Steve ran his hands through her hair, parting it with his large fingers as she stood by the counter in his apartment, a spoon in her hand as she stirred the coffee in the mugs. Lizzie relaxed, rolling her head back to rest against Steve's shoulder as he kissed the top of her head.
"Do you have to go back in?" Lizzie whispered to him, dropping the spoon onto the side before turning in his hold. She stood before him, her hair wet after she had showered and his dressing gown tied tightly around her with one of his long shirts on her body. Steve had changed into his usual attire of brown pants along with a leather jacket which covered his shoulders.
"Director Fury has ordered it," he shrugged at her, his hands gripping her by the waist as she moved closer to him, her hands limp on his chest as he took in her pale features. He could see how she had changed during the past few weeks. No longer was there any energy in her eyes or stubborn set jaw. She was exhausted and he had to admit that he felt the same way. "You stay here and get some food down you, Lizzie. You're looking thinner than normal."
"Do you have any food?" Lizzie mumbled, looking at his cupboards and Steve shrugged.
"I think I have a few packets of chips," he told her. "I'll pick something up on the way back. There's bound to be some food places open around here, isn't there?"
"It is New York," Lizzie said, quickly kissing his jaw and stepping out from his hold, grabbing the white cup and sipping on the coffee. "The city that never sleeps."
"True," Steve agreed. "Anyway, everything looks like it will be fine. Thanos has been captured and Fury has yet to say what he intends to do with him."
"What about Loki?" Lizzie wondered, slightly curious about the God and what fate awaited him. Steve arched a brow in her direction and she shrugged, placing the cup back on his worktop as she explained herself; "I'm curious. There was something about him...it was like he didn't really mean any of the threats which he said...I can't explain it."
"Loki is a war criminal," Steve replied, his voice taut as he looked apprehensive. "I don't know what is planned for him. He won't be escaping anytime soon, that is as much as I know."
"Obviously," Lizzie nodded in agreement with him. "And then there is another matter which we have to consider."
"And what would that be?" Steve asked her, grabbing his wallet which rested on the table. He had to admit that he was surprised his apartment had survived the looting which had been taking place in his apartment building. Lizzie looked down, knowing what had happened on the floor beneath her and Steve followed her gaze, his mouth parting slightly as a sigh escaped his lips.
"Geoff," Steve said and he chuckled lightly. Lizzie's eyes shot up to look at him and she dropped her hands to her hips.
"Why the laugh?" she asked Steve and he shook his head, pushing a hand through his hair before looking at her once again, a small smile on his face as he did so.
"Let us just say that he will not be bothering you anymore, Lizzie," Steve promised her. "I had a word with Fury who is deporting him from the States to somewhere I do not know of. He assured me that he would not be bothering us again."
"Seriously?" Lizzie checked, her orbs widening and Steve shrugged.
"Seriously," he confirmed. "Fury owed me a favour anyway and this was it. No one is going to bother us anymore, Lizzie. I promise you."
"Well," Lizzie muttered, her face scrunched up as she did so. "I still have parents who will be worrying about me and as soon as they find out I'm alive they will commence their lectures. Not to mention the fact they aren't best pleased with you after that evening in the restaurant."
"They aren't who I care for."
"Do I joke often?"
"I suppose not," Lizzie concluded. "If you're going out then I'm going to change and go and find Brenda. I need to make sure she is safe."
"Lizzie," Steve complained and she shook her head at him, draining some more of her coffee as he continued to look in a disapproving fashion at her.
"No, Steve," Lizzie replied. "I need to go and see her. I'll be safe now. You said so yourself."
"Fine," Steve agreed. "Look...when I am finished then I will stop by the coffee shop to see if you are there. If not then I will assume you have come back here."
"Okay," Lizzie agreed, sensing that it was a reasonable offer. She moved over to him, kissing him quickly as he held onto her tightly, not really wanting to let go but knowing that he had to.
"Lizzie," Steve complained, moving his head back and from her reach and she laughed, quickly pecking him on the cheek and stepping away from his arms. "As much as I would love to stay here with you-"
"-You have to go," Lizzie concluded.
"I'll be back soon," Steve said to her, knowing full well that his motorbike was no longer parked outside and had been stolen. He cursed the thief who had taken it and swiftly kissed Lizzie again before making his leave.
"Maria! What have I told you about the coffee machine?"
Lizzie chuckled once as she entered the coffee shop. She had managed to change into her jeans and she wore one of Steve's plain white shirts tucked into her waistband and left one of his checkered shirt undone and hanging over her body. She ran a hand through her dirty blonde hair as she saw Brenda stood with her hands on her hips, her head held high as she wore her usual black uniform.
"Nice to see you haven't changed," Lizzie called out before looking around the coffee shop. It seemed minimal damage had happened as chair and tables just seemed to be turned over the wrong way and there was some debris on the floor. Brenda whirled around, her eyes widening as she shrieked once and moved over to Lizzie who hugged her tightly.
"Elizabeth Meyer!" Brenda spoke loudly, stepping back and checking the girl before her wasn't injured in any way. "Where the hell have you been? New York has been under attack and I had no idea what had happened to you!"
"It's a long story," Lizzie informed Brenda. "But are you okay? Did anything happen to you?"
"I've been locked up in my apartment with only the TV for company. Ridiculous, isn't it? New York is under attack yet there can still be news and rubbish programmes shown! Besides, I watched the news mainly...strange thing though...the Avengers...well that's what they call them...well, anyway, they were at the Statue of Liberty but then I caught a glimpse of the back of this girl's head."
"Brenda," Lizzie drawled her name and the elder woman arched a brow.
"Are you going to tell me what happened, babe, or do I have to beat it out of you with a stick?" Brenda asked and Lizzie shook her head.
"I didn't even notice the news crews." Lizzie mumbled and Brenda took hold of her hand, dragging her to a booth in the back, the pair of them sitting opposite each other as Brenda waited expectantly.
"So it was you?"
"Do you think anyone knows?" Lizzie wondered and Brenda snorted, waving her worries off.
"Don't be ridiculous," she spat out. "I only knew because of that massive kink in your straight hair. It happens when you don't straighten it."
"It doesn't," Lizzie denied, her hand instantly moving to cup the back of her head to feel for any lump. Brenda rolled her eyes and Lizzie shook her head. "You won't believe it if I tell you."
"Try me," Brenda said. "We've already suffered UFO attacks, honey. Nothing can shock me anymore."
"Brenda...if I tell you this...you have to promise me that you won't tell anyone...I'm serious."
"Okay," Brenda agreed hastily. "Just tell me, Lizzie. I can't take anymore waiting."
"Fine." Lizzie agreed. "It's Steve, well, you know Captain America? It's...well...Steve is him."
Brenda sat there for a moment, clearly unfazed by what Lizzie had just told her and the blonde leaned forwards, resting her hands on the table as she looked at Brenda who did nothing in return, she simply nodded once in agreement to what Lizzie had said.
"I thought so."
"What?" she snapped back, her face scrunched up in confusion.
"Why else would you be near the Avengers?" Brenda asked. "It clearly isn't any others and there was that time on Brooklyn Bridge, sweetie. Captain America saved you. I thought it was impossible...but he can't be the original..."
"Wrong," Lizzie replied and this time Brenda's mouth did pop open.
"He's older than me in that case, sugarplum!" Brenda snapped out. "How is that even possible?"
"He's a super soldier," Lizzie shrugged. "They found him alive in the ice from where he crashed his ship. I know how old he is...but it doesn't change anything. I love him, Brenda."
"I'm sorry," Brenda said; her voice full of sarcasm. "What did you say? I know I am old but I don't think I am going deaf."
"Brenda," Lizzie rolled her eyes, still smirking. "You heard me. I love him. Everything I ever thought before...about love not being real...I don't believe it now. I can't believe it. It's like Steve is my everything. Without him then nothing matters. It's scaring me a bit."
"Oh, Lizzie," Brenda chuckled. "That's what love is. I can't imagine it is difficult not to love that man when staring into his large blue eyes. He had me swooning slightly."
"It's everything about him which I love...God...what has happened to me?"
"You've found a man who treats you like you deserve," Brenda said to her. "Not like the others."
"Ah, the others," Lizzie said and Brenda looked questioningly to her. "There's a story behind everything but it is quite long."
"Maria!" Brenda yelled out loud, turning from the booth to look at the girl who was sweeping up behind the counter. "Two coffees! I'm out of action for a while."
Steve stood by the window for a moment or two, watching as Lizzie sat opposite Brenda, her body shaking as she laughed and Steve instantly smiled at seeing her, watching her hand push her hair from her pale face as she leaned forwards, genuinely hysterical at whatever Brenda had said.
He pursed his lips for a moment, looking at her and then to his bike which sat on the road. Fury had been kind enough to give him a new mode of transportation and Steve had been grateful. He had been told that his future was certain with S.H.I.E.L.D. He could even have a job training their new agents in combat if he wished. He could settle down.
Fury had warned him that danger may come his way again and had questioned his relationship with Miss Meyer if that were to happen again. Steve had instinctively defended their relationship, stating that Lizzie would be safe and she would not be involved in anymore business with the department. Fury had remained silent, hoping that he was right. It was only on the way to the coffee shop when Steve began to think.
How close had he come to losing her?
How often had his heart almost broken when he found out she was not with him?
How had she felt?
She had been through so much and it was natural for Steve to worry. He worried if she was better off without him. He worried if she was better going her own way. She may resent him for a while, even curse his name and wish she had never met him. But, Steve had no doubt that she would move on. She was a tough woman. He had seen that. He just didn't want to see her hurt again.
All of his worries were pushed from his brain though as soon as he saw her turn around after Brenda nodded at the glass. Her smile was fixed in place and it seemed to grow as her green eyes found his and she tucked her hair behind her ear. Steve smiled back at her and moved to the coffee shop.
He wasn't giving up his own happiness as well as hers for something which may not happen. She needed him and he needed her. They had begun as two lost souls in a big city. A lonely girl from Dakota and a scrawny boy from Brooklyn. And then they had found each other. She'd managed to heal him and help him realise that Peggy had moved on and he had to do the same. He wanted to do the same. In the same way he had shown her that there were people out there who cared for her.
Captain America wasn't selfish. He would place her safety first and leave her if he thought it was for the best. But Lizzie hadn't fallen for the star spangled man. She'd fallen for the kid from Brooklyn.
"Hey," Lizzie said as Steve entered the door and stood before them. She quickly stood up, kissing him longingly as Brenda watched the pair of them for a moment.
"Hey yourself," Steve whispered as soon as Lizzie pulled back from him. "Brenda, how are you?"
"I'm peachy, lovely," Brenda assured him and winked whilst Steve looked slightly confused at her behaviour.
"She knows," Lizzie muttered and Steve said nothing as Brenda stood up, taking the two empty coffee cups with her as she went.
"Not to worry, darling," Brenda said, patting his arm as she stood. "Your secret is safe with me. I had my inclination when I saw you catch her from Brooklyn Bridge."
"Much appreciated, ma'am," Steve said, a small incline from his head as Brenda smiled softly.
"You two go home. I'll be taking off soon for some rest. Besides, you need some time to recuperate as well as exercise some more," Brenda said suggestively whilst Steve continued to look puzzled. Lizzie rolled her eyes, pecking Brenda on the cheek before taking hold of Steve's hand, leading him back onto the sidewalk which was alight with activity, people walking and talking to each other but none of them mentioning the attack which had happened in their city.
"You got a new bike?" Lizzie checked as Steve climbed onto it and shrugged nonchalantly, his lips pulled up at the side as he looked at her.
"Fury was feeling pleasant. Hop on." He said and Lizzie looked at the seat before willing sitting behind Steve, wrapping her arms around his waist and resting her head in between his shoulder blades as the engine roared into life and she jumped slightly as Steve chuckled, moving off down the road. It was true, Prince Charming may not exist, but Steve Rogers did and he was as good as that in her eyes.
A/N: Okay, it's FINISHED! Over. I still cannot believe it! This story has been my baby for a few months now and I have totally enjoyed writing it. I know updates haven't been constant but I hope they have been worth it when they came. I would like to thank anyone who has stuck by this even if you have reviewed or haven't, it matters not, you've read it and I hope you have enjoyed.
Anyway, I would like to thank SharkGurl, stinkysox, Kai-Aala, Theonlyredhead, shadow-dog18, miller330 for reviewing recently.
One final comment?
Sequel? One Shots? Leave me your opinion and thanks once again.