Steve-x-Reader: Raining Men
Steve Rogers, the one and only Captain America, had never believed himself to be a particularly soulful man- in fact he’d never even considered such a thought. But despite this, his live-in roommate and ward- (F/n) (L/n) had decided that he housed hidden qualities that made him the perfect ‘Soul-Brutha’ material.
Now what this actually meant, Steve couldn't say. But the man did know was that he would enjoy being a potential Soul Brutha, if it meant that (F/n) was happy. And from all the obvious signs, the young woman was.
Where she had once been mistrusting and skittish, she now seemed at ease, laughing and joking with him on near constant basis. It was a nice change from the abused, disheartened eighteen year-old that Steve had found on the streets nearly twelve months ago.
Now, after the near year of a peaceful life, (F/n) was . . . lively and vibrant. . . Now that her figurative shell was gone the young woman was beautiful to behold (in both physical and mental attributes) and Steve was admittedly entranced.
So at the end of every day, when the sweet-tempered hero returned back to the apartment that he shared with (F/n), Steve found his spirits lifted. No matter what kind of day he had had at S.H.I.E.L.D, or what kind of horrors he had experienced, his roomie made him forget it. And whenever (F/n) gave him that goofy grin that she had become infamous for, Steve felt his heart melt just a little more than before.
The Super Soldier doubt that today would be different, though he had yet to see (F/n).
Captain Rogers entered the apartment without ceremony; quietly closing and locking the door behind him. Then placing his leather coat in its proper place, and running a hand through his hair thoughtfully, the man calmly walked the length of the back hallway and found his way to stand outside (F/n)’s door. He would have knocked immediately- then entered without a second thought, as per usual- but as his ears picked up sound from within he stopped with his hand in the air.
(F/n) was . . . singing . . . and from the way that the sound was bouncing off the hall’s walls, the song itself was turned up to the max. Curiously, Steve silently opened the door so that he could hear and see (F/n) better.
The sight that met him, made Cap's eyebrow lift in both surprise and amusement.
In the midst of her small bedroom- (F/n) stood, hairbrush in hand- singing her heart out. Her head bobbed of its own accord, making her hair fly freely as she did a singular dance step that had her whole body moving. And yet despite this, she ultimately stayed in the space spot in her room- center stage and unabashed. The young woman was passionate as she swayed eagerly and belted out the song- and quite nicely too, Steve noted. But it was the lyrics that caught the man’s attention more than anything else.
“Humidity is rising . . . Barometer’s getting low.
According to all sources: the street’s the place to go.
Cause tonight for the first time, just about half past 10
For the first time in history, it’s gonna start raining men~!
It’s raining men! Hallelujah! It’s raining men! AMEN!
I’m gonna go out, I’m gonna let myself get- absolutely soaking wet!
It’s raining men! Hallelujah! It’s raining men, every specimen!
Tall! Blonde! Dark and lean!
Rough and tough, and strong and MEANN!!”
Here (F/n) began to clap to the beat with her free hand, and swished her hips with extra emphasis to the tempo, which made Steve want to laugh and look away at the same time.
“God bless Mother Nature! She's a single woman too~!
She took off to heaven and she did what she had to do
She taught every angel to rearrange the sky
So that each and every woman could find her perfect GUY!!
It's Raining Men! Hallelujah! It's Raining Men! Amen!
It's Raining Men! Hallelujah! It's Raining Men! Ame - - nnnn!
I feel stormy weather moving in- about to begin
Hear the thunder. . . Don't You Lose Your HEAD~!
Rip off the roof and stay in bed!
Rip off the roof and stay in BED!
It’s RAINING MEN, YEEEEAAAAAHHH~!!!!”
After yet another rousing time through the chorus, the song finally came to its close, and (F/n) stopped singing. And when the last note had faded, Steve found himself applauding her.
The young woman jumped- startled by the unknown presence- but upon meeting her roommates gaze, she couldn’t help but give a mock bow.
“Hey, Steve! . . . How long have you been there?”
“Since the beginning of the song,” he answered truthfully, smiling widely. “I had no idea you could sing like that.”
(F/n) shoulders shook with laughter as her trademark goofy grin slid into place. “I usually don’t sing like that . . . But it’s my go-to jam, so I kinda have to make it work. . . I think every girl has rocked out to it though, at some time or another.”
Steve blushed slightly- remembering some of the more risqué lyrics- before he shook his head with a chuckle. “It's some song you got there, F/n), for sure. Though the idea strikes me as somewhat disturbing. . . It doesn't leave much to the imagination.”
Here the young woman gave him an apologetic look, before her eyes turned undeniably soft. “I’ll admit it’s a bit free, but I love it anyway. . . Despite the fact that it isn’t exactly appropriate for me these days . . . ."
"Why is that?"
(F/n) smiled somewhat shyly. "Well . . . the song talks about single women finding their perfect guy with the help of a figurative men buffet... And I don't need that anymore. . . . . Cause there's only one guy I want, and he’s already here with me.”
For a second, the connection didn’t click. But when it did, Steve’s eyes grew wide and he sputtered shamelessly.
But (F/n) wasn’t saying anymore. Instead she leaned up on tip-toes, placed a quick kiss to his clean-shaven cheek, and then waltzed away- leaving him in a state of shock- still standing in her room as she gave a final call over her shoulder.
“I'm heading to the gym, so I'll see ya later, Steve! Feel free to borrow my IPod if you want to.” He could hear the giggle in her voice, even though she was out of his line of sight. “I’m sure you’ll want to give the Weather Girls another listen. It’s nice to know the actual lyrics of a song that’s stuck in your head. Don’t you think?”
Then without another word, (F/n) exited the apartment, leaving Steve alone- with a particular soulful song echoing rather loudly in his mind.
The man stood, debating for several long minutes before he sighed in defeat, and reached out to grab the IPod, hitting the repeat button before he could think better of it.
Discovering what (F/n) had just brought to light meant that things would have to change. . . the man's whole life would change. . . And if this was a song (F/n) enjoyed, he’d get accustomed to it for her sake. . .
. . . Or that was the excuse the Super Solider made to himself as he began to hum along with the bouncy tune that was once more blaring through the house. Though deep down- as he ran a somewhat shaky hand through his hair- Steve Rogers had to admit that it really was a good song.
Author's Note: So, I've been rewatching the series, gearing up for the relaunch this friday (SQUEEE!) and as I was watching 'Depths' this bunny started nibbling and I couldn't shake it. I had to write it. I didn't want to - man, I really didn't want to! - but I did anyway and here it is. I hate it. Uterly, totally, comlpetely, and all because it made me cry. I kid not. Full on sobbing while I wrote it and I really don't want to post, but I will anyway because they say misery loves company and so I'm taking you all down with me!
The sharp intake of air was the first indication that things had gone wrong.
The battle on the beach came to an abrupt halt as the two powerhouses stopped, face to face and chest to chest.
No one moved, no one dared breathe.
And then Aqualad jerked his arm forward and plunged the blade of water completely through Nightwing's sternum and out between his shoulder blades.
"You lose," Kaldur hissed in his former teammates face and pulled the blade free of the now falling body.
"NO!" Batgirl screamed, ignoring the rocket as it exploded in midair and the Black Manta soldiers that followed Aqualad back into the ocean. She ran for her leader – her friend – and fell to her knees beside him.
There was so much blood…
She felt it soak into her gloves as she tried to staunch to flow only to realize he wasn't breathing. She tore off the bloody gloves and pressed her fingers against his neck, praying that there was something… nothing.
Overhead, the Bioship paused long enough to allow Superboy to leap to the sand below. He stared at Batgirl, fighting back the sobs as she administered CPR. "I – I don't hear his heartbeat…"
M'gann was beside them suddenly, tears welling in her eyes as she crumpled next Superboy, watching, waiting, praying…
Batgirl was weeping as she pulled back, hands blood and tears streaming from beneath her mask. "He's dead…"
The League, the Team, dozens of heroes had beamed into the cave as the first reports of the mission came back. They had failed. Lagoon Boy had been captured. The missile had launched but exploded shortly thereafter.
And Nightwing was dead.
No one wanted to believe it. He was a Bat, for God's sake! He was their leader, the best of them. He couldn't possibly have fallen to a traitor!
And yet, they were all speechless as the Bioship landed in the hanger. Superboy was the first to step out, cradling a still weeping Batgirl against his side as they disembarked. That was the moment they knew.
"No," Robin had shook his head, staggering forward until he was beside the pair and gripping Batgirl's arms just a little too tightly. "No, say it's not true! It's not-"
She couldn't meet his eyes and that was when Miss Martian came out of the ship. Tears flowed freely down her cheeks as she moved stiffly, her hand brushing against the body covered in a dark blue sheet hovering next to her.
M'gann stumbled, seeing the mass of eyes staring at the form and her knees buckled beneath her. Impulse and the Flash were beside her in an instant, the flash catching her before she hit the floor and Impulse caught the body as it started to fall from her loss of control. His eyes were wide with horror when he realized what he was holding.
"It wasn't… he… not like this…" the younger speedster set his burden on the floor of the hanger and staggered back as he stared at the blood staining his hands. "This wasn't how…"
Robin was next to the body and moving the sheet aside. The skin was already ashen and waxy. The domino mask was still in place and with a visibly trembling hand Robin deactivated its defenses and slipped it off the older teens face. Nightwing's eyes – Dick's eyes – were closed. Blood flecked the corner of lifeless lips. There was no denying it, and yet…
Tim tore his own mask from his face, uncaring about secrets and identities, tossing it aside as his hand cupped his brother's cheek and his thumb wiped the stain away. "Come on Dick," he choked on lump in his throat. "Stop fooling around, big brother. Get up. "
Behind him, someone sobbed and Tim felt a hand on his shoulder trying to pull him back. "Timmy, please…"
It was Batgirl, he own mask pushed back as the tears fell unchecked.
"It's a trick, Babs," the boy whispered as the first tear fell from his eyes. "It… he's playing a trick. Tell him, Babs; tell he can get up now. Tell him!"
"Oh god, Tim, I'm so sorry," the girl sobbed, shaking her head and reaching for him again.
"No!" He bellowed, pushing her away. "No! He's not- He wouldn't do this! He wouldn't leave me! He wouldn't - No! God damn it, Dick, get up! Get up! Please, get up! Please, don't – Oh god, don't leave me! "
Unknown arms grabbed onto him and dragged him away. He spun on the person who dared take him from his brother and drove a vicious swing of a fist toward the large chest. It was caught easily and Conner pulled Tim to his chest and held the boy as he railed and sobbed and crumbled under the loss of the only family he had left.
The atmosphere of the mountain was oppressive in its grief.
From behind closed doors the faint sobs and cries of Young Justice permeated the air. They had lost one of their own. Their leader, their mentor, their friend.
It was only because of this grief that the pulse of energy that sent everyone into unconsciousness went unnoticed. It came from outside the mountain, from beneath the waves the swept the beach. On its wake, he strode from the water with his burden over his shoulder.
He approached the entrance to Mount Justice and entered a series of numbers that did several things at once. The intruder alarms were deactivated, the camera feeds looped for the last few minutes, and a second pulse emanated from inside the mountain to ensure he would not be discovered.
He shifted the load he carried and entered the still familiar halls. It was nothing for him to navigate his way to the med bay where his prize resided.
He had not, however, anticipating there being others inside.
Tim Drake lay curled up against Conner, the Superboy's arms draped protectively around the younger hero. The sat in chairs pulled up beside the gurney where a body lay draped with deep blue cloth.
Guilt gnawed at his gut, but there was no backing out now.
He set what he carried on an empty bed an approached the body. He drew back the cloth and inhaled sharply through flared nostrils. His insides rolled and he battled to keep from throwing up at the image the body before him burned into his memory.
He moved quickly, retrieving a small syringe and need from a compartment in his black gauntlet and wasted no time in plunging it into the body's arm. He counted to twenty, then twice more. He began to worry he was too late when suddenly foggy blue eyes snapped open and the mouth parted as lungs drew in their first breath in hours.
Kaldur was pulling Dick up into a sitting position as the other teen regained his bearings. "I began to fear I had indeed killed you. You truly appear dead."
Coughing the stale breathe from his lungs, Dick gripped the Atlantean's arm in reassurance. "You don't want to know how much I paid for the illusion," he wheezed after a moment and reached up to the collar of his uniform. He plucked a small diamond from beneath the material and his image shimmered a moment before rippling away to reveal his true form, albeit a little pale and still covered in blood. "Zatanna's not the only one who can weave spells like this, but she would have done it for free if I had asked her."
"Why did you not, then?"
"Because no one else is going to know what we've done."
"No one?" Kaldur asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I didn't even tell Batman our plan before he left," Dick admitted and rubbed at his face wearily. "I'm actually a little afraid of what will happen when he gets back and finds out I'm dead."
"Perhaps it best we let someone know the truth?" he responded, willing to play devil's advocate in the same discussions they had for the last year. Despite what Dick said now, Kal knew he would follow through.
And Dick did not disappoint.
He shook his head and slid from the bed as he started to strip of his stained uniform. "We need to do this quickly."
Kaldur nodded and silently went over to the table and retrieved what he had brought with him. Beneath the fold s of fabric was a latex replica of Dick Grayson, exact in every way down to every scar. He laid the dummy out on the bed while Nightwing removed the ruptured blood packs from his chest and back.
In minutes, Kaldur had the dummy dressed in Nightwing's bloodied uniform. He turned to his comrade and found the other man staring at the pair unconscious in the chairs. The look of regret and despair was plane on Dick's face and it tore at Kaldur's heart. "Nightwing, the stone?"
Dick started at the voice that interrupted his thoughts and turned away from the dried tear tracks that stained his little brother's face. Without a word he held the diamond out for Kaldur and the Atlantean placed it beneath the collar of the dummy's uniform. The image rippled and a moment later it appeared as Dick had when he lay on the table. Well and truly dead
"We must go," Kaldur told the teen. When Dick didn't move he placed a hand on his shoulder. "You can still back out, my friend." It was a sincere offer and one he almost hoped would be taken just to wipe such a broken expression from his friend's face.
Dick shook his head. "You father believes you murdered me on that beach tonight, Kal. If I turn up alive he'll know and you… No. I'm committed to this. I just wish," he looked over once more to Tim and Conner and sighed. "This could break him, Kal."
"He will understand, Richard," Kaldur tried to comfort his friend. "When all is said and done, he will understand why we have done what we have."
"Maybe," Dick said with one last look to his little brother before turning to walk out of the infirmary, "but he'll never forgive me."
The pair walked out of the mountain, Dick looping a charm around his neck that hid him away. His skin darkened, his hair lightened and his eyes faded into a soulless brown. The changes were subtle, but enough that he would be unrecognizable. No one knew him as Dick Grayson, and for as long as it took no one else would.
Kaldur summoned his sub to the surface while the now disguised Nightwing sealed the mountain entrance again. He entered a series of codes that had been in place since their plan began to take shape a year ago and he was confident that no one inside would be the wiser.
"Renegade," Kaldur called, using the name of the persona that Dick had been building over the last few months. "It's time to go."