The Time in Between

This takes place after Age of Ultron but instead of going to the Avengers Facilities and calling the Avengers to assemble like we see in the movie, Steve and Sam go searching for Bucky like they planned to do after Captain America: Winter Soldier. So the timeline will seem weird. lol, if it really bugs people and I get a lot of reviews on it, I'll fix it. Tony has just completed the Facility and invited all the Avengers to come live. Now you know the timeline somewhat.

So! I was inspired to write this oneshot for two reasons. One, there aren`t enough Steve and Natasha fanfics. I don't know why, to be honest. I mean, c´mon, there was more chemistry between those two than ANYTHING between Natasha and Bruce, or Steve and that blond agent. And obviously the producers didn`t really feel it either cause Natasha and Bruce didn't end up going anywhere (and I don't even remember that blonde agent's name!) Haha! And Two, people don't seem to really get Captain America's personality. In a lot of the fanfics, he ends up in bed with Natasha by the 5th chapter (or even the 2nd in some cases!) and it's so against his character. I don't think they really understand the ethics/morals and mentality of the whole 1940 era. So, I'm basing him off of my grandpa/great-grandpa since it's clearly a better reference for understanding World War II era, kkk. I may further it from a oneshot to a story. I may not. Just depends.

This story will be mostly from Natasha's point of view. This is the only chapter I had planned to be from Steve's unique perspective. If people want more Steve, let me know. Anyways, enjoy!

"I can feel the righteousness rolling off of me! ;)" - Loki as Captain America in "Thor, The Dark World"


It isn't easy traveling from one time period to another in what seemed the blink of an eye, Steve thought this as he picked up the pace, running across the field. The fluffy white edelweiss flowers that lied outside the town were blown to smithereens as he sped across the terrain.

For Steve Rogers, everything was different. Everything. Even the way people talked was different.

There were so many improvements. So many things that had been fixed with time; such as negro rights, transportation, agriculture...the list went on. Technology seemed to be everywhere and in everything. Women were able to get higher paying jobs. Peggy had had something to do with that actually. She had been a revolutionary.

Everything was faster. More efficient. Things like cellphones and computers were mind-blowing for Steve. The knowledge of the world, of the known universe, was in the palm of your hand. Cars that could drive themselves. Ships to outer space. Mankind on the moon. Sometimes he felt it was all too unreal. Like a dream.

But with all these improvements had also come what could only be described as "darkness". What was probably the most troubling about this day and age was the family structure. If you had told him back in 1942 that in 70 years; divorce would be 50% probable, that children had no respect for parental authority, and that single moms would reign supreme and NOT because their husbands were out fighting a war... he wouldn't have believed it for a second. Gangs were practically non-existent in his time. And what DID exist was nothing like today.

Sure, boys would be boys and would do illegal things such as get in fights, steal, and play hooky from school. He himself had once played hooky with Bucky when he was 15 (Oh, had he gotten in big trouble with his father that day...) and anyone who knew him knew that scrawny Steve Rogers had gotten in more fights than he could count, even though he had been a runt. But shoot, stab, and torture one another? They were like mini mafias with violence and graffiti all over his old city of New York. It was hardly recognizable.

War had changed, thanks to Howard Stark. A lot of blood was on his and Tony's hands.

Obesity was a new phenomenon that hadn't existed either. The few people who were 300 or so pounds were found in circuses. This day and age you saw them walking everywhere and they were heavier than anyone he had ever see. The most common killer these days were heart attacks and strokes. It used to be Pneumonia.

Steve made his way to the forest edge and didn't break pace as he pushed on into the undergrowth, dodging bushes and tree branches.

Part of the dilemma of this period was the sex. It was everywhere. Movies, music, magazines, billboards, t-shirts, birthday cards, sidewalks, t.v. shows, even women walking in public on the street...it was astonishing. The tv wasn't the innocent entertaining black and white box it once was. Where once it used to be very difficult for someone to find pornography, he had been dismayed as he sat in his apartment one day (not in the mood to go out and be reminded of how much he had missed) as he turned from one lewd channel to another on the t.v that SHIELD had provided. He had settled for a kids channel, and had finally turned the t.v. off when they showed their little cartoon butt cracks to everyone. It was subtly snuck in or even glaringly broadcasted in everything. Everything. And everyone was oblivious.

The LBGT community had been nonexistent in 1940, and Steve was appalled. People tried to tell him that it HAD existed in his time and he just didn't know it, but Steve disagreed. If it had existed it was only among the truly depraved members of society that hid their shame behind closed doors and when he said as much people got angry, calling him a self-righteous prude. "Prude" seemed like a shortening of the word "Prudent" or "Prudence", but he didn't get it. When did it become bad to be "prudent"?

It was interesting to note that depression and suicide were an everyday occurrence. With all this new technology, new medicine, new food and convenience (and plenty of sex), it obviously didn't make the population happier. They seemed more distant. More lonely than ever before. The dark web was a real thing with people torturing children, animals, and each other. The world was indeed a darker place than even World War II had been.

Steve ran through the forest, leaping over forest debris like a deer.

He didn't know why he was here in the 21 century instead of lying by Peggy's side in a hospital bed, but Captain America was an optimist. He had inspired public moral in his time, maybe this was what God wanted him to do in this one?

But there were...distractions. Well, one, actually that was in his way and he didn't know what to do about it. Natasha Romanoff.

Steve broke through the forest edge and saw a small town situated in the mountains in the distance, and he continued his sprint towards it's direction. He could begin to see a gleaming mirror in the distant, symbolizing the lake on the other side of the town.

Natasha Romanoff. The beautiful Russian double-agent that complicated everything for him. He must have a thing for foreign girls. First a British agent, now a Russian agent. The funny thing is he hadn't meant to fall for her. It just happened. He hadn't been impressed by her sleek "bad girl" attitude in the beginning and she seemed just as unimpressed with him. Then again, she acted unimpressed with everything. But then Hydra raised its ugly head and he had been put into a position where he had to trust her. He allowed himself to get comfortable with her, and they gained an understanding. A connection. And she proved to be much more than what she allowed people to believe. She was a perfect little actress.

Steve waved a hand at the people shouting in German, "Kapitän Amerika! Es ist Kapitan Amerika!" (It's Captain America!) but didn't stop running as he passed a railroad crossing.

Here was the problem however. Where Captain America was "as honest as the day is long", the Black Widow could rival even Thor's brother, Loki, with her lies. Where Steve's inner motto was "the truth will set you free", Nat's was "truth is relative, it is what I say it ". Where Steven Rogers focused on "What's the right thing to do?, Natasha Romanoff's focus was "How does this benefit me?". It unfortunately created a barrier between them that seemed impossible to cross. You couldn't have a relationship with someone without trust. But...

"If it was down to me to save your life...would you trust me to do it?" the memory of their shared moment in Sam's house flashed through his mind. "I would now." he had said with total confidence.

Not that it mattered really. She obviously wasn't into "prudes" like him. She had even gone out of her way to set him up on dates! Girls don't do that when they liked someone. Did they? Steve began to sprint even faster as his frustration grew. He wasn't sure if women were the same as what he was used to. Most likely not, since everything was different except for mankind's hunger for power. That would always be the same. Steve's understanding was this: if a woman was uninterested, she'd ignore you or act unaffected. If they were upset with you, they would become cold and turn away whenever you entered the room. If they liked you...well, he didn't have much experience with that. They'd smile? Compliment? Allow you to kiss them?

"You still don't know a bloody thing about women." the memory floated through his mind. Peggy.

Then again, the women he liked didn't seem like normal people. Peggy had shot at him because she had been jealous. And agent Romanoff? Well, she was much more dangerous than Peggy ever was. He wondered for a moment what a jealous Agent Romanoff would be like, and then shook his head. What was he going to do? Steve hadn't done well in the dating department before Dr. Erskine came to him like a fairy godfather offering to make all his dreams come true.

Steve slowed his run to a quick paced jog as he chuckled out loud between his breaths at his own inner dialogue. What a strange world he lived in. It really had been like a fairy-tale as he thought about it. There he was, trying to get into the army for the umpteenth time, getting his frail body ready for yet another exam. He still remembered the feeling of the uncomfortable cot on his bony rump. Trying to be a man like his father had taught him and live the values his mother had instilled in him... when into the room came a man with spectacles and a white coat, asking him if he wanted to kill people. Of course he didn't, but what should he say?

"Honesty is the best policy son. Always follow it, and you will achieve more than other men around you." His father's words came to him as he sat there, just like they always did when the temptation to lie was before him. His father was right. By being honest, although it seemed pathetic at the time, he opened a door that remained closed to all others. He was given a calling to become more than just a warrior. He was called to be a symbol. It couldn't be coincidence that the super-soldier serum was destroyed merely 30 minutes after Steve had been transformed.

He slowed as he reached the lake, his chest heaving from the exertion he had forced his body into. For a moment, he stilled, taking in the sight before him. The deep black of the lake contrasted with the light blue sky. Mountains surrounded them on all sides, as he and Sam were currently close to the Alps in Germany. It was neatly framed by lush green trees and where the sun made it's way past the green leaves it hit the water and sparkled. Pretty as a picture.

He checked the time.

Steve has just run 60 miles in 53 minutes. That's faster than any Olympic runner could ever hope to be. He was as fast as a cheetah. But not fast enough it would seem. His problems had accompanied him the whole way. Steve looked at the lake, wondering for a crazy moment if they would follow him down at the bottom of a lake as well if he went swimming, before sighing and turning around to sit on a bench that overlooked the view.

Germany was beautiful. And much MUCH better since the war. After the war, the United States buried the hatchet and had actually helped rebuild much of war-torn Germany, thus creating strong ties between the people. Sue for peace, not war. The Germans had learned from the sins of their forefathers, and all were disgusted and ashamed of Hitler and Red Skull. Steve had been very proud to hear that. He had gone to the Holocaust Memorial in Washington D.C. and it had nearly driven him to his knees in tears. He hadn't been able to save those people.

Steve sighed deeply, trying to let the memories flow through him and then escape, trying to not hold onto them. He needed to keep his sanity. He closed his eyes and used his super sensitive ears to listen. It was silent. Peaceful. Only a faint breeze and the birds arguing with each other with pleasant tittering and chirps.

Natasha was good. Just like Bucky was good. They both just didn't...know it yet. Steve opened his eyes again. Bucky had saved him. He was still alive. His best friend was still alive inside the Winter Soldier somewhere. That's why he was here in Germany. After destroying Ultron, he and Sam had immediately gone back to searching for Bucky and had been all over Ukraine, Poland and currently were in Germany trying to find out anything about where Bucky was. The Winter Soldier had seemingly disappeared. Steve wondered if...*BEEP BEEP!*

Steve froze, his pocket beginning to vibrate then relaxed as he realized it was just his cellphone he forgot he had with him. Cellphones were great, but he was embarrassed to admit that he was what you would call "Technology illiterate". He didn't let people know, but he still had a hard time understanding the basics of how the internet worked and which buttons to push. Kids took to technology like a duck takes to water. Kids were so smart these days. Maybe after all this was over he could apply to a Cellphone 101 class in college or something? Did they have a class like that?

He checked the caller.

Tony was calling. For the 23rd time. Steve smirked and shook his head, wondering if he should answer the phone. Tony was so much like his dad it was unreal. That made his decision as he touched the green phone on the screen to answer.

"Hey Tony."

"Hi you! Where ya at?" Tony's chipper voice sounded.

"Same place I was LAST time you called, Tony." Steve sighed, resting his arm on the bench as he leaned further in his seat.

"Oh really? Well, that's cool. Me too. Same place, ya know."

"Tony, I said I would think about it, alright?" Steve said sternly, a little exasperated as he already knew where this conversation would lead.

"Understood Cap. But ya know, it's been about 6 months you've been out there, and you haven't come up with anything. SO!" Tony began using a questioning sing-song voice, "How about coming back to the Avenger's compound I created for the team? Tomorrow? 8:00 pm? With all your happy team mates? And let's take a break from looking for frozen guys from 1945! How bout it?". Steve was reminded of his next door neighbor's kid asking for a cookie, when he lived in the apartment complex before SHIELD went down.

"Tony..." Steve sighed, part of him wanted to laugh and another part of him wanted to wack him on the head. He chose neither and simply pinched the bridge of his nose. Tony'd been bugging him for a while now, wanting to get the team back together.

"Just for a month! We'll stay up late in our PJ's, swapping manly stories, and in the morning I'll make waffles!"

"..."

"You obviously haven't seen Shrek yet. You're about as fun as my old man, you know that? I think I'm going to start calling you Grandpa America."

"I'm really busy here." Steve, said firmly, wanting the conversation to end. But not wanting to be rude enough to hang up first.

"I'll even pay for you to fly back to Russia or wherever you are if you decide you don't like it! Besides, we have new recruits if you didn't remember? The Maximoff girl needs some leadership in her life. A father figure. Aaaaand if you leave me and Vision to raise her by ourselves there's no telling how she'll turn out." He joked.

"Good-bye To..."

"C'mon Steve! Natasha's already arrived a couple of hours ago," Tony talked over him like it was nothing but Steve quite hovering his finger over the red phone icon when Nat was mentioned.

"and if the 'Widow' is willing to share space and give being 'roomies' a try, I'm sure you can too. The rest of the team arrives tomorrow. EVERYONE! Except you..." his voice became stern at the end of his spiel.

Steve didn't respond, thinking to himself. Natasha was there. She had been on "vacation", looking for a new cover or so since she had last talked with him. He had wanted to invite her to come help him and Sam. But before he could ask, she had given him a kiss on the cheek and had told him to call the nurse. Which he hadn't done. She had made it obvious that Steve was just a friend. Well, it had been his idea in the beginning So, it made sense. Steve could live with that. He had to. It's just that, after Natasha proved that there was more to her than a skin tight black suit and a flirty, smooth-talking attitude, Steve realized that...

"Cap? You still with me?" Tony asked.

"Yeah! Yeah, I'm here." Steve said, distractedly, "Look, I don't think I'd be able to make it tomorrow. Maybe next week..." the words spilled out unthinkingly.

"GREAT! I'll help Pepper set your room up. She'll be happy you're coming. See you in a week!"

*BEEP*

Steve sat there, frozen for a moment, looking at his phone dumbfounded. Tony had clearly hung up before Steve could say anything contrary. Then he tipped his head back and laughed. And laughed and laughed. Well played, Mr. Stark. Well played. Tony was one of the brightest men of his day, but sometimes he acted like a child. Interestingly enough, it worked to his advantage. Howard hadn't raised Tony with the attention and love that he should have, Steve was sad to find. The man Steve had worked with had changed along with the times. Howard had his only son in his older years, and according to Tony "was a crabby old man with more money than time on his hands".

Which resulted in a child of Tony's genius IQ to have a devious and rambunctious nature as it seemed to be the only way his dad payed any attention to him, since he was always working.

Tony Stark grew up, learning that being cheeky, witty, and sometimes downright rude was the only way for people to pay attention to you. REALLY pay attention to you. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it was true. Thus, everyone was cheeky, witty, and rude. Although, Tony pulled it off with more flare than anyone he ever met.

Steve wondered if he would have changed with the times too if he had been alive. If he had had kids, what would they be like? Would they be like Tony? He hoped not. Unlike Howard, Steve actually WANTED to have kids.

Steve hunched forward and rested his elbows on his knees, thinking about the life he would never have. "Love," his mother had once told him while they were in the kitchen making apple pie for a thanksgiving dinner, "is a four letter word, Steve. It's spelled T-I-M-E. Time." And then she coughed as she slapped Bucky's hand away from the caramel sauce he kept sneaking apples in. The beginning of a series of coughs which would one day kill her.

Steve thought about it. Tony had asked for time. Time for all the team to be together. And to be honest, Time sounded wonderful. Steve wanted time with the team. Time with Natasha.

With a sigh and a faint smile of surrender, Steve looked back at his phone and pressed the green phone icon again. Bucky could wait. He obviously didn't want to be found right now.

"Hey Cap. Where you at?"

"I went running to a nearby lake. Any news?"

"Nearby lake? There are no nearby lakes." Sam's confused voice sounded through the speakers.

"It's not exactly NEARBY, nearby. Anything new?"

"Nah, man. Still nothing. I got breakfast though. Hungry?"

"Pack up your bags, Sam. We're going home."


Yup! And the rest is history! Lol, jk. What did ya think? If you say you hate it, I will message you one of those nice, tender, heart-felt messages that will make you feel super bad about yourself ;) But if you say that it was boring, Ill understand. I think I spent too much time on backstory and details and stuff, lol.