Paper Doll

Summary:
February 22, 2015: Steve stops by Sara's in a rush after finding out she's been shot. The evening takes a far different turn than he expected.

Sara's House

<Location Description>


Characters

NPCs
*


Mood Music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaMeSrynug0


Yesterday, Sara dropped off her resume with SHIELD. Today, she dropped off a resignation at the precinct. Which means, for the first time in her adult life, she's not expecting a call from…anyone. For the day, at least.

She has no idea what to do about that.

It probably explains why she's actually trying to clean the place. Trying, because there are several half-done cleaning projects in process. Trash is gathered into a bag, but it's sitting by the door. Accumulated bags and loose ends are piled on the table, but not put away. The vacuum is out, but hasn't been used. Dishes are off the stove, but in the sink. And she's standing in the middle of it, staring at it all.

Steve has been a pretty horsecrap boyfriend. Let's not beat around any bushes here.

It's all been accidental, of course. Such is the life of a SHIELD agent that when important thing happen in your SO's life like, I don't know, getting shot by a HYDRA agent, you might be overseas dealing with other things like the end of the world.

After dealing with the Bobbi Morse situation in a successful way, he had bought some moments of respite before he came upon finding that Sara, a SHIELD consultant, had been shot a few nights earlier.

Cap did not call, did not pass go, did not collect $200. He got a cab (his bike was wrecked by Domino) and went directly to Sara's house.

So when he knocks, he's got no idea that she's cleaning. He also has no idea she's applied to SHIELD.

Perfect. A distraction! Sara jogs to the door almost gratefully, brows rising when she sees who's there. "Hey," she greets, smile flashing as she glances over her shoulder. "Kind of a mess in here, but come on in." In sweatpants and an oversized Mets t-shirt, she doesn't look like she was expecting any company. Or anything, for that matter. And when she turns away from the door, she doesn't look like she's hurt, either.

"Hi," Steve says as he enters the door and shrugs out of his blue, heavy fabric jacket. He looks for somewhere to put it, but decides against putting it on her furniture. "I wanted to touch base with you; I just heard about what happened in New York when you were out on patrol. You look like you're doing well for a lady who was just shot."

Before she can respond, he's speaking again, "I didn't come here to be overbearing or any of that sort of thing. I just wanted to see you, and see that you were okay." Things were a lot different in the 40s and Steve is constantly worried about seeming too old school. "Is there anything I can do to help?"

"Witchblade," Sara smiles ruefully at the observation. "I was going to text you, but I didn't know if you were busy, and I didn't want you to worry," she admits. "Just an overnight stay." Her smile deepens at his protest, and she shakes her head. "I'm pretty sure you don't have overbearing in you, Steve. Actually…" She trails off, pushing a hand through her hair as she turns in another circle, looking at all the half-finished projects. "The whole shooting thing sort of…You know, I should take care of the dishes. I'll wash, you dry?"

"Yeah," Steve says with a nod and a bit of a faint smile. "I'd be happy to." Now he does lie the blue jacket on top of her couch and moves to follow her into the kitchen and takes the proper place at the drying station.

"What is it?" Steve asks after he's given her a few moments to 'get away with it.'

It takes a few minutes to get the hot water running, and fill the sink. Although the fact that there are actual dishes is progress. It means she's actually tried to cook in recent history. Terrifying prospect. "The shooting thing sort of put some things in perspective," she says as the sink fills, squirting in dish soap. "Not-" She looks up quickly, smile flashing. "Not you and me, don't get weird, Rogers."
She leans on the edge of the sink, watching the bubbles. "I've been hiding this for six years. It didn't used to be quite so hard. But as time's gone on, people've been more…there are more supers every day. It gets harder to cover up. And anymore, I spend as much time covering my tracks as following the bad guys. I can't do my best work that way. I got shot, in front of four officers. If it'd just been the chest shot, I could've claimed kevlar. But they hit my knee first. There's no excuse for that."

The sink fills, and she takes a deep breath as she turns off the water. "So yesterday, I dropped off a resume with SHIELD."

A grin grows on Steve's face as she chides him about getting more weird. It's actually kind of nice being the more sentimental one in the relationship and having someone 'keep it real', as Sam would say. He begins to lay out a towel for drying, but stops abruptly as she drops the bombshell.

"SHIELD?" Steve says, looking surprised. "That's wonderful," he says almost immediately afterwards. "I mean, it'll mean that I'll get a chance to see you more. And we could really use someone like you."

After a brief pause, he adds, "What did Manning say?"

"Oh, telling you was way less intimidating than telling Manning," Sara says flatly. "I'm making sure I survive this first and don't screw it up before I navigate that minefield." She takes the sponge off the back of the sink, looking over with a crooked grin. "You're taking it well, though. Maybe he won't actually tell me I'm abandoning the regular people of New York just to make things easier for myself."

Lord only knows what was in that pot to begin with, but it's going to take some scrubbing to get it out. "You're taking this…really well," she says with a sidelong look from the pot. "I sort of had this nightmare that you were going to think I was being clingy or something."

Steve shakes his head one, looking confused, as he rests his hands on the sink and turns to look at Sara. "Clingy? Why would I think that? If anything, we really don't see each other enough. And if I remember right, I was essentially begging you to do this very thing right after we met."

He sighs and looks out her window towards the New York outside, "Look, I know I'm not really great at this. I'm 93 years old, and you're pretty much my first girlfriend and only the second person I've ever really cared about. It's not like I'm just going to assume the worst out of you."

Sara looks up from the pot, rueful. "If it makes you feel any better, I've had a little more practice, and I've been assured by pretty much all of them that I'm really shitty at the girlfriend thing. Which is probably why my version of bad usually means assuming the worst right out of the gate, so at least I'm not surprised when it happens."

She leans over enough to bump a shoulder against his, smile flickering. "You're actually pretty good at this. For the record. So, yeah. Hill says I start training on Monday. Should be…interesting."

Steve grins as she bumps his shoulder and he follows suit by bumping against one of her hips as a retort. "Well, I guess that's kind of why we work. Whatever this is, it's just our own thing. All the other people and their expectations don't really matter."

"I think you're going to be great for SHIELD. And while I understand why Manning might feel differently, I'm not sure how he can argue you wouldn't help common people by defending them against worldwide threats."

"He's not wrong," Sara shakes her head, passing the pot over to the other side of the sink for rinsing and drying. "Most of the things we've dealt with haven't hit SHIELD's radar. Little fish. And NYPD isn't always equipped to handle it. But what I don't think he gets is that they're not really ready to let us handle it, either. They're not ready for people with different abilities. If they find out about us, we're not going to be able to help those people anyhow."

"Well, I can't really speak to that. All I know is that this is a decision you've been struggling with for a long time and one you've been going back and forth on. If you've given it this much thought, I'm certain you're making the right decision." Steve begins to dry said pot, doing a good job like everyone used to do in the olden days if you believe your grandparents. "I trust your ability to make rational decisions."

Sara looks up from a pan, a wry smile curving as she looks at him. "It's like you came preprogrammed with everything I ever wanted to hear," she says, amused, before leaning in to brush a kiss against his cheek. "Thanks. For being…you. Do me a favor, though? Don't go spreading it around. SHIELD's better than NYPD's been, but I'm sure I'll catch enough flak for being NYPD, for training when I'm already a veteran detective, for everything else it's always been. If someone tries to say any of it's because we're dating, there's just going to be a lot of punching involved, you know?"

Steve closes his eyes as her lips brush his cheek. When she pulls away he smiles at her. "Sara, you don't strike me as the type of person who gives two rips about what people think. Why would you all of the sudden begin caring?"

He shrugs his shoulders, "But I won't discuss it. I don't usually discuss my love life at work anyhow. I have no desire to become the sideshow that certain people at the workplace have become because of romance."

"Oh, I don't care what they think," Sara grins. "I do care about loading up my new file with complaints and reprimands before I get a chance to put in some good work." She passes the pan over, moving on to utensils. "It's…a little scary. Starting something new, after everything I've put in with the department. Starting at the bottom again. But it's exciting, too. New things to learn. New ways to work. New people to work with. Because damn, SHIELD personnel? Good people."

"I imagine that if they don't catch us making out in the copying room, you should be alright." Steve chuckles, "Besides, everyone's file at SHIELD is pretty thick. It's a right of passage. And besides, if anyone gives you a hard time they'll know they have crossed me. Advice? Get on May's good side. Immediately. If you can find it, I mean."

"Damn, there goes my plans for Friday night," Sara shakes her head as she passes over a pair of tongs. "I'll be all right. A year ago, I would've been more worried," she admits. "But I've been doing some pretty heavy training on my own lately. Between you and Sam and others. I might not be a super spy or a genius, but I can hold my own."

"You could always have held your own, Sara. It's why I sought you out in the first place, remember?" Steve looks down at her and smiles wryly. "Come here."

Sara laughs low, shaking her head. "Oh my god. Those goons. And here you come running down the street in your sweatpants with the damned shield…" She trails off, turning toward him and slipping one arm around his waist, the other around his shoulders. "You know, I see a lot of crazy things in my line of work. I sort of lost the whole stop and stare reaction somewhere years ago. But that? That was worth it."

"I think ladies just sort of like the shield. Now that you've gotten to know me, you don't have to stop and stare all that much." Steve smiles and leans down to put one on her 1940s style. Gruff and intense, without all the nuances of present day kissing.

About time. Sara's a simple girl when it comes down to it, and too much art? That means too much thinking, and people who are thinking about what they're doing aren't being honest with it. At least in her experience. So she leans in, arms tightening around him as she meets the kiss. "I could go for that instead, sure," she agrees after.

When Steve pulls away he smiles at her. "The dishes will keep. It's not like you use them at often anyways, let's be honest." He nods his head back towards the living room. "Let's go take advantage of your days off."

"Steve Rogers, the things you say to a lady," Sara mock protests, even as she tosses the tongs over her shoulder back into the soapy water with a grin. "Take-out for dinner it is. Later."

Steve nods. "Later," he says as he picks her up with one arm and carries her towards the living room while kissing her again.


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