"Of course she slept with him." Phil told himself. "He's Captain America for crying out loud."
"Not Ellie." Phil mumbled outloud. "I've known her since we were kids."
"Can you really know someone?"
"Of course I know her." Phil muttered, shuffling papers on his desk. "I just can't believe she'd do something like this."
"Can you blame her? You were dead and her poor little heart was crushed into dust. Your heroic heartthrob is a good replacement, don't you think?"
"Wouldn't want to get caught talking to ourselves, now would we?"
Phil's phone rang and the display told him it was Ellie calling...again. He wanted to answer it, he wanted to pick up the phone and bring her back on the bus and make her forget about Captain Rogers but he still stung from her confession. A beep let him know she had left another voicemail.
"Phil, can you please call me back? I need to talk to you." She sighed and, after a moment's hesitation, added, "I love you."
With a click he deleted her message and tossed his phone back on his desk.
"Coulson, we've got a briefing in five." Skye poked her head in his office with a smile. Noting his sad demeanor she asked, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah. I'm fine." He stood up and joined her in the briefing area.
Ellie threw her phone on the coffee table and huffed as she sat on the couch, running a hand through her curls. Steve came into the living room, a bowl of cereal in his hand and the spoon raised to his lips.
"Is he still not answering?"
"No." Ellie scrubbed her face with her palms and laid back on the cushions, putting her feet on the coffee table next to her phone.
"Hey. Feet down." Steve rapped her shoes with his knuckles and she dropped her feet to the floor, sticking her tongue out at him as she did so. He sat next to her, placing his cereal on the table and letting her rest her head on his shoulder.
"What am I going to do?" Ellie asked softly.
"I dunno. We'll figure it out." Steve put his arm around her shoulders and gave her a comforting squeeze. He felt hot tears wet the front of his shirt and he rubbed her arm. "We'll figure it out."
It was a while later, neither was sure how long, when Ellie whispered, "I don't want to be an Avenger anymore."
"What?" Steve cocked his head so he could look at her as she sat up, wiping her cheeks of tears.
"I don't want to be super anymore." Ellie jumped off the couch, picked up her phone, and headed for the door. Steve managed to get between her and the door before she left.
"What are you talking about?" He asked.
"I want my powers, my strength, everything—I want it gone. The scientists at SHIELD can do it and if they can't, I have Tony and Bruce." Ellie tried to push past her roommate but he wouldn't budge. "Steve, please. I have to get Phil back. We deserve a chance at normalcy."
"You don't even know if they can reverse the serum's effects. They haven't even been able to replicate it." Ellie squeezed past Steve and through the door, punching a number into her phone. He called down the hall, "You could die."
"Pepper, can you come get me?" Ellie ignored Steve's protests. "No, I'm fine but I need Tony's help."
"You know, I appreciate a good prank as much as anyone but leaving me, drooling on the sidewalk, was mean." Tony examined a set of blueprints then looked up at Ellie. "Even for you, Red."
"Can you help?" Ellie asked impatiently.
Tony studied her carefully, running calculations in his head before answering. "I don't know but I'm up for the challenge. Fury is gonna be pissed at losing his little Electra."
"I don't care."
"Good. Let's get started."
Neither Bruce nor Tony were actual medical doctors but they were both geniuses so Ellie trusted them to figure this problem out. Several vials of blood were drawn and compared with a normal person's blood, stress tests were administered, and physicals were given.
Phil was attacking the punching bag like it was trying to kill him, moving quicker and harder than he thought possible.
"Slow down there, Cap."
"Don't call me that."
"Sorry, Philly. There's no need to be so touchy."
"Leave me alone." Phil grunted as he continued his assault on the punching bag.
"Trust me, I'd love to. But how will you get Freckles back if you don't have me? You do want her back, don't you? Or are you going to let Captain Goldilocks please her? Kiss the spot on her neck that makes her shiver? Have her whimper his name when she-"
The internal monologue was cut short when Phil's fist went through the fabric of the punching bag, bringing his workout to an abrupt stop. Panting as he tried to catch his breath, he pulled his hand free and stared at his knuckles, which were bleeding. He hadn't even felt his skin break.
"Do you mind washing some of this stink off? I have a lot of planning to do and very little time to do it in."
"You just sit back for the ride and let me take care of everything."
A/N: So, I am horrified with myself that I let so long go by without an update but I wasn't sure which direction to take this in. Instead of going with Winter Soldier (at least right now) I've got a different plot so I hope you all enjoy. Please feel free to leave a review and thanks for sticking with me. I love you guys!