Steve sighed, watching Tony prance around his lab. The man was busy working on what looked like a very complicated and high-tech blender and conversing with JARVIS about things Steve didn't really understand. Bruce was sitting in the corner with his own tablet set across his lap, for all intents and purposes ignoring Tony and his insanity.
"Tony," Steve said, loudly. The music, or what Tony decided was 'music', was blaring and it hurt his sensitive ears.
Tony looked at him and grinned, "Cap! Just the man I wanted to see!" Tony practically skipped over to him and clapped his hands. "Dayne thought it would be lovely to add some hidden weapons to her suit, but I really don't know what would be appropriate. I have ideas of course, maybe some prototypes, but you're the one that knows her best!"
Steve pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache coming on. "Don't bring up that... outfit. It is completely inappropriate and-"
"Oh hush," Tony interrupted, rolling his eyes, "She likes it, isn't that all that matters? Luna approved, too."
"Luna has questionable tastes in fashion at times," Steve said, sending a glance at Bruce, "Not to be offensive, Dr. Banner."
Bruce grinned slightly, "I don't take offence to true statements."
Tony sighed, dramatically, and walked over to his desk. "We are getting off topic here, people! Steve, do you think Dayne is trained in dagger throwing? I forgot to ask her. Oh, maybe she would like a gun...? Natasha could teach her some things. Magic bullets?"
"Tony, I don't think giving Dayne a gun full of magic bullets would be a good idea," Steve said, "Anyways, I came to ask for some help."
Tony grinned at him, his eyes wide, "Help from me? What kind of help?"
Steve pulled a small box out of his pocket and handed it to Tony. "Got any ideas?"
Dayne yawned, stretching slowly. She opened her eyes and looked around, rolling over in the large bed Steve and her shared. Except that Steve wasn't there with her right now and she wasn't really too worried about that. He always got up earlier then her, which meant she gave herself title of 'Queen of the Bed' and rolled around her Kingdom at her leisure.
If certain people would just stop knocking on her door.
"My Queen," Luna's dreamy voice said from the other side of the door, "May I enter into the Kingdom?"
"Only if you brought tea," she replied, grinning. Luna gracefully pranced into the room, her neon orange and yellow dress fluttering around her in an entirely too bright manner.
"I always have offerings of tea for her Majesty."
"Who said Dayne was Queen?" Clint asked, popping his head into the room. He pouted when he saw Dayne dressed in a long sleep shirt. "Damn, today is not my lucky day."
"Her Majesty orders Clint Barton to stop trying to see her naked," Dayne replied, sitting straight and crossing her arms over her chest. "It is not becoming for a warrior such as himself."
"Clint Barton is never 'becoming' of anything," Clint grinned, entering the room completely and closing the door after himself. "Steve sent me, he has a surprise that I am to give to you."
"What would that be?" Dayne took the mug of tea that Luna offered her, smiling.
Clint handed her a long box that he held at his side, "He wouldn't let Tony choose the outfit, be thankful for that."
"Outfit?" Dayne opened the box and pushed the tissue paper out of it to see what was being hidden. She gasped, slowly pulling the dress out of its confines while standing up. "Oh Merlin..."
The dress was made of the finest silk she had ever seen in her life. It was a soft lilac color with a white ribbon tied around the waist. It was strapless, to her surprise, but a Sticking Charm would keep it in place easily.
"This is the most beautiful dress I have ever had the pleasure to receive," she murmured, smiling happily. She looked at Clint, resisting the urge to hug the dress close. "Why did he get me this?"
"He has plans for you today," Clint replied, "The first involves a gift that Natasha is supposed to bring any minute now."
There was a soft knock on the door before Natasha entered the room, holding another long box. "Delivery," she teased, taking Dayne's dress before handing her the new box.
"Is it my birthday? Did I somehow miss the date?" Dayne grinned, opening the box carefully and finding something she was quite familiar with inside. Riding clothes. "Luna, it isn't my birthday, right? And it isn't time for Chirstmas... JARVIS, what is today's date?"
"October twenty-third, Miss Black," the AI responded.
"It's not even Halloween, what is this?" she asked, confused. "Is there a new American holiday I didn't know about?"
"Just shut up, drink your tea, and get dressed," Natasha said, chuckling. "Stark says you have an hour before the limo takes you to Steve."
Dayne stepped out of the limo and looked at the large barn in front of her excitedly. She walked into the barn, looking around for Steve. If he was dressed like she was then she couldn't wait to see his arse in tight riding breeches.
"There you are, right on time." came a voice behind her, and Dayne turned to smile brightly at her handsome Super Soldier, pulling her hair into a ponytail.
"Tony was quite adamant that I arrive on time. I was a little worried when he kept cackling madly," she replied, walking up and wrapping her arms around the tall man. He placed a kiss on the top of her head, chuckling.
"Tony likes to make people worry for his sanity, love." He hugged her back before letting go and grabbing her hand. "Come on, the horses are waiting in the arena."
As Steve turned to lead her to the arena she took a good look at his arse and grinned. Yup, breeches look great on him.
Everything looked great on him, if she was being honest with herself.
"I didn't know you knew how to ride," she said, walking alongside him. Her nerves were almost buzzing with excitement, she hadn't been riding in years.
"I didn't know you were a rider until Clint told me so," he smiled down at her, squeezing her hand. "When he told me I thought it would be nice if you could maybe give me some pointers so we could ride together."
"So you don't know how to ride?"
"Hardly," he admitted, chuckling. "Are you going to change that?"
"Yes, yes I am." She grinned up at him before turning to the horses hitched right outside the large, indoor arena. She covered her mouth with one hand, her eyes filling with tears. "Oh, Steve."
She felt his hands land on her shoulders as he started to guide her towards the large, butterscotch colored mare that was looking right at her. She sniffled and reached up to touch the mare's neck. "Steve, she looks just like my Butterscotch."
"I know," he murmured gently, kissing her cheek. "Your Aunt Narcissa helped me find her. She's a granddaughter to your mare."
"What's her name?" Dayne whispered, letting the mare sniff her. She blew into the mare's nose lightly, smiling.
"Her name is Sunny," Steve answered, chuckling when the mare snorted right into Dayne's face. "I have talked to her last owner and she is, and I quote, 'Much smarter than a normal horse and twice as stubborn as a pony.'"
"Sounds like Butterscotch," Dayne laughed, turning towards Steve. "Did the owner agree to let me ride her today?"
"Something like that," Steve agreed, pulling an envelope out of the pocket of his jacket. "This is for you."
Dayne took the envelope and opened it up. She pulled the papers out and looked over them, her eyes growing wide. He bought her a horse?
"Oh sweet Merlin, Steve, she's mine?"
Dayne grinned and threw her arms around Steve's neck, kissing him passionately. He returned her kiss with just as much passion, holding her up off the ground easily. She pulled away, smiling and a little breathless. "You got me a horse."
"Technically, I got you two. But I was hoping that one of them could be mine to ride."
Dayne grinned and let go of him to go and look at the other horse hitched right next to Sunny. "Well, he's definitely tall enough."
And he was. The gelding was almost as tall as Steve himself, and he was clearly strong. He was a nice, red chestnut color with white stockings. He had a long white blaze down his face, and large, intelligent eyes. He was calmly standing next to Sunny and she could tell he was a steady kind of horse. Unlike Sunny, who she could tell would be just like her Butterscotch.
"What's his name?"
"Big Red," Steve said, chuckling. "He is related to a racehorse named Secretariat."
"That's a very good line of horses," Dayne murmured, running her hands down Red's legs. "Secretariat was one of the best racehorses of all time, and probably still is."
"That's what Bruce told me," Steve admitted, watching her inspect both horses with her hands. "He helped me find a good horse."
"He said he used to every once in a while. He likes horses and is surprisingly knowledgeable about them."
Dayne straightened up from checking Sunny's hooves and smiled happily. "They're already tacked up and I hate to let such wonderful horses just stand around. It's time to ride, dear Captain."
"It's not fair how good you are at everything," Dayne teased, pulling Sunny's tack off.
"I'm sorry that I learn quickly?" Steve questioned, pulling Red's tack off. They had the two horses in cross ties and were quickly taking the saddles and bridles off so they could groom.
"Learn quickly? That's what you're calling it? More like you just are instinctively good at everything." Dayne grinned, offering a treat to Sunny. The mare took it daintily, munching it up quickly. Dayne quickly started to groom the mare so that she wouldn't get cold as her sweat started to dry in the crisp fall air.
"I just watched and listened to you," Steve defended, rubbing a curry comb into Red's side. The calm gelding stood with his head held low and his eyes half-closed, the perfect picture of relaxation. "Maybe you are just a great teacher."
"Hardly," Dayne snorted, shaking her head. She couldn't stop smiling. "I haven't been riding in years, but it's something you really don't forget. Like riding a broom."
"I've never ridden a broom," Steve deadpanned, looking at her playfully. "Muggle man, remember?"
"Mundane, love, mundane," she said in a snooty voice, grinning. "You are a mundane man."
He laughed and continued grooming Red, shaking his head. "You're ridiculous."
"I take absolutely no offence to that." She finished brushing Sunny and grabbed her nice, new blanket. Along with buying the two horses, Steve had also gotten full sets of tack, blankets, grooming equipment, and the stalls were leased and paid for already. Tony had tried to convince Steve to let him build stalls and an arena in the garage of Stark Tower, but Steve had convinced him that the two equines needed pastures and forests to travel in, not 'dirty city streets'.
Dayne finished buckling the blanket onto Sunny and led her into her large box stall, with a warm smile on her face. She offered the mare another treat and patted her on the neck before leaving the stall and closing the door behind her. "Do you need any help with Red's blanket?"
"I think I've got it," Steve replied, already unclipping Red from the cross ties. "Thank you, love."
She watched contently as he put Red away and spoiled him with treats before walking over to her. She grabbed his hand and walked with him outside of the large barn, a limo already waiting for them.
"So, that dress you got me..." she started, looking up at him, "It's beautiful, but what am I supposed to wear it to?"
"I would like if you wore it to dinner tonight," he said, helping her into the limo. "If you'll go with me."
"Of course I will," she sat down and patted the spot next to her. "Can I know where you're taking me to?"
"That's classified information, Miss Black," he teased, placing a soft kiss on her temple. "I just need you ready by six."
"You look beautiful, Pretty Day," Luna murmured, helping Dayne into her heels. "Like a bright ray on sunrise chasing away the Nargles."
"Thank you, Moon," Dayne said, nervous. "Did you apply charms to my dress? I don't want to stain it. Or rip it. Or hurt it. Oh Merlin, you did make sure I can't hurt it right?"
"You're talking about the dress like it's a live thing," Natasha said, walking up with a thigh holster. "It's not, so stop worrying. I watched Luna put the charms on while you were washing the horse stink off of you."
"You make me feel so much better about myself," Dayne grumbled dryly, rolling her eyes. "Your words are just wonderful poetry to my ears."
Natasha smirked at her, crossing her arms under her bust. "Sarcasm is not becoming for a lady like yourself."
"Don't go sounding like my aunt," Dayne teased, "Next you'll be telling me how to sit and how to hold my spoon."
Natasha chuckled, making sure that Dayne's hair was properly secured by the multitude of long, gold pins the assassin had procured. The pins also served as weapons, if anything were to happen. The assassin helped Dayne lift up the long skirt of her dress and attached the thigh holster there, making sure the small Sig Sauer P239 was in place.
"I feel like I'm going to assassinate someone," Dayne joked, looking at herself in the floor-length mirror. Natasha and Luna had applied makeup to her face before letting her put her dress on, making sure the dress wouldn't get smudged (even though Luna had applied charms, Dayne was still worried).
"You would need at least five other weapons on your person," Natasha replied, smiling softly. "And a skimpier dress, in some cases. If your target was a female, though, you would need to wear something less eye catching."
"Are you trying to teach me the ways of the trade, dear Widow?"
"Not at all, my Witch," Natasha said, shaking her head. "To teach you anything I would need to take you far away from here and brainwash you."
"Nice to know," Dayne laughed, walking over to her bed to grab her small clutch. She checked to make sure everything she needed was in it before turning towards her two adopted sisters and smiling nervously. "How do I look?"
"The good Captain will fall even more in love," Luna replied, dreamy. "And if he does not, I will check for wrack spurts."
"Steve won't be able to take his eyes off of you," Natasha said, blunt. "So stop being so stupidly nervous and get out of this room."
"Alright, alright, I get it," Dayne grinned, walking to the bedroom door. She opened it and walked down the hall, steady. She turned the corner and met Steve's eyes, smiling widely.
"You look beautiful," Steve murmured, blushing and smiling back at her. "Absolutely beautiful."
"How sappy," Tony said, holding a glass of a dark colored liquor. "Go, kiddies, your carriage awaits you downstairs."
Bruce came up and offered Dayne a pair of earrings, making her look at him curiously. "Tony and I made them. They have trackers in them and if you are in need of help, just press either one and an alarm will go off in the Tower."
Dayne kissed his cheek, taking the earrings gently. "Thank you, Bruce. Thanks, Tony." She grinned at the billionaire, putting the earrings in. "You two think of everything."
"No, that's my job," Nick Fury said, walking out of the elevator.
Dayne smiled, "Hello, Nick."
"Dayne," he nodded at her and handed her a flat box. "You look lovely."
"High compliments from you, sir," she teased, taking the box. She opened up and snorted with laughter, pulling out the dagger and its thigh sheath. "What is wrong with all of you, don't you know how to properly give a woman gifts? Why all the weapons?"
"Protection," Nick replied simply, his customary scowl on his face. "We aren't letting anyone get you without a damn fight this time."
"We're all more prepared, Nick, especially me," she promised, letting Natasha and Luna help her attach the dagger to her other thigh. Clint wolf whistled playfully, making her laugh.
"Barton, do you need to go to through the sexual harassment class again?" Nick snapped, turning his lone eye on the archer. Clint just grinned, perching himself up on the back of the couch.
"Sir, no, sir!"
"What is this sexual harassment class you speak of?" Thor piped up, leaving the kitchen with three boxes of pop tarts in his large arm. He held one pop tart in his hand, munching it happily. Nick sighed, rubbing his forehead and shaking his head.
"Lady Dayne, I would offer you my dear Mjolnir if she could be lifted by any but me," Thor said, walking up to the woman. "For now, I offer my good will and on my honor you will be safe." Thor winked at her, a wide grin on his face. "And a compliment, Lady: You look more beautiful than Lady Sif with her golden hair and more beautiful than the clear, bright skies of Asgard."
Dayne blushed, taking Thor's hand gently. "Thank you, Thor," she said, deep gratitude in her words.
"You are welcome, Lady Dayne," Thor kissed her forehead gently in a brother-like manner. "Go eat plenty in the name of Odin!"
Dayne laughed and took Steve's arm, smiling up at him. "Now that everyone has armed me with various weapons and technology and honor, are we ready to go?"
"Yes," he replied, smiling. "We have a reservation I really don't want to miss."
"Get going," Nick snapped, sending a slight smirk Dayne's way. "Stay out of trouble, children."
"I'm older then you are, Director," Steve quipped before the elevator doors closed, much to Dayne's amusement.
"Wow, Captain Steven Rogers actually talked back to his higher-up?" She teased, leaning against his side. "I'm pleasantly surprised, Captain."
"I aim to please, my Lady," he murmured, kissing her cheek. "Her Majesty must be kept happy."
Dayne gasped, feigning shock and anger, "Luna told you? Why, that barmy twit!"
Steve laughed, hugging her gently. "I think it's cute."
"Yeah, yeah," she mumbled, hugging him back before taking a step away as the elevator doors opened. They stepped out of the elevator and made their way over to the limo, Steve taking her hand and carefully helping her into the low vehicle. Happy, their gracious driver for the night, was on his way as soon as Steve got in and closed the door.
The limo ride wasn't very long, even with New York traffic, and Dayne was happy to just talk to Steve the whole ride. He asked about her afternoon training sessions Natasha had started up for her and about the stories Thor told her of Asgard. Dayne was eager to learn about Thor's world and his culture, and Thor was more than eager to teach someone about it.
The limo came to a stop in front of a very tastefully decorated restaurant in downtown New York and Steve carefully helped Dayne out of the car, smiling at her. She smiled back and let herself be led into the fancy building, looking around at the marble pillars and white and black curtains and decorations.
"This place looks extremely expensive. A place my Aunt would completely approve of."
"I aim to please your Aunt," Steve teased, giving the hostess his name for the reservation. They were led to a very private and quiet booth at the back of the restaurant, much to Dayne's pleasure. She could openly talk to Steve and not worry about the very rich old women who were sending glares her way. She held herself proudly, never one to quiver at the wrinkled facade of a grumpy older woman.
"Everyone aims to please my Aunt," she replied, taking a seat gracefully. "Even my Aunt aims to please my Aunt. It's a complicated relationship she has with herself."
"Sounds like it," Steve murmured, looking at the menu. She glanced at him, her own menu opened, and grinned when he met her eyes. He grinned back, reaching out to take one of her hands.
"So I'm very happy to be out and about with you, but what's the occasion today? Gifts, outings, dinner... I feel spoiled." She glanced down at her menu, reading over the dinner items. "Very spoiled. This place really is somewhere my Aunt would come to with these prices."
"I have backpay," he said, shrugging. "I can afford to spoil you." He blushed suddenly, biting his lip in an almost shy manner. "I grew up without money and I never really knew about the richer side of things. Can't I experience the expensive things with the woman I love?"
"You can," she assured, "But have you forgotten that I grew up rich? You remind me that you, for all intents and purposes, were poor as dirt and sometimes I feel terrible."
"That is not my intention," he frowned, shaking his head. "The only reason I want to take you to nice places is because I believe you deserve it."
"If anyone deserves it it's you, Steve," she said softly, kissing the back of his hand lightly. "I'm more than happy to go to nice places with you. I have a few tricks up my sleeves, I can show you new things."
"Good." He nodded and smiled, "Now, what are you getting for dinner?"
She chuckled, "I think the filet sounds wonderful as long as it's rare. But the tuna sounds wonderful, too."
"Get whatever you like," he said, sitting back slightly when the waitress came up. "But you better order quick." He finished with a light, teasing tone.
She laughed and they both ordered their dinner. The waitress was extremely professional and except for a slight blush she didn't flirt with Steve or act rude to Dayne, which put the woman in good light in Dayne's mind.
"She deserves a big tip," Dayne whispered when the waitress walked away to put the orders in.
"Already planning on it," Steve agreed.
The two talked quietly until their food came, Dayne nudging Steve's foot with her own under the table every so often. He chuckled each time she did and nudged back, playing with her fingers. When the food arrived they ate and complimented the food, which was perfectly cooked and seasoned.
"I have an important question for you," Steve said over a chocolate cake desert, looking nervous.
"No, I didn't dye all of Tony's white band shirts pink," she replied, "That was Natasha."
Steve laughed, shaking his head. "I don't want to know. No, I have a more important question."
Dayne watched curiously as Steve got out of his seat and sank down to one knee in front of her. She gaped, her eyes wide and a bright flush on her cheeks.
"Dayne Aquila Black, I love you more than anything," Steve said, pulling a small box out of his jacket pocket. "I want to start a life with you and be with you forever. I want to grow old and have a million grandchildren and great grandchildren. Dayne,-" he paused, opening the box slowly. "Will you marry me?"
Okay, so this is finally done. Pretty sure it's my longest chapter to date. I'm really sorry for the continued delays in my updating, school is about to end and the essays, oh my goddess... The essays are killing me. Work is, too, on the weekends. I have no time to breathe anymore!
Sorry to you all that reviewed and that I didn't reply to yet, I'm so tired by the time I check my email that I just give up on life and fall asleep. Please review, the one-shot is up right after this chapter! ;)