Who: Sam Wilson, Carol Danvers, & bonus Nick Fury What: It's not a date. When: A few weeks ago Rating/Warnings: green
Piano bars weren’t typically the kind of place Sam spent time though he had nothing against them. He enjoyed hanging out with Carol, so he figured that it didn’t really matter where they were. She was fun to talk to, had a lot of interesting stories, and, well, it didn’t hurt that she was easy on the eyes.
This wasn’t a date though. At least that’s what he kept telling himself. Deep down, he wouldn’t mind if it turned into a date, but he certainly wasn’t expecting it and he did not want to be That Guy and ruin a great friendship by acting like a creeper. He wasn’t one of those jerks who complained about being ‘in the friend zone’ or only cared about spending time with a woman if it might lead to sex.
He did kind of miss sex though. The life of Avenger didn’t really leave much time for dating.
“This place is pretty cool,” he said once he and Carol were settled at a small table. “Good suggestion.” Since it was a little classier than the dive bars he usually suggested, he decided to order a bottle of wine instead of a pitcher of beer. “Red or white?” he asked, sliding the wine list in front of her. He really didn’t know anything about wine.
To most people, it didn’t seem like Carol was the type to like piano bars, but she secretly really liked them. It was that same thing where she really liked karaoke. Anything where people gathered around and had a good time, like a bar but with an actual theme to keep her attention. There wasn’t a whole lot going on at the moment, the wedding over and the next mission in the future. Hanging out with Sam was quickly becoming one of her favorite things to do.
He was fun to be around, and he got her sense of humor, which was a lot. Everyone had this bond with each other that she didn’t have. She was new, and set apart from everyone. No one really knew her, even in the whole five years they were supposed to have gotten to know each other, she didn’t really feel like she knew anyone at all. So it was nice to hang out with someone that didn’t treat her like she was an outsider.
Whether or not Carol thought this was a date well.. Only time was going to tell. But she certainly liked Sam.
“Yeah, it’s fun. Better than twiddling your thumbs while you’re drinking. Um, I’ll have white? I guess? Don’t tell anyone, but it all tastes the same to me. I can’t tell the difference.”
Sam laughed. “Neither can I,” he admitted. “Should we just go with a pitcher of beer?” Just because they were in a classy sort of place didn’t mean they couldn’t drink what they enjoyed. He appreciated that about Carol. For someone who spent so many years in space, she was surprisingly down to Earth when it came to most things.
It was nice to spend time with someone who didn’t have any real expectations of him. Steve and Nat were great friends, but they both thought he was something more than he considered himself to be. Sure, he’d been part of a superhero team for the past few years. That didn’t really make him a hero though. All he really wanted to do was help people, same reason he joined the Air Force and why he ended up working with vets when he finished his service.
“I’m good with either,” he said. “Though if this is one of those places where people sing, I will need a lot of whichever.”
“A pitcher of beer sounds wonderful.” And if it wasn’t fancy enough for the people in the piano bar, then she would have to find a new piano bar after this. She’d drink wine if she was at a wedding, but give her a beer any day of the week.
There was a lot of pressure to being a ‘superhero’ that she still wasn’t all that sure about. There were so many things that she wanted to do, and knew she had the power to do them. Except being here with people and getting to know them was important too. The only downside to being here was that Maria and Monica weren’t around. If they were, then maybe she wouldn’t feel so alone.
She eyed him with a smirk. “Oh you’re afraid to get up and sing a little song? Is that what I’m hearing?”
“Oh, is that how it’s gonna be?” Sam asked, laughing a little at the accusation. He ordered them a pitcher when the server came by and then turned his attention back to Carol. “You pick a duet and we’ll get up there together.”
He wasn’t necessarily opposed to making a fool of himself, but he wasn’t going to do it alone. And if she wasn’t afraid to get up there and sing, then he wouldn’t be either.
Maybe he was trying a little to impress her.
Carol shrugged her shoulders in amusement. Maybe it was…. Maybe it wasn’t. But if she got him to go up and sing with her, then so much the better. “Yeah? Awesome.” She was grinning a little bit, trying to think of a good duet. There wasn’t many new ones that she knew, but she definitely liked the old ones.
They would have to wait until after the piano guy did his stuff, before the karaoke started up. It looked like a lot of fun though. It didn’t take long for the guy to get up on the stage and start playing some old tunes.
“You know, this makes me think that there should be a karaoke and piano bar all together. Instead of singing with a tape, you sing with a guy playing the piano. If I ever get out of the superhero business, that’s totally what I’m going to do.” For sure. She could totally pull that off.
That was actually a great idea. “You know, I bet Tony would fund it if you decide to give it a shot,” Sam said. Not that any of them were looking to get out of the superhero business any time soon. Maybe it would be a fun thing to do between rounds of saving the world though.
“It’s kind of crazy how we fell into the superhero gig, isn’t it?” Sam asked. It certainly wasn’t something he would have ever considered doing or attempted if not for that chance meeting with Steve by the reflecting pool. From what he knew of Carol’s history, it wasn’t exactly something she would have planned either.
Though he supposed some people might argue their decisions to enter the Air Force put them on that path. Sam wasn’t the type who believed military service automatically made you a hero though.
“You think so? You’re probably right. That guy will fund anything, I think.” Not that it was a bad thing, not at all. It was a little amusing. Maybe if she had that kind of money, she would give it to people who needed funding to complete their dreams or whatever. She liked to think that she was that altruistic. Hopefully she was. It would definitely be fun though, for sure.
It definitely wasn’t something she had planned. Sure she had wanted to do all of the things that her brothers did growing up. Carol had wanted to show her father that she could do anything that boys could do. So she went into the Airforce. And now they were both here. “I guess we both kind of followed after someone who saw something in both of us.” For him it was Steve and for her it had been Mar-Vell. She wished she remembered her more.
She turned her head to look back over at him. “You ready for karaoke?”
Sam quickly drank a beer and wiped the foam away from his mouth. “Ready as I’m ever going to be, Danvers.” Hopefully he wouldn’t make an absolute fool of himself.
“What are you making me sing?”
*** With a devious grin, Carol grabbed at Sam’s hand and went to pull him up towards the stage. “We’re singing that Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers song because it was the only one I recognized.” Which was the only downside about having skipped almost thirty years. She hardly knew any of these songs. Sigh.
Still she pulled him up and handed him his microphone so that they could sing Islands in the Stream.
It was a quiet evening, the kind that Fury liked the most. Sure, he had a meeting with a visiting dignitary but it was an old friend, so it didn’t feel like his usual cloak and dagger type meeting. Instead, he’d had Darcy set up reservations at this piano bar, and he’d spent the better part of a few hours actually laughing and reminiscing about old war stories.
It was so relaxing, that for once, Fury had let down most of his guard. He hadn’t noticed when Carol and Sam showed up, in fact didn’t notice until they were up on stage. Then, he almost instantly wiped the smile off his face and narrowed his eyes.
They looked close. And happy.
When Fury’s attention shifted, his friend wisely knew that it was time to leave -- after all, their business had long been attended to and the promised information would be delivered lately. A smart handshake later, and Fury was left watching a terrible rendition that would make Dolly Parton cry.
Crossing his arms, he leaned back in his chair and tried to assess the situation. He didn’t realize that Carol knew Sam, although to be fair, of course they would know each other. The network wasn’t that large. In all honesty, he was glad to see them out. They were young, and looked relaxed. Of course, there was no way he was going to say that. Instead, he just waited, patiently, and fixated his stare until there was no way either of them could ignore him.
His glare was that oppressive.
“Oh, we are going to have to update your musical repertoire,” Sam said before she shoved the microphone in his hand and the song started.
He didn’t care what people thought of him, so he got into the song, not worrying about little things like singing on key or even making sure he had the lyrics right. This was all supposed to be a good time and since it looked like Carol was enjoying herself, that was all that mattered.
Or at least it did until he got the uneasy feeling that someone was staring at him. His eyes darted around the room quickly, trying to determine if it was some threat, and, when they landed on the source, he stumbled over the words he was singing.
Somehow he managed to get through the rest of the song and, as he and Carol got out of the way, he nudged her arm. “That doesn’t look good,” he said, his voice low as he nodded in Fury’s direction.
“Hey, don’t you dare diss Dolly!” Yeah she had said diss. Because she was from the 90s. Deal with it. Okay so maybe her singing voice left something to be desired, but she enjoyed herself. She liked to sing, and more than that, it reminded her of her life before everything had happened. And honestly she hadn’t even noticed that Fury was there, until they were done. She had been completely oblivious, lost in the song.
More or less.
Turning her head to see what Sam was talking about, she spied her friend and instead of looking like she was about to die, her whole face lit up.
“Oh come on, are you scared?” she asked him honestly, still smiling. Then she wandered over.
“Hey, you. I didn’t think you were the karaoke type.”
Fury was in a strange quandry. On one hand, he was relaxed and enjoyed his night. It made it even better to see Carol like how he remembered her: young, fresh and smiling.
On the other hand, he barely knew Sam and didn’t really enjoy people seeing past his defenses right off the bat.
Still. If he acted out of character -- or at least out of the perceived character -- he could find a way to make the situation work for him. He was Nick Motherfucking Fury after all.
“I asked Darcy to pick a low-key, slightly classy, decent music, blend in kind of place.” He raised an eyebrow and his glass as he motioned around the bar. “This fit the criteria. Besides, my guest this evening has a fondness for karaoke and piano bars.” There. He answered the question without revealing that he also didn’t mind karaoke bars. It was fun to watch people let loose. Most singers acted like it was their own private stage, and you could tell a lot from their behaviour.
“And what are you two doing this evening? Or have you submitted your set list,” he said in a light tease to Carol. “No Postman songs tonight?”
Hell yes he was scared. Sam wasn’t even ashamed to admit it. Nick Fury was a scary dude and that glare felt like it was boring holes in him. Even when the tone of his voice lightened and it sounded like he was teasing Carol. That was different.
Sam knew that they’d worked together years ago, but he didn’t realize that they had the kind of relationship where teasing happened. Or that Fury had that kind of relationship with anyone. It was weird.
“Just having a drink,” he said, eyes darting to Carol to see how she’d respond to his questions.
Carol was totally aware of all the hype and the way people interacted with Fury on a daily basis. The fact that everyone was scared of him was super amusing to her. Far it be for her to make people think that he wasn’t a total hardass. That wasn’t what friends did. Still she felt like she had to rib him a little bit. His scary tough act was kind of endearing.
“Your guest?” she looked around to see if she saw anyone. Was he on a date? Huh. “Well Darcy has really good taste. That’s why I picked this place too.” She figured he kind of knew that Carol loved karaoke especially. They had a lot in common, which was always fun. Now she knew that if she wanted to do karaoke, she could ask him.
She looked over at Sam out of the corner of her eye, just to see what the look on his face was. “Yeah we’re having a drink and singing. Hey, the moment you want to get up there and sing, I’ll absolutely do it with you. As long as you dance.” She winked at Nick.
Nick gave her a look that plainly said ‘do not advertise that I dance’ but he knew she would probably ignore it.
“Just gathering intel,” he responded bluntly to her question about his guest. “If you hadn’t left me to join that other team, I could maybe tell you about it.” Another joke. Information was freely shared these days. He always thought of SHIELD as behind the scenes, and the Avengers as the front line. “How are things over there anyways? Rogers letting you do anything, Sam? Maybe touch the shield?”
If Sam hadn’t, then Nick would definitely be smug. He’d touched it. Many times.
Sam was fascinated by the banter between them. It was clear they were close and seemed to know each other on a level that most people would not understand. That didn’t really make Fury less intimidating though.
“Uh, yeah, he’s let me work with it a little,” he said. “I’m in no hurry to take responsibility for it though.” He was also content to let Steve stay in charge of things. “Things are good though. Just training and planning.”
At the moment, there weren’t any imminent threats, though they all knew that could change any time.
That look was acknowledged with a nod, but the grin on her face suggested that she was not going to listen to him in the slightest. “That other team? Oh I’m sorry, here I thought when you called it the Avengers after me, y’know.. You kind of thought I was in it.” If she was juvenile enough to stick out her tongue at him, she would have. But she wasn’t. Barely.
“Undercover at a piano bar. Cute. I’ve heard everything now.” She said bemusedly. “Sam’s being modest. He’s also been flying with me a lot. We’ve been having fun with Tony’s new tech.”
Though she did wonder if Sam actually wanted to be Captain America. She knew that it was a little hard to take on the responsibility. She’d never held the shield. Hmph.
And another slight glare. What was with all these blabbermouths around him lately? Disappointing. Even if he was warm a little inside from it.
“Flying.” That made sense. Practicing was important. And he was sure Carol was showing Sam a thing or two up there.
“And planning. Training.” He gave a nod. “Well. Sounds like wonderful things, all of them.” The song changed in the background and he looked up. “I should stop taking up your time.” He gave them both a small practiced smile, with a slight more warmth towards Carol.
“Enjoy the night, the two of you. Let’s not make me a grandfather, shall we?” And then there was a wide grin as he walked away, almost whistling to himself.
Bring on the glares. She was definitely not scared of that. She just gave him a look and shook her head. Of course she didn’t know what he was getting at when he suddenly got up. Carol was about to protest that he wasn’t taking up their time, considering they were both here to have fun. He could stay. They could do karaoke.
What she wasn’t expected was the quip about grandchildren. What? Wait what? The look of confusion passed over her face. “Did he just.. Say what I think he just said?” she asked Sam, finally looking over at him.
“I’m nearly the same age as him!” she protested heavily, with a huff. “I mean except for the fact that he aged and I didn’t.. But come on! Grandkids?!” She didn’t know if she was more annoyed that he thought he was old, or that he looked at her like a kid. Probably the latter. Hmph.
It took a moment for Sam to react when Carol spoke. He was gaping at Fury as the man walked away, completely shocked by the unexpected quip and the grin that accompanied it. “Uh, yeah, yeah he did,” Sam said.
The fact that she seemed more focused on the age part than the implications that they might sleep together was… interesting. He’d be lying if he said the thought never crossed his mind, it just wasn’t the reason he enjoyed hanging out with her.
“Wait, what do you mean you didn’t age?”
A small part of her had realized that Fury had said something about them sleeping together and having children, but she was choosing to ignore it for the part that was clearly more annoying. She sighed slightly, and then realized that maybe she was focusing a little bit too much on it and turned her attention back to Sam.
“It’s complicated. I was born in 1967. So technically I’m.. 57, if we’re including the time jump. But I disappeared in 1989 and came back in 1995. After that, I was not on Earth. Time works differently some places. But when I got back here.. Y’know, it’s been 25 years or whatever.” Carol shrugged slightly. “I haven’t really aged.” Yeah she was nearly as old as Fury.
“Anyway. Do you want to go back to our drinking and karaoke-ing?”
“Huh,” Sam said. She looked pretty damn good for 57. And she still wasn’t as old as Steve.
He nodded. “Yeah, I definitely need another drink.” So he could stop thinking about the implications of what Fury said and focus on having fun.