No Second Guesses, No Regrets
The next morning Taryn woke to a vivid cerulean sky and a warm day. Apparently Natasha had packed an overnight bag for her too, so she took out a light green spring sweater and a pair of cream colored pants. After getting cleaned up and dressed, she made her way down to the kitchen. It was very quiet down here today compared to last night. Everything was cleaned up and it didn't seem as though anyone was home. She decided to make herself a cup of coffee, found the single cup maker then went to the balcony to sit and watch the sunrise.
Taryn reflected on the events of the past few months; getting recruited for SHIELD again, training with the Avengers, falling for the one and only Captain America and losing her abilities. It was a lot to take in, but sometimes life was like that… much unexpected.
She heard the door open and turned to see Steve up and dressed in a nice tee shirt and jeans. She smiled. "You're up early."
"I could say the same of you. May I join you?" She nodded and he set his coffee cup down on the table and sat beside her.
They sat in silence for a while, watching the sun come up over the city.
Steve finally spoke. "Taryn, would you have dinner with me tonight?"
She smiled, "Of course I will, I'd love to."
"Good! Great! Um, I need to head back to the compound this morning but Pepper said you're welcome to stay here the day and I'll pick you up tonight."
"Well that sounds like a date, Steve. I'll see you tonight."
He drained his cup, and stood, smiling as he left.
She sat in blissful silence for about an hour until she heard a chime. "Agent McKenna?"
She looked around but saw no one there. "Um…yes?"
"Agent McKenna, this is FRIDAY. The boss said you were to have full run of the house and cars if desired today." Ahhh, one of Starks A.I. programs.
"Thank you FRIDAY. I think I should like to do some shopping. I have a date tonight," she replied with a grin as she walked back into the kitchen.
She was suddenly scanned and FRIDAY's voice piped up again. "I have programmed the Mercedes with all the stores that carry your size. The boss has asked me to open credit lines in all of those stores in your name, so no need to worry about money today. Consider it his birthday present to you."
Wow…that was awesome… she'd never been on a shopping spree before. But she knew she would still be frugal, but she definitely wanted to look extra nice for her date. But could she top last night's dress?
When she got into the Mercedes, she found that it would drive itself to its programmed destination. Leave it to Stark, she laughed. FRIDAY was in here with her, so she asked to go to Saks and would start her shopping there. The next time she glanced at her watch, it was three pm. She had gotten everything she needed for tonight so she figured she'd better head back to the tower and get ready. She ran into a few paparazzi that recognized her, but since she wasn't quite as famous as the rest of the Avengers they only snapped a few pictures… Although by the time she got back to the tower there were a few of them around hoping to catch a glimpse of Tony or any of the others. They took shots as she made her way into the building and the car went to park itself.
After Taryn dressed, she looked at herself in the mirror. She wished she had thought to ask Steve where they were going. She had purchased several outfits but decided on the one she currently stood in. Taryn had splurged on a beautiful off white colored ABS jewel neck sleeveless dress with a fitted bodice and flared skirt. The dress had a lovely lace overlay and was trimmed with black leather at the shoulders and had a black leather belt. She pared it with black leather single strap Manolo Blahnik sandals and finished it off with the necklace from Steve. Taryn felt beautiful and giddy and really hoped he wasn't taking her to a pizza joint. Laughing to herself, she made her way down stairs for a stabilizing drink.
Tony and Pepper were down stairs going over some paperwork. She walked over to the two. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but Tony, I wanted to thank you for today. It was very nice of you, for my birthday."
Tony stood and patted her hand. "You're very welcome. You look stunning by the way."
Pepper moved over to check out the dress. "Oh my gosh, that is beautiful, where did you find it?"
"At Saks along with the shoes. I hope you don't mind what Tony did for me…"
Pepper waived a hand. "Not at all! It's so nice to see Steve with someone. But next time, you and I will need to go shopping together –"
"Hoo boy," interjected Tony, becoming scared for his wallet. "Let's just think about this…"
Just then, the elevator opened and Steve stepped out. Taryn smiled at how handsome he was in dark pants, grey dress shirt, tie and light gray jacket. Wow.
Steve smiled brightly as he saw Taryn standing across the room and made his way over to her. Suddenly Tony stepped between them. "So tell me, Cap, what are your intentions with Agent McKenna? As her guardian for the day, I am entitled to an explanation."
Tony rubbed his beard. 'Hmm… and is that all? Nothing… afterward?"
Taryn hid a chuckle behind her clutch purse.
"Maybe a walk…?"
"Hmm well I suppose that's all right. Well kids, don't do anything I wouldn't do. Oh wait, maybe you should… I do a lot you know…"
Steve wrapped his arm around her waist and escorted her to the elevator. She grabbed her shawl on the way out and they were off. Taryn broke out into fits of laugher on the way down to the main level. "He had you sweating didn't he?"
Steve put a finger in his collar and loosened his tie. "So that is what a Father would be like with his only daughter, huh?"
Taryn laughed, "I suppose, though I wasn't allowed to date because of me being different. And it was probably for the best. The guys were weirded out by me anyway."
He shifted from foot to foot. "I can't imagine being weirded out by you…." And the elevator doors opened and he could see the paparazzi outside the main lobby. Luckily tower security prevented them from flooding into the building and FRIDAY piped in, directing them to the basement parking garage.
Finding their way to Steve's car, they hopped in and drove off in the opposite direction of the cameras. "I haven't told you how stunning you look in that dress have I?"
Taryn blushed as she looked out the window watching the city go by. "Thank you, Steve. A birthday present from Tony."
Steve raised a brow. "Oh?" he said with a hint of jealousy.
"Yes, he gave me a shopping spree, so I wanted to purchase something for our dinner tonight."
They rode the rest of the way in silence, listening to soft music on the radio. He soon pulled up to the restaurant and had the valet park the car. "Stark recommended this place. I hope you like Italian."
They walked into the restaurant and it was decorated rather tastefully for something Tony liked. Soft creams and auburns, warm lighting and wonderful smells wafting from the kitchen.
"Reservation for 2 for Rogers"
The hostess nodded, grabbed the menus and showed them to their table. It was a nice, cozy out of the way table. Steve held out the chair for her and unbuttoned his suit coat to sit. The waiter came momentarily, and Steve ordered a bottle of wine for the two of them, and they ordered their entrees. Sipping the wine, she smiled at him. "I'm glad you didn't let me forget about our dinner date."
"Me too. I'm glad you still wanted to go." He felt the heat rise in his cheeks again.
"I never did thank you for getting me out of the warehouse district."
"No need to thank me. I was leading the team. I swore to get you out of there."
"And you are a man of your word, aren't you." It was a statement, not a question. "You are a breath of fresh air in this day and age, Steve Rogers. There aren't many men like you. The world could use more."
Steve smiled and placed his hand on hers. "Taryn, would you consider… that is, I'd like it if I could call you my girl."
She placed her other hand on top of his and smiled. "I'm flattered, Steve. Yes, I would love it." She knew it wasn't a marriage proposal nor was she expecting one. But it was still a delightful notion.
A huge wave of relief washed over him, as if he expected her to say no. "Well, well that is just… just great! I know that it may not mean as much in this day and age, but it means a lot to me."
"Maybe not to some girls, but to me, it means a lot," she replied, smiling like she'd just won the lottery.
They walked out of the restaurant hand in hand and he drove them back to the complex. The two took a walk on the grounds and she removed her shoes and went barefoot in the grass. "It's a lovely night out," said Taryn looking up at the stars.
Steve nodded and watched her gaze at the night sky. She pointed out some constellations to him and marveled at her knowledge. Taryn turned to him and found him looking at her.
"Nothing, I just like to listen to you talk about something you enjoy."
She smiled. "We need more date nights like this."
He took her in his arms. "We can have as many as you like. How about dinner tomorrow."
"Deal," and she kissed him lightly with a smile.