Chapter 14

"We are just here for the girl, do not get hostile with us, Captain." a man said as he walked into the room. He was tall, thin, with stark white hair and heavy glasses. His nose was crooked, and his eyes were an odd grey color. "Although, I hear you are responsible for killing a few of my favorite pets."

Danielle sat completely still on the edge of the bed.

"Seize her." The man said, and one of the soldiers reached for her, pulling her up, holding her with the gun to her side. She looked at Steve helplessly. He went to stand, and one of the other soldiers hit him with the butt of the gun. His eyes flashed, but he did not move to attack.

The mysterious tall man laughed. "Clearly, he cares for the woman." he strutted over to Danielle, taking her face with one hand and squeezing it. He sighed. "Young love is truly something beautiful. It's a shame I don't really need you alive." he placed his hand on the other side of her head, and twisted it quickly, snapping her neck. She fell to the floor.

Steve swallowed, but he did not flinch. The man looked at him, surprised at his lack of reaction, before turning back to reach for Danielle's limp body.

She groaned, sitting up, and her neck snapped back into place. "Hi." she growled, glaring up at the man. He stared at her, his mouth open, seeming delighted.

"La bruja!" one of the masked men said in terror, backing against the wall.

Steve moved quickly, jumping from the bed and grabbing Danielle. He held her to her chest and in two strides, used his shoulder to shatter and burst through the bedroom window. A firestorm of bullets followed him, and he took a few with his back.

He managed to land somewhat gracefully, in a sort of tuck and roll fashion. He stood, pulling Danielle to her feet, and running down the street.

A couple of blocks over, they arrived at his usual diner. She couldn't help but laugh internally as the two of them rushed in, her in just his shirt, and him just in underwear.

One of the older waitresses turned and saw them, and her eyes grew wide. The rest of the diner turned to gawk. She cleared her throat after a second.

"Good...morning, Steve."

"Hello, Susan. Could I use your phone?" Steve asked. She nodded, pulling out a cellphone from her apron pocket.

"Ours isn't working." she said, looking at Danielle curiously. He turned to sit, and Susan shrieked.

"Steve, your back." Danielle said softly. "Could I trouble you for a rag?" she asked the waitress gently. Susan hurried behind the counter, tugging a new one out and handing it to her. Danielle's hands were shaking, but she rested one on his shoulders, focusing on the bullet wounds on his bare back. He groaned as the bullets fell out, Danielle catching them with the rag. After a moment, she was finished, and she wiped the rest of the blood up.

"Better?" she asked, and he nodded, dialing Natasha's phone number. Susan had watched the whole scene speechless. Danielle didn't care if people knew about it right then, she was only worried about him.

Danielle looked out of the window nervously, sure that the men had followed them.

"Nat, 7 men just showed up at my apartment with guns trying to get Danielle." Steve said into the cell phone.

"Jesus, alright." Natasha said. "I'll be there in a second with Clint, where are you?"

"A diner off 67th. Also if you could bring us some clothes, that would be excellent."

Danielle could hear her wild laughter, so loud it sounded like the phone was on speaker. He looked down at the cell, irritated. She'd hung up.

He sighed, handing back Susan's phone.

"Sorry about breaking the no shirt no shoes policy, Suze." he said, and she shook her head.

"Oh honey, you really don't have to worry about that right now." she said firmly. Another waitress, this one much younger, came out from the kitchen, saw him, and squealed, dropping a cup of coffee.

"Brandy!" Susan admonished. Brandy turned pink, and rushed back into the kitchen.

"Why does that keep happening?" he sighed. Danielle sat beside him, leaning her head on his arm.

"You're a bit of a spectacle, sweetie." she said. "Have you not noticed?" She looked out the window, and sat up, pulling him around.

They certainly had followed them. But there were only 3 extra men this time, and the tall man looked highly pissed off.

"Susan, get everyone in the back." Steve said, standing. She looked out the window, and nodded. She rushed for the tables, ushering people towards the back kitchens.

The windows shattered. Steve pulled Danielle around the counter and ducked down, looking desperately for something he could use as a shield. A mini fridge with a stainless steel door caught his eye, and he reached for it, yanking it off the hinges. Cans of whipped cream and some plastic wrapped pieces of pie fell to the laminate floor.

He used the shield to deflect anymore bullets fired at him. He quickly took out the man closest to him, and rolled, trying to focus the fighting away from the civilians.

A familiar black car rounded the corner. Natasha and Clint jumped out, running towards the action.

"There's that famous Captain America ass!" Natasha shouted as she jumped a car, landing on the shoulders of one of the men, pulling him to the ground and knocking him unconscious.

"God bless America." Clint said dryly, sticking an arrow through the neck of the other one. The final man, the leader, with his white hair and crooked nose, did not seem to want to accept defeat. He continually shot towards the three, but Clint and Natasha remained behind Steve, who caught all the bullets with the door.

"He's not stopping." Natasha said to Clint as they moved in on him. "Wanna throw me?"

"Got it." He knelt down, holding his hands out. She crouched, standing on his hands and holding his shoulders. He used all his force to launch her over Steve's head, and she flew over the man, rolling behind him, and quickly shooting him in the back of each knee. Steve let the fridge door fall to the ground while Natasha kicked the guns away.

"You look good, Cap." Clint said, pounding him on the shoulder as he sheathed his weapon. "You work out?"

Steve ignored him and went to the car, opening the door and reaching for a duffel in the backseat. He returned to the diner, opening the kitchen door to talk to the small group of people inside.

"It's safe now. Susan, I'll have someone in as soon as possible to fix your windows."

She nodded, speechless. Danielle joined him, taking his hand.

"Clothes?" she whispered, indicating the bag. They walked to the bathroom the change, and she leaned against the cool tile wall as the door closed behind them.

"This was not how I wanted the morning to go." she said sadly, walking over to the mirror. He laughed, pulling out a pair of jeans that he tugged on.

"Tell me about it. " he said.

She gasped at the state of her hair, which was sticking out in every which direction. Mascara was smeared over one eye, and all other remnants of makeup had rubbed off during the night.

"Oh god." she said. She turned to dig through the duffel, finding sweats, a black tshirt, and a pair of underwear. Her hand hit something hard, and she happily extracted a hairbrush from the depths. She brushed her hair out quickly, and pulled it into a ponytail. She washed off her face and hurriedly got dressed. "Are you okay?" she finally remembered to ask, stepping towards him and wrapping her arms around his waist.

"Yeah." he said softly. "I'm just glad you're okay."

"Only thanks to you." she said, resting her forehead on his chest. "We could have had a very very nice morning, Captain."

He made a hungry growl in the back of his throat, kissing her on the top of the head. "There's always tomorrow."

She shrugged, looking up at him and resting a hand on his neck, rubbing his jaw with her thumb. "I was betting on tonight."

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