You were so nervous for this coffee date. It was a date. Though it pained you to admit it, through all of the apprehension, you were kind of looking forward to it. The voice that had scared you for years with it’s comfort and reassuring words was waiting just a few hundred feet in front of you.
The fact was you were curious. Meeting him had been terrifying but a great relief at the same time because you’d been dreading it for years. Part of you had expected a giant piano to fall out of the sky and crush him the moment he said hi but funnily enough that didn’t happen. Now that you’d actually had chance to think about it he was probably the best soulmate you could hope for because, although he was reputed to be in constant danger, he was also probably the most dangerous individual you’d ever know. You’d read up on him and he was a fighter down to the bones. Not much was known about the last seventy years but he’d been in the howling commandos and his best friend was famous for punching hitler.
You were torn between the good and the bad and the only thing keeping you moving forward was the fact that you’d told him you’d come.
Stopping outside the looming revolving doors, you took a deep breath and walked in. James was stood a few feet to the left of the doors leaning casually against the wall and holding two drinks. “I got you coffee.” He smiled pushing off and sauntering towards you.
“Coffee before coffee, how gracious.” You tentatively smiled, tilting your head back as he got closer. Wow, he was really tall. James grinned amused and almost relaxed as he caught your thought. His eyes then darted behind you and you saw the amusement fade. You turned to look but all you saw were people going about the business in the huge lobby. You turned back to see him glaring at the distance so you slipped into his thoughts and almost choked on your drink. You downed at as quickly as you could while you processed what you’d just seen.
Captain America was sat at a Starbucks with sunglasses and baseball cap on, somehow managing to make reading a newspaper suspicious. On the same table there was a woman with bright red hair and a man whose shirt looked like its sleeves had been torn off staring resolutely away from you. You caught James’s thought of those fuckers before you were back in your own head, dumping his and your empty cups in the trash and grabbing his hand. You practically frog marched him out of the doors in the hurry to ask him what was going on.
“They’re my teammates and to say they defend the world they’re pretty fucking gossipy.” He emphasized the last bit, glaring into a security camera on the corner of the building. Not even a second later his phone beeped and he glanced at it and scowled. He then picked up a rock, turned back towards the camera and threw it so hard the the device scrunched backwards a good few inches into the brick. It now resembled a mashed potato in a pothole. You just looked at him incredulously. Was that meant to be a faux casual show of strength or did he just genuinely damage property when he received unsavory messages?
“Only when I’m being watched and mocked on a date with a pretty dame.” He flirted kissing the back of your hand. You hadn’t even noticed he was still holding it. You blushed then cringed in slight horror. Since when were you the type to blush at such a cheesy action? To your surprise you weren’t embarrassed by him, just your own reaction. Where had all of your previous confidence gone? “The same place mine probably went the first time I laid eyes on you.” His smooth reply to your errant seemed to bring it right back.
“You know it’s kinda rude to reply to my inner monologue.” He threw his head back and laughed. Holy shit, even his throat was hot, how in the fuck was that a thing. His thumb affectionately rubbed the back of your hand as if in responce.
“You know my friend Bruce says soulmates exist in a state of shared consciousness so your inner monologue is technically mine too.” He waggled his eyebrows and you snorted.
“Are you implying I’m not capable of independent thought James?” He swallowed thickly, gaze turning heated. You caught his thought of I love it when she says my name like that and found yourself thrown completely off-kilter, tripping over your own feet and watching the curb come up to meet you. Just as you closed your eyes in preparation for impact, an arm wrapped solidly around your waist and swung you up. You opened your eyes cautiously in disorientation only to find a pair of familiar baby blues staring at you. You were leaned back with one foot in the air, the only thing keeping you from hitting the ground was his arm.
“You know I usually take a dame dancing before I dip her.” He didn’t move; just watched you as if in challenge.
“I usually get through a first date before I let a guy put his arm around my waist, so I guess we’re both going against the norm.” You reached a hand up to touch his face and he brought you back to your feet. You cupped his face with one hand and he leaned in, but just before your lips brushed you grabbed his hand and spun around pulling him along behind you. He didn’t quite stumble but you found yourself hyper aware of his irregular breathing.
You tried to ease the tension commenting flippantly “You never really told me where you were taking me. There are thousands of coffee shops in New York.”
“Yeah…It’s uh…just over here.” He moved in front of you and you let him pull you along, thankful that he’d left the moment and your reaction alone.
You were so distracted by your own thoughts that you crashed into him when you stopped. His lips quirked as he looked down at you then he motioned to the building in front of him. You turned to look at it and immediately lost it. First it was just uncontrollable giggle but it soon progressed when you saw him looking slightly affronted. Then you laughed so hard you had tears running down your face and were choking on your breaths. When you finally got yourself under control you looked up at him again, his expression had changed to neutral but you could fee his confusion but vague amusement at your reaction. “What’s so funny doll?” You just grinned at him, truly at ease for the first time since you’d met him. Fate was definitely fucking with you and at this point you were just fine with that.
“I own this place.” He gaped at you then looked between you and your shop.
“You’re joking.” He looked oddly delighted. Makes sense I that was drawn to it.
“You’ve never even been here before.” You stated plainly.He raised a brow at you. Now who’s listening to internal monologues?
“I come here every Sunday lunch with Steve.” He said Steve’s name fondly belying his affection for the other man.
Of course he would come on the only day you took off. He’d been so close this whole time. You really were destined to meet him. Looks like it was only a matter of time anyway. “Still want a coffee? I can get us the owner’s discount.” You teased with a shake of your head and a grin.
He nodded and let you lead him inside to your favorite little booth in the corner. You sat him down then stood back doing your best impression of the flirty waitress. “Hello sir, what can I do for you today?” He leaned his head in his hand and smiled crookedly.
“Whatever you think I’ll like doll.” I’m sure no matter what you give me it’ll taste great, just knowing you crafted it will give me a rush. To your chagrin you blushed again.
You turned in an effort to hide it and virtually ran to the counter throwing a careless “Of course sir” over your shoulder. You went straight for your employee Liz, who you knew worked the Sunday lunch rush. “Hey Liz, you see that guy in the back over there.” You started pointing vaguely over your shoulder. “Well apparently he’s a regular and I forgot to ask his order. You wouldn’t happen to remember it would you?” She glanced up then gasped and giggled.
“Oh my God! It’s Lush Locks!” She squealed grabbing your shoulders as she jumped in excitement. She dragged you behind the snack stand then stood at stared at him from behind a carrot cake.
You furrowed your brow and took a slight step back “What?”
“Oh wow, I forgot. You’ve never even seen him.” She was aghast at the very thought. “That man and his friend” she abruptly tilted her head in thought “or lover, come here every Sunday and order the same two drinks using a different name every time. We don’t know what to call them so we made up our own names: Lush Locks and Jaw Line. Everyone flirts with them but they never flirt back. Jenny’s convinced they’re together but I swear on my life I’ve seen Jaw Line check me out. They’re so hot, like some of the girls even unbutton their blouses and roll up their skirts before waiting on their table.” She paused again then cleared her throat as she realized she was talking to her boss. “But I would never do that because that would be extremely unprofessional.” She tried to smile demurely but as soon as her gaze strayed back to James a dreamy look overcame her. At least it was good to know you hadn’t turn into a bumbling idiot because you’d met your soulmate. No it was just because he was insanely hot.
You tried to refocus yourself instead of checking out his thighs with Liz. Damn they were some good thighs, especially in those oh so tight jeans. Your mouth watered slightly and you shook yourself out of it. It suddenly hit you how much your mind had changed since you met him. You shouldn’t been flirting with him. You should be telling him why he couldn’t be with you but you just couldn’t bring yourself to stop this. You’d only known him a day yet you felt like you were already tied to him.
Oh no, you promised yourself you’d never do this, you swore. You started to panic and set off towards your office. You didn’t want anyone to see you fall apart. As soon as you were inside you slammed the door and slid down to the floor behind your desk. You were already falling for him. It was impossible and ridiculous but somehow true. You’d barely known him twenty-four hours but you felt like you’d known him your entire life. In a way you had. He’d always been a presence in the back of your mind, not always speaking but always there. You’d never been alone and you hadn’t even realized it. It was too late.
Suddenly the door banged opened and James was somehow in front of you. He brushed the hair out of your face and cupped your cheek with a gentleness you didn’t think possible for someone who seemed so immense. “Calm down doll, it’s all gonna be okay.” You tried but you just couldn’t control your erratic breathing, it was happening again. He bit his lip as he looked you over. You could feel the concern and sorrow shifting through him. In a split second decision you jumped into his arms and to your utter relief he caught you. I’ll always catch you doll.
He sat down and placed you in his lap wrapping his arms around you from behind. Breathe with me. He pressed you against him tightly so you could feel every rise and fall of his chest and you followed it with your own. Within minutes you had calmed and let yourself lean into him.
“Are you gonna tell me what that was about Y/N?” He whispered into your ear. His arms crossed your chest banding you to him, his fingers massaging your sides with calculated ease.
“Did you not hear?” You asked in a low voice, turning to rest your head on his shoulder.
“No. I only felt a rush of panic and terror, but I have a feeling it’s connected to your freak out last night.” He didn’t look at you but his arms tightened further and he moved to rest his chin on your head.
You shut your eyes and wound your arms into his. He curled his legs into yours and kissed your forehead. You’d never felt as safe in your life. You began to tell him your story. Of your mother and father and the fear that instilled in you from an early age. Of your best friend’s loss that only fueled that fear, and the constant dread you felt before meeting him that had morphed into an awful feeling of panic whenever you thought too much about him. He listened in still silence for what must have been hours. After you’d finally told him everything you felt simultaneously drained and relieved.
You felt his mind and knew you weren’t the only one with things to get off your chest. “For almost seventy years I was alone. I never noticed because I was constantly around people but it was just me. Everyone had someone else’s thoughts running through their heads at all times for better or worse but I was the odd one out. Everyone just assumed my soulmate had died before I was born but I could never accept that. I always held out a hope, well at least until I was captured.” You turned sharply trying to catch his eye but he looked away. “I’ll tell you that story another time doll. The point is at my darkest time you appeared. At first you were just a tiny bubble of wonder and fun but every time I came back you were slightly different, slightly older. You were the one constant that always brought me back to myself, which I needed.” His voice cracked on the words. “I really needed that, doll.In fact I think I fell in love with you the first time you told me to fuck off. You felt so much and it bled into me. You never knew it but you were everything I needed.”
By the time he finished his smile looked a bit watery and you choked up. Tears started to slip down your face and you buried your face in his chest. He whispered sweet nothings into your head and you replied with everything you liked about him, that drew him to you. It was soon dark and you were drowsy. Neither of you had moved in hours and you had started to fall asleep against his chest. You’d known him for years. You trusted him implicitly. Vaguely you heard him make a phone call then you were in his arms and moving. You thought you heard him speak to Liz but you weren’t really paying attention. Soon you were in a car and he was talking in a low voice to another man.
You faded in and out of consciousness for a while after but you distinctly remember being laid gently down on a bed. The warmth of the arms that had carried you tried to move away but you couldn’t accept that. You grabbed an cool weird feeling hand and pulled it towards you. The warmth laid beside you and you cuddled up, content at least for the night.
Me, sweating nervously:
Hmm? 'Civil War' you say?? Never heard of it. Last time I checked, Steve and Tony were making out at the Avengers Compound. Nothing else happened at all, not ringing any bells, I don't recall-
To the clique that argued with me in the saltiest of ways, I
dedicate to you my first ever anti nh post.
I hope you think twice about telling people to kill themselves over your
self insert and stop being a pimple on society’s ass.
A few years ago, during my Avengers A.I. run, I developed a pitch for a Marvel story written and drawn by me. It was post-apocalyptical tale of an Old Man Peter Parker going back to a destroyed New York, now ran by King Venom and his symbiotic army. We’d see Peter going through the city undercover and in the end fighting and defeating King Venom, taking New York back. No definitive answer was ever given in regards to this, but time passes and I think it would be cool to share with you.