“No need,” Steve interrupted, hardening his tone. Leaning forward, he murmured, “Hail Hydra” into Sitwell’s ear, but loud enough for Rumlov to hear. In the same motion, he picked up the case with the scepter and stepped out of the elevator, smirking at the sight of the stunned men as the doors closed yet again.
“Got the scepter. Heading down,” he said into his comms.
“Yeah. About that,” Tony replied ruefully. “Things went FUBAR down here. Loki escaped with the Tesseract. The others are searching the building for him. Watch your six.”
Steve groaned as he turned a corner and saw who was standing there. “We really need to work on your timing, Stark.” He grumbled, eyeing Cap warily as he set the case down. “Get out if you aren’t already and stay safe. I’ll come to you when I’m done.”
That was a signal to Tony that he was still determined to carry through with their private plans that they had cobbled together the night before.
“Roger that, Rogers,” Tony replied. “We’ve got a Plan B to get the Tesseract and some more Pym Particles. You do what you need to do and get your ass back to the future.”
Steve’s eyes widened as there was a muffled burst of static in his earpiece, before it went completely silent. “Dammit Tony!” He cursed under his breath. Nothing he could do about that now. Time to deal with the very real, very strange problem right in front of him.
“As if this day weren’t strange enough.” Cap sighed, before saying into his own comms, “ I have eyes on Loki.”
Steve shook his head. “I’m not Loki.” He said ,but his tone was resigned as he carefully loosened his shield. He vaguely remembered this encounter, but like Natasha had chalked it up to just another weird memory in an already very strange day. “You don’t have to do this.”
Cap ignored him, of course, and the battle was on. Steve would’ve been intrigued in any other situation, almost having fun fighting someone with whom he didn’t have to hold back and had almost the exact same fighting style. Cap hadn’t yet spent numerous hours in the gym sparring with Nat and Clint though – two expert hand to hand fighters who had no qualms about fighting dirty to take an opponent out. Steve used Nat’s favoring leg sweeper to knock Cap down, before grabbing the scepter and lightly touching it to the other man’s chest.
Steve hastily formed some simple commands: Trust your team. Be wary of SHIELD. Bucky is alive. Forget this encounter. He paused, then added, Let Peggy go. Live in the present.
The last two commands were a deliberate, difficult choice, but one that needed to be given. Peggy had moved on and lived her life – found love, created a family, founded SHIELD. Her legacy was already written. But until Cap truly accepted that and actually lived his own life in the present instead of yearning for what might have been, then he would be just as lonely and alone as Steve was.