Oh my God, I’d give anything for Steve to be, like, the grandpa of SHIELD
How much would I pay for this story to exist? SO MUCH.
I bet he goes for a walk around the block every morning WITHOUT FAIL, bless his crotchety heart.
I just want Steve to say “Chin up, bucko” and for Tony to like that.
#i’m gonna keep reblogging this #until gus and zara run out of awesome ideas #you might have to start ts’ing this
Pepper finds him in the park nearby, a little triangle of green in the middle of Midtown, full of park benches and old men with hats on. She glances down at her phone; the little red dot is blinking less than twenty feet from where she is.
She hears his opponent first, raspy laughter ending with a cough. “You little shit!” the old man says; his Brooklyn accent turns it into sheht. “That’s my signature move.”
“Signature losing move?” Steve says, and Pepper half-turns back, because Steve’s smiling and getting his back slapped by some other old gentleman who’s been watching the game while leaning on his walker. But Steve’s opponent catches sight of her and gives her a broad smile.
“Heya Cap, looks like you’ve got another deployment,” he says, nudging Steve, and Pepper gives everybody an awkward wave.
“Hello,” she tries.
Steve looks surprised. “Miss Potts. Uh,” and he scrambles to his feet. “It’s nice to see you again.”
He doesn’t try to shake hands, and Pepper remembers all over again that he’s in his mid-nineties, still reading interactions from a different rulebook in a different language. “Hi,” she tries again. “I hope I didn’t interrupt—”
“Oh, no, that’s fine. It’s a pleasure running into you,” and right, he probably doesn’t know about the trackers Tony put on everybody (including her, the asshole). She waves her phone at him in explanation.
“Actually, I was looking for you,” she admits. “I wanted to… uh.” And she runs out of words, because what words does she have left?
Whatever she’s showing on her face, Steve sees it. “Is everything all right, Miss Potts.”
She shakes her head, shakes it off. “My grandfather,” she says, and stops. “He died last night.”
It’s not as bad as she thought it’d be; a nice disclosure of information, all the emotion prepackaged and no need to go any further than that. She doesn’t have to talk about how he’d taught her to sew a button on a shirt with fishing line so it’d never come off, or how he let her drive the tractor sitting on his lap and so high up off the ground she felt dizzy, or how he cleared his throat when she graduated college and gave her ten dollars.
Steve seems to see all that, too. “I’m sorry,” he says.
“He’s been… he was sick for a long time, it wasn’t - anyway, I wanted to, um. He was in the Army in World War II and I know there’s someone I should call if I want to get him, um, the uh—”
“It’s called ‘Honoring Those Who Served,’” Steve supplies. “Full honor guard. Your grandfather deserves it. I can call someone for you.”
She wants to shake off the help, say she can do it - and she can. But she nods and says, “Thanks,” because the first time she’d met Steve, she’d thought of her granddaddy, a quiet smiling man who’d sooner walk over hot coals than tell you he loved you, but who’d walk over those hot coals as soon as you asked.
“Sure,” he says, and looks away. “Say, I think I saw an ice cream truck parked along the north side. My treat?”
He holds out an arm and Pepper takes it, leaning just a little, and smiles and waves at the two old men who tell Steve, “She’s too good for you, Cap!”
But Steve just smiles at them, and walks slowly, and says, “So tell me about him.”
This is everything I ever wanted. *___________*