"I'm gonna need a rain check on that dance."
He could see it now—the ice. It was just up ahead and while he knew this was his choice, it didn't stop his heart from beating like a hummingbird's. He glanced sideways, staring at his compass where he glued Peggy's picture, trying to memorize every single detail of her face; the way her eyes shone and her red lips pulled up and how her brown curls bounced.
Beauty and brains, packed into one amazing woman.
"Alright," she said, her voice cracking. His heart broke at the thought of her in tears and could only wish he could kiss them away. "A week, next Saturday, at the Stork club."
"You got it," he said. The clouds were clearing up. The white ice was getting nearer and nearer.
"Eight o'clock on the dot. Don't you dare be late. Understood?"
Despite his impending demise, he had the nerve to crack a smile. His heart was racing.
"You know I still don't know how to dance."
He could picture it. Hopefully, he made her at least smile a little. He tore his eyes off the ice and looked at her photo, at her smile.
"I'll show you how," she said, her voice barely above a whisper. Then he heard it: the tiniest sound of what he easily recognized as a laugh. "Just be there."
"We'll have the band play something slow," he said, agreeing. The ice wasn't far now. It was so bright—
—that he had to shield his eyes. When the light slowly died down, he lowered his hand and slowly opened his eyes.
"Good evening, Mister Rogers," he was greeted. Steve tipped his head slightly in greeting. The double doors opened and he was escorted inside. Immediately, he was greeted with a lively and upbeat jazz music that immediately calmed himself.
Well, a little.
Since he left his apartment, he been nothing but a bundle of nerves. He even forgot to wear his shoes earlier until he rode a taxi; an event Bucky would never let him live down. He felt exactly the way he did when she first kissed him, only a hundred times worse... or better.
He hadn't realized the coat lady had asked him for his coat until she had to move behind him and nudge at him to take it off. He quickly obliged and muttered a sincere apology. The lady just winked at him.
He heaved a sigh.
"Man up, punk," Bucky had told him earlier. "You fought Nazis. This is just a date."
"Easy for you to say," he had said.
The familiar voice with the English accent caught his attention in a snap. He turned around and...
He was just astounded.
He knew Peggy was a beautiful woman, but he had never seen her wear anything else but her uniform. And now here he was, on a date with said woman, who was looking more striking than he thought possible.
You lucky son of a gun, Bucky'd say.
"Peggy," he greeted back as he dipped his head down to meet her lips for a quick and chaste kiss. When they pulled away, Steve had a dopey grin as he said, "Eight o'clock on the dot like you said."
Peggy laughed, something that reminded Steve of chiming bells ringing in the breeze. This woman was going to drive him insane. She pulled on his hand and said, "Come on. We'll have dinner later. After I teach those two left feet to follow a rhythm."
Steve laughed a little. "These two left feet defeated Red Skull and Hitler. I think I'm doing okay."
"Let me be the judge of that."
She pulled him to the dance floor, her footsteps easily falling into the pattern of the drumbeat. She grinned brightly at him, her eyes shining and brown curls bouncing. When they were at the center of the horde of hooting and energetic pairs of dancers, he gestured her to wait. Just wait one second. He hurriedly headed to the stage and requested a slower song. The conductor was quick to recognize him as Captain America and he immediately agreed to do it. Steve smiled as his thanks before shortly returning to Peggy, the music already a slow and soothing melody.
"I thought you didn't like taking advantages of your title," Peggy mused.
"Just this one time." Steve could feel the nerves again, becoming tense when he remembered he was on a date with Peggy, and he still didn't know how to dance. "Uh..."
"Here." Peggy took his right hand and wound it around her waist. Steve blushed a little. She then placed her left hand on his shoulder, and guided his left hand into her right.
At that moment, Steve marvelled at the fact that her slender fingers fit perfectly in the spaces between his.
And they began to sway. Their movements easily matched that of the music. Slow and steady.
Like how they as a pair were going: slow and steady.
Turned out, Steve didn't need much instruction. It was either he knew how to dance all along or that Peggy was just the right partner.
He was leaning towards the latter.
She looked up at him, with those wide brown eyes he adored so much before leaning her head forward and resting it onto his chest.
They let go of each other's hands as Peggy wrapped her arms around his neck while Steve around her waist.
"I don't want this to end," he heard Peggy say.
Steve sighed. Tears pricking the back of his eyes, he let his chin rest on her head. He hugged her closer to him, not wanting to let her go... not wanting to let this moment vanish.
"But it has to."
He opened his eyes.
He had fallen asleep on the couch in the rec room again, drawing another portrait of Peggy.
He looked up and found Wanda, standing in the corner as she looked at him with watchful eyes that were still glowing a slight red.
"Everyone deserves a few dreams coming true once in a while, Captain. Even you."