AN: Late updates seem to be becoming an unfortunate theme with me these days. As usual, this is Un-Beta'd (and sloppily edited because otherwise it probably would not have been posted this month with the school work I just realized I have to do) , I will welcome any mistakes pointed out because this really does need some fixing up. All the usual apologies for my bad grammar etc. -Cheers and thanks for the support.
Chapter Three - You're a military man now, boy.
"Amy! Rory! Amy! Rory!" Steve Rogers paused for breath, his chest heaving, drawing in air like a drowning man. Legs shaking a little Steve steadied himself against the wall trying to look casual as Amy rushed out from the kitchen, whisk in hand with a bright apron tied around her waist. Steve paused, his eyes taking in the flour stains and what seemed to be cream splashed up her arm all the way to the elbow.
Meanwhile Amy payed notice to Steve's reddened face, idiot grin and his ruffled clothes. The same clothes he was wearing when he had left their house the night before.
"Should I ask-"
"Did you even sleep?"
"You go first."
Steve was still grinning like an utter fool in Amy's opinion and it made her suspicious. The last few times he had looked like that was when he knew she looked a fool and was in no rush to tell. The most memorable of the occasions being a month ago, at the first festival the Ponds had been to with Steve. God, it had felt like an age ago. And of course Amy had entirely misinterpreted what they had meant by festival, turning up in a bright yellow pair of slacks ready for some games. It had been the source of gossip around the neighbourhood for days. The only good thing that came from it was the laugh she had had with Bucky's date, Clara. The girl was sharp, and obviously well-travelled so she and Amy had hit it right off, wandering around the festival together while the men did… whatever they did. Rory had found them later in the night and presented Amy with a wonderfully pink 'bouquet' of candyfloss.
Shaking herself free of the nostalgia Amy slid her hand onto one hip and fixed Steve with an appraising stare. Steve, of course, shrivelled underneath it.
"Did you even sleep? Because, boyo, you look awful."
"Sure I did. Maybe. Not really. But Amy," Steve grabbed her free hand, "Amy, I got in."
'Got in'. Amy know exactly what Steve means by 'got in'. She never thought it would happen though, not really. Steve was just too…well, Steve. Small and weedy, the kid could barely lift a quarter of his weight, not to mention the asthma. Amy plastered a stiff grin on her face; Steve had wanted this since before Amy had first met him. God knows why though. Amy had always hated this; Steve joining the army was just going to get him killed, and she had lost too many friends already. But dammit, there was nothing she could do to change this.
"Steve, are you sure this is what you want?"
"Careful Amy, you're starting to sound like Bucky. I'm sure, don't worry, I'll be home once this war is won."
"So you're leaving soon?"
Tomorrow. The words settled like lead in Amy's stomach. Tomorrow. Tomorrow and her friend would be gone, and she and Rory would be alone here again. Smile slipping ever so slightly she huffed well naturedly.
"Well, you go find Rory – the stupid face is probably hiding out back somewhere – said my cooking was no good. I'll show him! We'll have the best home-cooked farewell dinner in Brooklyn!"
Steve grinned as he went down the hall in search of Rory, he knew that Amy didn't approve of his choice, she never had. But he was grateful, she hadn't kicked up a fuss, this was something he had to do and he was glad she accepted that. Lord, he was grateful for friends like her.
And maybe if when he brought Rory inside to tell him that he had got in the man's smile was a little forced. Or when Amy announced dinner would take place in the park her eyes were a little red, a little wet, well Steve didn't mention it. Tonight they were going to take it as it came, and enjoy their last night together for a while.
And so the raggedy troupe of three left the house in typical Williams and Rogers fashion; loud and awkward. Amy leading the way through the park while Rory and Steve hobbled along behind her, arms straining under the weight of the picnic basket. A cane monster that Amy had picked up from one of Steve's older neighbors, Mrs Miller had given it to Amy after she visited Steve, the woman had shoved it into her hands and told her that she herself was too old to go gallivanting around the park these days, but had heard it was what all the young couples were doing nowadays.
Under the biggest tree they could find before Rory's arms gave out, Amy and Steve threw down the red checked mat and the three flopped down onto the mat to enjoy a quickly made dinner of pasta and salad. Finishing it all off with Amy's legendary cake. If cake was the right word for the mutated mix of flour, sugar, eggs and butter that had come out of the oven. It was quite a sight as Amy pulled the frosting covered mass out of the picnic basket and served a generous slice onto Steve's plate. Together he a Rory managed to finish off a slice between them, while Amy, who apparently now had a hollow leg, ate three whole slices by herself. Laughing as the two men lay on the grass clutching stomachs bloated and full.
And as they lay there on the grass, heads touching and Amy's arms waving as she told stories of her old friend, her and Rory's travelling companion, Steve stared at the stars, absentmindedly twisting a spring of grass between his fingers. So… this was it, his last night in Brooklyn, for now at least. Turning over he faced his friends, Amy was lighting candles and placing them on a plate, Rory leaning against her idly, his arm wrapped around her waist. A fond smile crept over his face, this was why he wanted to serve, to protect people, so they would never have to suffer under a tyrant, or be forced out of their home, and he would do this so he could keep his friends safe, his country safe, because in the end, they were all he really had. It wasn't like he would be leaving forever, two years, three, maybe more. But he would come back here, he would come back and he, Amy and Rory would do this again. But next time, they would be celebrating his return.
The three ended the night back at Steve's apartment, playing with the deck of cards Rory had thought to put in the picnic basket, crowded around Steve's tiny coffee table (another gift from Mrs Miller). They played a round everything they could think of; snap, poker, blackjack, the works. And if they all became a little teary eyed when it was time for the Williams to go, well, no one mentioned it. Amy leaning over to give Steve a kiss on the cheek as they stood in the doorway about to go, Rory's voice a little choked as he clapped Steve on the back before shaking his hand for the last time in a while. And just like that they were gone, a shouted good luck from down the street before all traces of Steve's friends had faded into the night.
After putting all the cups and plates from the groups snaking back into the cupboard Steve turned and headed to his room, stripping down into his boxers and wrapping the blankets around himself Steve closed his eyes and slowed his breathing, after all, he had a big day tomorrow.