New York City was wide awake in the wee hours of the night as taxi cabs’ honks still filled the streets.
Using forged IDs and cash provided by Sharon’s only friend at Deputy Task Force–a man named Baker–she, Steve, and Sam were able to get themselves two rooms in a humble three-star hotel within Downtown New York City.
The day had been long and hectic, as expected, and Sharon Carter should’ve been asleep. Instead, she lied awake in bed gazing at the ceiling, the vacant space beside her becoming more apparent as the minutes passed.
When she couldn’t take it anymore she sat up, throwing a robe over her pajamas as she slid across the hotel room to find Steve Rogers in the bathroom staring at himself in the mirror.
“Is everything okay?” she asked.
His lips quirked into a slight smile. “I would say yes…”
She smiled back. “But then I’d know you were lying.” She leaned against the doorway, gazing at him thoughtfully. “You should get some sleep. Maybe you’ll feel better.”
He sighed, his gaze dropping. “I tried to sleep but I couldn’t. There’s just…too much stuff on my mind.”
She looked down, noticing that his right hand was clenched. She approached him, gently took his right hand, and peeled back his fingers, thus revealing the picture of her greataunt, Peggy Carter.
“May I?” she asked.
He nodded, handing her the memento. She took it, gazing at the beautiful woman who was Peggy Carter forever captured in this black and white photo. Her smile was kind but there was a strength in her gaze. There was no doubt that she wasn’t a simple 1940s’ housewife. She was a leader. She could command soldiers with her gaze. Sharon wished she could be like her.
“She was beautiful,” Sharon said.
Steve smiled sadly. “Yes, she was.”
She gave him back the memento, holding his hands in hers. “You still love her don’t you?”
He gazed at her for a second before admitting, “Yes. I think of her all of the time these days…especially now that she’s…”
There was a bit of silence before Sharon replied, “I know.” She smiled sadly. “No matter how hard I try I could never fill that void that she has left within you.” She placed her hand over his heart. “She has your heart and I have no right to try and change that.”
He stroked her black hair. “I’m not trying to hurt you because I do care about you and I always will.”
She shook her head. “It’s okay. It’s not like we’re married or anything. We’re just dating. Everyone has to figure out what they want in life. This doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.”
His hand rested on the back of her head. “Yes.”
She looked into his eyes, glanced down at his lips, and found herself instinctively leaning forward to kiss him. And then there was a knock at the door. She smiled sheepishly at Steve.
“Thought it would be a good idea to get one last kiss before we officially break up.”
Steve smiled. “Maybe some other time.”
He walked past her to go to the door where he found Sam Wilson with a serious expression.
“Steve, we’ve got a problem.”