When the car pulled to a stop outside a Brooklyn apartment building I literally fled from the car. I got to the sidewalk and fell on my knees, looking up at the night sky with a rapturous smile. "Thank Odin! Solid ground!" I exclaimed dramatically, raising my arms into the air as if in delighted prayer.
Coulson got out of the car, laughing at me. "Was it that bad?" He asked me.
I looked over at him, a smile playing at my lips as I put on an anguished expression. "Yes!" I gushed out dramatically. Coulson chuckled and I grinned wildly, getting to my feet. I stared up at the apartment building with a bit of confusion but mostly intrigue. "Who are we picking up exactly? I mean, you S.H.I.E.L.D guys don't exactly come off as the apartment type so I doubt he's one of yours." I said. Coulson looked at me in surprise and went to ask how I knew about S.H.I.E.L.D but I held up a hand to silence him. "Mind reader, remember? I kind of listened to the driver. He doesn't know much but he knows enough. So who we getting?" I said as if it was no big deal.
Coulson looked up at the apartment building and smiled. "A hero." He said simply though he spoke the word as if it was a prayer. I got such a fanboy feel off of him that I took a step back, trying to block out his thought. Intense feelings and me do not mix. My own make me unbalanced, a threat almost, and other people's made me hear their thoughts. I learned way too much about people during intense moments, which was why I avoided all couples. The things you here…dear gods it could make you sick.
I followed Coulson into the apartment building, up some stairs, to basically just a random door. I stared around lazily, taking in how old fashioned the place looked. Like it hadn't been changed since the forties. The forties…gods that time sucked. Hitler. I hate that guy.
Coulson knocked on the apartment door and within five minutes it opened. I glanced over at the person now standing in the doorway then did a double take. Gorgeous blue eyes, blonde hair in a forties hairstyle, strong chin, muscles to die for. I'd seen him before and not just in old Captain America posters back in the forties. I saw him crash.
"It's impossible." I whispered, staring at the Captain as if he was the one from another planet instead of me. Both him and Coulson looked at me in confusion. "I saw you crash." I said and both men's eyes grew to the size of dinner plates. "I was seeing what the Tesseract saw the whole time Hydra had it. I saw you fighting that Schmidt guy, I saw him open a portal like an idiot, I saw him die and you standing there watching in horror." I said quietly, looking at the floor as I remembered clearly the time I'd spent seeing what the Tesseract saw. My voice shook as I remembered it all. The intensity, the pain. I didn't even look up at the Captain, too caught up in my memories. "When the Tesseract fell to the sea I held on to its vision. I wanted to know what happened to you since the whole mess was my fault." I looked up at the Captain, pain rippling through my whole body. "You crashed! Into ice! How are you alive?!" I shouted at him, shaking.
Captain America stared at me like I had just grown a second head. I didn't mean to shout, I was just so shocked. He had died. I had watched him crash. For a whole decade after that I'd been a walking mess, unable to stand the guilt clawing inside me. If I hadn't messed with that stupid cube it would never have ended up on Midgard and Hydra would never have been able to use it. If Hydra hadn't been able to use it they wouldn't have been able to make their weapons and the Captain would never have had to crash the plane. His fate had been my fault and even now, seventy years later, I was still ridden with guilt and self hate. Now here he was, Captain America, alive and well, standing in front of me. So incredibly confused that his mind opened up to me and I was sucked straight into his thoughts.
Within two seconds I knew Captain America's, Steve Rogers's, whole life. I saw everything that had ever happened to him, including his last moments before he plunged into the ice. I let out a cry filled with pain and crumpled to the floor, clutching my head.
"Oh my gods I'm so sorry!" I shouted, not looking up at Steve as I dissolved into self loathing tears. I had ruined his life! He missed a date, missed living out a wonderful life with a wonderful girl, all because of that stupid cube being here which was my freakin' fault! I looked up at him and saw the confusion on his face. "I can read minds and I kind of just read yours and I found out your whole past and so freakin' sorry and you are allowed to murder me at any point because I ruined your life!" I said, my voice steadily going higher until I was shouting at him. Tears were rolling down my face and I hated myself for crying. I had no right to cry when I'd done so much to this poor extremely hot guy.
My tears intensified when Steve knelt down beside me and placed a hand on my shoulder. "Ma'am I have no clue what you're talking about but I know a pretty girl like you should not be crying." He told me awkwardly.
I let out a strangled laugh. "You're so damn sweet. Peggy would have been so lucky." I told him. Steve stared at me in shock, no doubt wondering how I knew that impressive woman. "Like I said, I can read minds and I read yours. Every last bit. I'm sorry. It was all my fault." I said, my voice small and weak. I sounded like I was dying and I prayed to Odin that I was. I didn't deserve to live. I'd killed so many by playing with the Tesseract. I deserved death. Steve deserved to kill me.
Steve chuckled slightly, trying to get rid of some of the awkward shock filling him. "I doubt my whole life was your fault." He said jokingly.
I laughed a bit but it got stuck in my throat. "Not your whole life. Just the war part. Hydra would have been able to kill so many if I'd just left that stupid cube alone." I told him. Steve stared at me in confusion and I waved my hand dismissively when he tried to speak. "I know what you're thinking. Zola is to blame for the weapons but I'm the one who made it possible for him to make them. It's my fault the Tesseract ended up here. It's my fault you had to crash the plane." I was practically whispering by the end. I looked up into Steve's eyes, saw the confusion on his face, and shook my head. Before he could react I wrapped my arms around his neck and hugged him. "I'm so sorry. You can kill me if you want, I deserve it. I won't even fight back." I told him.
Steve pulled away from me sharply and stared at me like I was insane. "I'm not going to kill you." He said, looking disgusted by the idea.
"I wish you would." I said immediately. Steve couldn't respond to that, how exactly do you respond to someone saying they wanted you to kill them? I wiped the tears out of my eyes before offering him my hand. "My name's Britta by the way. I'll explain all the crazy I just said and a bit more when we get wherever Phil's taking us." I told him.
The super soldier took my hand immediately though he still looked confused and shocked. "Steve Rogers. But you already knew that." He said, smiling a little at me. I chuckled and he stood up, still holding onto my hand. He easily lifted me to my feet before releasing my hand. While he retrieved his bag from his doorway I turned to Phil.
"You're right Phil." I told him, wiping away a few more tears. Coulson stared at me with a mixture of confusion and shock that almost made me chuckle. Almost. "That man's the definition of hero." I said, pointing at Steve who promptly blushed.
Nothing else was said as we made our way back downstairs to the gods forsaken car. I climbed into the car without a word, sitting between Phil and Steve and feeling the torrent of emotions in both of them. I tried to shut out their thoughts but I couldn't. Phil was starting to admire me for knowing the Captain's every thought while Steve was wondering how I could know anything about him. He already decided though that if I was to blame for the Tesseract being on earth he wouldn't hate me for it. I nearly kissed him for that before the self loathing kicked back in and, with it, the voices in my head who had been surprisingly silent.
"You ruined his life. He could have grown old, had kids, lived a good life with Peggy if you hadn't messed with the Tesseract." Grid told me cruelly, laughing at my pain.
"She didn't know any of that would happen when she picked the cube up Grid!" Nanna snapped furiously. Grid rolled her nonexistent eyes and I felt Nanna glare. "Besides, it wasn't her fault. They dared her to do it!" Nanna added.
I shook my head sadly. "I could have chosen not to go through with the dare Nan. Grid's right for once, this was all my fault. There's no excuses." I told her.
Grid grinned wickedly, I could feel her do it. "Imagine how he'll react when you tell him the full story." She said evilly. She knew I was planning on telling the Captain everything the second I got a chance to. I owed him so much but the least I could give him was the truth.
I shuddered involuntarily. "He'll murder me and I'll deserve it." I said before burying my face in my hands. I let out a heavy pain filled sigh that was impossible to ignore. "How much longer till we get to the jet Phil?" I mumbled out, just now noticing my car sickness.
"Ten minutes. Think you can survive?" Coulson asked me.
I looked up at him, my face dead serious. "I really hope I don't." I told him. We hit another bump and I groaned loudly, doubling over in pain. It was nothing I didn't deserve though so when the Captain started awkwardly rubbing comforting circles on my back I hated myself for feeling better. I also hated myself even more because Steve was one of the best under acknowledged men in history and he was rubbing circles on my back even though I ruined his life. I swore then and there to put his life ahead of mine no matter what. I owed him that and so much more.