Red Dragon Inn
Dreamweaver's Lair => From the Dragon's Mouth => Crash and Burn => Topic started by: Lucy Rogers on December 02, 2012, 06:23:13 AM
[size=9]((Contains scenes of an adult nature.))[/size]
After some further discussion with Fury, Steve and Lucy had retired to the quarters Fury had arranged for them, and the first thing Steve had done after scarfing down the breakfast Croft had commandeered for him was take a long, hot shower, which did wonders for his sense of well-being. If not for the irritating ache in his side, he'd have almost felt like himself again, but he knew it wouldn't be long before that, too, was resolved. His suit had been picked up for cleaning and replaced with casual clothes that were a little old-fashioned looking for someone who looked in his early to mid-twenties. He had yet to wear a pair of blue jeans or a jogging suit and sneakers.
Standard S.H.I.E.L.D. accomodations had certainly been something of an eye-opener for Lucy. She'd been expecting something boxy with minimal facilities. What she was currently enjoying was a hot shower of her own in possibly the best equipped, albeit functional, bathroom she'd had the privilege to use. She had a feeling Steve might not be too comfortable with the fact that she had nipped straight into the shower barely a minute after he'd gotten out, but that was tough. She'd gone three days without a decent wash, and that was plenty, thank you very much. If it wasn't for the fact that they seemed to be under a form of house arrest, she'd have been perfectly content, too.
Of course, she couldn't stay under the hot water forever, much as she would have liked to, and twenty minutes after getting in, she was getting out again, remembering to wrap the towel around herself before she stepped out of the cubicle. No sense in upsetting her still rather innocent fiance with her complete lack of modesty about her own body just yet, after all. "You know, for a military installation, this borders on luxury."
"Ever consider that they're trying to seduce you?" he asked, wearing a pair of boxer briefs and a white shirt emblazoned with the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo, his cheeks and chin lathered with shaving cream that smelled vaguely of menthol. "You realize we're under protective custody," he pointed out, which basically meant that they were being kept there until a full agreement had been reached and they'd signed on the dotted line, so to speak.
"I suppose it stands to reason that Fury would want us under his thumb until he's got everything watertight," Lucy shrugged lightly. It made sense, but that didn't mean they had to like it. "I don't think he trusts anyone very much. I know I wouldn't trust me in this situation." She flashed him a smile as she passed behind him, squeezing the water from her hair.
"You realize Tony is going to find out sooner or later," he remarked, leaning toward the mirror as far as his injured side would allow as he scraped the shaving cream from his face with a razor, preferring to do it the old fashioned way. And he hadn't even mentioned Peggy yet, or any other relatives Lucy might have in England.
There was no reply for a moment. Lucy was still trying to get her head around the idea of having relatives, much less one who was internationally renowned. Or was that infamous? She sighed softly, turning to lean on the doorframe, watching him shave as she tucked the towel a little more securely about herself. "I know," she admitted. "I'm not sure how I feel about it."
His gaze darted to her reflection in the mirror, trying hard not to focus on the fact that she was clad only in a towel, before returning to his shaving. "He's not gonna be happy about it, but it's not your fault. He's already got issues with his father that have nothing to do with you." He turned on the faucet and rinsed off the razor before continuing, running the blade over his one side of his face. "What about your sister? You still want to keep her in the dark?"
The thought of Liv was a difficult one. "That's another one I don't know about," Lucy confessed. "I mean, we both have issues about being abandoned, but she's still really hurting about it. She takes it a lot more personally than I do, and ... I don't know. Finding out that we were purposely abandoned by a man who could have at least made an effort to make sure we were looked after could rip her all to pieces again. It's only since she's been with Johnny that it hasn't been playing on her mind so much. I don't want to undo all the good he's done with her."
Though he didn't mention it, he had to wonder if they were being watched even now. The thought of that bothered him, but so far, they hadn't said or done anything that might warrant keeping an eye on them. He flicked a glance at her in the mirror again before answering. "Maybe you should wait until after you find out why you were abandoned before you decide what to tell her." He still had a feeling there was a lot more going on here than they'd been told. "I just can't see any relative of Peggy's allowing that to happen."
"Maybe she didn't have a choice," Lucy murmured. "There are so many things that could have happened to make it necessary. I don't want to imagine the worst, but maybe that would be for the best in the long run." She shook her head, looking him over with a critcal eye. "Are you going to let me dose you again before you keel over?"
Obviously, Stark had wanted to keep the affair - or one night stand, whatever it was - a secret, but he wasn't quite sure what had happened on the other end. He frowned at her question as he ran the blade over his chin. "Are you going to give me enough horse tranquilizer to knock me out again?" he countered.
She laughed. "Not if you don't want me to," she assured him, straightening from her lean. "Thirty was a little much. I was thinking half that, just to take the edge off again. And don't try and tell me it isn't painful enough to warrant analgesics - I'm naked, not stupid." She flickered a sweetly innocent wink his way, turning to enter the main room and rummage through the medi-kit that had been provided.
"Don't remind me. I'm trying not to think about it," he retorted, regarding her state of mostly undress. "I shouldn't even be here, you know. I should be out there. If I'd known Fury was going to keep us here..." He frowned as he rinsed the blade off and set it aside, feeling like a prisoner under house arrest when they'd done nothing wrong.
As he spoke, Lucy was grateful he couldn't see her. The words cut deep on two levels - the guilt eating at her for not being back at that field hospital already, and the sense that he was regretting her having come to New York at all. She wouldn't blame him; she knew she wasn't the best catch he could have made, after all. Her fingers, momentarily stilled in drawing up the morphine, resumed their task automatically as she attempted to push those feelings aside. She didn't know how to answer him in a way that wouldn't make his guilt worse.
It would have been a simple enough thing to leave if he really wanted to, if it was only him, but Lucy's presence complicated things, and he wasn't going anywhere without his suit and his shield. She got a little quiet, too quiet, and he poked his head out of the bathroom to see what she was up to before he finished rinsing what remained of the shaving cream from his face. "You okay?" he asked. He wasn't regretting her coming to New York - quite the contrary - but he was feeling a little foolish for having fallen into a trap set by Fury, his sense of duty causing him to feel a little guilty and useless.
And this was where she found out if Steve knew about one very recognisable sign of when things weren't feeling okay. "Yeah," she called back to him, her eyes intent upon what she was doing. "I'm fine." Fine. A word no one who loved you wanted to hear when you were a little too quiet and still. It was code inbred into humanity. No one who said they were fine meant it at all.
He frowned at her reply, knowing instinctively that she was feeling just the opposite of what she said, though he wasn't quite sure why, assuming it was their situation and not something he'd said. He wasn't exactly an expert on women, after all, and didn't have much experience in that field of study. He ducked his head back into the bathroom and glanced at his own reflection in the mirror, though he wasn't really seeing himself. He was trying to sort out what was going on in Lucy's head. Anyone who said they were fine usually wasn't, including himself.
But then again, she just couldn't lie to Steve. Even the little white lies that were supposed to make everything better. Lucy sighed, stepping back to sit down on the bed, needle in hand. "No, I'm not fine," she corrected herself. "I'm confused and hurting and guilty all wrapped up in one scared bundle that doesn't even know, deep down, who I am anymore. It's a long way from fine, I'm sorry."
He watched his reflection frown back at him, knowing a little bit of what she was feeling, but not entirely, feeling guilty himself for having dragged her into all this, and yet, he knew he really had nothing to do with it. Fury would have brought her in anyway, whether she'd known him or not, and then he would have held her sister over her head, rather than him.
One way or another, Fury was going to get what he wanted, and Steve didn't trust the man enough to feel he could speak freely without being eavesdropped on here. He turned on the faucet and leaned over to rinse the remaining shaving cream from his face, before snagging a towel and patting his face dry, searching his heart for the right words and coming up empty. I love you didn't quite seem to cut the mustard at the moment. He thought maybe he'd approach her problem from another perspective, trying to convey to her the fact that he didn't feel all that different from her. "You know, when I first woke up, they went to a lotta trouble to make me think it was still the 1940s. Until I got outside and saw all the buildings and the lights and the cars." He huffed at the memory, which had only been a few months ago. "Cars have come a long way since then."
"Everything's come a long way since then," he muttered quietly to himself.
Her head turned as he spoke, only able to see a slice of him through the doorway. She thought she could understand a little of how he felt, a man out of time and feeling out of place, who seemed to believe that he only had his duty to keep him grounded in a world that had moved on without him. It wasn't so very different from the way she felt now; she'd been a nobody all her life, and suddenly she was a somebody's daughter, a somebody's sister, somebodies' whom she'd never known and didn't really want to know. All her life, it had been just her and Olivia, and that was all she'd ever needed. Until now, when everything had been turned upside down and she didn't even know where she was coming from anymore.
She swallowed, smiling a little at his comment on the cars. "What's the point of everything spinning if there isn't someone standing still to keep us down?" she said quietly. Somehow, Steve was that someone for her, with his vintage outlook on life. She hoped he never started spinning with her.
"I don't know. The only person I could ever really count on died a long time ago." He wasn't talking about Peggy, but Bucky. He and Peggy hadn't had enough of a chance to see if they could make it work, but he'd known Bucky almost all of his life. In a way, Bucky had been to Steve what Liv was to Lucy. "All I know is I wasn't fine either. Maybe I'm still not fine, but there's not much point in worrying about things you can't change when there are so many things that you can." He shook his head, unsure if anything he said was making any sense, and tossed the towel on the sink before stepping into the doorway to look over at her on the bed. "I don't care who your parents are, Lucy. I care about you."
She looked up at him, deceptively small in a towel that still wasn't exactly decent by his standards, damp, and solemn. "I know," she assured him, and though the smile was small, it was real. "Come here." Her hand patted the bed beside her; she wanted to medicate him before he did himself damage trying to prove his ribs didn't hurt like billy-o. "It just takes time to get everything settled in mind, and, well, it doesn't sound as though you've had much time to do that."
"More time than you've had," he replied, making his way over to the bed and taking a seat beside her. "I know I can never really understand what you're going through, but I'm here, if you need me. I'm always gonna be here." He reached over to touch her hair, hoping to give her at least a little reassurance and comfort, like she'd given him time and again in the short time they'd known each other.
She smiled, ignoring the fact that her hair was still wet as she turned into the gentle touch he offered her, closing her eyes for a moment to absorb the intention behind that touch. "I don't think I'm ever going to not need you," she told him quietly, opening her eyes to look into his. And then, because she just couldn't turn that side of her brain off, she added with a slightly rueful quirk to her expression, "Which arm do you want the needle in?"
He dragged his fingers through her damp hair, brushing her cheek before dropping his hand so she could administer the drugs that would take the edge off the pain and at least make herself feel better if not him. "Neither, but you're gonna do it anyway, so pick one." From the look on his face, he was teasing a little, knowing she was as dedicated to her sense of duty as he was to his. Maybe that was part of what made them work as a couple. "For what it's worth, I need you, too," he told her quietly as he watched her with the needle.
Her thumb moved up along his inner arm, seeking out a vein to tap. You weren't supposed to do this without a tourniquet, but Lucy was a very good doctor. The needle slid in with barely a moment's sting, and gently discharged the contents of the bolus behind it. With a practised flick, Lucy tossed the needle into a sharps bin attached to the medi-kit, and laid a small piece of gauze firmly over the little spot of blood left behind. "I'm not going anywhere," she promised him, her voice barely above a whisper as she raised her eyes to his once again, softly trusting that he wouldn't break the heart she'd spent a lifetime protecting from harm.
He smiled, hardly feeling the needle, but that wasn't why he was smiling - it was her promise that did that. "I guess Fury gets his way then because I see no point in waiting. I'm not gonna change my mind. I love you, and nothing's gonna change that." He pressed the gauze against the inside of his arm where she'd injected the needle, though his gaze remained fixed on her face. He'd been injected with enough needles to know the routine by now.
His smile brought hers out again, an intimate curve of her lips that in time he'd recognise as only being for him, only ever shown to him when they were alone together. Her fingers travelled up along his arm in a seemingly absent-minded caress, reminding herself of the dips and planes of his bicep and shoulder before her hand curled to his neck. "That's very good to hear," she murmured softly to him as she leaned closer. "Because I happen to love you, too. Very much." Screw whatever surveillance was on them - she needed this kiss as much as she wanted to give it, soft and tender and infinitely close to igniting something neither of them would be able to quench without intervention.
It seemed their minds had been made up for them and their fates decided. Steve knew he was always going to be a part of S.H.I.E.L.D., no matter what Lucy decided, and Lucy seemed to think it was the best way to be near Steve and still be able to help people. "I suppose we should talk salaries," he murmured against Lucy's lips, distracted by her kiss, his mind wandering away from Fury and the man's offer of a deal. There was still the matter of why the twins had been taken from their parents, and though Steve didn't yet know the truth, he had some thoughts of his own about that.
The pain in his side was slowly subsiding with the help of the morphine Lucy had injected into his veins, but it hadn't been a strong enough dose this time to make him feel as sleepy as it had the night before. "Should we let your sister know we're getting married? She might want to be here for that." Though he knew Lucy wanted to keep her sister as far away from Fury as possible, he suspected she might want her sister to witness the most important day of her life.
Lucy let her lips part from his with a sigh that was half a laugh. She was wearing nothing but a towel, kissing him as though he was the only man in the multiverse ever even worth kissing, and he wanted to discuss money and her family? Her thumb stroked over his cheek as she released him, her face warm with the deep amusement that swept through her. "You are absolutely unique, you know that?" she told him affectionately, dropping her hands into her lap once again. "I'd like her to be here, but I don't want her anywhere near Fury. I think Johnny should be told about S.H.I.E.L.D., so he can keep her out of it when she comes to New York. Which she will, you can guarantee that. His family is here, too."
It wasn't so much that he wanted to talk, rather than the obvious alternative. He found Lucy as enticing as ever, and even as he tried to resist, his body was betraying him, but he couldn't help feeling like someone was watching, even if they weren't. And yet, they were stuck here, until they agreed to Fury's terms or until Fury decided to let them go, which infuriated him.
Steve sighed as Lucy's hands dropped away from his face, once again feeling trapped with few choices open to them. "We're not prisoners here, Luce. We should be able to come and go as we please. If the city wasn't under a State of Emergency..." He trailed off, the wheels in his head turning. He wasn't sure what the rush was to get married, but it galled him to no end that he'd walked them straight into Fury's trap, like flies caught in a spiderweb. "We're not doing anyone any good here." Yes, he needed to recuperate, but he wasn't a cripple.
She lowered her eyes, feeling the guilt for them being here at all resting firmly on her shoulders. "I'm sorry," she apologised quietly. "I shouldn't have said anything in the first place. I know you want to be back out there, Steve - believe it or not, I do, too - but the truth is that for at least another day, you're not fit to do more than coordinate, and you're too stubborn to sit back and let other people do the work under your command without being given no choice." She laid a finger against his lips in case of arguments. "Fury knows what the answer is. If he isn't working on fulfilling our conditions right now, then all he has is a volatile doctor and a superhero with no reason to trust him or wish to obey him. He's manipulative, but he's not stupid."
He opened his mouth to protest, to tell her it wasn't her fault. The fault was all his. A lesser man might have given in to the desires of the flesh, but it galled Steve that they had all this time to kill when they were needed elsewhere, and he almost wished they'd stayed at the makeshift field hospital until things had settled down. At least, they'd have been able to come and go as they pleased without feeling beholden to Fury. He felt like an idiot, and from the look on his face, he was obviously distraught and blaming himself for their situation. He'd really believed Fury would respect him and trust him enough to give him the information he wanted. Lucy's touch did little to assuage his distress, and he wondered if he should just give in to the desires of the flesh.
"It seems it's me he doesn't trust," Steve replied dismally.
She held his gaze for a long moment, slowly taking her hand from his mouth with a small sigh. Some of the fierce light went out of her eyes as she took in the expression on his face, and she knew she was to blame ultimately. If she'd only kept her mouth shut about Fury's files, they wouldn't be here. "Then he's a bigger idiot than I took him for," was all she said.
Steve was more intelligent than this; she didn't understand why he was clinging to the injustice of the circumstance, rather than looking to the consequences. Perhaps she was just too logical at times. "I should get dressed." She made to stand up, carefully not looking at him as that nasty inner voice she couldn't quite shut up stuck its oar in a sore spot and twisted. Can't distract him, can't make him feel better about all this. Might as well have derailed his whole life.
It seemed there were a million thoughts whirling through his head, not the least of which was the fact that a beautiful woman was sitting beside him - a woman who loved him, no less - wrapped only in a towel and wanting his attention, while he distractedly bemoaned their situation. He had to admit, things could be a lot worse. It was mostly the fact that he felt like a puppet on a string that was galling him to no end, but Fury couldn't keep them there forever. He blinked out of his thoughts as she moved to get up, and he seemed to sense that he'd done something wrong, something to upset her. He could tell from the look on her face, the disappointment in her eyes, like she was disappointed in him, and he caught her hand to detain her, if only for a moment. "I'm sorry, Lucy. I'm just being stupid," he told her, with an apologetic look on his face, a hint of sadness in his eyes.
She stilled, settling back as he caught her hand. "It's not you," she told him, conjuring a gentle smile that shared his sadness in some unknowing way. Her hands folded around his, squeezing gently. "None of this is your fault, Steve." It's mine. "I just ... I expected it all to be simple, and it's anything but. I'm the one who should be apologising. If I'd just held off for a few more days, we wouldn't be in this position." Not that she could have known that, of course, but that was how it seemed to her.
It was his turn to press a finger against her lips, to stop her from blaming herself. In all truth, it was neither one's fault. Lucy had trusted him enough to share something about herself that she would probably never share with anyone else, and he'd flown off the handle, trusting Fury to give them both what they wanted. In a way, he had or eventually would, and Steve knew part of this was about forcing him to rest and recuperate, but idleness wasn't really his strong suit. "It's not your fault. You didn't know how I'd react, and I reacted badly. I didn't think it through. We're going to get what we want. We're going to find out the answers to all your questions. We're going to get married. We're going to be together. I just..." He sighed, annoyed more with himself now than anyone else. "I don't deal well with sitting by idly while people need me."
"Ten days, Steve," Lucy reminded him very softly. "You've been right there, in the thick of things, for ten days. Right through the worst of it, when people needed to see someone taking charge and saving lives. The time for the first response is over - you can't live your whole life for everyone else. It'll kill you slowly, from the inside out." Her hand rose to touch his cheek once again, gentle affection at her fingertips. "I'm sorry I made a fuss of your health. I know you'll heal fast, I just ... I'm going to need to learn to share you." She let out a soft huff of self-deprecating laughter. "I'm not very good at playing nice with other people when they have something - someone - I want."
She was right. He had been in the thick of it for ten days. Why wasn't it enough? It never seemed to be enough. What had Bucky said when he'd first volunteered for this project? Don't do this because you're trying to prove something. Was he trying to prove something? He didn't think so, but she was right. If he worked himself to death, if he didn't take time to rest and heal, he'd be no good to anyone. Even with a body in peak condition, he was still human and couldn't keep at it forever, even if he wanted to. He smiled at her hint of self-deprecation.
"I'm not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not." He closed his own hand around hers and brought it to his lips for a gentle kiss. "I'm not sure what you read about me in the comics, but I spent most of my life too sick to help anyone, not even myself. I'm not very patient, Lucy, and I don't really like taking no for an answer." He explained, hoping as a doctor she might understand what it felt like to be denied all your life and to want everything now.
It wasn't as a doctor that she understood. It was the memory of a small child, standing shoulder to shoulder with her twin sister, consistently passed over by couples looking to adopt sons and daughters into their families. All she'd wanted was for someone to look at them and say, "Yes, they can come with us," and no one ever had. She'd grown up determined never to feel that way again, but that feeling had never really left. Even now, when she was close to being something special to someone wonderful, she was still waiting for him to change his mind. "You're not being told no," she assured him softly. "You're being told not yet. There is a world of difference, love."
He smiled at her gentle reassurance, and there was only one thing he could think of to say to her that might come close to putting his feelings into words. The words felt so inadequate, but there was no other way to convey what he was feeling but to just say it, whether anyone was watching or not. "I love you, Lucy," he told her softly. "I'm always gonna love you." It was his turn to seal those words with a kiss, to prove to her how much he meant what he said through actions, rather than words, circling back around to where they'd started. He deepened the kiss, tentatively at first, uncertainly. Though he was sure of his feelings, he was not so sure of himself, lacking experience in the ways of love.
She hadn't expected it from him, certain that he had decided against so much as touching her again until something nebulous and unexplained had been settled for him. The kiss, she expected, but that slow, uncertain deepening, the almost wary way he teased her lips to part beneath his ... that was a layer of new confidence she hadn't thought he would embrace. Not yet. It took her breath away, her response as encouraging as could be, arms rising to loop about his shoulders and draw him close as she let him take the lead. And despite leaving the charge to him, there were those little signs that instinct could always recognise as the embers leapt up once more, softening her scantily-clad form into the strength of him, filling his mouth with the taste of a moan that didn't quite reach the ears. Fifteen days could be a long time for new lovers.
Nervous and unsure of himself, he laid her gently back against the bed as his lips plied hers, suddenly uncaring of any eyes that might be watching. Let them watch. Let them see how tight this bond between them was, how there would be no breaking them apart. They could play games all they wanted, but Steve knew what he wanted and like he'd warned Lucy, he wasn't taking no for an answer. His body's immediate response to their kisses was jarring in intensity. Ever since he'd left her, this was all he'd wanted, all that had kept him going when he was out in the field.
It wasn't so much the physical sensations, though there was that, but the depth of feeling that went into it, like a sharing of souls when their bodies joined in that sacred union that took place between a man and woman as deeply in love as they were. Despite his inexperience, his actions spoke for him with the intensity of his kisses and the tenderness of his touch. He smoothed a hand against her thigh, slowly inching higher, stifling a moan of desire against her lips, his body feeling as though it was on fire.
Any thought of unseen eyes watching was pushed roughly aside by the unconsidered wave of longing that swept through his lover as he drew her down beneath him, thrumming with unrepentant delight at his slowly increasing confidence. Her arms loosened, letting her hands roam just as slowly over the range of his back and shoulders, dipping her fingers into his hair, following each subtle little shift of form and mouth to give him the response he was so unsure of receiving. She shivered tenderly as his hand began that gradual creep over her skin, feeling the fold of the towel slip open to uncover her hip in the path of his touch, her knee rising with the gentle brush of his fingers to encourage more. She didn't care that he still felt inexperienced, that his shyness would take time to burn away. He was hers, and she was his. No amount of expertise or technique could ever compare with that knowledge as it burned into her heart.
His hand trembled against her thigh, as nervous as a teenager with his first date. It hadn't been that long since they'd first made love - over and over again, as if they were trying to cram a lifetime worth of loving in one day's time, as if they might never see each other again - but it felt like forever ago. "Lucy," he murmured against her lips, as his hand crept higher, sliding against the smoothness of her thigh to her hip, acutely aware that there was only a thin towel keeping her from him. He kissed her again and again, slowly gaining in confidence as she seemed to respond to each kiss, each touch, the flame of desire rekindled between them.
"Shhh," she murmured softly to him between his kisses, smoothing her hand down to curl her fingers gently about the curve of his bicep, laying just enough pressure to keep that trembling hand moving. Telling him without words that he was doing nothing wrong. "Take your time." Which was the opposite of what she wanted right in that moment, but somehow being with Steve brought out the best in Lucy. She'd wait close onto forever for him to find his stride, she was certain of it. Her other hand smoothed equally gently down over his side, curling into the hem of his t-shirt to draw her fingers over his skin in a slow, tender caress.
"I don't know if I can," he admitted, looking down at her with a frown, looking all of his twenty-three years, terrified of seeing that look of disappointment in her eyes again. All he really needed was a little reassurance. Even if he wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to do, his instincts had served him well once before and would do so again, learning and growing more skilled every time they came together, fumbling toward perfection. "I love you," he told her, his voice full of the emotion, the desire, he'd tried so hard to contain ever since he'd seen her again. The pain in his side momentarily forgotten, his mouth trailed fluttering kisses against her neck, awkward and nervous.
She smiled, unafraid to show him the heat in her eyes as she rose to his touch, inching her hand up beneath his shirt with greedy caresses, eager to feel his skin on hers once more. "So don't take your time," was her purr of an answer as she drew his hand higher, the shift of her body loosening the towel until the barest touch would have sent it slipping from her skin. Her lips touched his temple as he ducked his head to taste the column of her throat, her back arching a little more as she drew her fingertip down the groove of his spine. "I love you back," was whispered against his ear, her voice marked with husky desire. "Don't be afraid to take what you want, Steve ... I want it, too."
He'd been waiting for her for days, nearly weeks, it seemed, waiting for this very moment, desire building inside him until he could stand it no longer. He'd kept himself busy during their time apart, needing to keep himself busy, needing to try not to think of her, but now that she was here, she was all he could think of, and he seemed to understand what she'd meant by wanting him all to herself. He didn't want to share her with anyone, though he knew he had to. This time was theirs, it belonged to them alone.
He wouldn't let anyone take it from them, and it was the most precious thing he'd ever possessed. Given permission to take what he wanted, desire rushed through him, urgent need, wondering if she'd ever grow tired of him. He knew he wouldn't grow tired of her. He drew the towel away from her, devouring her with his eyes as his gaze moved over the body he longed to touch, to kiss, to possess. Should he take her quickly, relieving their frustration, or should he go slow, knowing she wanted him as much as he wanted her?
In the end, he let his body decide for him, needing to possess her quickly and completely. He splayed his fingers against her breasts, trembling with nervous tension, as his mouth found hers again, tasting her lips, exploring her mouth, daring to delve deeper. So, this was the wonder that everyone always talked about. It was so much more wonderful than anything he could have ever imagined.
As soon as the decision was made, she knew it, felt it in the nervous splay of his fingers, the deeper heat of his mouth as he bent to her once again, and this time she rose to meet that impatience with her own, heedless of unknown ears as her voice lifted in a moan that bore his name in loving tenderness. Her hands bunched in his t-shirt, dragging it upward, trusting him to tell her if she hurt him in her eagerness to have him bare under her own hands. But though she joined him in that impatience, she still found the self control to let him keep charge, to let him guide them toward the inevitable. He had to learn that he was allowed to touch and take just as much as she was; that no matter how it happened, she would welcome his attention to her with open arms.
He ignored the ache in his side, which had subsided enough to be tolerable, to tug the shirt over his head, slipping away from her long enough to step out of his shorts, blushing furiously as he bared himself to her completely. He expected that by morning, his ribcage would be nearly healed, forgotten for now in the heat of the moment. He didn't waste another moment, moving back over her to cover her with his body, bracing himself so that he didn't crush her with his weight. His lips found hers again, drifting downwards against her neck, between her breasts, finally daring enough to claim even those. Lips kissed and hands caressed, awkwardly but slowly gaining in confidence and skill. He was, after all, a quick learner, and each foray into this latest adventure was slowly making him a better lover.
Each kiss and caress earned him sweeter music from her lips, sighs and moans and husky laughter drawing together as she writhed beneath him, guiding those inexperienced touches to where they would do the most good, gain the best reaction, teaching him what she knew about herself and looking forward to the day when his confidence would uncover something neither of them knew about. Her own caresses were a strange mixture of tender patience and frantic eagerness, loving the chance to learn him all over again, even if at that moment she was his to discover. There would be time enough to turn the tables.
There was still a little fear in him, a little trepidation, afraid he'd disappoint her or do something wrong. He'd been trained to be a soldier, but no one had ever trained him for anything like this. Oh, sure, he'd read some girlie magazines, mostly for the pictures, and he knew what went where and why, but he sensed that a woman's body was like a musical instrument, each one slightly different from another, and it would take time and experience to learn how to expertly play the one named Lucy Broderick. When he did finally claim her, it didn't take long for him to bring them both to the pinnacle of passion. The first time was hard and fast and eager, franctic with urgency and need, and by the time he was through, he was whispering her name over and over, overcome with the shocking wave of intense heat that seemed to explode from somewhere deep inside.
He had already learned to ignite her with a look, but this ... this was something she was delighted to find him embracing. She hadn't thought her gentle giant of a lover would come to the understanding that joining in a hard, wild rush was not a bad thing. It was like the morphine she had given him; something to take the edge off, to let the mind and body fall into the pattern of something longer-lasting without the pain of denial creeping in to cause harm. She writhed and moaned for and with him, a small, wild, delicate creature caught in his arms and perfectly attuned to his wants and needs, even to the point of his name on her lips as that volcanic eruption of white heat and throbbing desire flooded through her at almost the same moment as his own.
He watched her with rapt wonder as her face exhibited the same passion and pleasure he was feeling himself, and he felt a sense of pride swell inside him at the knowledge that it was because of him. Once he was sure she was finally and thoroughly satisfied, at least for the moment, he collapsed on the bed on his uninjured side, rolling her with him to face him, looking at her with that same wonder and awe that had lit his face the first time they'd made love together, the day he'd at last become a man. He brushed her hair back from her face with a tender caress of his fingers, surprisingly gentle for a soldier, unsure what to say in those quiet moments that came after the heat of passion, though it seemed there was so much that needed to be said.
She lay with him in silence for what seemed like forever and a day, her dark eyes trained on the sky-blue of his, adoring him with just a look as her breath slowed and her heart calmed, as the tremble in her deliciously satisfied body eased away to leave her soft and still in his arms. And very slowly, his smile blossomed on her face, visible only for a moment before she inched closer to kiss him, offering a caress of lips that was as much a thank you as a promise of more to come, when he was ready for it. "That's one way to pass the time," she murmured as she drew back from him, laughter thick in her voice as her hand drew down to settle over the curve of his hip with possessive affection. Mine.
He smiled into her lips, acutely aware of the hand she settled against his hip as if to claim possession of him, as much as he claimed possession of her. "Are there others?" he asked, teasing, a hint of hidden humor making itself known. He'd never had much reason to laugh in his life or even be happy, altogether too serious most of the time, but that seemed to be slowly changing the longer they were together. "You're amazing," he told her, his fingers fondly stroking the soft, chestnut fall of hair that framed her face.
His tease brought a deeper smile to her lips as she nestled close, savoring the delicate way he touched her, as though she were somehow breakable under his hands. "Well, there's Dream Steve," she teased him right back again. "I think I need a few more goes before I can say how he compares to the real thing, though." She laughed quietly at his fondly amazed comment on her, blushing just a little as she realised how much he meant it. "I'm really not," was her response. "I can tell you one thing I am, though."
He studied the dark eyes that looked back at him, as if to memorize them, the way her mouth curved when she smiled, just a little bit crooked, the sound of her laughter that was music to his ears. He wondered what Fury would think to hear them laughing and thought it was the perfect vengence. If he thought he could break them, he was terribly wrong, but maybe that wasn't what he wanted at all. Maybe all he really wanted was their loyalty, but if that was the case, what better way to gain it than to share the truth? He pushed thoughts of Fury aside at her response, his fingers drifting across her cheek, lazily tracing her jaw, her lips. "What's that?"
She gazed into his eyes, watching him study each feature she owned, feeling the gentle brush of his fingertips as they passed over her face, leaving a tingling in their wake that she'd only ever felt for him. Her hand caught his, her eyes never leaving the lovign warmth of his as she drew each fingertip back to her lips to kiss softly before answering him with the only thing that was absolutely true and unable to be gainsaid by anyone. "Yours."
He had no words for that except to kiss her again, gentler this time, but with an underlying heat that would take very little to reignite, leaving it up to her this time to take the lead and decide when or even if she wanted more. His heart swelled as she proclaimed herself his and drew her into his arms as he rolled to his back, longing to hold her close and keep her close. Something occurred to him as they lay quietly together, and he realized what this was all about, why she seemed so terrified to lose him. Presumably abandoned by a father and mother who didn't want her, was that why she had never given her heart before? Was she so afraid he'd abandon her, like Howard Stark and Elizabeth Carter seemed to have done? Unlike her, he hadn't been an orphan. He'd had a loving family for the majority of his childhood, and though he had no siblings, he knew he had been loved.
"I'm never gonna leave you, you know," he told her quietly as he held her close, arms wrapped around her, his voice vibrating in his chest. "You don't have to worry about that, Lucy." He wouldn't have asked her to marry him, if he wasn't sure, after all.
She was easy to guide into his arms, nestling almost closer than it seemed possible to get, wrapped around him as tenderly as he was around her, holding on just a fraction too tightly. Until he spoke, and she realised he'd guessed the root of all her fears, the basis for every bad decision she had ever made, every mistake and foolish action that had simply reinforced her desire never to be hurt again. Her grip loosened just a little, just enough to assure him of the trust she'd placed in him long before he'd ever thought to make the promise never to leave. Her lips brushed his chest in another of those soft, tender kisses, fingertips stroking against his skin lovingly. A moment later, she had the words on her lips, forcing them free, needing him to hear her say it.
"Everyone leaves," she said, so quiet an ordinary man might have missed it. "Everyone who's ever said they loved me has left me." Even Liv, though she hadn't gone far, had left Lucy when she had taken the chance and moved to Rhy'Din. "I don't trust easily, Steve," she confessed, ashamed of herself for this failing. "But I do trust you. You didn't even have to ask, and I gave you everything. But it scares me, too."
He quieted as she poured her heart out to him, explaining what he mostly already knew, but what he thought she needed to tell him, if not for him, than for herself. He rubbed her shoulder gently as she gave him her confession, realizing for the first time how hard it must have been for her to put her trust in him and how deep an honor it was for her to have chosen him. "Why me, Luce?" he asked, needing to know the answer to that, needing to know what made him so different, so special. He was just an ordinary kid from Brooklyn trying to do the right thing, or so he thought.
"I don't know," she confessed, still quiet, still shaken by her former confession, but comforted by the gentle rub of his fingers against her shoulder even as he queried her reasons for breaking a lifetime's habit of holding everyone at arms' length. "I just ... I trusted you right from the start, when you came 'round and I looked into your eyes, and I knew, right there and then, that you were a man unlike any other. I knew you wouldn't hurt me; that you'd even go out of your way to make sure nothing hurt me, even without knowing a blessed thing about who I was or what I'd been. And later, when we were together and I told you everything ... you didn't judge me for any of it, any of my stupid mistakes and pointless decisions and selfish behaviour. You just accepted me, as I was. You're a very rare man, and I don't deserve you, but I will try. I promise, I will try every day to be what you need and want."
Her explanation of what she saw in him touched him deeply, and he realized that no matter what or who he was to anyone else, to her, he was exactly what she wanted and needed, and that realization gave him the greatest satisfaction. In the end, it didn't matter what anyone else thought, but her. She was the only voice, the only opinion that really mattered. He shifted his head so that he could look at her, see her better, so that she could see him and know that what he was about to say was spoken as truth from his heart, needing her to understand how very much she meant to him. "You are all I want or need, Lucy. You are everything to me. Everything, do you understand?" He wasn't one for tears, but he felt them prickling at his eyes as he tried to convey to her how very much he loved her, how deeply she'd touched his heart, how much a part of him she'd become. "We belong together, Lucy. I can't explain it any better than that."
The dew in his eyes was matched by the suspicious sheen in her own, neither of them given to such displays but both touched deeply by one another in the moments that had passed over them in the quiet of this private room. "I understand," she whispered, fighting against that nasty inner voice that wanted to pooh pooh everything she was hearing and everything she was saying. "I do understand. It just might take a little while not to be so afraid all the time. But that isn't you, Steve, it's me. I have to stop hiding behind this idea that I'm not worth loving. If you can find something in me that's worth loving, then that fear is a lie, isn't it?"
There was no way he could prove what he was saying was true, no way he could prove that he meant what he said. She would just have to take him at his word, and perhaps in time, she'd come to trust him and believe him. "Believe me, you are worth loving, Lucy," he assured her quietly, with a soft sweep of fingers against her cheek, trying to ignore the ache in his heart that was mostly in sympathy for her own pain. "I don't know why you don't think you're worth loving, but you're wrong. You're an amazing woman. You're smart, strong, beautiful. You try so hard to protect your sister, even when you're hurting. And..." He paused a moment as tears filled his eyes. "You saved me, Lucy. You gave me something to live for again."
Don't count your chickens just yet, she heard herself thinking in the back of her mind. You might have two somethings to live for if your sperm is as strong as the rest of you. The thought should have scared her, but it didn't, drawing out her softer smile as she reached up to stroke her fingers down his cheek affectionately. "I love you." It seemed like such a simple phrase, but it carried with it so much more than the sum of its parts. And yet it still didn't seem like enough. She rose to lean over him, dark eyes burning into blue with fervent adoration, letting her nose stroke and nuzzle to his for a long moment before she took his lips with her own to express everything that couldn't be said with those little words themselves.
His thoughts weren't following hers. It was enough for now for him to have her. It was more than he could have ever hoped for. The thought of a child was the furthest thing from his mind, at least for now. A staunch Catholic, he wanted to do things the right way, and even sleeping with a woman he wasn't married to went against his upbringing, but he'd been alone too long, and he just couldn't help himself. Her declaration of love touched him to the core of his being and tears spilled over onto his cheeks, which he was quick to wipe away, hoping she wouldn't find him weak. He'd told Peggy a long time ago that he'd been searching for the right partner, and it seemed to him that he'd finally found her. Was it any surprise really that he'd ended up with a descendent of Peggy's after all these years? "I love you, Lucy," he replied, the words catching in his throat, words he'd never told another woman, not even Peggy Carter.
His tears were more precious than he might have imagined. There was nothing more wonderful than knowing she was so much in his heart that he wasn't afraid to let that emotion spill out, even if his second thought was to hide it. Her hand stopped his as he wiped at his cheeks, gently drying his skin herself as she touched kiss after soft kiss to his cheeks, his temple, his jaw, his lips, peppering his face with tenderly unspoken declarations of the same love that didn't seem enough in the face of his own great heart.
As she kissed his tears dry, he felt his heart swell with emotion, with the kind of love and devotion he'd always longed for. No matter what happened from this moment forward, he knew they'd always have each other and that they'd face it together. He wondered if Lucy possibly understood what a gift she had given him, without even trying. His fingers slipped through her hair to draw her down for a proper kiss, his heart igniting with fiery passion as their lips met, hoping he could be everything she wanted, everything she needed him to be.
If only she'd known where his worries were taking him, she could have reassured him that though she was more wary than most of taking a chance, there was no chance to take with him. He was everything to her, the perfect match she never would have believed existed if he hadn't fallen almost literally into her lap and stolen her heart in a single night. As it was, all she could do was answer his kiss with her own, the bright flare of desire lancing from him to her and back again as she moaned softly into his mouth, lowering down to settle against him with fingertips shifting through his hair as she plundered his kiss with greedy passion of her own.
Slowly gaining in confidence the longer they were together, he met her kiss with equal passion, tucking her hair behind an ear, his fingers sweeping down along the length of her body, tracing the soft graceful curves that dipped and swelled, daring to touch her in places that would have brought a boyish blush to his cheeks only a few days or even hours ago. He swallowed her moan, his mouth moving against hers, soft lips desiring, even demanding, more than chaste kisses, his body stirring once again with the heat of passion, so easily rekindled at her prodding.
It was her turn now, to love him, to show him a little more of the wonders of this kind of loving in her own way. Even as her body thrilled to his touch, she gathered together her restraint and skill, martialling everything she knew to drive him just that little bit more crazy in the best possible way. Her lips descended from his, tracing a tantalising line down along his throat, over the strong line of his collarbone, and further, kisses following the tender sureness of her hands as she alternately lulled and cajoled him, teasing his senses with everything she possessed. It was worship of a kind, his body a new altar to lay her devotion upon in the secure knowledge that she was his and he had no intention of spurning that devotion. Down she went, slow and easy, hands and lips never stilling as she swallowed him whole, tender and patient, learning as much about him in these long, drawn-out moments as he had learned about her in a single night that seemed so long ago.
Every good Catholic boy knew this was the kind of physical seduction that was forbidden, though he wasn't sure why. Maybe because babies weren't made this way, but right at the moment, he didn't care. Babies were the furthest thing from his mind. He had tried to play her, or at least, to learn what made her sing, but this was beyond his wildest dreams. Oh, sure, he'd fantasized about it - every man did - but he never thought it would actually happen to him, and in that moment, he thought he'd died and gone to heaven. If this kind of love was wrong, he never wanted to be right again. His fingers found her hair, tangled in the long strands as she played his body like a master, the most delicious tension coiled in his middle, hot as fire and taut as a wire. He closed his eyes, muscles tense as she teased and taunted him, calling her name and pleading with her for sweet release before pleasure turned to torment.
"God, Lucy, please..." he whispered between labored breaths.
And finally, when she knew he was just teetering on the edge and he couldn't take anymore, she gave him the release he had pleaded for, guiding him into something wilder than before simply by dint of having tormented him to breaking point. In time, he'd learn how to do the same to her, but for now, this was her domain and she knew she was good at it. She held him there as long as she could, and even when it was over, as he gradually descended from whichever level of the heavens he'd decided he was visiting for the time being, she teased a little more, drawing her lips and hands back up over him until she lay at his side, her head propped on her hand, admiring her handiwork with a very satisfied smile.
By the time she was through with him, by the time he soared to the heavens and floated back down, he felt more relaxed, more content, more loved than he ever had in his entire life. If he thought her amazing before, he was totally in thrall to her now. He had been brought to worship at the altar of Lucy Broderick, and was ready and willing to bow down before her and proclaim her his goddess of love. "God, Lucy..." Eyes the color of cloudless skies slid open to regard her with renewed wonder. "What are you doing to me?" he asked, in a voice that revealed wonder and awe and amazement at this woman who claimed to love him.
Her smile was his smile once again, rising on her face like a sunrise after a stormy night, warmed from within by the unmistakeable expression in her eyes. "Loving you," she told him very simply, gently brushing his hair back from his brow as she looked down at him fondly. "In every way I know, and a few I'm still learning." She leaned close, touching a kiss to his forehead softly before laying her own there to look into his eyes. "Do you think I need more practise?" There was the tease, in the ripple laugh of her voice and the sweet twinkle in her eyes. Laughter came easily in moments like this, when nothing else mattered but the man in her arms. Her man.
He watched nearly helplessly as she climbed back up his body to settle herself at his side, her forehead touching his, blue eyes gazing into those of brown. "God, no," he replied with a small chuckle. "Not unless you want me to have a heart attack." Not yet, anyway, he thought. He might have a stronger constitution than most men, but even he needed a moment to recover after that. "I don't even want to know where you learned to do that," he told her, not really caring how many men she'd been with before him. She belonged to him now, and he wasn't sharing. He reached for her hand, tangling his fingers with hers, basking in the warmth of the afterglow for the second time in the short space of a few hours.
"Good," she smiled again, feeling as though they'd both passed some kind of test in the delicate moments when a man realises that his girl must have learned it somewhere. "Because I'm never going to tell you." She touched a last kiss to the high curve of his cheekbone, and lowered herself into the warm gap between his arm and his body, nestling into a place that could have been made for her. Her eyes lowered to watch his fingers tangle with hers, surprised to notice for the first time how much smaller her hand was than his. "You were right, you know," she said softly. "I do want Liv there when we get married. She's the only person in the world who can give me away." She laughed a little as this sparked off a memory. "We promised each other when we were little that's what we'd do. I'd give her away, and she'd do the same for me."
He turned quiet again as he let her say whatever she needed to say, ever patient, ever thoughtful, ever caring, at least where she was concerned. Nick Fury was another matter, but he didn't want to think about him now. "It seems you're gonna get your wish. Both of you." He smiled faintly, a tiny twinge of envy that at least she had some family left; all he had was her, but he wasn't complaining. "Wonder what Tony is gonna say when he finds out I'm his brother in law." For some reason, that both scared and amused him all at the same time. "I should go see Peggy," he said quietly, that frown appearing on his face again. "It's the least I can do. She should find out from me, not someone else."
The mention of Tony - my brother - brought a very faint frown to Lucy's face, but she didn't say anything on that count. It remained to be seen if she would ever acknowledge that family connection, if it was genuine. But as Steve's worried thoughts returned to Peggy - my great-aunt - her frown cleared. There, at least, she knew what to do. "You should go and see her," she agreed softly. "As much for your own peace of mind as for hers. It'll be good for both of you."
"I haven't been to England since..." Since before you were born, he thought. His frown deepened, somehow knowing London would be as unfamiliar to him as New York City. "I was there during the bombing. The English are the bravest people I've ever known." He wondered if she'd realize the irony in that statement, and another thought struck him. If Lucy really was Peggy's great niece, she deserved to know about Lucy, as much as she deserved to know about him. "Would you come with me?" he asked, expression hopeful, that boyishly lost look in his eyes for another brief moment.
Lucy couldn't help smiling a little at the enormous compliment he'd just handed her countrymen and women, knowing that the people of that generation - his generation - wouldn't consider themselves brave at all. The Blitz had been appalling, levelling huge areas of the main cities, yet everyone had just got on with things, because that's what you did. His request surprised her, though she knew it shouldn't have. This Peggy Carter could well be the only real family she and Liv had. "If you think it's appropriate," was her soft reply. "I don't want to upset her."
"You're not the one who's going to upset her, believe me," he replied, trying to reassure her in a roundabout way, knowing it was more than likely his presence that would upset Peggy, though maybe she'd be happy he was still alive. "Besides, don't you think she has as much a right to know about you as you do about your mother? If anyone will know what happened to Elizabeth, it's Peggy." And the fact was that he didn't really want to go alone. He'd been considering a trip to England ever since finding out Peggy was still alive, the only person he'd known who was still alive, apparently. He'd thought about calling her on the phone, but what did you say to someone after seventy years? No, this was too important to be done over the phone; it had to be done in person. "I don't know how happy she's going to be to see me again. Seventy years is a long time." Though it only seemed like a few months to him.
"Seventy years during which she thought you were dead, lost at sea," Lucy reminded him softly, playing her fingers in and out of his as they lay together in the heavy warmth they had created. "It'll be bittersweet, Steve. For both of you. Just don't forget that sweet is a part of that word, and a very important part." She turned her head to brush her lips tenderly against his shoulder, lifting her eyes to meet his. "Just promise me we won't overload her with too much at once. I've cared for the elderly; some shocks are just too much, and ..." She trailed off, not wanting to finish. And I've seen shock do more damage than a heart attack.
Steve frowned, a hint of worry in his eyes. "She's going to find out about me sooner or later, if she doesn't know already. It was all over the news a few months ago." He paused, realizing she probably knew nothing of the attack on the city by Loki and his minions. Either he or Fury would have to bring her up to speed. While the common citizen might not recognize the face of Steve Rogers as Captain America, he knew there were some who would, and Peggy Carter was one of them. She wouldn't be fooled by an imposter either. What was he supposed to say to her? Hi, Peggy, it's me. I'm back. Would you like to meet my wife? She's your niece. Yeah, that might be a bit much all at once.
"One thing about the media these days," Lucy said thoughtfully, "is that domestic news really doesn't travel. There might have been a few news items in England about some emergency situation in Manhattan, but no real detail unless it spilled over into Europe. I doubt she knows more than that there was a military incursion that was dealt with." She nestled closer. "You're right. She deserves to hear it from you. And you both deserve the chance to say goodbye."
"A military incursion from another planet might make the world news," he countered. But depending on Peggy's situation, Lucy was right. She had to be in her nineties by now. Would she even remember him or care what had happened to him? Would S.H.I.E.L.D. have gotten to her already and told her about him? There were too many unanswered questions for both of them, and Fury had all the answers. He knew he was going to have to approach the man again, but alone this time. Maybe he'd be able to reason with him without Lucy there to get upset. His fingers idly brushed her bare shoulder as he held her against his chest, a little lost in thought. She had told him her whole life story, but there was still a lot she didn't know about him. "She was gonna teach me to dance."
"You really think S.H.I.E.L.D. would have released that detail to the media?" She had a point; there were policies in place for the protection of the public interest in the event of extra-terrestrial activity being discovered. Lucy lay quiet as he thought, selfishly enjoying the play of his fingers against her shoulder, the beat of his heart so close to her ear. If she concentrated, she could forget the people out there in the city who needed medical intervention, who needed her skills. This seemed more important, from a purely selfish point of view. "Maybe she could still teach you," she offered quietly. "You don't know how she's aged, Steve. There are people in the world over a hundred years old who still nip down to the shops for a half pint of milk every day."
"Probably not, but how else would they explain what had happened? The people of New York know what happened, Lucy," he contended, though he'd seen the news reports and knew that not everyone believed what they were being told. Some didn't even believe the Avengers really existed, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view. She brought his thoughts back to Peggy as she continued. "I don't think it would be a good idea for me to step on an old woman's toes," he said, with a hint of irony in his voice. Bittersweet. That was one word to describe it. Tragic was another. What might have been. But the past was the past, and nothing could be done to change it. He was with Lucy now, and he realized something else, something important. "I have no regrets, Lucy. If I were to do it all over again, I'd do exactly the same thing."
She felt the realisation spread through him, and with it came her own relief, that despite his interest when she had mentioned the possibility of travelling through time via the portals, he wasn't tempted to go back and change things so that they had never met. She hugged him a little tighter, silently thanking him for coming to that conclusion. "It's a horrible way to live, surrounded by regrets," she murmured, and a shock of realisation flooded through her. Peggy had had seventy years to regret her time with Steve. Would she resent Lucy for being who she was, where she was in time? For loving the man that she, Peggy, could have had?
If Steve could read Lucy's thoughts, he might have assuaged that worry, knowing Peggy the way he had, but he had no idea where her thoughts were going. He wondered if he should return the favor and tell her his own life story, as she had him. It wasn't all that long, after all. "How much did that comic book tell you about me?" he asked, suddenly curious to know just how much she knew and how much of it the comics had gotten right.
She glanced up at him suddenly, surprised by the question, and felt a soft laugh make itself known. "Just a sec." Untangling herself from his arms, she sat up and slid to the edge of the bed, utterly unashamed of her nudity as she rose and moved over to the bag that contained everything she owned this side of the portal. Crouching in front of it, she rummaged for a long moment, coming up with Johnny's precious comic book, and returned to the bed, lowering herself to sit beside Steve. "This is it," she told him, offering it over. "And I know it sounds silly, but I'd like you to sign it before I give it back to Johnny. You're his hero."
He arched a brow as she untangled herself from him, wondering what she was up to. Now that she had left his side, he felt utterly naked, and he reached for the sheet to pull it up to his waist, indicating his continued shyness, as he watched her rummage in her bag, temporarily distracted by the view. "Didn't you say he's got some kind of abilities?" he asked as he took the comic book from her, scrutinizing the pages as he flipped through them and the drawings of what was supposed to be himself. "I'm not that blond," he pointed out, his first criticism.
"Well, yes, he's known in New York as the Human Torch," Lucy explained, sliding her legs beneath the sheet once again and settling in beside him. "Runs hotter than normal people and can fly if he combusts his body into plasma flames. Don't ask me to explain it, I have no idea how it all works." She shifted, looping an arm around Steve's neck as she rested her chin on his shoulder, looking down at the comic with him. "He got caught up in some kind of radiation storm in space. Him, his sister, and two friends. They're known as the Fantastic Four." She snorted a little at his first criticism of the story created on paper in his hands. "Inks weren't as subtle then as they are now," was all she could offer by way of explanation for that.
"Yeah, I know," he agreed. He should know. He'd been studying to become an artist when he'd been recruited for the war, but he wasn't sure if that little detail had been included in the comic book. "Plasma flames?" Steve echoed, lowering the comic a moment to glance at Lucy, furrowing his brows in confusion, wondering why he'd never heard of them or why Fury hadn't mentioned them before, but then, he'd only been back a few months. He still had a lot of catching up to do. "Why would a superhero want another superhero's autograph?" he asked, not really considering himself that, but it seemed that's what he'd become to a lot of people.
She caught his eye and shrugged again. "I don't know. Radiation mutation is not my field of expertise." As the talk shifted back to Johnny's wants, rather than his uniqueness, she smiled faintly. "I think he was joking when he asked me, but it would mean the world to him. You're the first superhero, Steve, you're the template most heroes try to emulate. Johnny would love to be even a little like you, I'm sure of it. And I'm pretty sure you're the reason he decided to make a big thing of being a hero in the first place."
There was that look on Steve's face again, always amazed to hear such things about himself. He didn't really consider himself to be a superhero or even a hero. He was just a guy trying to do the right thing. "He shouldn't try to be like me, Luce. He should just be himself, but if it would mean that much to him, I'll sign it." He flipped through the comic book to a particular page, to the point where he was about to become what he was. There was a scrawnily-drawn young man on the page who was supposed to represent him. A few pages later, and he'd been transformed into Captain America. "Tony once told me that I'm lab experiment. That everything I am came out of a bottle. He wasn't wrong, but there was a lot more to it than that."
"Bollocks you are!" How was that for an instinctive response? Lucy was liking Tony less and less the more she heard about him, and that comment could well have been the first nail in the coffin of a harmonious sibling relationship. "He's got no position to talk from, his entire fortune and easy living was built on the arms trade!" She took a moment, making the effort to calm herself down before addressing the actual issue here. "Steve, a serum that enhanced your physical body did not make you a good man. It did not give you your sense of duty and justice and responsibility. It didn't teach you how to be a friend, or love your parents, or the difference between right and wrong. It just gave you the tools to be able to do something about the injustices and dangers all around you. That is all." Her expression darkened for a moment. "And if Tony Stark says anything like that ever again, I am going to feed him my fist."
He was a little surprised at her reaction, not so much with the fact that she thought Tony was wrong, but with the vehemence of her reaction. He smiled, a little amused, seeing a lot of Peggy in her, even if she'd never known her mother or her mother's family. "That sounds like something Peggy would say," he remarked, eyeing her with amusement. "Anyway, I don't think he thinks that anymore, but I used to wonder about it myself. Why me, you know? What makes me so special? Dr. Erskine, the man who created the serum..." Steve glanced at the comic book, but the drawing of the man looked nothing like the real thing. "He told me the serum magnified what was already part of you, so bad became evil and good became great."
"He sounds like a man with his head screwed on right," Lucy commented mildly, subsiding from her momentary flare of temper with the half-brother she hadn't met yet and wasn't entirely sure she ever wanted to meet. The comparison that drew her up against Peggy was noted, but she made an effort not to react to that, at least not visibly. But there was that nasty little voice again ... Always going to be second-best, compared to the perfect woman who just happens to be family. Never be what she was, will you? She set her jaw as the thought cut deep, drawing in a breath to ease the tension from herself again. She really had to stop listening to that horrible knot of hateful worthlessness deep inside.
Steve closed the comic book. From what he'd seen, it wasn't entirely accurate, but apparently it was close enough to the truth for mass publication. He sighed a little as he set it aside, turning his thoughts away from the past, back to the present and the woman at his side, who he'd almost forgotten was as naked as he was beneath the sheets. He studied her a moment, once again wondering if he'd said something wrong. If he'd known how she was feeling like second best, he'd have reassured her that she didn't need to worry about that. He wasn't really comparing them, but every now and then she did or said something that reminded her of Peggy. It seemed only natural now that he knew they were related. "You hungry?" he asked, having eaten a little while ago, but also having burned it off fairly quickly.
Her gaze flickered to him, her split second of uncertainty burning away under a familiar flicker of heat as her lips curved in a decidedly wicked smile. "That depends what you mean by hungry, you know," she told him, her voice rich with unexpressed laughter. She'd eaten when he had, but it made sense that he would burn off that energy faster than she would and be in need of feeding more often. "Why, do you need fuelling up again?"
"I could eat again," he admitted, though which kind of hunger he was referring to was unclear, possibly both. One fed the other, after all. At some point, he was going to have to eat and sleep, but right now, sleep was the furthest thing from his mind. "Just curious. I'm feeling a little cooped up in here. What about you?" He tried to keep his gaze focused above her neckline, or the choice would be made for them.
She smiled, understanding the sense of being cooped up. It was only going to get worse for them, too, unless Fury gave them a definitive timescale for this seemingly interminable wait. She twisted to face him, untangling her arm from about his neck as she moved to sit up again, the sheet dropping to her waist unheeded. "I'm sure I'm going to go more than a little stir crazy if we stick to just this room for however long we're here," she answered honestly, arching to stretch out her back as her hand rubbed through her hair, for once completely innocent of how distracting she was being. "Do you think there would be any objection if you took me on a tour of this place?" Because despite the fact that she was pretty sure they could fill the time with each other, she thought he deserved a chance to get away from the immediacy of physical sensation. It seemed to be overwhelming him, and probably would for a good long time to come. She was just going to have to learn a little restraint, that was all. She looked back at him over her shoulder. "Do I have to wear that uniform all the time here?"
"I..." His voice faded, his thoughts turning in his head. As soon as she let the sheet drop and stretched, everything that came out of her mouth went straight out of his head. She was distracting, to say the least. He wondered if Fury had put them here alone on purpose, knowing Steve had to get it out of his system if he was going to be able to focus on his duties without getting distracted every time Lucy was around. "Uniform?" Steve echoed, his gaze sliding down past her neck. The man didn't tire easily, and he felt the now familiar feeling of renewed arousal stirring his body.
Lucy watched as his gaze lowered, following the contour of her back, and knew she'd lost his higher brain functions again. Not that she really could complain about that; she wasn't averse to playing a little more with him. A lot more. As much as he'd like, in fact. She turned back to him, crawling close enough that her hair tumbled down to frame not only her face but his, too. "Mmhmm," she murmured, deliberately letting her voice find that husky, provocative level that teased no matter what she said. "Or would you like to see my F*ck Me boots?"
He was frozen in place, as was his gaze, watching in thrall as she crawled closer, his body doing all sorts of strange things that made him feel increasingly uncomfortable. "I'm not sure you need your boots on to do that, ma'am," he replied. He was a smart guy, but he wasn't quite getting the concept of how wearing a pair of boots equated to asking to be... well, he wasn't even going to think that word. He did blush a pretty shade of pink though, looking a whole lot younger than his years.
She laughed then, charmed all over again by how innocent he still was. Her hand rose to draw her knuckles softly down over his blushing cheek as the tip of her nose touched his. "What do you want, baby?" she heard herself whisper to him, stroking the pad of her thumb over his lips. "Right now, right this minute. What do you want me to do?"
His thump was thumping in his chest so hard he thought she had to hear it, and he had to swallow the lump in his throat before he could reply. "I, um..." He faltered. What did she think he wanted? Wasn't it obvious? He thought it was. His body was making no secrets about what he wanted, that was for sure, but maybe she hadn't noticed. This other kind of hunger seemed far more immediate than than the kind his stomach craved. "I want you," he replied, his lips moving despite her touch, which was doing nothing to console him.
She shifted onto her knees close beside him, the flush that crept over her body under his gaze, his want, a dusky comparison to the heat in his skin, betraying the surging rise of rousing desire in her that matched his own. "How do you want me?" she asked him, letting her fingers trail down from his lips to trace the well-loved sculpture of his arm and chest, holding herself back from the kiss that was inevitable, the kiss that really would signal the point of no return. "What do you want to do to me?" Because there was no point being shy of the words, if the actions came so easily.
What she'd done to him just a short while ago had been like heaven, but that wasn't not what he wanted now. He wanted them to be together, to be joined, to be complete, but how did one put that into words without sounding crude? Maybe you just said it. "I want you to..." He swallowed nervously again. "I want to be inside you," he told her, feeling his face flush hotly and hating himself for it. He wished he had more experience with women, more skill. It wasn't something someone learned all on their own.
Her smile wasn't mocking, didn't laugh at him for his shy inexperience. It was proud that he'd managed to make the words come at all, and the courage to state what he wanted was rewarded with the kiss she'd been so reticent to give, her lips distracting him from thought and consideration of what he considered his failings. She was soft and tender, warm to the touch, passion bleeding slowly from her to him as carefully and slowly, she moved to straddle his wide, strong thighs, inching closer until they could feel one another, close but not quite close enough. And even that was enough to draw a wondering shudder from her, painting his lips with a moan that held his name and only his name.
There was that exquisite ache again, coiling deep inside, swelling like a tide, ready to burst a dam wide open. He returned her kiss with equal passion, not only wanting her but needing her, like a drug he couldn't get enough of. She was so close he could feel the heat of passion radiating off her, the aching throb of desire deep in his loins. He was trying so hard to be patient, to restrain himself, keep himself in check until she was ready for him. His fingers swept through her hair as his lips met hers, hungry for her kisses, impatient to taste her lips again and again.
She had already teased him in one way; this was teasing of a different sort, a shared torment that promised a more than adequate reward as she drew him up to her, finding a new position to show him, challenging the conservatism of his innocence as she sat upright, holding him close. Her lips were greedy, taking as much as he could give her, giving back the same, each exchange of breath and touch spiking that indefinable something deep inside to greater heights, fanning the flames inexorably. Her hands slipped down between them, and there was a moment of agonising ecstasy as she guided him into her, settling close and quite suddenly ... not moving. The stillness of her body was challenged by the heady deepening of her kisses as she moaned, savoring that first intrusion with as much eagerness as she did the anticipation of what was to come.
Though inexperienced, he was a quick learner, and he followed her lead, not as awkward as before, moving to meet her change in position, almost as if it were a game of chess, matching every subtle movement with one of his own. His breath caught in his throat as she guided him to her, groaning when he found himself suddenly sheathed inside her exquisite warmth. For a moment, neither moved, savoring the moment as if they could make it last forever, joined together in the most sacred way, a union that for him transcended the physical, becoming an almost spiritual joining. Time seemed to stand still in that moment, even as he returned her kisses, their hearts beating as one, their bodies joined. Only for a moment, and then his hands moved over her, touching her, memorizing her, each soft hill and valley of her flesh, pulling her closer, deeper, until he could hardly wait any longer.
As he followed her lead, so she followed his, her hands only moving when his did, smoothing down over his back, up into his hair, along the line of his arms, touching everywhere she could reach as still they traded kisses, as still they remained locked together as intimately as it was possible to be. One hand left him to flip her hair back off her face, her eyes opening as her lips left his, wanting to see the wash of loving desire and rousing abandon as it rose over him. As gently, slowly, with gradual tenderness, she began to rock against him, sensitive to the slightest motion, flushing anew as her own groans joined his, as her arms wrapped about his neck, holding him close to her. "So good, baby," she whispered to him, breathless before the rise for the first time she recalled. "You always feel ... God ... incredible ..."
He moaned against her lips as she touched him, each touch, however brief, building the fire of passion inside them both, each kiss an intimate and wordless exchange of the love they were both feelings for each other. He closed his eyes for a moment to savor each sensation, in wondrous awe of the power and depth of feeling such a union elicited, understanding once again why it was this one sacred act between a man and a woman was something so special, so honored, so desired. Everything he was feeling was there to see on his face, and when he opened his eyes to her again, he made no effort to hide the love he was feeling, coupled with desire. He held her as close as he could as she rocked her body against his, restraining himself through an act of sheer will long enough that she could use him however she wanted, however she needed. He kissed her again, softly, gently in response to her breathless words of pleasure, unable to find the right words to respond, letting her speak for them both.
She could see in his eyes, beneath the love that took her breath away, the strain in him to hold himself still, to simply be as she moved against him, and something in her rebelled. She didn't want to use him; she wanted to be with him. Her grasp on him softened, fingertips tracing almost tentative patterns over his shoulders, up to his jaw as she answered his gentle kisses with her own. "Don't hold back," was breathed against his lips in a prayer to match the adoration in her dark eyes as she gazed on him, astounded by how expressive his silence could be. "With me, love, please ..."
He looked back at her with uncertain eyes, unsure what she wanted from him. If he let himself go the way she seemed to want, he was afraid he'd lose control and would hurt her. It went without saying that he was bigger and stronger than her and to say that he didn't tire nearly as quickly as an ordinary man was putting it mildly. "Just do what you want, Lucy," he replied, his lips parting from hers momentarily to whisper back, his voice thick with desire. "I'm here, I'm with you, I'm ready," he told her, his arms looping around her hips, fingers tentatively sliding downward to pull her up against him, as close as physically possible. Buried deeply inside her, he was barely holding on, barely holding back, on the crest of sweet surrender.
But it was that assertiveness she wanted, not for him to let go entirely, just that he should take an active part. The pressure of his arms about her, drawing her closer, put just the right amount of pressure, just the right touch of friction between them, and she cried out in delight, unable to keep the slow seduction of her own rhythm any longer. The tempo suddenly changed, harder, faster, the grasp of her fingers against his skin tighter as she found herself riding her gentle giant of a lover exactly as he'd asked her to, close, so close ... and there. The clench and shudder of her body was a heady mix of power and vulnerability, his name ever on her lips between gasping moans that declared that moment of incomparable bliss to the uncaring walls that held them in.
For the third time in so many hours, he found himself in ecstasy and wondering if he was just dreaming because this couldn't possibly be real, could it? It was too unbelievable, too awesome, too amazing. She was too beautiful and he could hardly believe that she was his. He whispered her name again and again as his release coincided with hers, shuddering as it broke free, exploding with such force that he cried out her name, not even thinking that anyone might hear them.
The sound of her name leaving his lips with more abandon than she'd heard from him before thrilled her to the bone, urging her to keep moving, keep rocking over him, riding the wave until every last drop had been milked from them both. And even then, she hovered on the edge, her body threatening to begin that rise all over again with hardly a break to recover. Not quite motionless, still gently stoking the fire between them, she lifted her head from his shoulder, curling her hands to his jaw to ghost soft, barely there kisses to his lips as her breath mingled with his, whispering all the love in her heart between each almost touch.
His arms drifted upwards to circle around her waist and hold her close as they rocked against each other until every last shuddering spasm had drained him dry, and even then, she was pushing him further, coaxing him to reignite that flame once again before it went completely out. Other men might be nearing exhaustion by now, but he had no problem keeping up with her, only worried that he might hurt her if she didn't take some time to rest. "Lucy..." he whispered, exchanging kisses, each kiss lingering a little longer than the last. What was she doing to him? He felt like he couldn't stop even if he wanted to. "I can't..." He trailed off, the rest of his words dying on his lips as he kissed her again and again. It wasn't that he couldn't keep going, but that he couldn't stop.
And somehow, she knew that was what he meant, the gentle rock of her body to his drawing somehow firmer, more confident, as she felt his beginning all over again with her. "Do you want me to stop?" she asked against his lips, daring him to deny himself and her what their bodies were starting to demand from them. She'd never done this with anyone, always given minutes, hours, days to recover between single moments. But with Steve, she felt as though she could have continued forever.
"Yes... no..." he contradicted himself, deciding on a whim that he should just do what she'd been telling him to all along and go with his instincts. "I want you," he repeated what he'd told her only a short time ago, adding, "I need you." I love you. He didn't wait for an answer, returning full circle to taking control once again, as he had the first time. He carefully shifted his body to ease her to her back, straddling her hips, wanting to return the favor and please her as she'd pleased him. His lips brushed hers before drifting to graze her neck, his hands sliding not quite so clumsily over the swell of her breasts, plying her flesh with kisses as he very slowly rocked his body against hers to rekindle her own desire.
In so many ways, he surprised her time and again, in the best possible fashion, this time no less than those that had gone before. His moment of contradiction earned him a smile to kiss away, her own murmur of mutual need lost in the tender sigh that came as she felt him shift beneath and within her, laid back against the crumpled sheets in a languid sprawl that arched her body into his as he lay over her. The growing confidence in the way he touched her drew a deeper moan from her throat, her sensitive body responding with fulsome enthusiasm each time he moved or touched. Her hands, so restless over his skin, through his hair, fell to the sheets to clench tightly as she writhed with slow abandon under him, every sound or gesture a new layer of learning to uncover and impart.
He moved inside her, slowly at first, while his hands and lips explored her body, testing, teasing, coaxing, remembering which caresses elicited the sought after response. He longed to explore every inch of her, to learn her inside and out, but he didn't want to do it all at once. He was slowly learning there was so much more to this lovemaking than the simple act of coupling and that a woman's body was made to be cherished, worshipped, loved.
There was something she had done for him and he wanted to do it for her, but not yet, not now, later. The desire in him was too urgent, too frantic to hold off much longer, and tried to take his cues from her own reactions to his every kiss and caress. Ignoring the insecurity, the uncertainty that was nudging at his brain, he surrendered himself to his instincts, to his own needs and desires. The ever so slow rock against her quickened as he sought to extinguish the unbearable heat that was shared between them, quickening in rhythm to the beat of his heart that was thundering inside his chest. This was a kind of physical workout like none he'd ever had before, with its own rewards and challenges, and one he hoped he'd never grow tired of.
She rose to him as he found his pace, each thrust drawing tender sound from her throat as her arms slid about him, pressing her hands to his back, holding on even as she arched and played out beneath him. Her lips found purchase on his cheek, his ear, over his shoulder, never tiring of sharing kisses even in the midst of the fierce firestorm that raged between them in that moment. And again, she cried out just for him as the moment came to its crashing finale, so tense, wrapped up in the deliciously exquisite agony of what was so prosaically named a climax.
It might have been a few minutes, it might have been forever, but when his climax finally crested and broke free, it was with utter and wild abandon and completely in time with hers. He smothered her lips with his to muffle his moans, taking her completely in his arms as they shuddered together with this latest culmination of shared love and passion, filling him once more with wonder and awe. He sighed deeply as he settled himself against her, shifting slightly so he wouldn't crush her with his weight, feeling just a little bit guilty that while the rest of New York was struggling to recover from the latest crisis, he was comfortably and safely wrapped in this woman's embrace.
He had her completely under his spell, wrapped up safe and warm in the arms of the single most incredible man she had ever had the privilege to meet, much less seduce. He had taken another step toward taking responsibility for his own sexuality, too; toward understanding that she was in tune with him, that all it would take would be a word, a touch, a look in the right place, and she would be right there with him whenever he needed her to be. Just as she seemed to be able to do to him.
As the fizzing thrum of battling heartbeats and gasping breath faded, Lucy let her head fall back, startled to find her head and neck hanging off the end of the bed when the motion came to an end. She lay still for a long moment, smoothing her hands up and down Steve's back, lifting her head to gently tease softer, more soothing kisses to his shoulder, his neck, sensing the guilt and knowing what it was for. She felt it, too, but it was a distant second to the immediacy of him.
It took him a moment before he realized that she was half hanging off the bed, that in his frenzy to have her, to quench that uncontrollable urge inside him, he'd not even realized that she'd slid so far. He corrected that quickly, rolling to his back and taking her with him, wrapped in his embrace. Her kisses were softer now, less urgent, more tender, more loving, and he only wanted to hold her close and savor the moment that he knew couldn't last. "We can't stay here forever," he told her quietly, the fingers of one hand smoothing against her back, while his other hand swept her hair back over a shoulder, followed by a gentle caress of her cheek.
Her laughter filled the room as he swept her from her half-sprawl off the bed, finding purchase again lying over him as they traded those calmer, gentler kisses, revelling in the peace of knowing they were together. Her own hands found a place, one tracing fingertips in and out of this hairline, the other resting flat over his heart, unable to hide the gentle shiver that traversed her spine in the wake of his smoothing fingers on her skin. The quiet acknowledgement that forever really wasn't going to last much longer turned her smile ruefully regretful. She wasn't going to argue with that. "I know," she sighed softly, and if truth were told, the long day was taking its toll. He may not tire easily, but she was still recovering from a forty hour shift with minimal breaks. "As much as I'd like to tie you to the bed and do naughty things to you for the next fifty years or so."
He smiled, flushing a little at her confession, but not as deeply as before, growing slowly more accustomed to these little blunt outbursts from her, as surprised as he was at each one. "You realize there wouldn't be much point," he reminded her. The chances of her being able to restrain him without his full cooperation was unlikely, at best. It hadn't been put to the test yet, but he knew enough about his own capabilities to know that it was an unlikely scenario. "I'm worse than Houdini when it comes to that." Or more accurately, better than Houdini, assuming she knew who Houdini was. The greatest escape artist who'd ever lived, as far as he knew.
"Puncture my bubble of denial, why don't you," she drawled back through a lazy grin, leaning down to him once more. The weariness was beginning to show on her face now, though she was likely to be the last person to mention it. After all, the last time they had been together, she'd made him promise not to let her fall asleep. His fingers passed over one particular curve on her back, and she shivered again, her laugh turning husky for a moment. "You know, if you want to stay undistracted, you're going to have to stop touching me where you know you'll get a reaction, love."
"Who said I wanted to stay undistracted?" he countered, turning to his side so that they were facing each other. He tugged the sheet up to cover them both, recognizing the weariness in her. He might be able to stay up for ten days straight and get by on a few hours sleep, but she couldn't. He didn't fault her for it. There were few who could keep up with him, considering his speeded up metabolism. "Get some rest. You're exhausted," he told her gently, as he brushed his fingers lovingly against her cheek, followed by a soft kiss. He felt a little guilty for wearing her out, and yet, she didn't seem to mind.
She pouted reluctantly, not wanting to fall asleep in case everything had been a dream. Her fingers tangled with his for a moment, squeezing as he kissed her. "I'm scared you won't be here when I wake up," she confessed in a sleepy voice, visibly struggling now to keep her eyes open and on his face as she stifled a jaw-cracking yawn.
He frowned at her, wondering if she was right in her estimation. There was something he needed to do and he needed to do it without her, but with any luck he'd be back before she woke up. Still, he'd never been very good at lying, and he wanted only honesty between them. "I have to talk to Fury about some things, but I'll be back. I promise." He waited until she was done yawning before pressing a tender kiss against her lips, tracing her cheek with a fingertip. "I'm never gonna leave you," he reassured her for what must have been the third time that day. "I love you."
Her hand reached out, drawing a tender caress over his cheek as he reassured her once again, finally relenting enough to let herself relax into the comfort of the bed. "Love you back," somehow made it past her lips as she smiled sleepily for him, the urge to sleep at last dominating her wary uncertainty to let her eyes close. "Be careful."
How should he reply to that, he wondered. He was only going to talk to Fury, after all. There wasn't any danger involved in that, was there? "Don't worry," he replied, brushing a kiss against her forehead before settling back down beside her. "I'll be careful," he continued quietly, watching her as she drifted off to sleep, almost wishing he could join her, but it would be hours yet before any weariness set in. With any luck, by that time, he'd have the answers he should have had the first time around.
[size=9]((Okay, maybe not that idle then. :grin: Stayed tuned for a Fury-ous encounter! Many uberlicious thanks to Steve's player for letting me ravish him repeatedly!))[/size]