Summary: Very, VERY loosely from the capkink prompt "Howard is as openly bisexual as it's possible to be in the 1940s, and Steve decides that he's interested.
Except as awkward as he is flirting with women, he's ten times worse with Howard. Cue him offering to light Howard's cigarettes and getting the most bemused looks in the world, etc etc."
Title comes from a letter from Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess: "I do not in the least underestimate bisexuality. I expect it to provide all further enlightenment."
Being accepted into the SSR program had inflicted many changes on Steve’s normal routine: not being with Bucky, forcing his body to move long past the point of exhaustion, and being treated like dirt without the option to fight back. (God, he missed being able to throw a punch at any bastard who picked on him just for being small.) Honestly, he’d been thrilled when the medical had been just like every other he’d ever had: it was the typical ‘yes, my blood pressure is always that low’, ‘no, I don’t have anything against having a decent lung capacity per se’, ‘turn your head and cough. No, don’t cough that hard’ affair until they asked him if he’d ever had VD. He had blushed, and stuttered, and then heard a soft snicker coming from the corner of the room.
“The kid’s sickly enough as it is, Doctor, are you trying to make him blush to death?”
“Not everyone’s as blasé about the state of their bed as you are, Mr Stark,” the doctor had replied with a stern expression.
Steve had looked over to see Howard Stark regarding him with an appraising expression. Steve blushed even harder and stared down at his feet. The man could apparently almost make a flying car and could definitely make him feel about three inches tall. This wasn’t a development he really wanted to discover while he was standing in just his shorts with a blood-pressure cuff around his arm.
“Howard Stark,” the older man had introduced himself, walking across the room. He held out his hand, and Steve shook it, still not looking up from his socks. “I’ll be coating you with Vita-Rays and science if this all turns out,” he said, a smirk twisting his lips upward.
“Steve Rogers,” Steve had said, releasing Howard’s hand and looking up at the brunette. “I’m a big fan of your work,” he added, looking away as the engineer’s eyes twinkled.
“So am I,” Howard nodded, and then winked so quickly Steve was almost unsure as to whether he had imagined it. “Ignore what you may have heard about me: some of it is mostly untrue,” he grinned.
“They say you’re involved with Betty Grable,” Steve said, before he could stop himself, then winced as the nurse pushed a thermometer under his tongue. He shifted it around until it stopped poking into the muscle.
“I started that rumour,” Howard called over his shoulder, heading back towards the observation room. “I’m not some terrible womaniser,” he added. “I just like people.” His hand closed around the door handle, and he paused. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Steve Rogers. Hopefully I’ll see you again. Even if you’re not what SSR is looking for.” With that, he strode through the door, and as it banged shut, Steve felt as though all of the energy in the room had been taken with him.
It took Steve several seconds to process what Howard’s last few sentences might have meant. When they clicked, he blushed harder than ever and focused very hard on not biting clean through the thermometer.
“What does he have-”, one of the other privates, a burly redhead named Shaunessy started, mouth full of potatoes and low-grade chicken, “-that we don’t?” He belched, and Steve though that mystique was probably a fairly large part of it.
“A flying car,” he suggested, instead, taking a gulp of metallic-tasting water from his canteen. “Dames love a guy with a flying car.”
“How do you know what dames like?” Hodge shouted from one table over, and Steve winced as the mess hall erupted into laughter.
“I know what your best girl likes,” he returned, not willing to let some meathead get the best of him just because he was a good head and a half taller than him.
“Save it for the battlefield, ladies,” Colonel Phillips barked from the head table as Hodge shouted the kind of cusswords that made Steve blush just to hear. “Settle down if you don’t want double-time on the obstacle course tomorrow.”
Hodge let out a disgruntled grumble and gave Steve the kind of look that let him know things weren’t over, but sat back on the bench. “I still say Stark looks like a degenerate Clark Gable,” he called over, eventually. “I wouldn’t trust him near my sister. Or my mother. Or my brother.”
General cat-calling followed, but Steve found he was paying more attention to the mental image of Howard working on his flying car in nothing but a wifebeater.
That was, he thought as he tried not to choke on his rations, an interesting development.
“You nervous?” Howard had asked him, three days before he was due to go in for what the SSR were euphemistically calling ‘enhancement’.
“A little,” Steve nodded, sipping at the whisky Howard had ordered for them both. He was allowed off-barracks for this evening as a reward for... Steve didn’t know what, exactly. For being what they were looking for, he supposed. He didn’t know how he was what they were looking for, but he’d fight three times harder to prove they hadn’t been wrong.
The whisky was warm as it slid down his throat, and good stuff too, not the rotgut that he and Bucky normally had to settle for. “This is good,” he mumbled, and Howard nodded, tipping his glass back and finishing his drink, swallowing languidly. Steve tried to hide that he was watching as the older man’s Adam’s apple worked, bobbing in his throat.
“Don’t be nervous,” Howard said, knocking his glass against Steve’s, allowing their knuckles to brush. “Erskine won’t let you get hurt, I won’t let you get hurt. And Phillips and the Government won’t let their investment get hurt,” he chuckled mirthlessly and signalled the bartender.
“I think I trust Erskine and you a little more,” Steve admitted, watching as their glasses were refilled. “Anyone who knows me by name, rather than as ‘Private Rogers, 015436’, they’re the ones who get my...” Steve shrugged, letting his sentence peter out. “I’m still nervous,” he said instead, closing his fingers once more around his glass.
“Trust me, kid,” Howard murmured, and Steve didn’t have the will to point out he was only two years younger. “You’ll be swell: you’re gonna have the world on a plate.”
“I’m pretty sure I don’t want the world,” Steve demurred, ducking his head. Howard let out a low chuckle, and Steve ignored the flicker in his stomach. He might have been warm and blurry, but he still knew it was a bad idea to tell Howard what he might have wanted. He knocked his drink back instead.
"How do you feel?"
How did he feel? Steve thought for a second, closing his eyes. He felt stretched and remoulded, and his muscles were aching like he had run a marathon, or been hit by a truck. Or been hit by a truck after running a marathon. He opened his eyes and took a deep breath as he looked at his biceps, and he marvelled at the way his lungs didn't feel like they were trying to rip out of his chest.
Aside from the pain in his muscles, his skin was still tingling; he could feel the dull throb where the serum had entered his body, could feel the heat from the Vita-Rays, and was still shaking off the claustrophobia of the enclosure and the weight of the expectations on his newly-muscled shoulders.
Mostly, though, he felt Howard's warm brown eyes on him, felt the spark of shock and triumph that flared in them as the brunette's mouth dropped open. His stomach involuntarily clenched as the older man reached out to touch him, and as Howard's palm pressed against the contours of his abdomen, he didn't know whether to push back into the touch or pull away. He was certain he could feel the individual whorls of Howard’s fingerprints pressing deeper into his skin.
He looked up and saw a room full of people looking at him expectantly. Howard in particular was giving him a curious look that made him feel even more on display than he already was.
"Uh, taller," he managed, looking away from the engineer and focusing on Dr Erskine instead. "I feel taller."
Steve hated his goddamned costume. He hated his speech, and he hated his boots and he hated the way the dancers stared at his backside when they thought he wasn’t paying attention.
He wanted to fight, wanted to be part of something bigger - helping people and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Bucky. Instead, he was waiting backstage at Radio City Music Hall, and he was pretty sure that heroics didn’t feel like powder, mascara and stage-lights. He could just see the curl of Hodge’s lip if he knew that they were making Shrimpy Steve Rogers, Private 015436 dance around on stage in makeup.
It was almost making his own lip curl, if he was honest with himself.
The one thing he consoled himself with was that after every show, after every meet and greet and photo-call, he spent a little of his wages on War Bonds. Every bond he bought was a bullet in the barrel of his best guy Bucky’s gun, and if that was all he could do, then so be it.
Steve heard the girls squealing from their dressing room and sighed. Five minutes until curtain up.
“Hey there, Captain.”
Steve looked around to see Howard Stark standing in the doorway, lips quirked in a grin that looked more playful than mocking.
“Just call me Steve,” the younger man sighed. “I’m no Captain, I’m just a fathead in a costume.”
“It’s a good costume,” Howard said lightly, “and a better man inside it.” Steve raised an eyebrow, and Howard shrugged. “I know it’s not what you want,” the older man admitted, “but you’re doing all they’ll let you do, and that’s got to count for something.”
“Doesn’t feel like it counts for much,” Steve frowned. “Feels like scratchy long-johns and a song and dance, who is that helping? Sales of War Bonds don’t mean jack: Dr Erskine didn’t choose me to sell war bonds - he didn’t die so I could sell war bonds.” Steve sighed and rubbed at his eyes irritably, the furrows on his forehead deepening as he saw the telltale smudges of his cursed makeup on his hands. “Dammit!”
“People need something to believe in, Steve,” Howard said, eventually. He let his hand rest on the blond’s shoulder, and their eyes met in the looking-glass as Steve wiped at his smudged makeup. “You’re a good something.”
The bell for overture and beginners rang, and Howard shifted towards the doorway. “Better go, I’ve got a seat front and center, and I hate to miss the start of a show.”
“Promise not to laugh at my speech?” Steve asked, lips quirked in a small smile.
“Promise,” Howard nodded, before raising his hand in a mock-salute. “Knock ‘em dead, Captain,” he said softly, before heading back into the main body of the theatre. The chorus girls squealed again, but as Steve took his mark behind the curtain, he found it didn’t grate as much as it had before.
The orchestra started vamping, and Steve put on his game-face. The curtain raised, and Steve tried not to squint into the lights looking for Howard.
Steve Rogers had only flown once in his life before he boarded Howard Stark's tin-can airplane. As he sat in tense silence, not quite meeting Peggy's eyes, a nearly-hysterical giggle bubbled up inside him. Little Stevie Rogers from Brooklyn in a private jet over Europe. If that didn't just beat all.
He let out a snort of laughter, and Peggy shot him a confused look. He was glad Howard had to focus on flying and wasn't able to join her. One of his superiors thinking he was insane was just about acceptable. Two, however, might have been dangerous.
"Are you scared?" Peggy had asked him, as he sat dry-mouthed waiting for them to leave the airfield, and he'd shaken his head. Steve let himself be many things: weak, small, a chorus girl - those were all fine, but he never let himself be scared. He couldn't afford to be scared when Bucky was behind enemy lines, and he couldn't be scared when the two people he respected most in the army were in the plane with him.
Despite the fact that he couldn't be scared, he could still let himself feel something pretty damn close to it. So Steve wasn't scared, he might have just been anxious, but that was fine. Everyone got anxious. What concerned Steve most was why he was anxious, because he wasn't most anxious about flying. It wasn’t dying, or the fear of how he might find Bucky, that he might not find Bucky at all. What made Steve most anxious of all was the way his stomach tensed with envy over Howard and Peggy’s late-night fondue plans, and the fact that he didn’t know which of them he envied more.
As he yanked on the door-handle and pulled his rip-cord on his parachute, Steve was grateful for that. If he was parachuting into hell, it was almost a comfort to know that his world was going to down with him.
“So, I hear you like the tights?” Howard smirked, pinning a measuring tape across the broad expanse of Steve’s shoulders.
“I… might have told Colonel Phillips something along those lines,” Steve admitted with a snicker. The older officer had told him that he couldn’t save any more good men dressed like an extra from an MGM musical, and Steve had shot back that he thought they brought out his eyes.
Apparently, saving half the squadron might have been enough to gain the Colonel’s respect, but it wasn’t enough to save him from one thousand push-ups for insubordination. Bucky had even managed to tear his eyes away from the pretty nurse patching him up to watch and laugh.
“Hmmmm,” Howard hummed, sounding distracted but amused as he wrote down measurements on a notepad. “Did he turn puce?” he asked, looking back up from the paper, mischief twinkling in his eyes.
“Depends,” Steve shrugged, feeling the engineer’s fingertips tracing down his ribs, “which color’s puce?”
“I’ll do your uniform that color, then you’ll never forget,” Howard threatened, and laughed as Steve tensed under his touch. “Purple,” he clarified, “it’s purple.”
“Oh!” Steve let out a small chuckle. “Uh,” he added, clearing his throat, “please don’t make my uniform purple.”
“I’m not promising anything, pal,” Howard muttered around a pencil clamped between his teeth as he measured the length of Steve’s forearm. “You ever been fitted for a suit before?” he asked, pencil now in hand and scribbling down numbers with the kind of precision that reminded Steve of a type-writer more than handwriting.
“Not exactly the money for that back home,” Steve admitted, feeling himself get hot as the brunette wrapped the tape-measure around his waist. “And didn’t exactly have any black-tie dinners to go to in Brooklyn,” he added. He didn’t feel embarrassed, exactly, but having the older man’s fingers on his waistband wasn’t exactly what he expected before noon on a Tuesday.
It wasn’t the kind of thing he let himself ever contemplate before midnight, either. He coughed softly, suddenly gripped by the irrational concern that the great Howard Stark was a mind reader as well as the wonder-kid mad scientist of the US Military.
“That’s a pity,” Howard said, “I wonder what you’d have looked like in a suit. Before,” he added, and Steve let out a small self-effacing laugh.
“Small, Howard, I’d have looked small.”
“Maybe,” Howard allowed, “lift your arm,” he instructed, draping the tape from Steve’s armpit to his hipbone, “but I don’t think so.”
“I always looked small,” Steve insisted, trying not to squirm as the engineer’s fingers fell upon sensitive skin.
“Sure,” Howard agreed, “but that’s the beauty of a good suit: it can hide all your bad parts,” he looked down with a grin like a secret on his lips. “It can also emphasise all of your good ones.”
“What are you looking to do for me,” Steve asked, and then winced as he replayed his sentence in his mind. “For my suit,” he clarified.
“I don’t know yet,” Howard replied, “what do you want me to do for you - for your suit?” he asked. His eyes spiked Steve’s, and Steve tried to smile innocently. He wasn’t entirely sure it worked as Howard’s own smile grew a little wider.
“I’d like to not die,” Steve said finally, frowning briefly as Howard pressed the end of the tape measure into his hand, “anything else is just window-dressing.”
“Hold that to the top of your thigh,” Howard told him.
Steve pressed the tape into his hipbone, and, thinking aloud, exclaimed “Oh! And wings somewhere, on the helmet, maybe?”
“Other side,” Howard said, his grin definitely turning into a smirk. It was making his right cheek dimple. Steve wondered if he could make the older man’s other cheek do the same if he tried hard enough.
“Huh? Oh,” Steve switched the tape measure to his other hip, and Howard let out a soft laugh.
“No, Steve, like this,” he said, pushing Steve’s hand across his thigh. Steve jerked back as Howard’s skilled fingers brushed across the in-seam of his uniform.
“Got it,” Steve croaked, fairly sure he hadn’t blushed this hard since he’d walked in on Bucky and Edith way back in ‘38.
“Good,” Howard smiled, as though he hadn’t been three inches north of the Hays Code a fraction of a second before. He dropped down gracefully to his knees and pulled the other end of the measuring tape down to the floor. “I won’t let you get hurt, Steve,” he added, looking up at Steve from the floor. His breath was hot against Steve’s skin through his slacks. “And I’ll make sure you look spiffy while you’re America’s Great Hope too.”
Steve didn’t have any witty retort while Howard’s fingers traced down his calf. He wasn’t sure he had the capability to form any words at all.
Howard looked down at his note-book and scribbled down yet more numbers. “One last thing,” he snapped back up, scribbled something down, and brought his fingers up to Steve’s neck, trailing them over his pulse-point as he took one final measurement. Steve could smell his cologne - something warm and spicy - and a hint of whisky.
“Breathe, Captain,” Howard murmured.
Steve wasn’t aware that he’d stopped.
“You’re nervous,” Bucky said plainly, as Steve drummed a tattoo on the bar, tapping his foot against his stool.
“I’m not nervous,” Steve returned, without really thinking.
“No?” Bucky asked, raising an eyebrow and giving Steve a long hard look over the rim of his glass. He downed his whisky and rested his hand over Steve’s, forcing him to still. “Are you auditioning for a jazz band after the war, then? I think Gershwin would have been impressed.”
“I’ll have you written up, Barnes,” Steve threatened mildly, mirth warm in his blue eyes, and Bucky just raised his eyebrow again. He’d learnt how when he was thirteen, after hours spent in front of a mirror. He told Steve proudly that it made him look rakish. Steve privately thought otherwise. “I will, Sergeant: Insubordination and making Captain America feel like a fool.”
“Shucks, Steve, you need me to do that? But you’re so good at it on your own,” Bucky smirked, and gestured to the bartender. “C’mon, pal, talk to me. What’s got you so twitchy? Is it Agent Carter?”
“I …,” Steve faltered, took a fortifying drink from the drink in front of him, even though it did little good bar warming his throat. “I don’t know how to talk to people,” he muttered.
“Well, that’s not news,” Bucky replied automatically, but he bumped his shoulder sympathetically against Steve’s. Steve smiled back weakly, and realised that not too long ago he would have had to fight to stay on his stool.
“You’re a great help, Buck, thanks,” Steve sighed.
“You can talk to me,” Bucky continued doggedly, pulling out his cigarette case and offering one to Steve - who shook his head, as always - before lighting up happily. “I’m people.”
“You sure?” Steve asked, grinning a little as Bucky exhaled slowly, smoke rippling out of his mouth in waves. “I’m pretty sure the Brooklyn Zoo wanted to have you on permanent exhibit.”
“See, now why say you can’t talk to people when you can cut me down and wound me like that?” Bucky grinned. “If this is about Agent Carter, buy her a bouquet of flowers, take her dancing… you know all of this stuff, Steve: it doesn’t just change because she’s British.”
“English, not British,” Steve answered absently. “Besides, everything’s different in England.”
“Captain, Sergeant. I thought I’d find you here.” Steve looked up from Bucky’s smiling face to see Howard Stark standing behind them, unlit cigarette balanced between his fingers. Steve fought the urge to offer to light it.
“Mr Stark,” Steve nodded, and Bucky saluted lazily in his direction. “How can we help you this fine evening?” he asked. “Are you drinking?”
“I’m always drinking, Captain. And call me Howard, for God’s sake. If I know your inside leg measurement, I think we’re past formalities.”
Steve concentrated very hard on not choking, and on not meeting Bucky’s gaze. “Same again,” he said to the barman, and took a long, long drink from his own glass. “So, Howard, how can we help you, outside of drinking?”
“Your suit’s made up, Captain, and Sergeant Barnes, your new rifle calibrations have come through, with some,” Howard paused and gave a self-satisfied sounding cough, “classic Stark Industries alterations.”
“They’re better tested than your flying car?” Bucky asked, giving the older man a narrow look.
“You’ll have full access to all the testing facilities tomorrow morning at 0700 hours,” Howard replied smoothly. “As for you, Captain, the suit is combat-ready, but we’ll need to see if there are any further changes you want made.”
“I trust your eye for design, Howard,” Steve demurred.
“As you should,” the brunette smirked. He patted down his breast pocket and frowned. “Do either of you have matches?” he asked, and Steve slid his hand over the bar to grab Bucky’s matchbox.
“Let me,” he said,” striking a match quickly and holding it up to Howard’s lips. He focused hard on not letting his hand shake, and even harder on ignoring Bucky’s gaze burning into him.
“Thank you, Captain,” Howard nodded, taking a long drag from his cigarette. “I’ll see you both with the sunrise then, gentlemen, have a good evening.” Steve watched Bucky as his friend watched the engineer leave the bar with a none-too-friendly expression on his face.
“So… I suppose that bouquet of flowers isn’t going to cut it,” Bucky said slowly. “Maybe he’d be better suited to a bouquet of Scotch.” He let out a short laugh, and Steve forced himself to meet his friend’s gaze. Bucky looked nervous, but his hands were still loose at his sides, not balled into fists, and Steve supposed that could only be a good sign. “You never choose the easy life, do you, Cap?” he grumbled, but he sounded more worried than displease and Steve shook his head slowly. “Make sure you’re careful, Steve-oh,” he said softly, pulling the blond close and leaving his arm around his shoulders.
“I’m always careful,” Steve replied, the knot of worry loosening in his stomach as Bucky let out another laugh.
“You’re a terrible liar,” Bucky noted. “We should turn in, since we have to see Stark at the wrong side of reveille tomorrow,” he added, rising from his stool. “Just know that I’ll have no problem taking him down with his own modified rifle if he deserves it, okay?”
“I’ll make sure he bears that in mind.” He smiled a little as they walked out into the brisk London night. Bucky defending him from everything, despite everything… maybe not everything was so different in England.
“Mr Stark?” Steve knocked on the door to the work-room, and brushed his fringe out of his eyes self-consciously. He almost wished he’d taken Bucky’s advice of coming with a bouquet of Scotch, just so he had something to do with his goddamn hands.
“No ‘Mister Stark’ here,” Howard’s voice floated through the air. “But Howard is. Come in,” Steve grinned despite himself and walked into the room, repressing the urge to wave as he stepped over the threshold.
“Right, sorry,” he shrugged. “What are you working on?”
“Your motorbike,” Howard replied, picking up a piece of chamois and rubbing at a smear of oil on his forearm, “the kickback on Barnes’ rifle - he said it’s jarring his arm?” He paused, and then grinned up at Steve. “Oh, and my own personal part in world peace. The usual.”
“You never were one for the easy answer, were you?” Steve asked, grinning back as Howard held his hands up in mock-defeat.
“The easy answer is always and incontrivertably boring, Steve.”
“Okay, so let me ask you another one,” Steve replied quickly, fighting the urge to pick up the interesting looking piece of rubble on the workbench. Last time he’d done that, he’d nearly blown a hole through the south-facing wall and he hadn’t been able to stop blushing when he’d seen Howard for almost a week. “What are you working on at nine o clock at night that’s more interesting than dinner?”
“World peace beats steak,” Howard drawled.
“Nothing beats steak,” Steve returned, raising an eyebrow. “You’re talking to a poor kid from Brooklyn here.”
“I always forget that,” Howard admitted, casting his eyes over Steve’s form briefly. “Let me rephrase: world peace damn sure beats ration steak.”
“You should eat, Howard. You’re no use to world peace if you die from starvation.”
“I think better hungry,” the brunette replied idly. He started to reach for the rifle sitting on the workbench before pausing. He gave Steve a long glance, during which Steve did everything he could to not blink, not fidget, not give away the fact that despite the uniform, he would always be a scrawny kid from Brooklyn who couldn’t dance.
“I...” Steve started, but Howard held up a hand and he stopped, deciding instead to stare at his boots.
“You’re not concerned that I eat dinner,” Howard said slowly, stepping out from behind the workbench and taking slow, deliberate steps in Steve’s direction. “You’re concerned that I eat dinner with you.”
“I... I thought an invitation for fondue might be a bit obvious,” Steve muttered, blushing.
“I already told you fondue’s just bread and cheese,” Howard said softly, stopping three paces in front of Steve.
“Anything else would smack of impropiety for a first evening out, surely?” Steve returned tartly, sinking back into silence as Howard raised an eyebrow at him.
The silence seemed to fill the room, and Steve lapsed back into staring at his shoes. His stomach sank as Howard stayed quiet, and he found himself bracing for the punch he was certain was coming. He had been so sure... but Bucky was right: he never chose the easy option.
“I was... I was out of line, Mr Stark,” he said eventually, darting his eyes up to meet Howard’s, before sinking back to the floor. “I apologise. Have a good evening.” He turned quickly on his heel, and was almost at the door when he added “You might want to stay out of Sergeant Barnes’ way for a couple of days.”
“I still don’t know a Mister Stark,” Howard called out as Steve’s fingers closed around the door handle. Steve paused, and dared to look over his shoulder. The older man’s mouth was quirked in that damned indecipherable smirk, and his eyes were sparkling, but Steve didn’t detect any malice in them. Steve had twenty-four years experience of noticing bad faith, and while his instincts may have driven him wrong before, that sense never had.
“Sir?” he asked, turning around and facing the brunette once more.
“I told you before,” Howard said, walking over to close the space between them, “that I ignore all people for my work.” He stepped one step further into Steve’s personal space and placed a warm, strong hand on his shoulders. “I don’t believe that I ever told you that the main reason for that is because you are my work.” He trailed his hand along the blond’s shoulder, and Steve shivered as warm, calloused fingertips came to a rest at the nape of his neck. “Should have mentioned that, I guess.”
“And you’re normally so good with the finer details,” Steve murmured softly, before being cut off as Howard pressed a soft kiss to his mouth. The older man tasted like cigarettes and bourbon, and smiled against Steve’s mouth when he moved his hands to bracket his face.
“This is probably not the best place to continue this,” Howard cleared his throat, breaking the kiss. “Besides, I believe you promised me dinner?”
“Dinner,” Steve nodded, taking a steadying breath as Howard grabbed his hat and coat from the stand in the corner of the room “I don’t know that we’re in the wrong place, though,” he grinned, running a finger over his bottom lip, “I reckon it’s the biggest experiment anyone’s carried out with Captain America.”
“Mmm,” Howard nodded, turning the lights off as they left the room. “Forgive me if I choose not share any further enlightenment with the Colonel.”