I don't believe in heroes

Chapter 28

The apartment that Phil had picked out was beautiful, with a large living room and brand new appliances in the kitchen. Ellie's bedroom had a framed photo of her and Phil on their wedding day waiting on the bedside table when she got there. She smiled at the picture and looked around the room at the boxes and suitcases waiting to be unpacked. The living room and public areas of the apartment would be a little awkward to set up because things were still awkward between her and Steve.

"Hey, El. How's the place?" Phil asked as soon as he answered his phone.

"It's great." Ellie smiled as she talked. "I miss you."

"I miss you too." Phil was flipping through some files as he talked. "How's Captain Rogers? Has he been taking care of you?"

"I don't need Steve to take care of me." Ellie reminded him. "I'm just as capable as he is."

"I know." Phil mentally kicked himself. Ellie hated the inference that she needed to be taken care of. Sky knocked on his door with her tablet and he gestured for her to wait. "El, I have to go."

"Go save the world, Agent Coulson." Ellie said. "I love you."

"I love you too." Phil smiled and hung up the phone.

Ellie tossed her phone on the table next to her picture and started to unpack. Several hours went by when Steve knocked lightly on her door frame. "I figured we could take a break and get some lunch. You hungry?"

"I could eat." Ellie kept hanging up her clothes in the closet as she spoke. "What sounds good?"

"Think they have shawarma?" Steve smiled when she giggled. She hadn't really spoken to him much in the last few days.

"You hate shawarma." Ellie said as she put her shoes away. "I could go for some pizza."

"With everything on it?" Steve prompted as she came closer to him.

"Is there any other kind of pizza worth eating?" Ellie brushed past him and grabbed her jacket off the back of the couch. Since they didn't know their way around yet, the pair hailed a cab and asked the driver to take them to a pizza parlor. The ride was awkward, the easy going manner from the apartment was gone now that they were in the cab. Once they arrived at the pizza parlor, Steve paid the driver and Ellie waited politely for him before entering the building. The waitress didn't seem too interested in them until she noticed Steve. Then her smile was bright and she was friendly as could be.

"Hi, I'm Anna." She smiled at Steve flirtatiously. "See anything you like?"

Ellie smirked as Steve answered. "Yeah. My friend and I will have an extra large pizza with everything on it."

"Sure thing." Anna batted her eyelashes as she asked, "Can I get you anything else?"

"We'd like a couple of Cokes, please." Steve replied and Anna disappeared with a huff. He put an arm across the back of the booth and tried to make Ellie meet his gaze but she found the people walking past the window very interesting. "Ellie, how long are we going to be like this?"

"Steve, we-" Ellie lowered her voice before she continued. "We slept together. If I wasn't married, it wouldn't be a big deal but I am so...I don't know, Steve. I think it's best if we just don't push it right now."

Steve let out a deep breath and said, "I get that. Phil's my friend but think about those nine months when we thought he was dead."

"What about them?" Ellie sat back slightly as Anna put their drinks in front of them then disappeared again.

"We were...closer than any of the others." Steve reminded her. "You're my best friend and I know we messed up big time. But I don't want to lose what we had before. You're too important to me for that."

"I think being that close is what caused this in the first place." Ellie ripped tiny bits off her napkin as she spoke. "Maybe we should tell Phil and just see what happens. Maybe that's why we're so awkward still."

Steve may have been a thawed out-90 year old but even in the 40's, a woman sleeping with a man who wasn't her husband wasn't the best thing in the world. He smiled at Anna as she set down their pizza, though neither one of them touched it at first. "What do you think he's gonna say?"

Ellie sighed and shrugged. "I honestly have no idea."

-0-

"What is the Capsicle doing up here?" Tony asked loudly as he entered the entertainment room in the middle of Stark Tower. "Hey, Ellie. How's married life?"

"It's fine." Ellie said. "I need to know where Phil is."

"Why? Trouble in paradise?" Tony smirked.

"He's not answering his phone and I need to see him." Ellie insisted. "I know you have a tracer on him so where is he?"

Tony tapped a few keys on his computer and Jarvis gave Ellie Phil's location. "He's at your apartment, Mrs. Coulson. It would appear that he's surprised you."

Bruce, who had been reading quietly during this exchange, looked up as Ellie and Steve left. "Are you going to tell them?"

"Tell them what?" Tony asked innocently as he poured himself a Scotch. "Did you see how awkward and tense they were? It's hilarious."

"It's not hilarious." Bruce closed his book with more force than he meant. "They really think they slept with each other. I was okay with it because you promised you'd tell them. If she tells Phil, this could ruin her marriage."

"If Phil believes that she would sleep with Spangles while married to him, then their marriage wasn't that great to begin with." Tony sipped his drink and huffed when Bruce continued to glare at him. "Fine. I'll tell them."

-0-

"Do you want me to talk to him?" Steve asked Ellie as they stood down the hall from their apartment.

"No. He should hear it from me." Ellie replied and let out a shaky breath before making it to their apartment and opening the door. Phil had his sleeves rolled up to the elbows and his suit jacket was draped over the back of an unopened box as he unpacked a small box of collectibles. "Hi, Phil."

"There you are." Phil smiled at Ellie and kissed her quickly then smiled at Steve. "Good to see you, Captain Rogers."

"Same to you, Phil." Steve replied awkardly.

"There's something we need to talk to you about." Ellie stammered. "Can you sit down, please?"

A/N: I meant to have this chapter up yesterday but life got in the way. Thanks to everyone who voted on my poll and all of those who have read/followed/favorited/reviewed this story. You guys are amazing. Please feel free to leave a review on your way out.

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