Packing and Parting

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Chapter 22 - Rachel Stark

It has been about 2 years since New York. It has been 10 months since the David mission. Steve and I have gotten a lot closer. I still don't want to admit that I like him yet. It could be used against us. He could get thrown off his game because of me. The kiss was kind of forgotten. We have become friends again. Anyway, after the accident, Fury took me off rehabilitation duty. I'm glad, because now, he won't think that I hang out with him just for the money. And then we went on that mission, but we already know what happened there.

It is seven in the morning now. Steve is out for his usual run. In about thirty minutes, he will be in my apartment (after he showers, of course) for breakfast. I start to think about what to make when the phone rings.

"This is Rachel." I say.

"Hey Stark, I have an assignment for you AND for Rogers." Fury says.

"Long time no speak to you too." I say into the phone with a smile.

"Well then. I need you and Rogers in D.C. straight away. We have a new base here and I would like to officially recruit Rogers for S.H.I.E.L.D." he says.

"What do YOU mean by 'straight away'? Your definition is probably different than mine." I say.

"You have three weeks to tie up loose ends and to be here in D.C. Fury over and out." I put the phone down as Steve walks into my apartment.

"Well you're back early. Good thing I went simple toaster waffles this morning." I say with a smile.

"Hey. Sorry I didn't use that cellular phone thingy to contact you. I couldn't figure it out again." He says sheepishly. I give him a plate with the waffles. Tell him now. You only have three weeks.

"Hey Steve, I got a peculiar call from Fury while you were out." I say.

"Really? We haven't heard from him in what, ten months?" he says. He called after my accident.

"Yeah, I know. But he told us that we have to pick up and move to D.C. in three weeks' time." I say.

"Okay." He says simply.

"Okay? Really? I thought it would be harder for you than that." I say.

"Yeah, it is. But that is in the past. I am only looking at the present and future. It's going to be hard, but I am tough. I think I can do it." He says like a true soldier.

"You are so great, you know that? You make everything so easy." I say.

"Just trying to repay you for helping me." he says. I give him a sheepish smile.

"Why have you stuck by me?" he asks.

"Because you are my friend. And I know that I can trust you. You know more than anyone about my past. Plus, I feel really safe when I'm around you." I say quietly. I look down at the counter.

"Well, thank you. I appreciate it." He says.

-3 weeks later-

I look around my apartment. This has been my apartment since I was 14. It was now empty except for a few boxes that haven't been loaded into the truck. I stand there, with my arms crossed. I am wearing a white tank top with my black leather coat over it. I am in dark skinny jeans and knee-high black combat boots. My hair is up in a tight ponytail and I am wearing my nerdy glasses. I am standing in the doorway just looking around. I hear footsteps behind me. I look behind me and see Steve walking up behind me. He warps his arms around me from behind and puts his head on my shoulder.

"Well, hello." I say with a smile on my face.

"Hey. How you holding up?" he asks, with his head still on my shoulder.

"Fine. It's hard though, I've lived here since I was fourteen. I almost can't leave." I say, turning around, breaking the hug. "But I am looking forward to the future. And that's the only thing that is driving me to leave." I say.

"You are awesome." He says. I smile.

"I know. Now help me pick up those boxes, mister!" I say. He grabs the remaining boxes.

"I'll met you at the car." He says.

"Okay, I just have to grab another box in the bedroom." I say. I walk over to the bedroom and grab the last box. It is still open a little bit, so I crouch down and start to close the box. But something catches my eye. I see a couple of pictures from when I was younger through now. I pick up the first one. It is a picture of me and my father. In the picture, I am about 8 years old and have missing teeth. My dad, looks just like he always did. Dark hair, dark eyes. I start to tear up. I flip to the next one quickly.

It is a picture of Tony and I. I am 18 in this picture. I took it without him knowing, so he looks occupied. I am making a funny face. I stare back at myself and chuckle. I miss hanging out with him that way. Although, you really can't miss something that rarely happened. We only hung out like that maybe twice. I flip to the next one.

It is a picture of Steve. It was one of those 'can-did' pictures, but it is one of my favorites. We were on a picnic about a month back. Steve is looking off into the distance at one of the families playing on the playground. He is looking at them so intently. He had just gotten his haircut shorter, out of its traditional style. It was spiked just a little, the appropriate amount. It was a close up of his face, but it is still one of my favorite pictures. I hear footsteps again. I drop the pictures and jump up.

"Woah, woah. It's just me, okay? What's up?" Steve says, with his hands up.

"Sorry, I was really lost in thought. While looking at my favorite pictures." I say. I pick up the three pictures and hand them to him. He flips through them and stops on one.

"Did you take this one?" he asks with a smile.

"Yeah. I thought it was adorable. It was one of those 'can-did' things. And you had just gotten your haircut."

"Well. It's not my most flattering angle, is it?" he asks with a smirk. He leans down and hugs me. "Are you ready to go? D.C. here we come..." he says and lets go of me.

"Okay." I take the pictures out of his hand and put them in the box. I seal up the box and pick it up.

"Ready to go?" I ask.

"Ready to face the future."

A/N: Hello readers! Sorry for the really short crappy-ness that is this chapter. I have to make some filler but I think next chapter will be better! Thanks so much for all of the reads! Winter Soldier is approaching!! Can't wait!

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