We're Just Friends

James Rogers is the son of Steve Rogers, aka Captain America but no one knows that except Annie Stark, daughter of the famous trouble maker Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) and though she knows one of the biggest secrets he has, he has never saw Annie as a friend. She was more like the girl he would see across the room when he was with his dad training. He didn't think there was anything wrong with her or anything. In fact she was the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, and the smartest. She had these long dark brown curls (almost black) overlapping each other around her small doll like face. Her eyes were baby sky blue like her father’s, and she was very mature, hardworking and most of all... patient.

James Rogers on the other hand was a no nonsense kind of guy. He tries his best to be patient but his anger and logic sometimes gets the best of him. Though at times James could be considered very blunt and cruel, he has a very soft heart under his emotionless facade and this warm atmosphere around him that not even Annie ever had. So when he said "Hi" to Annie. It surprised most.

"Hello James," Annie replied politely with a friendly smile. She put down her tools and stepped away from her work station. Tony was kneeling in pause of what he was doing. He did not move as he watched his daughter talk with James cautiously. Steve did the same from across the room except he did it with more of a sly smile as Tony stared back at his daughter and James as a protective and concerned father. This made James feel somewhat awkward and put back. "Can I help you with something?" Annie asked after she began to feel the unsettling atmosphere.

James cleared his throat looking down at the piece of parchment in his hands, "Actually," He said. He looked up and handed her the parchment, "I was going to go to the new cafe down the block and I was wondering if you would like to go with me tomorrow at three or four or..." He hesitated for a moment as Tony stood up tall. James stepped back, his eyes never escaping the father’s severe gaze. Annie looked at the parchment and written on it was the address to the café. James eyes escaped back to Annie as he continued. "Or five?" At that moment he was reminded of the nature special he once saw on TV and how the young couple was attacked from getting too close to the bear’s cub.
James was very popular in school and sure enough Tony heard about it, but what his dad and Tony don’t understand is that he is only famous because the girls keep running after him. Now normally a guy would love that, but it’s been going on for sooo long that it’s just gotten annoying and now the only reason Tony is as protective as he is right now, is because he now may think James is a player, which he is not. Did being Captain America’s son mean anything? Of course not. Now James was not afraid of Tony physically. Tony was clearly not as strong as James, but James knew that if he wanted to be friends with Annie, he needed to respect Tony, even when he didn’t want to.

Annie looked at her father in private disappointment and then looked back at James. He waited for an answer uneasily. It wasn't a date. Both James and Annie knew that but did their parents know that? No. Annie looked down, the simple friendly smile slowly starting to fall. Personally and shyly she didn't like the way he approached her in front of her father and everything but she didn't want to be rude. Then she thought that it would be good for her and that she needed to make a decision fast because it’s not every day a guy would ask her something like that. To make sense of all of this, you need to understand that Annie had never had a boyfriend or went out on a date because of all the Avenger work. It was her job to make weapons and to stabilize the family company when her father was away. She couldn't count on her mom because... well. Her mom is dead. So naturally she was shy and embarrassed and didn’t know what to say when he approached her. Also now she knows her father is never going to let her hear the end of it, but still. In a way he did it with respect, dignity, and courage. Something she respects.

Finally Annie looks up with the friendly smile again and answers, "Four sounds great."

"Great," He said stepping away slowly, "that's great. So I'll see you?"

"Yes," Annie answers again in her small kind voice. Then she returns to her work and Tony joins her. James feeling accomplished, walks back over to the ring with his father. Steve still with the sly smile on his face stares at his son and without even realizing Bucky was standing there too doing the same. The two old best friends could not look away from the young teenager. James tried to put on his boxing gloves patiently and obliviously as he felt the burning stare of his Father and his best friend, but he knew he couldn’t endure it any longer. They look at him as if he was asking her out, but he wasn’t. Honest. He was simply trying to get to know her better. He sees her every day and all they really have to say to each other is “hey” and then they move on. He really did want to be friends because right now they were the only superhero breeds in the city. Thor left with his daughter to Asgard, their home, where his daughter Thena could be a princess and one day rule. Only when Earth really needs help, do Thor and Thena come back. T’Challa, aka Black Panther, did the same with his son. The only difference is that his kingdom is on Earth, but they do come together when the situation is demanding it. It’s kind of sad because Azari (Black Panther’s son) and James were really good friends, but he still wishes the best. Same goes for Thena and Annie.

Then Bucky and Steve do something that pulls James over the edge. His father starts talking about him behind his back and then finally James throws a glove to the ground. “Is there something you would like to share!?” he snapped.

Bucky walks off the ring shaking his head teasingly, leaving Steve smiling at his all too familiar son. He puts a hand on James shoulder and says, “Sometimes you are too much like your mother.”
He pulls his hand away and starts to bandage his knuckles, “Your mother was tough. Didn’t let any man think she was lower than them. Was a no nonsense type of gal. I loved her because of that.” James muscles finally relaxed. He didn’t know that. Lately his mother has been really calm and patient like Annie. He thought he got his anger issue from his father. He was very wrong.

“Then if that’s true then what kind of guy were you?” James asked suddenly. James never asked something like this before especially to his father. He figured that it was a very sensitive subject since his dad was really from the 1940s and realistically speaking is a huge loss. His parents, first love, friends, and team all thought he had died in the war and he was branded as America’s War Hero when really for the rest of the war he had been sleeping in a block of ice. That information alone may have been hard to swallow. Now if Captain America had stayed in his original time period then James would have been around Tony’s age and they may have been good friends. Weird right?

James wasn’t getting the reaction he expected though. His dad smiled warmly and he dug his hand into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He pulled out a very old and worn photo. It was folded and creased. Steve extended his arm and pushed the picture toward James. James took the picture carefully. When he looked at the picture James saw a very skinny man who looked an awful lot like his dad. Except this guy was short and EXTREMELY thin, he swore he could see his bones and his ribs, though this guy had his dad’s face. “Who’s this?” James asked obliviously.

His dad laughed again and said, “That’s me.”

James’ jaw dropped. He couldn’t believe it. His dad! Captain America was this scrawny, tiny, short, little bug? No way! He just couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Well he had his face but… No! That just couldn’t be his dad! No way!

“I know what you are thinking,” Steve continues, “There is no way Captain America was that little guy.” He looked at his son, “Am I right?”

Silently and speechlessly James nodded his head. He handed the picture back to him, “What’s this got to do with me?”

Steve took the picture back and put in back in his wallet for safe keeping. “You’ve got a warm heart,” Steve said, “Don’t keep acting like you don’t have one, trust me, you can’t fool me.”

Steve walked to his corner putting his right foot forward just as James started to blush uncontrollably. James put his hands in his pockets as he said, “We’re just friends.”

“Sure solider,” Steve laughed.





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