Categories > Movies > Marvel Cinematic Universe

my pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand

by peitho_x 0 reviews

Plagued by powers she cannot control, Skye meets another troubled soul during her stay in The Retreat - a safehouse for gifted individuals. Skye x Steve.

Category: Marvel Cinematic Universe - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Warnings: [!!] [X] - Published: 2021-12-19 - Updated: 2021-12-19 - 3723 words - Complete

Skye flops down on the couch after pacing around the small cabin for the umpteenth time. There is nothing to do here. She has already chatted with Fitzsimmons and Mack who happened to be in the lab that morning and she doesn’t want to bother them any further. They are actually doing important work while she is stuck out here in the middle of nowhere, doing nothing.

There isn’t much to see outside, especially with the laser fence around the perimeter. Her arms are still healing so she knew she shouldn’t do any training, although she is severely tempted. The internet is pretty good out here, so she grabs her laptop and goes through the motions, but it isn’t the same without a purpose. It isn’t like she can just google ‘how to control earthquake powers,’ and find all the answers (because she’d already tried that last night).

She closes her laptop and puts it down on the coffee table and leans back on the couch, head tipped back. She has just closed her eyes when she hears rustling outside.

She is instantly alert, grabbing an ICER from the table and creeping across the floor until she stands with her back to the wall beside the door. She takes a breath, steadying herself as she feels the telltale trembling sensation from deep in her bones, and pulls open the door, training the ICER on the…

Very startled raccoon who takes one look at her and scampers away.

Skye sighs and slips the ICER into her waistband. “Of course,” she says to herself. “The most exciting thing about this place is the animals that dig through the trash.”

“The sunsets are alright too,” says a voice from behind her.

Skye spins around, pulling her ICER out and pointing it at the stranger. He is tall, blond and familiar, dressed in hiking gear with a backpack on his back.

He immediately backs up a step, holding up his hands. “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you,” he says. “I didn’t think there’d be anyone here.”

Skye tilts her head to the side as she regards him. “Captain America?”

He smiles. “Hi.” He holds out his hand. “Steve Rogers.”

Skye only hesitates a moment before switching the ICER to her left hand and shaking his hand. “Skye.”

“Nice to meet you.”

“Same to you.”

They stand there awkwardly for a moment before Skye realizes he is probably waiting for her to invite him in. Old-fashioned manners and all.

“Uh, you wanna come in?” she asks.

“Of course.” He smiles. It is a very all-American golden boy smile and Skye immediately understands his appeal. Sure, he’s handsome, but he also has an air about him that is instantly trustworthy.

“I’ll, uh, make coffee,” she says when they’ve stepped inside, because that’s what you’re supposed to do if you have visitors, right? She’s never really lived in a place where she had very many visitors. Out of the corner of her eye, she watches as Steve pokes around the cabin a bit before sitting on the couch.

“So, I’m assuming you’re with SHIELD?” Steve says.

“Yeah,” Skye says, turning around and leaning against the counter. “Under…” She stops herself; Steve doesn’t know Coulson is alive. “Under the new director.” Steve definitely catches her hesitation, so she continues. “So, what are you doing out here?”

“Just looking for a quiet place to stay for a bit,” he says. “I lived here for a few weeks when I first came out of the ice.”

Skye nods. “I know.”

“So, what are you doing here?” he asks. “If I remember correctly, this is used as a place for enhanced individuals.”

Skye thinks about lying but sees that Steve had glanced at the braces on her forearms and the clear bruising peaking out on her hands. “Yeah, I… it’s still used for that.” Before she can continue, the coffee is done, which she is extremely grateful for. “Do you take anything in your coffee?”

When she carries the two mugs of coffee over to the seating area, Steve takes the one farthest from him on the tray. He does it so nonchalantly that she almost doesn’t notice. He’s good.

She regards him curiously as she sits down across from him.

“What is it?” he asks, blowing gently into his cup.

“You don’t trust me,” she says, leaning back.

“Can you blame me?” he asks, completely calm. “You could be Hydra.”

“Or you could be Hydra,” she shoots back without thinking.

He raises an eyebrow.

“Right, duh,” she says. “Of course you’re not Hydra.” She sips her coffee. “And neither am I, by the way.”

Steve nods but she is pretty sure he doesn’t quite believe her. “So, why are you here?”

SHIELD has fallen. Its agents have been declared terrorists. Why are you here?

“Same as you,” she says evenly. “Just taking some time for myself.”

“Nice of them to give you time off in what I’m guessing is a busy time for SHIELD,” he says. “You must like the new director.”

Skye smiles. “He’s alright.”

They sit in silence for a bit, drinking their coffee and pretending not to be watching each other.

“So, how long have you been with SHIELD?” he asks.

Skye exhales a laugh. “I had just barely officially become an agent when everything went to shit.”


“I was kind of a… consultant before,” she says.

“Like Stark.”

She shrugs. “Sure. I was – am – a hacker. They thought I’d be an asset.”

“Hacker? So is Skye your internet name?”

It’s so weird to see a guy who looks barely thirty talk about the internet like a grandpa. She almost laughs. “No, Skye is my name name.”

“Right.” He drains his cup and sets it on the table. “Well, I’ll get going then, thank you for your hospitality. Sorry to drop in unexpectedly.” He begins to rise.

Skye frowns. “You’re leaving?”

“I don’t want to intrude on your time off,” he says. “As I said, I hadn’t expected anyone to be here.”

“It’ll be dark soon,” she says. “You might as well stay the night, head out in the morning.”

He looks at her with that suspicion-veiled-with-curiosity look.

“C’mon,” she says, not entirely sure why she’s insisting on this so much. “Even if I was Hydra – which I’m not – do you really think I could take you?”

He glances at her arm braces but sits back down. “If you insist.”

She rolls her eyes and brings the mugs over the sink. “Only because I can’t cook for shit and I’m assuming you, old-fashioned boy, can.”

“You don’t know how to cook?” He says it kindly, but she can tell he’s judging her, just a bit.

“I mean, I do, kinda, but…” She hesitates, once again wondering how much she should tell him about herself. “I’ve lived on the road for most of my adult life, so.”

Steve nods and doesn’t prod further and you know what, maybe he is a cool guy.

“And they don’t teach home ec classes at the Academy?” He rises and follows her into the kitchen area.

“I didn’t go to the Academy. I mean, I’ve been there before. Fitzsimmons gave a lecture – they’re like celebrities over there – and we stopped some kids who wanted to sell a storm-making machine to an evil tech millionaire – after Fitz unintentionally helped them with the design, but, y’know, stuff happens.”

“All in a day’s work?” Steve grabs a dishtowel and waits for her to finish washing a mug.

Skye shrugs. “Pretty much. Front row seat to the craziest show on earth, that’s what Cou– That’s what I was told when I decided to join the team.”

“The Hydra reveal must have been difficult.”

There are things you wouldn’t like about me, if you knew.

She’s quiet for a moment and nods. “There were a couple people that we didn’t… that showed their true colours, I guess.”

“On your team?”

She nods.

“That’s… rough.”

“It didn’t help that I had a big embarrassing crush on him, and he kissed me right before I figured it out.”

He blinks.

“But enough about me. Why are you in need of cabin in the woods-type solitude?”

Steve hesitates and she can almost see the calculation he’s making. To tell or not to tell.

Then he shrugs, casual as anything. “I didn’t get a lot of time to adjust after coming out of the ice. First Loki, then Hydra… Just thought I’d just take some time to relax.”

Skye nods. “That makes sense.”

There are pizzas in the freezer, but Steve insists on making a salad too. As he grabs the lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers from the fridge, Skye pulls out a cutting board and knife.

“I’ve got it,” Steve says, taking the knife from her, grip gentle but firm. “Why don’t you wash the lettuce.”

She looks at him. “Really?”


“I’m not gonna fucking stab you in the back, dude.”

“I only meant–” He gestures at her bruises. “You’re injured.”

“Oh,” Skye says. “Right.” She feels a blush crawl up her cheeks. “Thanks,” she mumbles and starts filling the sink with cold water. There’s something to it, him not seeing her as a threat, something that counteracts her immediate assumption that he will.

It carries her through dinner, letting her relax back into her normal self. “… and I love Simmons, but she was a fucking terrible liar. So, she tries to flirt with him – at least, I think that’s what she was trying to do – and then fucking shoots him with an ICER! Of course, Sitwell turned out to be a Hydra asshole, so that story sounds a lot cooler now.”

Steve grins. “She shot Sitwell.”

“In the chest, right in the middle of a fuckin’ hallway. May was pissed but she helped us deal with it.”

“Nat kicked him off the top of a building once,” he says.

Skye laughs. “Nice.”

“And I know what you’re doing,” he says.


“Swearing, more than you normally do,” he says. “I don’t know if you’re trying to get me off guard or just make me uncomfortable, but I was in the army; you’d have to work hard to make me blush.”

Skye smiles. He wasn’t wrong. “There really is more to you than meets the eye, huh?”

He raises his eyebrows with the hint of a smile. “So I’ve been told.”

She should probably tell him about the nightmares, she thinks as she grabs blankets from the closet and brings them over to the couch.

“Are you sure you don’t want the bed?” she asks for the millionth time. “I don’t mind and I’m smaller, so I’ll fit better on the couch anyway.”

“It’s fine,” he says, also for the millionth time. “I’ve slept under much less comfortable conditions.”

This would be a good time to tell him about the nightmares and her habit of unintentionally making whole buildings shake during them.

“Right,” she says. “Well, g’night then.”

“Goodnight,” he says.

She closes the door to the bedroom and flops down on the bed. She probably won’t even have a nightmare. It’s weird, but it’s kinda comforting knowing he’s right in the next room.

Skye wakes to the familiar shuddering in her bones and someone shaking her awake.

“Skye!” says Steve. “Skye, we’ve gotta get out of here. There’s some kinda earthquake–”

She sits up and tries to control her breathing, but everything continues to rattle around. “You’ve gotta get out of here,” she says, closing her eyes to concentrate.

“What? No–” He looks at her, how she’s clenching her fists and every muscle in her body is taut. “Wait, are you doing this.”

She nods sharply.

One, two, three in.

One, two, three out.

Just breathe, like May taught you.

She feels his weight as he sits on the edge of her bed. He puts a hand on her shoulder. “Is there anything I can do?”

“Not really,” she grits out. He begins to pull his hand back, but she grabs it. The presence of another person is soothing. She looks at him. “Just– Stay, please.”

His eyes are very blue. “Yeah, of course.”

And he does. He sits on the side of her bed, holding her hand, until the cabin stops shaking, and the room stops shaking, and the bed stops shaking. Until it’s just her shaking, and not from her powers.

She collapses into him, too exhausted to care if it’s too soon to be finding comfort in hugging him.

He is, of course, a really good hugger. He smooths her hair and rubs her back and his arms are huge. Not Thor-huge, but still huge.

Her self-consciousness comes back in increments, and she slowly pulls away, suddenly aware that she’s only wearing a loose tank top and underwear while Captain frickin’ America sits at her bedside.

She crosses her arms over her chest and clears her throat. “Thanks,” she says.

He just nods. “Of course.”

The thing is that even though Skye always presents herself as a closed book who doesn’t get close to people, she knows it’s a lie. She knows that she craves family and needs friends. With SHIELD she had – has – that. She knows that she can get vulnerable with people quite early on.

And the last thing she wants to do is scare him off with the whole story. So, she says, “This… thing. It’s kinda new and I’m not good at controlling it. That’s why I’m here. So I don’t hurt anyone.”

He looks at her for a long moment – long enough that she worries that she’s still managed to scare him off – and then smiles very gently. “Do you want some hot chocolate?”

Skye watches Steve putter around the kitchen from where he had guided her to the couch. He has a calming presence to him, one that makes her want to tell him everything weighing on her.

He sets the steaming mug in front of her and sits across from her on the couch. As she wraps her hands around the mug, he sits forward, elbows on his knees and fixes her with a soft concerned gaze that only adds to that urge.

She plays it off. “Oh, you don’t think you can make me spill my guts just because you give me golden retriever puppy eyes, do you?”

Steve raises his eyebrows. “Golden retriever puppy eyes?”

“Yeah, you know.” She tries to copy his expression which makes him smile at her, slightly confused.

He shakes his head and sighs. “The real reason I’m here is because Bucky, an old friend–” He cuts himself off. “Well, not just– It’s complicated. Anyway, I thought he was dead but had actually been brainwashed into an assassin for Hydra.”

“Yikes,” Skye says, unable to think of a better response.

Steve nods and talks about growing up with Bucky and then becoming Captain America and the war. And then how he discovered that Bucky had been alive the entire time. “At first he didn’t remember me, then he tried to kill me, and then he saved my life.”

It’s a ploy to get her to talk to him, she knows that; he talked about himself, so she’ll talk about herself. But she can’t help it. So she tells him about Ward, and her search for her parents and joining SHIELD and finding her father and Tripp’s death and finally the encounter that led to her being brought to the cabin.

“… and he was gonna kill anyone who got in the way, and I couldn’t let anyone get hurt because of me, so I shot myself with an ICER.” Her mug is empty on the table by now. “And I– I understand that me coming here was the best option for everyone, but…” She swallows. “My team is the closest thing I have to family, and now they’re afraid of me.” She laughs, humourless so it sounds more like a choked sob. “I’m scared of me.”

Steve goes around the coffee table and sits beside her, wrapping an arm around her. She leans into him, feeling herself relax as he rubs circles on her back.

“It took me a while to get used to my strength after the serum,” he says, and Skye feels his voice rumble with her head against his chest. “When I did shows to sell bonds, there was a part where I lifted a motorcycle with three of the dancers on it. The first time we rehearsed it, I expected it to be heavier and lifted it too fast and they all fell off. No bad injuries, fortunately, but bruised, I’m sure.”

Skye smiles.

“I also accidentally broke a guy’s arm while arm wrestling once. I know it’s not quite the same,” he continues. “But I’m sure you’ll be able to learn to control yours too.”

She tilts her head up to look at him, only to find him looking down at her, their faces inches apart. And she’s tired and sad and lonely, and he understands her and is still looking at her like he honestly thinks he can do it. So she tilts her chin up a little more and presses her mouth to his, ever so softly.

When she pulls away, she immediately wants to apologize, because he was just telling her about this wartime buddy/possibly something more who was back from the dead and she just told him all her shit, so it’s not a great time. But before she can say anything, he leans in, hand gentle on her cheek as he kisses her.

He is, of course, also a really good kisser, but not in the way she expected. He doesn’t kiss like a fairytale prince or a hero from a black and white movie. He sucks and her lips and pulls her onto his lap as he slips his tongue into her mouth. His hands are first indecisive on where they want to be, grazing her face, neck, and arms until they land on her hips. He grips her firmly and pulls her closer, guiding her as she grinds on him beneath her.

When one hand begins to creep up her top, she pulls away just far enough to say, “Should we…?” She looks over his shoulder at the bedroom door.

“What–?” He glances behind him then back at her. “Yeah.”

He carries her into the room, her legs locked around his waist. He sets her down gently on the bed. Clothes are tugged off awkwardly and tossed to the floor as their bodies intertwine. Skye feels the tension in her build, accompanied by the threat of trembling from deep inside her.

Steve sees her trying to fight it off. “You can’t hurt me,” he says. “Let it all out.”

Which is – in addition to being one of the hottest things anyone’s ever said to her – such a relief. She comes with a rumble she feels from her eyeballs to her fingernails to the tips of her hair.

“Oh, god,” he says, sounding like he’s had the breath punched out of him. At first, she’s afraid she’s hurt him after all, but one look at his face and she knows that’s not what just happened.

She pulls him up into a kiss, letting herself feel the aftershocks in the air around him, on his skin, inside herself. Her hand comes to rest on his chest, and she pulls her mouth from his in a breathy laugh.

“What?” he asks.

“Your heart,” she says. “The beats, the vibrations, I can…” She closes her eyes to concentrate on the way she can match it in her fingers, the way it feels under her skin. For once it doesn’t feel foreign and scary. It feels like a part of her. She can’t help but laugh again.

Skye opens her eyes and finds Steve smiling back at her.

“Look who’s already getting the hang of it,” he says.

She rolls her eyes. “Only cause you’re a friggin’ supersoldier. Anyone else, and I could’ve killed them.”

“Baby steps.”

Some time later, when Steve goes to take a shower, Skye tries to let the feeling in again. She tunes into her heartbeat. She lets it pulse in her fingertips and then lets it loose, accidentally blowing the alarm clock to bits.

“Everything alright?” Steve calls and Skye wonders if he has superhearing too.

“Yeah, it’s fine!” she calls back. She looks at the pieces of the alarm clock, then back at her hands. “Baby steps,” she says to herself.

They spend the morning in bed, lazily tangled, cuddling and making out. Skye keeps glancing at his watch on the bedside table and Steve keeps pretending not to notice until she finally relents. “My team’s gonna call to check in at noon,” she says.

“And you don’t want them to know.”

“It would… make things complicated.”

He nods, his face almost neutral, but he doesn’t say anything.

“Look,” she says, already cringing out what she’s about to say. “I’m not ready for anything real and, besides–” She smiles. “You’ve gotta go after your man.”

Steve’s expression hardens for a moment, like an instinctive barricade, before softening. “More than meets the eye, huh?”

“I like to think I’m just very good at reading people,” she says.

He laughs, falling back on his pillow. He looks up at the ceiling for a long moment before turning to her. “I think we’re gonna be alright.”

Skye lets herself believe him. “Eventually,” she says.

“Eventually.” He nods. “Baby steps.”
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