|What: Sharon comes to check on Steve a couple days after his visit with Peggy.|
The building is old, unsurprisingly. It's a reasonably nice if slightly run-down brownstone with perhaps four or five tenants apart from the landlady. Steve Rogers's apartment is on the third floor, and it is blessedly quiet. The last renovation of the building was probably in the 1960s given the wallpaper downstairs, and his kitchen appliances are perhaps that old.
And the furniture? It's somewhat sparse, but the quality is pretty good. Antique furniture doesn't last long unless it's of pretty good quality, and this apartment is a time capsule. Sure, the furnishings are a bit scuffed up and generally in need of repair, refinishing, and reupholstering. The light comes mostly from the windows and lamps, but in the afternoon they're mostly turned off. There's a beautiful old radio cupboard sitting near the old wood-framed couch, but either it's off or it isn't working. There's an honest to goodness record player: the portable kind that comes in a suitcase sitting atop a large wooden speaker. A ceiling fan keeps the air circulating and a table-sized fan sits in the window, but if there's air conditioning in this building he hasn't turned it on and there's no window units.
It's a time capsule. It's where he can decompress. And here he stands with a glass of lemonade looking at the room, trying to decide if he should keep it this way.
It's been a few days since Sharon took Steve to visit Peggy but she has been wanting to give him some time to stop hurting before trying to talk to him. It's been a difficult task, however, as she has not seen him since that day and she has been a little busy off and on between then and now. But today she told people she'd be out of touch for a while and that she'll call in once ready to return to the Helicarrier, making it damn clear that she's not to be disturbed unless something of epic proportions happens.
Steve's apartment is located with little difficulty after his address was found, the door of which she stands before currently. Two and then three minutes pass before she knocks, her knuckles rapped upon the wood twice. There's no 'hey, Steve, it's Sharon, are you home', no attempt to announce who is on the other side of it given.
He doesn't answer immediately. He really *does* want to be alone. But Steve's figuring it's... oh, probably a salesman or the landlady looking for a bit of company or some help putting up a picture. It's a minute or two before he calls: "Be right there," finishing off his glass of lemonade and setting it conscientiously in the sink. His steps creak a little as he heads to the door, unlatching it and opening it to reveal Sharon on the other side.
Steve's looking reasonably well, but he's definitely dressed for home: white undershirt, khaki slacks, a short-sleeved plaid shirt neither buttoned nor tucked in, and neither socks nor shoes. His smile when he sees her is surprised and he opens the door a bit wider, gesturing for her to come in and join him. "It's nice to see you, Miss Carter. Is everything all right?"
The delay has Sharon's mind working overtime. What if he isn't home? What if he's busy? What if he is... indisposed? It has her second guessing as to whether being here or not is a good idea and she actually turns to leave just before Steve calls out. It halts her departure, stilling her feet before she can take that first step towards the stairs.
When opened he'll find her standing there, hands held lightly clasped before her and with as much of a smile as she can muster. "Mister Rogers," she greets him with before stepping in, letting him close the door once she's past it. "You can call me Sharon, by the way," she adds, not wanting to dote on anything like manners or tradition at the moment. She's hoping it'll put him at some kind as well her manner of dress, the jeans, tee and athletic shoes as casual as she's hoping her mannerisms will be. "I'm fine. Am hoping the same can be said for you, Steve," she adds, turning to regard the man.
"Sharon. Sorry," he says, cracking a friendly smile and closing the door behind her. But he's always absurdly polite. To ladies, especially. "Can I get you something to drink? Soda? Lemonade? Glass of water? I can make some coffee if you like." At the question as to whether *he's* fine, he glances very briefly at her before turning toward the kitchen. "Please, make yourself comfortable. Of course I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?" Yes. He sure sounds... fine.
Part of her scoffs at his claim, disbelieving it. She saw the look in his eyes after he left Peggy's home, after all, but Sharon doesn't allow herself to say that she doesn't think he's being truthful just yet. What she does allow herself to do is consider the options for drinks before saying anything. "Lemonade sounds perfect. Thank you."
The interior of the apartment is looked at now that the greetings and offer of hospitailty are extended, each piece of furniture looked at as if an antique, pieces worthy of careful consideration and even admiration. "I'm sorry I haven't been by sooner," she mutters, loud enough for Steve to hear her but barely. It's like the words are stuck in her throat, making it difficult for her to speak any louder.
Steve pours out a fresh glass of lemonade from the carafe in the refrigerator, making himself a glass of water and and pressing it into Sharon's hand. "My pleasure," he says. But when she goes on, when she apologizes for not coming around, he glances away and looks a touch... what. Sheepish? Shamefaced? "You didn't have to come, but I appreciate it. It was good to see Peggy again, and I'm glad we can still be friends." He hesitates, almost saying more before breaking away and glancing out the window to the street. It never does seem to look right.
"Thanks." The glass is held but it isn't really paid much mind after a quick drink, her eyes holding to him when she does. "Hey, look..." Sharon hesitates. It's just all going to sound like stupid platitudes, in her opinion, the kind of things people say for the sake of not knowing else what to say or while trying to be there for someone without knowing /how/. Stepping a little closer, Sharon turns her head to look out the window as well, her brow slowly creasing. "I know I'm probably the last person you want to hear this from but I am here for you. If you ever need someone to talk to."
"I don't -- " Steve breaks off, because he's about to say something even he knows isn't really true. //I don't need to talk to anyone.// But he knows better. "...want to trouble you," he finishes lamely, but he looks back at Sharon with an almost wounded expression. Not by her. Never by her. "It's just -- it's hard. This is hard. I came to Brooklyn because I wanted to come home, and home's not here anymore. Home got..." He smiles sadly. "Knocked down years ago. It's a shop now. A bodega run by a real nice Moroccan couple." He nods out the window. "Day like this, back when I was a kid, lots of times someone'd open one of those hydrants and set water shooting out. Kids'd play in it. Today they'd be afraid of getting their phones wet and those..." He waggles a hand, jabbing his thumb. "Game boxes, you know."
"I know. Peggy has often commented upon how everything's different," Sharon says with a sigh, her sympathetic gaze lingering upon Steve as they talk. "She got to see the changes as they happened but yet..." A hand lifts to be rested upon his nearest arm, her fingers curling around it at the wrist. "I wish I could set things right for you. That I could somehow turn back time." The grasp is released and she moves again, this time to sit on whatever chair's closest to the window. "I am sure things will get easier for you someday. Possibly soon. But right now..." Lots of pausing between words but Sharon can't help it. She is having to think. "Well, yeah. I'm sure you've heard it a lot since you've been woken up."
"Believe it or not," Steve replies with a weary smile, "I used to love all the futuristic stuff. I read the comics, I went to the '39 World's Fair, I loved seeing what people thought the world was gonna be." He takes another drink of water and looks back down to Sharon, smiling as she takes his arm. There is indeed a chair near the window: just a wooden kitchen chair, but it's surprisingly well-made and comfortable. "Yeah. I keep hearing about how I'll get used to the world as it is. I'll get acclimated. It just takes time and effort. You know, Sharon," he says, looking back out the window, "I'm not all that awful sure I want to change for the times."
Sharon nods, her attention bouncing between him and the view out the window, Steve fully listened to despite her gaze which ping-pongs between him and what lays outside. "Then maybe we need to stop worrying about getting you used to now and find a way to be able to blend the world you grew to know with the one you find yourself in." Sharon rises and offers a shrug, it given along with a warm, easy smile. "It's possible, I'm sure. There has to be a way. Will take time and patience but I for one am up for the challenge. How about you?"
Steve smiles, reaching out to give Sharon's shoulder a brief squeeze. "It's good of you to look after me," he says. "You don't have to. But I know you know that, and I know you are anyway." His smile is a little sad. A little distant. "Reminds me of someone I used to know." He swallows, taking another drink of water and leaning against the wall. "If you think we can work on that, sure. I'm up for trying pretty much anything."
The smile gets Sharon to relax, no longer feeling like she might be over-stepping boundries by offering her assistance. "Let's see. Well, I think the obvious place to start is finding things you enjoy before everything went on ice..." Wince. "You know what I mean. Ah, yeah. Find stuff that you enjoyed doing before you joined up and see if we can't discover ways for you to do them now."
The look he gives her at 'on ice' isn't so much hurt as it is slightly wry, but Steve nods his agreement. "Well. There's drawing. That doesn't really change much over time, does it?" That question's asked almost hopefully. "I like movies, though I don't think there's really the same kinds of movies now that there were. All a bunch of explosions and..." Clears his throat. "Really unsubtle behavior. But honest, Sharon, I'm glad you're here. You're one of the few people who I don't have to lie to, and I've never liked lying."
Maybe she shouldn't feel proud but she finds herself doing so at being one of the people Cap can count on. Sharon tilts her head, thinking about that a little before, with a chuckle, she touches Steve on the arm one more time. "Over time you will find more people you can be honest with, Steve. But... well, I'm very proud to be someone you can be honest with now. And never feel like you can't come to me if you need me." The lemonade is sipped.
Steve turns his arm slightly, slipping his hand back to hold hers as he looks down to Sharon. "Thanks. I will. I'm glad to know you, and I know how invaluable your help's going to be." He opens his mouth as if to say more, but he closes it and bites his lips before smiling. Giving her hand one more squeeze, he releases it long enough to pull up a chair and take a seat near her. "So. What are your ideas?"
Sharon's face goes pink as her hand is captured but she doesn't pull away. What she does do is try to lace her fingers with his. It's awkward as he squeezes it and lets go, leaving her to laugh. Or giggle. It is a little giddy peal of laughter that has her face going a bit warmer before she gets it under control. "I think it might be easier if you were to play this a bit footloose and fancy free. See what reminds you of the good days and go from there." The glass is set aside now.
"Everything does." Steve sits, setting his glass on the floor and resting his elbows on his knees. "Everything reminds me of the good old days, though it's usually in contrast. This street, for example. Central Park. Coney Island. I can't look around without seeing something old and something new all jammed together. It's... what's the phrase? It's a good one." He stares into space and thinks a moment before he looks back to Sharon. That blush. He bites his lip. "Sensory overload," he says.
"Sensory overload. Yeah, I can see how that could happen." It's something she has experienced a few times in the past herself, triggered by something different entirely but the result is the same. "Leaves you feeling overwhelmed, unable to cope. Like you want to find a nice, dark, quiet room to hide in, yeah? That should improve over time. Until then, not sure what to suggest."
Which they're in at the moment. Very much so. Daylit, but a nice, dark, quiet apartment. Steve nods, glancing away and shrugging. "I just like a quieter life than everyone else seems to want. It's okay, Sharon. You don't have to try to fix me. I'm not broken. I'll be all right," he says, reaching out to squeeze her shoulder. "But having a few good friends will go a long way for that."
"Just do not hesitate to call me whenever you need something or just need an ear to chew. Promise?" The blonde woman can't help but to feel like how her Aunt Peggy must have when standing before Steve, a sense of awe that just can not be shaken off. "I don't think you're broken," she adds belatedly. "You are anything /but/."
"I promise," Steve replies with that ready smile of his. He lowers his eyes -- again, almost shyly, which must seem almost insane for a man like him. "I appreciate your vote of confidence. Thanks. I appreciate this. And now," he continues, straightening and rising from his chair, "now that I've finished sitting around feeling sorry for myself, maybe we can do something?"
Sharon has to pause, not expecting getting asked that. Her eyes wide at the same time her brows arch up, obviously shocked by Steve's suggestion. "How about dinner out," she eventually asks. "There's a diner not too far from where I live that has pretty good burgers. Can treat you to one."
"Nope," Steve says, rising to his feet with a sly grin. He reaches down to help Sharon up, going on: "But I can treat you to one. Some things I'm not willing to give up just yet, and one of them is being the one to treat the lady. Do you s'pose they have milkshakes?" he asks hopefully. "I've been looking for a good milkshake. Or an egg cream, but I don't know if people even make those anymore."
"Their shakes are some of the best. Sadly their burgers are not the greatest. Don't get me wrong, they're good. But not anything to write home about." Steve better hurry up and change the subject otherwise Sharon just might chew his ear off, the subject of hamburgers something she can wax on about at quite some length.
Steve's already buttoning up his shirt, glancing at himself in the mirror to rake a hand through his hair, and snagging a jacket. Yeah, it's mid-July in New York. Still. "So the endless search for the perfect diner with the best burger *and* the best milkshake will just go on?" he says, snagging his keys and wallet from the table near the door. He walks back to Sharon and offers his arm: "But it sounds like you've found as good a place to start as any. Let's get moving." Because Super Soldiers get hungry fast and often.