This is just a little oneshot I wrote up. My prom was yesterday (the cover photo is me), and I was a little down that I didn't have a date. On the other hand, I was ecstatic that I achieved my goal of looking like a 1940s movie star. One of my friends said "You look like you could be out on a date with Steve Rogers!" And, well, this happened.
I hope you like it :)
PS~ The red hair Ginny has is a writing choice.
I was standing in front of my mirror, running my hands down the bodice of my dress. The silk and lace felt odd against my skin; I was so used to cotton button downs and wool skirts. Dorothy had heard I was going to the benefit and absolutely insisted that she help me pick out a gown.
Dorothy, my best friend since age 10, should be going to the benefit instead of me. She was tall and slim, had a winning smile, flawless skin, perfect blonde hair and a graceful walk that I envied to no end. She knew when to giggle when someone spoke, just how to flatter a man, and how to walk without her eyes at the floor. I was none of these things; I never have.
For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to report on breaking news, talk to politicians and diplomats and big businessmen and get exclusives on movie sets. The closest I could get was a secretary for the New York Times.
Dorothy had moved from Baton Rouge to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn when I was 10 and she was 9. She had sparkly blue eyes and a sugary sweet southern twang to her voice that made everyone smile. She waltzed into the Times one day and announced that she was going to audition to be a chorus girl for a cross-country war bond campaign, and told me "Ginny, cher, you are goin' to bring your sweet butt down there with me".
She dragged me down to the audition in the theater district, and babbled to the right person that I was an aspiring reporter. The campaign was supposed to have a reported traveling with them, and their fifth man had just been drafted. Making the argument that as a woman I wouldn't be in danger of being drafted, Dorothy batted her eyelashes at the senator and got me the job; that was how I ended up in Hollywood and roped into wearing a ridiculously fancy gown and going to an event where I wouldn't know anybody.
I swallowed and adjusted the diamond necklace that rested on my collar bone; it matched the earrings and bracelet. I was in high heeled shoes that put me just over five foot six, and I had so much hairspray in my red hair that it was going to crunch when I yanked the pins out later.
As much as I hated Dorothy for making me wear this monstrosity of a dress, for the first time in a long time, I felt pretty. The dress was a warm beige color with mauve lace flowered intricately placed over it; heavier and closer together at the bodice, scarcer over the skirt, but it was slightly heavier as it crawled up the bottom hem. The train that trailed at the bottom of the dress made me feel like a movie star. But even then, the mildly boyish figure I was stuck with and teased for all through school was snickering at me in the back of my mind.
The first time I met Steve Rogers was the first official day as a reporter.
I was standing in the background of a meeting with my notebook clutched to my chest and my glasses sliding down my nose. You'd have to be blind not to notice him; at 6'1" with broad shoulders, a neat mop of blond hair that was perfectly combed and striking blue eyes; he was both intimidating and beautiful to look at. I had no place in a meeting like this (there was nothing I could write about), and apparently Steve didn't either. The fourteen other men at the table spoke over him when they asked his opinion, ignored his suggestions and he spent most of the meeting sitting back in his chair pretending to be a statue with his hands folded in his lap.
I spoke to him for the first time later that day when I was at a cart outside the building getting a cup of coffee.
He cleared his throat a few times, and when I didn't turn around he, very gently, tapped my shoulder. I jumped about a foot in the air, sending my glasses flying to the ground with the armful of files and notes I had. When I bent down to get them, I knocked my head against his; he'd bent down to get my papers too. He apologized profusely as he helped me gather up my things. Once I had everything in my arms again, I asked him why he'd tapped my shoulder in the first place. He told me it was because the pen I had tucked on my ear didn't have the cap on it, and it was leaking dark ink down my neck and onto the collar of my nice new robin's egg blue blouse.
From then on, we found a kinship in having very little say in what we did for the 'Captain America' performance and campaign. I wanted to write breaking news stories and interesting articles-at the very least a piece about how Steve was the same good, down to earth person he'd always had been, only 150 pounds heavier and a foot and a half taller. Steve, though, Steve wanted to save lives.
Instead, I was writing puff pieces and songs, and Steve was dressed up in red white and blue with showgirls behind him. The senator's lackies mistook this kinship for romance, and now I was in ball gown about to go to a mansion in Beverly Hills for a benefit where we (Steve and I) were suppose to rub elbows with men who might give millions to the war effort. That, I encouraged.
Sticking poor, unassuming journalists with no balance in high heels and slathering makeup on her? That I did not encourage.
I looked longingly at my glasses on the dresser. Dorothy threatened to tell Steve what I said when I first saw him in the costume he wore when he got up on stage if I wore them tonight.
Dorothy should be going to this benefit; not me. She had a charming smile and an infectious giggle. She, a woman who actually had definable hips and chest, would look so much better on Steve's arm than a wiry redhead who teetered and wobbled in her high heels.
After a show in Chicago, Dorothy was trying to haul me off with the giggly, made-up chorus girls. Some of them haven't even taken off their little outfits. I wormed my way out of Dorothy's grasp and dashed off to a corner of the theater. I ran into Steve just as he was leaving. Neither of us were in a very good mood; Steve asked what I liked to do when I was a bad mood. I told him I liked to slam on the keys of my typewriter so hard they punched holes in the paper. Steve's habit was better; getting a milkshake.
We'd sat across from each other at the diner across the street; him with his strawberry milkshake and me with my vanilla one. That's when I knew.
Steve was telling me about something he did with Bucky a few years ago, just a little smile on his face as he looked out the window; a passing car sent a few beams of light over his profile. They seemed accentuate his already defined features and made his blue eyes sparkle. They always sparkled when he talked about things back in Brooklyn; his old friends, his drawing, baseball, even the library (Bucky and him used a pocket knife to carve their initials in the bottom of the top shelf back in the reference section). He missed those times, but at the same time he'd rather be even farther away.
I'd known him a little over three months then, and when I saw him there, smiling out the window with his eyes sparkling, that's when it hit me. In that moment, I realized I was starting to fall in love with him. It'd been about four months since that night in the diner, and my feelings hadn't changed. If anything, they were stronger.
Just another reason Dorothy should be on his arm at the benefit instead of me.
I took a deep breath as I looked at my reflection once more before going to the stairs. My pin straight red hair was in big glossy curls that spilled over my shoulders. My hazel eyes were wide and seemed bigger when rimmed with kohl and mascara instead of my tortoiseshell glasses, and the smattering of golden freckles over my nose and cheeks were gone; replaced by a milky, flawless complexion. I kept pinching my arm, reminding myself not to gnaw at my lip, or I'd smudge the clean line of red lipstick.
I picked up my purse and the front of my skirt, and headed towards the door. After pausing to close and lock the door, I started the daunting task of descending the four staircases to the ground floor.
I stumbled a few steps from the ground, and caught myself on the banister. I slowly looked up, and was relieved no one had seen me. Just as I got my breath back from almost falling down the stairs, I saw Steve and my breath got stuck in my throat again. I'd only seen him in his uniform and costume; his strong silhouette in a flawless black tuxedo was a sight to behold.
I took four deep breaths before walking to the door. I had to walk at less than half my normal pace; any faster I'd trip and fall.
"Hi," I said quietly, my gaze dropping to the ground as I let the door shut behind me. I only peeked up when Steve didn't say anything.
His jaw was slack; his lips slightly parted. Those blue eyes of his were wider than they usually were, and were stuck on my face. I felt a flush crawl up my cheeks and over my ears, I looked down as I tucked hair over one of my red-tipped ears. Dorothy put powder on them, since they were red so often, but that didn't stop me from trying to cover them up.
"You look nice." I finally spoke up.
Steve snapped out of his little trace, and pressed a hand to his jacket, brushing over the ugly tie around his neck; thick blue and red stripes with a large star in the center. He chuckled once, looking at the tie. "Thanks," he mumbled, glancing at me through his lashes briefly before speaking.
"Silly," I finished for him, brushing my hand over the bodice of the dress again. "I know. I told Dorothy that, but she wouldn't listen."
"No!" Steve said quickly, shaking his head. "No, uh, you don't look silly." He assured me quickly, scratching the back of his neck.
I'd never seen Steve like this; he was usually had a confidence (when he wasn't in the costume at least), quick wit and a slight humble charm to him that just made everyone gravitate towards him. I didn't feel like I knew the man in front of me; he was shy, nervous and just couldn't meet my eye.
There was a muffled cough from the driver of the car at the curb; Steve and I had just been staring at one another without saying anything. We both started towards the car. I briefly felt Steve's hand hover over the small of my back, making me blush again. I'm not sure why; he probably just didn't want to get to the benefit with a gal whose dress was torn and hands scraped up because she couldn't walk in her high heels.
Steve got to the car a step and a half first to open my door for me. He held out a hand to help me into the seat. I took it and briefly marveled in the same thing I always did when I touched his hand; how small and soft my hand seemed when his large, warm, strong hand held mine.
"Uh," Steve spoke up, making me look up at him from the back seat of the car. The light from the hotel behind him made his hair seem more gold; like Steve had a halo over his head.
"You look beautiful, Ginny." Steve said, a small but completely heartfelt, honest and purply Steve smile graced his face as he smiled. All the components of his smile were amplified 100 times in his eyes. "You...Ginny, you always look beautiful."
Still staring up at him, I swallowed. "Thank you." I said in a small voice. He just ducked his head and shut the door.
In the three seconds it took him to walk around the front of the car, I bit down hard on my bottom lip and pinched my eyes shut as I let out a high pitched, short squeal.
I was composed, calm and lady like by the time Steve sat down next to me. He idly chatted with me on the ride to Beverly Hills. I nodded and uh-huh-ed at the right times, all the while just watching his face, how his lips moved, and how expressive his eyes were.
I snapped my gaze up about four inches, looking in his eyes instead of at his lips; I wanted to memorize how they moved when he said my name.
"Gin? You with me?" Steve asked, chuckling softly. He reached out and gently grasped my shoulder, shaking it slightly. It wasn't anything he hadn't done before, but when he did it before, I had on a sweater and a blouse; he was touching my bare shoulder now, with his thumb brushing my collar bone.
"Yeah," I said. My voice sounded normal; I was so proud of myself. I gave him a little smile.
"I'm with you."
I love you.