“So, you wanted to tell me something?”
You take a deep breath to try to calm your erratic heartbeat and then you let your words flow directly from your heart. “Y-y-yes. S-so, well, s-since we’re pr-probably not going to…to see each other again, I just wanted to say, well…um… you see… this is my first time doing this but…” You take another deep breath to try to compose yourself, to try to make what you’re saying make at least a little bit of sense!
Yet, you don't realize that as the seconds pass and that the closer you get to saying this truth that's been eating you alive for so long, you start getting quieter and your voice begins to squeak with unspoken, pent up emotion. “I just wanted to say…”
‘Damn it! Why does this have to be so hard?!?! No. This is it… I have to say it now or he’ll never know how I feel…’
“Steve Rogers. I like you and have liked you for over a year now!” you blurted rapidly.
“Wait… what?!” Before he has a chance to question you further, you’re already running away, making your way through this labyrinth known as the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. You have to get away. You can’t stand the thought of facing him any longer.
‘How am I going to face him later? What did I do… damn it! I’m so stupid! That was a terrible mistake! Why did I have to go and stick my foot so high up my ass!’
You make your way through the hallways until you get to the door you’ve been looking for without realizing it.
‘I hope he’s here…’
You enter Phil Coulson’s office as silently as possible, hoping not to disturb him during his work hours. But Phil is your best friend. The only one you could go to who would listen because everyone else is too busy either working or trying to make an excuse to say they have a life out of work.
As you get yourself through the door, you here Phil’s quiet voice and immediately know he’s on the phone. You wait patiently by the side so you can have a chance to speak to him but, as the seconds tick by, all you can think about is what you just did.
The scene repeats itself over and over in your head and you can’t help but think Steve is going to hate you from now on. He may be the sweetest guy ever and you know he’d never hate someone—especially just because of how someone feels—but you can’t help these torturous thoughts from running rampant in your head. You reach up and start tugging lightly on some loose strands of hair. Maybe the momentary pain of pulling your hair might relieve some of the pressure building in your head…
“(Y.N.)! Stop it!” Phil all but roared at you from his desk. He heard when you come in a few minutes earlier and knew immediately something was wrong. You didn’t have the usual sparkle in your eye and you looked like you were ready to cry. Not only that, the way you were standing against the wall made you look even more insecure than ever.
Phil loved you like a little sister and would make whoever made you look this down feel sorry they hurt your feelings. But first, he needed to stop you from hurting yourself. You were pulling your hair so much that quite a few strands had already come out. It looked painful. And it seemed as if you didn’t realize when you went from tugging lightly at the ends of the strands to yanking roughly at the roots…
“(Y.N.), please, tell me what’s wrong. Why are you so down? Did someone tease you again about your crush? Or did something else happen?” You opened your mouth to respond but all you could get out was a chocked sob. Tears started running down your cheeks and your vision blurred terribly.
‘What’s wrong with me?! It wasn’t this bad…was it?’
Phil rushed over to you and immediately pulled you into his strong embrace. “There there. Don’t worry, everything will be ok.” He started rocking you back and forth as he walked you to the small, sturdy leather couch in the corner beneath his window.
The window overlooked the city and had a wonderful view but it was completely lost on you as you couldn’t even see Phil’s face clearly because of the tears blurring your vision. He rubbed your back in soothing circles and talked to you as if you were a baby whom he was trying to put to sleep.
After a few minutes, you finally calmed down enough to take a quiet shaky breath. “Thank you Phil. I’m so sorry for bothering you…” you said quietly into his shoulder.
He shook his head and said “(Y.N.), you’ll never bother me. You know yourself that you’re the sweet little sister I never had.”
You smile at his sweet statement but then frown slightly. “Wait, what about Patty?”
“I did say sweet, didn’t I?” You both share a laugh and you feel your mood get lighter. Phil always makes you feel better. You know you can always count on him and, no matter what, you can always trust him.
“So tell me, what happened? Who do I need to beat up for making you cry so badly?” Guilt builds at the back of your throat despite the fact that you did nothing wrong. “Phil, I really wouldn’t talk about beating up my hero if I were you. Especially since he didn’t do anything. It’s just… well… I just…” You sigh sadly because you really don’t know why you had to go and mess up the friendship that started building between you and Steve.
He was always so sweet to you. During your lunch break, you both would always fight with each other over who had to eat the other’s food. When you guys would walk in the same direction to whatever room you guys had to go to, you both would have such wonderful conversations about anything and everything. And if someone called you and you stopped to talk to them very quickly, Steve would always stop and wait for you.
Your friend Aileen always joked that Steve probably liked you too but really, why would he. He was a gentleman and his manners he acquired while growing up would always still be there. You could never believe he actually liked you back because to you, it just seemed so preposterous. It wasn’t until you found out about Maria that things changed….
Maybe that’s why you felt the incredible desire to tell him how you felt before he left.
It seemed as if one day, he just decided to change. He stopped talking to you as often and he seemed to shut you out. Had he just done this with everyone, you probably would have thought something was wrong. You were both relieved and depressed when you saw that it wasn’t with everyone: just you.
He started talking to another S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, Maria, quite frequently and you felt as if you were being replaced. You heard from some other operatives that he had asked Maria out on a date and that just broke your heart.
That night, when you got home, you just cried and cried for hours. You thought about listened to some music, because it might help but you knew that wasn’t the case. You had already memorized Adele’s “Someone Like You” the day you realized he liked Maria because, after listening to it for the very first time, you felt this song was made for you. You then proceeded to listen to it repetitively another 20 times and to this day, a little under a year later, you knew every word, every breath intake point, every pitch, and every drop. You could join in at any point because you just had that song so truly memorized. You didn’t need to repeat that experience again so you decided to just cry until you felt better.
Things just kept progressing like that until the point that even your boss, Director Fury, noticed something was wrong. He let both you and Phil have the day off so you could get better and he knew the only one who could keep you on that task would be your “big brother” Phil.
That was the day you found out Steve was to be leaving soon on another mission, but would no longer come back to work at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. Instead, his new station would be the Avengers headquarters, formerly known as Stark Tower. You wanted Steve to know how you felt before you never saw him again but didn’t feel like you had the nerve to actually tell him.
It wasn’t until you found out that a few of the operatives from S.H.I.E.L.D. (like Agent Blake, Natasha Romanoff, Clint Barton, and a few others—including Maria Hill…) would be sent to the Avengers headquarters that you got the nagging feeling that you should tell him.
‘Maria must like him too… If I don’t say anything, she definitely will and he’ll just forget about me…’
It was obvious that everyone and their grandmothers swooned over the guy but he never really noticed. Steve was still trying to get used to not being the little sickly kid he used to be growing up. Each day, when he’d wake up and looked in the mirror, he would be shocked to see the handsome, healthy looking man he actually was. He always thought that one day he’d wake up and be the sickly Steve he used to be just because he still found it so incredibly difficult to believe that he was gifted by God with such a blessing. And only you knew this because he used to trust you enough to tell you these kinds of things.
He didn’t really talk about himself or his private life with anyone but after a while, he opened up to you. You were an open book to really anyone who would be willing to read you but Steve, he tried to play his cards close to his chest at all times. He didn’t want to be hurt again the way he was before he went into the ice.
So, after he woke up, he tried to stay away from people as much as possible. But once he was forced to interact with others because of the Avengers Initiative, he started getting to know others.
Phil was the first person he really got to know just because Phil was so awed by him. Then he got to know the rest of the Avengers. It took a while to warm up to them as they weren’t all the easiest bunch to get along with but eventually he did. But while he tried to get to know these people he had to work with, and as he tried to help protect and save the world, he was also getting to know you…
Seeing as how you were Phil’s adopted little sister, you hung out with Phil often and therefore hung out with the Captain as well. He noticed you immediately. With your sweet smile and your innocent (E.C.) eyes, how could he not notice you?
He took a liking to you very quickly but tried to keep it a secret. Turns out he did it too well because after he finally got himself to forget about you—to avoid hurting you as well as himself—he found out you liked him and it seems like you liked him a lot... So much for not hurting you…