You Are Not Alone

Vesper

“I hope this apartment is to your liking.” Phil Coulson couldn’t believe his luck, almost passing out from utter excitement! He, second-in-command to Nick Fury of SHIELD himself, was appointed to watch over his childhood hero! The one and only Captain America! At this point, Phil didn’t know whether to pull out his precious card collection, or to start jumping up and down like the fanboy that he really was. However, with how the Captain looked around his apartment in confusion, hurt, anger and overall longing, Phil decided to do neither. Instead, he decided to make this experience the best as possible and to make sure that Captain Rogers was as comfortable as can be.

“No offense, Sir, but I don’t know what half the stuff in here is.” Steve Rogers didn’t just feel confused; he was the exact embodiment of confusion. The apartment was big enough for a single person to live in, and he was surrounded by a lot of cube shaped things, all though some were black, others were white, and some were silver. Steve walked further into the apartment and slightly appreciated the fact that the kitchen led out into the living room, which contained one sofa and one loveseat. In the middle of the room was a round glass table, and on top of it was another small rectangular thing with many buttons. Curiously, Steve picked it up and pressed a red button at the top, and jumped in surprise when the other black cube hanging on the wall came to life.

“That, Captain Rogers, is a remote control that turns on the television.” Looking at Agent Coulson, Steve felt slightly like a child who was caught stealing a cookie from the jar before dinner. Looking back at the, television, Steve felt overwhelmed. Televisions did not look like that in the forties! Dragging his hand through his slightly dirty blonde hair, Steve looked back at the agent and slightly pleaded with his eyes to be left alone. Catching the silent meaning, Coulson gave him a slight nod of his head and began to leave, until he stopped.

“Before I leave Captain, I was told by Fury to give this to you in case you need anything.” Reaching into his jacket, Coulson had taken out a small rectangular device and handed it to him. Steve took the device with such care, afraid that he would crush it with a flick of his wrist. Looking at it, Steve noticed an apple symbol on the back and wondered to himself why someone would name this device an iPhone? Pushing a button by accident, Steve felt alarmed that he did something wrong, when he saw it light up and said the date and time. Staring at the date, Steve still couldn’t understand that he slept for seventy years; so much had happened in those years that he couldn’t wrap his mind around it. Feeling a hand on his shoulder, Steve looked up to see Coulson giving him a small smile.

“I can assure you Captain, it will get better. You’ll see.” Feeling a pang of nostalgia, Steve remembered those exact words being said to him by his lost love, Peggy Carter. Pushing the memory aside, Steve tried to give Coulson a smile, all though it probably looked like a grimace. Taking the device out of his hand, Coulson looked at him and began to explain how it works.

“Now Captain, this is a cordless phone that you can take anywhere in your pocket. The way it works is pushing this round button to light up the touch screen.” When Coulson had touched the same button that he did, Steve felt in awe at how advanced technology had become and carefully took the phone back from Coulson. At the bottom of the glass, what he now knew was a screen, it said ‘slide to unlock.’ Feeling confused, Steve slid the phone from one hand to the other and became slightly agitated that the phone didn’t do anything.

“You have to use your finger to slide this arrow box across the screen, that way your phone can unlock it self and you’ll be able to use it.” Looking at Coulson with a sheepish smile, Steve did exactly what he said. Using his pointer finger, Steve slid the button across and felt even more agitated that he was met with more buttons. What on Earth is safari and what does it have to do with a compass?

Now Captain, the only button that you have to use for right now is the phone button. By pressing the icon that says phone, you’ll open it to find a contacts button, and my phone number along with Fury’s will already be here. Press on either one and you’ll be able to contact us.” Feeling a bit overwhelmed yet again, Steve took a deep breath and cleared his head of everything for the moment.

“And that’s all I have to do to call someone? ”

“Pretty much.” Steve tired the very same buttons that he saw Coulson use, and press the agent’s number. He distinctly heard ringing and brought the small device to his ear.

You got it Captain.” Looking at Coulson, Steve saw him with his device to his ear and felt a swell of pride in his chest for figuring out a twenty-first century phone. Doesn’t seem too bad, I suppose. Pushing the red button that said ‘end call’, Steve slid the small device in his pocket and escorted Coulson to the door.

“Now Captain, like I said before, if you need anything at all, don’t be hesitant to call. Day or night, I’ll answer. Now, an agent will come by tomorrow morning to deliver some groceries, and explain everything you might not understand. I’ll be coming back later in the evening to see how you are doing.” Steve, understanding the indirect orders to stay in his apartment for now, gave Coulson a nod; happy that he didn’t have to venture out into the world so soon. “Have a good night Captain.” Steve shut the door, and stalked into his new bedroom, and collapsed on the bed.

The next afternoon, Steve found himself looking at the mechanical clock hanging on the wall, the ticking was the only thing that was familiar to him, and it was the only thing that reminded him of the forties. As the blonde, blue-eyed twenty-four year old looked around his living quarters; he couldn’t help but feel sadness, anger, regret, and hopelessness at everything that had happened. Steve Rogers was sitting on his all too comfortable couch in the nice sized apartment with his hands through his unkempt hair and couldn’t stop the thoughts that plagued him. It had only been thirty-six hours since he had awoken from his ‘sleep’ to find himself in the year 2012, almost seventy years after WWII. The people who had found him had said that it was a miracle that he was even alive, and that he should be happy at a second chance at life; but how could he be happy? Everyone he knew and grew up with are either really old or dead, no doubt the latter.

Getting up from the couch, Steve walked towards the kitchen, steering clear of the machine that heats food and the machine that cleans dishes. Have people gotten so lazy that they need machines for such trivial tasks? Opening the food storage that kept his food cold and fresh for very long periods of time, or so he was told, Steve grabbed a container full of water and proceeded back to the couch. Sitting back and letting his head fall back on the couch, Steve watched the ceiling as if it was the most interesting thing in the world, trying not to get lost in the memories of his present, or past according to others. Although he was failing miserably, Steve let the memories come, not caring that tears were flowing freely down his face, not caring that he broke the remote that controlled the television, and definitely not caring about the awful pain in his chest.

“Hey Steve! Let’s show these ladies a good time!” Steve couldn’t help the small smile overcome his emotional face as he remembered his best friend growing up, Bucky Barnes; the one who was always there for him when he needed it, and the tears came faster and harder as the loneliness began to overwhelm him.

“We are going to win this war because we have the best men. And they, personally, will escort Adolf Hitler to the gates of Hell.”Through the tears, Steve let out a wet chuckle as he remembered smirking at Colonel Philips for his speech, swelling his American pride even more then it already was.

“Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”Steve griped his wrist tightly, willing the physical pain to drive away the memories that contained everyone, especially not wanting to think about her. But no matter how tightly he grabbed his wrist, his thoughts betrayed him and herbrown-haired and brown-eyed image flashed through his mind. Peggy… The tears wouldn’t stop coming, and Steve got up so fast that his head swam and he punched a hole through the black box on the wall. Hearing the glass crash brought him back to reality and he let out a painful gasp as his memoires retreated for now. Not bothering to clean up the mess, Steve quickly and stealthily grabbed his bag pull of equipment and hurriedly rushed out the door to the nearest punching bag, completely forgetting that Agent Coulson would be arriving in just a few hours.

It was twenty minutes later when Steve arrived to the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters in New York after memorizing the way the day before, and rushed through the many people to get to the specifically made gym that Nick Fury had said was all his in the lower levels of the compound. But no matter how much inner turmoil he had, Steve Rogers would always be a gentleman, and he tried not to push people out of his way in his hurry. Getting to the elevator, Steve tried to squeeze himself into the corner, trying to give the other people, or agents, more space. As the elevator started to go down, Steve felt his anxiety begin to surface, and he prayed that the elevator went faster. The lower he went, he forgot how many people smiled at him in sympathy, and felt his anger swell under his tight lid. I don’t need your sympathy, how can anyone understand what I’m going through? Getting to his floor, Steve practically sprinted to the forties style gym and began to wrap his bandages around his hands.

Closing his mouth so he could concentrate on breathing through his nose, Steve began to throw a few jabs at the punching bag to get his rhythm. But as the memories began to resurface once again, Steve threw hooks and undercuts to get his frustrations out. I’d rather be in physical pain then this torment. Pushing his enhanced body harder, Steve felt the sweat begin to form on his upper brow but he didn’t care, punching all his feelings out was helping him to be sane, because Lord knows how he still was. Sending a powerful jab, Steve felt completely numb as he saw the punching bag fly across the room and landing near the opposite wall, the little beads littered the floor. Grabbing another punching bag, Steve let the memories torment him, because besides those memories, what else did he have in life? How could he have slept for seventy years, while his friends and family lived their lives? Did they try to look for him? Did they mourn for a lost comrade, a friend? Did she look for me?

Throwing another powerful punch, Steve grabbed another bag as the current one went flying like the first. Steve felt like he was in a horribly written sci-fi novel that he never bothered to read when he was younger, and he just wanted to wake up from this nightmare and see everyone, to see her. Her touch, her smile, and just her overall were what he missed the most, because he felt nothing without her. Peggy Carter, the woman he loved, was the main reason he became Captain America; even though the serum gave him the strength and the agility, she gave him the courage, and that’s all he needed. But now, he felt every emotion under the sun, and he was surprised his body didn’t burst from the raw emotions.

It wasn’t until someone coughed behind him that Steve remembered where he was. Using his ‘Captain America’ persona, Steve managed to sober up very quickly and turned around to meet the new comer with an expressionless face. Standing before him was a woman who stood at least five foot four with red hair, shoulders back, head parallel to the floor, feet shoulder length apart, and body in a position to fight or run, she looked Steve right in the eye and he felt a sudden chill go down his spine. She seems…..intimidating… Clearing his throat and not backing down from the obvious challenge, Steve decided to speak first.

“Can I help you Ma’am?” Steve could’ve sworn that he saw a hint of amusement in those cold steel eyes, but was gone faster than he could comprehend. He suddenly realized that she was wearing a SHIELD uniform, and wondered briefly why a woman was in this type of field.

“Hello Captain, my name is Natasha Romonav. I’ve been looking for you.” Not even moving an inch, she gave Steve a calculating glance, as if assessing on how to take the super soldier down if she need to.

Steve felt slightly confused as to why someone would be looking for him at the preset moment, but suddenly remembered that Coulson had indirectly said to stay in his apartment for the time being. Feeling some twinge of guilt for disobeying an order, he couldn’t have cared one way or another. He needed to hit something, and looking back at the many punching bags that littered the floor, he didn’t regret his decision.

“Does this have anything to do with Agent Coulson, Ma’am?” Looking towards Agent Romanov, Steve couldn’t help but feel a bit intimidated by her presence, not once had a woman made him feel so inferior such as her.

“It does.” Steve shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot, but without breaking eye contact. No matter how uncomfortable he felt, he wouldn’t be backing down from this fight no matter what.

“I am to escort you back to your apartment, where you will stay for the time being. Director Fury will be coming to see you tonight. Morning at the latest.” Feeling some type of annoyance with said director, Steve hardly wanted anything to do with him. But considering that SHIELD was the only thing that he could grasp in this time and was the only thing anchoring his sanity down, he couldn’t really refuse much. Plus, Fury outranked him by a long shot.

“Yes Ma’am.” Unwrapping his hands, Steve didn’t take his attention off the woman that baffled him to no end. If women during the forties were intimidating, then women these days are down right terrifying. Packing the last of his belongings, he began to follow Romonav to the elevators, and stood in silence for the remainder of the short trip.


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