A/N: Hi guys! I was given a prompt to begin a story with "There was once a chance I didn't take…" and this is what I came up with! Hope ya like it!
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
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There was once a chance I didn't take… and now I wish I could go back and take it, thought Steve as he sat in his darkened apartment, looking at the piece of paper in his hand sadly.
Being a man out of time, thinking about the past seemed to be the only thing he could do, no matter how recent that past may be. The chance that haunted him now was when Tony had opened his eyes after falling from another dimension. At the time, he had wanted nothing more than to take the reckless genius/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist into his arms and kiss him for all he was worth in relief.
The only thing that had stopped him was Tony's demand of, "Please tell me nobody kissed me." Those words had stopped the soldier in his tracks and snapped his mind to reality. He had briefly played with the idea of doing it anyway, but he just could not bring himself to do it, to confess his feelings for the other man. Steve could only sink back on his heels and smile his relief instead. That had been enough for him back then, but now he had wished he had taken that chance.
After the threat of Loki -and his alien army- had passed, the Avengers had gone their separate ways to live their own lives until they were needed again. Thing is, Steve's 'life' existed over seventy years ago. While his teammates were probably out with friends on a Saturday night, or on a job in Clint and Natasha's case, Steve could only sit in his lonely apartment and remember the friends he had had before he crashed into the ice. Bucky, Peggy, Stark…
The supersoldier shook his head sharply from side to side. When in the world had he taken to self-pity? He was Captain America! The Star Spangled Man with a Plan! Steve Rogers did not wallow in the dimness of his apartment! Most importantly, he would not let something like this get the best of him! Throwing down the slip of gold embroidered paper, Steve strode over to his door and yanked his old leather jacket over his shoulders. He did not give himself the chance to turn back, surrounded by his own feelings and memories, and left his apartment.
The roar of his motorcycle was soothing as he cruised through the streets of Brooklyn. He found himself reminiscing about how the city used to look and tore his mind away from the thoughts violently. The reason he had decided to go for a ride was to escape his memories, but they seemed to follow him like a shadow. For the first time since he had lost Bucky, Steve wished he was able to get drunk.
Now, there's a chance I took, he thought bitterly. Because of the procedure that most expected to kill him, he was as close to invincible as a human could be. That included a higher metabolism and healing rate; ergo alcohol had no effect on him. Even if he did have friends that he could go out with, he would not be able to enjoy the sense of irresponsibility and recklessness that came with the buzz of drinking. Now, the only thing that comes close is the rush of adrenaline from fighting.
Almost without noticing, Steve found himself pulling into one of the rare parking spaces in the city and made his way into a bar. Even if he could no longer get lost in the bottom of a bottle, that did not mean he could not try. He glanced around out of habit to take note of the people in the small establishment. A couple was in a darkened corner, sneaking gropes and sloppy kisses when they thought no one was looking; a loud table at the other side of the room was hosting a rather heated card game; and there were the lonely singles sitting right at the bar where he was headed.
"What's your poison?" the bartender asked, picking up a glass to wipe off invisible stains.
"Whatever has the highest alcohol content," he replied, slipping onto the barstool awkwardly. It had been a while since he had been to a bar… nothing short of 70 years, to be exact.
After what seemed like forever, a tall glass of amber liquid was placed in front of him at last. He had no idea what was in it or how much it was going to cost, but he did not care. All that mattered to him at that moment was forgetting everything. Foregoing the straw altogether, Steve put the glass to his lips and swallowed mouthful after mouthful of the drink, setting fire to his throat and belly before being quickly extinguished by his serum enhanced body. Putting the empty glass back onto the counter, he looked at the completely astonished faces of the bartender and his customers. Smiling ever so bitterly to himself, Steve asked, "Another, please?"
The balding man behind the counter just continued to stare at him with his mouth agape. Apparently that had not been the normal thing to do. Steve cleared his throat and the bartender snapped to attention, busying himself with making the soldier another drink. This continued until Steve had drained his fifth glass and he had a gathering crowd of onlookers. A few stragglers from the card table had waddled over to place bets on how long it would take Steve to puke his guts up.
The supersoldier felt no inclination to tell them that other than the two second burn in his throat, he might as well have been drinking water for all the drunk it was making him. Then, he got an idea for a little bit of fun. Even if he was incapable of getting drunk, he could at least act like it to give these people a little bit of entertainment. It would also serve as a small distraction for himself to get lost in his own acting.
He suddenly stood up and swayed drunkenly, people scrambling backwards out of the large man's way. Steve fake-stumbled his way over to the digital jukebox and put some change into the machine. "Ya know," he slurred to no one in particular, knowing his audience would be listening. "We need ta get some real music playin' in here…"
Selecting a song that he actually recognized from way back when –he was honestly surprised he even found it- Steve began to sway in time with the song and snap his fingers with the beat. He never had been one for dancing, but that was mainly because he was nervous and uncoordinated when he was with someone else. He was feeling none of that in this room full of strangers. Steve just needed to forget.
As the song got more and more upbeat, Steve upped his own tempo with moving his feet and gesturing with his arms. After seeing a few street dancers, he decided to throw in a couple of stylish fighting moves to awe the crowd. A few people actually did 'ooh' and 'ahh' at the supposedly drunk man's ability to dance. The need to get lost in the moment was slowly being fulfilled as he moved and concentrated on his tricks. Just as the song was ending, the door to the bar was slammed open by a burly man flanked by two other thugs that reeked of trouble.
All three men stormed up to the bar and loudly demanded their drinks from the suddenly anxious looking bartender. Feeling the atmosphere in the room change completely, Steve went back to his stool on the end of the bar to wait for the man to get done serving the brutish men's drinks. When he finally made his way down to Steve, he seemed much more timid than he was before.
"Who are they?" Steve asked quietly.
"Oh, they're nobody… another drink, sir?" he replied.
Steve ignored the question and repeated his own more firmly, the need to help kicking in his determination. "Who are they? You recognized them the second they walked in here."
The bartender sighed in barely masked defeat. "They're just a few hooligans that I have to put up with almost every night. Normally they're just loud and obnoxious, but one time things got physical with another customer." The old man paused uncertainly, taking an anzious glance over at the trio in question.
"It's all right," the Captain assured. "What happened next?"
"After I broke up the fight and asked them to leave, they trashed my bar instead. Told me to 'mind my own business.' But, I couldn't just stand there and let them destroy everything and I tried to stop them. One hit and I was down on the ground," he said bitterly. "Said that if I even thought of calling the police, they'd be back and make me pay. Since then, there hasn't been anything else goin' on with them."
Steve glanced back at the men and saw the leader grabbing a woman's behind. She looked very uncomfortable and politely asked him to leave her alone. That just made him laugh and scoot closer to her. The bartender looked equally uncomfortable, but did not say a word lest he provoke the thugs into trashing his place again or hurting the woman. When the woman reiterated her pleas to be left alone, Steve could not sit there anymore.
He calmly strode over to the group and said, "I don't think the lady wants to be touched." She looked at him with a half-frightened hope.
"Mind your own fucking business before this gets ugly," the thug snarled, possessively grabbing the woman by the waist and making her squeak indignantly. He put a hand to his hip and discreetly pushed aside his jacket to reveal the butt of a hand gun.
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A/N: I know it's not as long as my usual writing, but I've hit a bit of a wall and want your guys' opinions on if I should continue this or not... Let me know and I'll see what I can do!