"You certainly could," his wife agreed. "You're interested in teaching reading and literature, right? So maybe do a little research about the way analysis of a literary text is taught, and go from there?"
"Well, yeah ..." Steve agreed, though he was thinking along more basic lines, at least to start with. "But what I'm really interested in is teaching someone to actually read, you know? The whole process. Did you know there are full-grown adults who can't read?"
"Oh, I see." Lucy thought about it for a moment. "You could advertise at the library," she suggested. "One on one reading lessons. Actually, probably reading and writing lessons, since it goes together."
"Right," he said, giving that some consideration. "Maybe I'll stop by the library and see if they can help," he said. Make a few inquiries and do a little research. What could it hurt?
"Piper has a few contacts at the library, doesn't she? Maybe she could help, if you need it." Lucy didn't want to take away the impetus of getting something done from Steve, but she wanted him to know there was help around him from people he knew.
"Yeah, she probably does," he admitted, that thoughtful frown on his face again. He wasn't really sure how to go about this, but the library seemed like a good place to start. "You really don't think this is silly?" he asked her again. He'd been fighting for so long, he really wasn't sure what to do without himself when he wasn't.
She raised her hand, curling her fingers to his cheek. "No, I really don't think it is," she promised softly. "I think you've been lost for a long time, and this is the first step in finding yourself again. And that makes me very happy."
What did a soldier do when the war they'd been fighting for so long was finally over? He smiled, encouraged by her reassurance. "You know what makes me happy?" he said, gathering her into his arms and moving to his feet, easily sweeping her up with him.
Lucy let out a quiet squeal, laughing as she was whisked up into his arms, utterly secure in his grasp. "Hot dogs and fireworks," she told him, eyes twinkling with teasing sweetness.
Had he been someone else, he might have teased her further and admitted that was the only thing that made him happy, but Steve was nothing if not honest. "No. Well, I mean, I do like hot dogs and fireworks, but no ... I was gonna say you. You make me happy, Luce."
She blushed, a sweet stain of red covering her cheeks as her smile turned shy for a brief moment. "You always do that to me," she complained affectionately, teasing her fingers through his hair. "I love you, Steve."
"I love you, too, Luce," he said quietly, proving it with a toe-curling kiss, even while he stood there with her in his arms, as if she was as light as a feather. "I could do this all day," he whispered against her lips, smiling softly.
Quite literally toe-curling, as it happened, earning him a delicate shiver from his wife as she tightened her arms about his shoulders. His whisper brought forth a small smile of her own, her answer an enticing murmur that brushed her lips impishly against his. "How about all night?"
"Gotta sleep sometime," he said. At least, she did. He'd gone for days, even weeks without sleeping when he'd had to, though he preferred to get at least a few hours of shuteye every night. He started toward the bedroom, with her in his arms. "I might keep you awake for a few hours though, if you don't mind," he added with an almost playful smirk on his face.
"I can honestly say I don't mind at all," she promised, her face bright with a grin. "Do you promise to ravish me quite thoroughly before I pass out from sheer ecstasy, darling?"
"I think that can be arranged," he said as he started up the stairs to the master bedroom, lowering his voice so as not to wake the kids. There were more than a few advantages to being married to a man whose strength and endurance were off the charts.
Giggling quietly, Lucy curled herself closer in his arms as he bore her upstairs. "I do solemnly swear not to make too much noise," she murmured, drawing her lips along the line of his pulse, teasing with tender affection at his throat.
"That's probably a good idea, unless you want the kids to join us," he remarked with a further smirk as he pushed the door to their room open and carried her inside. The only sign she was having any effect on him was the quickening of his pulse, but it was enough to tell her that he wanted her.
And how she loved to feel his pulse quicken beneath her lips. Steve was still not entirely comfortable with openly showing his desire unless he was assured of absolute privacy, but Lucy had learned all the little signs and hints that added up to it in his manner and means. She'd learned long ago how to capitalize on those hints as well ... one of these days, Steve was going to find himself wound up to breaking point in public.
For a man who had almost limitless endurance, he didn't waste much time. He kissed her again, deeper this time as he carried her toward the bed, sure on his feet, even if he was feeling the effects of her kisses and caresses on his body. He laid her back against the pillows, his lips never leaving hers for a moment.
She didn't let go of him as he laid her down, giving him no option but to lie down with her, wanting to feel his body close against hers. That spark had never wavered, never dimmed, since that first night when she had so confidently deflowered him and inadvertently lost her heart in the same evening. Her hands were still gentle, still confident, still eager to uncover and caress the man she loved.
Neither had any secrets - not anymore - and yet, each time they made love, it was just as tender and beautiful as it had been that first time. Perhaps even more so now that they were comfortable with each other, now that they knew each other so intimately. Steve had always been eager to please, even now that they were married and had kids. He was an attentive lover, who had learned just what it took to please his wife in every way. It showed in everything he did - in the way he kissed her and caressed her, never hurried, always putting her needs and desires over his own.
He had learned, finally, to let her have her own way when she pressed the point, allowing her to put his desires before her own on occasion. Lucy loved to have him at her mercy, to see and feel him give up control just for a few minutes, just long enough to make him come apart under her touch, her kiss. They loved each other in similar ways, but always found that peak within moments of one another when the final climax came.
It might take minutes or hours to get there, but it wasn't so much that final climax that was important as it was the intimacy and the closeness and the pleasure they shared along the way. Each time they made love was a little bit different than the time before. Each time, they learned a little more about each other. Each time was only served to bring them even closer together in love, truly like two halves of one being finding the other again. He never failed to tell her he loved her, whispering the words against her lips, his actions speaking louder than words. For a man who had spent the better part of his life as a soldier, he had the gentlest touch and the sweetest kisses, but he had learned over time when gentleness was needed, and when she required him to be a little more demanding of his desires.
And when they were done, he was there to cradle his usually drowsy wife in his arms as she drifted between waking and sleeping, her fingers tracing tender patterns against his skin as she murmured her own words of love slurred with sleep. Steve Rogers certainly knew how to tuck his wife into bed at night, that was for sure.
"I love you," he whispered, the last words she'd hear before she drifted off to sleep with his arms wrapped around her, his body warm and solid beside her. He had promised to always be there, to always love and protect her, to spend the rest of his days with her, and it was a promise he intended to keep.