks as I held his gaze for longer than necessary.
"Genevieve and I are Army nurses; we're here on leave."
"Really? Where are you stationed?"
"Miami." I replied noticing he appeared more interested in us now he learnt we weren't some floozy's after his limelight, but women of substance. "Originally it would've been Pearl Harbor, but understandably after the Japanese attack the base is still under repair."
"Aren't you meant to be doing a show in Miami soon?" Bette questioned nudging me in the ribs.
"Yeah, next month I think."
"Oh, the girls will just love that! We've all got your posters." Bette smiled carefully folding up the poster and stashed it back in her purse.
"Really? All of you?" He glanced at me even though Bette laughed and rested a hand upon his muscular arm, leaning towards him.
"Everyone but Genevieve, she prefers Errol Flynn but I have your poster beside my bed." Her long lashes fluttered up at the Captain, making his blush deepen. "I would love to give you a tour of the base when you come."
"That's really…nice of you, ma'am. But I'm not sure how much time I'll have to sightsee."
"Don't be silly, Captain; the nurses would love to show you around the base, it would be no trouble at all."
"I'm sure it wouldn't be, ma'am," he caught my sarcasm and effortlessly dodged it. "Maybe you could lead the group tour, and show me some of your favorite places."
"That wouldn't be very exciting; she spends most of her time at the hospital restocking and cleaning equipment." I shot Bette a dark look but she didn't appear to notice. "The rest of us go to the beach, or into town. Do you dance, Steve?"
"Not really, ma'am."
"Well, we should probably be on our way; it was nice to meet you."
I linked my arm with Bette's, quickly turning us around and maneuvering back through the crowd. As we climbed the stairs, my hazel eyes unwittingly drifted back towards Steve who was watching us, he flashed me a boyish grin and I quickly looked ahead before it could disarm me completely.
"He wasn't what I expected."
"Are you admitting I was right?" Bette grinned.
"Worse, I'm admitting I was wrong." I murmured, our heels tramping over the lush carpet until we left the theatre and walked into the wet night.
"He was amazing though, wasn't he?"
"What's amazing is that you've conveniently forgotten about your boyfriend, all on his lonesome in Miami."
We stood huddled together beneath the cover of the theatre front, watching the fat drops of rain fall off the marquee above us and yellow cabs race through the puddles and splash unsuspecting victims.
"I could've been Ingrid Bergman, and next to you Steve still wouldn't have noticed me."
"That's nonsense –"
"And he didn't even seem to mind you being mean to him –"
"I wasn't being mean –"
"No, you were being your usual sarcastic, charming self, Genevieve." She retorted looking around at our surroundings. "Oh, there's a payphone across the street, I should call my uncle and let him know we enjoyed the show."
"I'll wait for you here."
Bette nodded quickly crossing the street to enter the small diner, while I shivered, vainly rubbing my arms to bring me some warmth, when the light around me dimmed slightly.
"Are you lost, ma'am?"
I glanced up from the wet pavement to discover Steve now standing beside me in civilian clothing and still every bit as handsome as he was in his Captain America uniform. "No, I'm just waiting for Bette."
"So are you from England then?"
"What gave me away?" I savored the way I could make him blush, my red lips curving into a smile as I decided to put him out of his misery. "Actually I'm from a country called New Zealand."
"Was that so hard?" He murmured matching my smile. "Y'know, for a nurse, your bedside manner isn't that great."
"I'm sure you wouldn't complain if you were wounded and I turned up at your bedside to take care of you."
"No I wouldn't." He muttered sheepishly glancing sideways at me, as my teeth dug into my bottom lip, suppressing the grin dying to form upon my lips. "Do you need me to call a cab for you?"
"No, Bette shouldn't be too much longer; she's just making a phone call."
He nodded burying his hands in his pant pockets, casting his blue eyes ahead to the street. "Do you have plans for your week off?"
"Not that I know of, it was Bette's idea to come to Seattle, it's her home town."
"Well if you wanted, we could…if you didn't have plans, I mean I have some free time tomorrow –"
I raised an eyebrow at him. "Spit it out, Captain."
"Do you want to get a coffee…with me…tomorrow?"
"You must be a sucker for punishment."
The smooth piece of skin between his eyebrows scrunched up. "Why do you say that?"
"Most men that receive my verbal lashing don't really bother to ask me out."
"I never back down from a bully." He replied but I got the impression he wasn't talking about me.
"How about we meet here at ten o'clock tomorrow?"
I nodded as we looked at each other bashfully. I looked away first and spied Bette dashing across the street back to us, her green eyes widened to see Steve again and her lips stretched into a knowing grin. "Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow then." He nodded and I took Bette's elbow, guiding her away.
"What was that all about?"
"We're having coffee together tomorrow."
Bette looked over her shoulder and then whistled. "Captain America asked you out for coffee?"
"No one's more surprised than me, but he keeps me guessing…I like that." My lips formed a genuine smile, and I couldn't wait for the next day to dawn.