The Arrangement - Part 1

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Laying in my bed, still and quiet in my dark room, I wrap my arms tighter around the soft bulge in the covers next to me, nuzzling my nose into it's microfleece softness. I take in the eucalyptus scent that relaxes me and hold my eyelids closed tight as I sigh contentedly. It's so nice to have someone to snuggle with at night.

If only there were someone here to snuggle with. My body pillow is a decent stand in for a person but it's lacking in the warmth and personality categories. Though to be fair, it does have more personality than some people I know.

The heating pad I throw on top of the body pillow to fake myself out just doesn't work as well as I'd hoped. Maybe it's because there are no arms around me. I'm not as content as I'm pretending to be while trying to fake myself out.

I sit up, completely frustrated now. My body hurts from all the hard working out, the missions... and to make matters worse, after 10 months of being an Avenger... I'm... lonely.

I'm, like.... really lonely.

I find lately that I'm craving human touch. It's just something I don't get anymore. Everyone here is so nice, they really are. It's just that this is basically a work environment and I need to be professional... and there's not a lot of time for visits home to my family or my old friends, who probably think I am dead for as little as they hear from me now.

I love these guys, these heroes. Not only do they put their lives on the line for this world, they are really a nice group of people. Admittedly, we have a lot of fun together. And Steve is always planning team bonding activities, so it's not like we don't try to be a cohesive group of fun people.

There's just that one piece missing for me.

I look at my cell phone to see it's just past 1 am, I should really be asleep. The early morning workouts roll around quickly. It's obvious I'm not going to sleep anytime soon so I flip on my tv and start mindlessly searching channels.

Finally, landing on an old rerun of Friends, I toss the remote aside and make myself comfortable. Looks like I'll be spending the night with Chandler, Monica, Ross, Joey, Phoebe, and Rachel. Oh, and apparently "Ugly Naked Guy" tonight as well.

No more than ten minutes go by before I hear a really faint knock at my door, or at least that's what it sounds like. So I get up to go check, cautiously walking to the door and peeking out through the small opening I've made.

"Steve? Is anything wrong?" I ask, suddenly realizing I may have disturbed him. " — Oh, I'm so sorry, is the tv too loud?"

Steve stands less straight than usual, hands in his pockets, right in front of my doorway. He's wearing pajama pants and a gray henley top, his hair's slightly disheveled but it's very cute. It's a different side of him and I have to admit, I like it.

"No, I'm sure it's not loud at all - I just have the really good hearing," he smiles, just a bit and on one side of his face only. "I was walking the halls anyway and heard the tv turn on, just thought I'd check on you."

I realize I'm standing in the doorway with my arms crossed tightly over my chest since I don't have a bra on and the door's only open like 10 inches. I probably seem rude so I'm going to ask him in... he's a gentleman, if he realizes I'm braless, he won't look anyway. Right?

"You want to watch tv with me?" I open the door more and gesture inside my room.

"Uh, sure," he says, hesitantly. He doesn't seem sure but I'm sure he's trying not to be rude.

I lead him over to the couch and turn a dim lamp on. "Have a seat, Cap."

Now that he can see around my room, he looks concerned as his eyes settle on my bed. "Are you hurt?" His eyebrows have closed in on each other as he squints at me.

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