A Time for Heroes – Chapter 30 – Deep Conversations

Monday afternoon was going to see Ginny and Margaret along with a couple of members of the foundation showing the three other hospital administrators the facility Ginny had at her gym. If they were going to set up these hospital centres, the facilities should be similarly equipped.

Tuesday, Ginny and Jess visited 10 different orthopedists to see if they could get them to start referring kids to them. Most of them worked in concert with the hospitals, so they were more than willing to work with her on this initiative.

Wednesday, they started interviewing staff. They needed three senior physiotherapists who were open minded enough to be willing to train in dance and yoga and acupressure to be able to offer some consistency of service. None of the ones they saw that day saw the value of these services. Ginny made a note to talk to HR about changing up their recruiting to get more suitable candidates.

Wednesday night, Ginny finally had some down time. She re-dyed her hair to a lovely shocking pink, called Steve and caught him up, then sat down to some mindless TV.

While she was watching, she let the little nagging thought that she’d been ignoring all week show itself. Her period hadn’t started yet. It had actually been due the Thursday or Friday before, so it was almost a week late.

She went and checked her calendar again. She had gotten her three-month birth control shot while Steve was still in cryo, the Thursday before she met him. She had started her last period the day after she and Steve had fallen asleep together in the Great Room, almost five weeks before. Nope, she was right. Her period was now officially late.

What worried her was that she couldn’t possibly be pregnant. With Steve infertile and her on birth control, the only way would have been another Immaculate Conception!

But, if she wasn’t pregnant, what was wrong with her? She had the kind of periods that you could set your clock by, even without the shots. She had never even had a scare!

She paced for a bit, then resolved to pick up a pregnancy test the next day and to call Jas on Friday, whatever the results.

But her resolutions didn’t help her sleep. She was restless, and she tossed and turned all night, waking the next morning bleary-eyed and foggy.

 

Steve and Tony were already at the gym when Ginny arrived, travel mug of coffee in hand. She’d be living on caffeine that day!

Steve looked up when she came in and frowned. Then he came over and gave her a quick kiss.

“You look tired.” he said, his concern showing clearly on his face.

“Rough night.” was all she offered in explanation before going to grab a croissant and a banana.

Ginny joined the men and Tony told her he was going to suit up for the new kid and stay and play for a little while and then he had a meeting with Margaret.

“She’s your new best friend, I hear.” Tony said with a smile.

“We seem to be getting on very well.” Ginny said. “If you’d have told me a month ago that I’d be able to spend a day with her chatting pleasantly, I’d have signed you up for more sessions with Jim.” Ginny paused and looked at Steve. “Speaking of Jim, are you still seeing him? You haven’t mentioned anything in a while.”

“We talked on the phone yesterday and we’re going to try to get together next week.” Steve said. His brow was still creased with concern at how tired Ginny looked.

But then the kids started filtering in and there was no more time for talk. Ginny stood off to the side while the kids all clamoured around Steve and Tony.

They had brought shields for everyone and Steve was going to show them a few moves with them. Tony went over to his suit, followed by Chris and Sean…they wanted to see him get into it.

Steve showed them a shoulder roll and another roll using the shields while Tony took shots at everyone, looking for weaknesses. Even his rubber projectiles stung when they hit, so the kids had incentive to not get hit.

After a few minutes, Steve came over to Ginny and stood beside her watching the fun.

“Do you want to tell me what’s wrong?” Steve asked, not looking at her.

Damn, Ginny thought. He knows me way too well.

After a long minute, she answered. “Just tired, babe. It’s been a busy week. We can talk about it all tomorrow when there’s more time. Don’t plan a big dinner or anything. Just us, okay?”

He fixed his searching blue gaze on her for a few seconds and then looked back up at the kids. “Just us, then.” he said. “I’ll order dinner up and we can talk.”

Sean had just gotten hit in the same place three times and Steve went to help him avoid those shots.

After that, Tony had to go for his meeting with Margaret. Ginny set everyone up to dance. With Hallowe’en so close, they had to start with ‘Thriller’. Chris had given it a good try the week before, but Ginny worked with him a little bit on the more difficult moves  before they started. They danced through a couple of times before moving on to something else.

Ginny played another dance sequence for them from ‘The Replacements’ to the song ‘I will survive’. It was a simple line dance and they soon all had it down, even Steve, who said he really liked that one.

Then on to the machines. Sean and Chris stuck close to Steve, so she gave them their ‘manly’ work outs and went to work with the girls.

“I wish Black Widow would come again.” Maya said. “I want to learn to fight like her, not Steve.”

“You don’t need Natasha for that.” Ginny said. “I can teach you how to fight like a girl. Nat and I have sparred a few times…I’ve even sat her back on her butt.” Ginny added, proudly. It only happened once and she still wasn’t sure if Nat had been going easy  on her, but it had definitely boosted her confidence.

“You? You can fight?” Sarah asked, incredulous.

“Yes.” Ginny said, starting to feel defensive. “Do you think the Avengers would have taken someone along on a mission who couldn’t defend herself?”

Ginny must have raised her voice because Steve looked up from across the room and said, “I won’t fight her.” He smiled at Ginny, hoping he had helped.

“You’ve never sparred with him, then.” Maya cocked her head in Steve’s direction.

“Steve only spars with Thor and Bucky and the Vision. It’s not much of a challenge for him to have to pull his punches against us mere morals.” Ginny said. “But I have been up against Falcon, Tony Stark and the Avengers’ trainer, JP, as well as several agents who were on the mission. I’m an MMA Master, so I’ve been up against some pretty tough opponents at tournaments, too.”

“Wow!” Annalisa said, her eyes wide.

“So, do you want to learn or what.” Ginny said, standing up.

Sarah’s face lit up. “Yes!” she answered, with Maya and Annalisa right behind her.

So Ginny started them on drills and very shortly the boys joined them.

Sarah baulked at this, but Ginny just told her that they’d have to learn to fight bigger opponents.

They spent the rest of the morning drilling and sparring, but when Tony came in half an hour before they were done, she asked if he’d spar with her. She wanted to show the kids, especially the girls, what was possible.

So Tony stripped off his suit jacket and tie and dress shoes and squared off.

Tony was much stronger than she was, so Ginny knew that part of her strategy was to avoid his lethal punches. She was faster than he was and that was her big advantage.

But neither one of them could put the other on the back foot that day and it gave the kids a good idea of the techniques they’d be learning.

Both Ginny and Tony were sweating freely by the time the kids rides started to show up. Steve handed them each a towel as Ginny cautioned the kids not to use any of this in the schoolyard.

“If I hear you have, I won’t teach you.” was her threat.

Once they were all gone, Tony clapped Steve on the back and said, “I’ll meet you at the helipad, Rogers. Don’t be too long.”

He turned to Ginny and said, “We’ll see you on the weekend, Geneviève. Pepper says she’ll come up for dancing, so let us know.” Then he put his suit of armour back on and left.

Steve turned to Ginny and took both of her hands. “You sure you’re okay?” he asked again.

“Just need some sleep and some love.” she answered, quietly. “Don’t know if I’ll get much more sleep tonight, but hopefully tomorrow night.” She looked up at him with a tired smile.

“I guarantee it.” Steve said, bringing her hand to his lips to kiss. “Do you want to do some dancing? It feels like it’s been a while.”

“That does sound like fun. Maybe Saturday? I can even see if Jess wants to come up to give Bucky a partner.” Ginny said.

“There might be a crowd. It’s not like at Stark Tower.” Steve said. “And even if Jess doesn’t come up, Bucky never seems to want for dance partners.”

Ginny gave a little laugh at that. “Well, he’s a nice looking, sweet guy…I’m surprised no one’s put a ring on him yet.”

“He’s been pretty isolated at HQ, but he gets around. I don’t think he’s really the marrying type, especially now.” Steve said. “This whole Winter Soldier episode had left him pretty shaken.”

“I can understand that.” Ginny said. Steve pulled her into his arms and then pulled back for a slow, sweet kiss.

“I hope you get some sleep tonight so I can keep you up tomorrow night.” he said in a husky voice.

“That would be nice.” she whispered back and kissed him again. “You’d better go before Tony leaves without you.” she said, against his lips.

“What time tomorrow?” Steve said and put his lips over hers again.

“Fourish.” she answered, once she could. She pulled back a little bit to look at him. “Shall we dance after dinner?” she asked. “On Saturday, I mean.”

“Sounds perfect.” Steve said, and gave her a quick kiss on the lips and then the tip of her nose. “I love you. Drive safe tomorrow.”

“I will.” she whispered back. “I love you, too.”

Steve stopped at the door and looked back, still concerned. “Get some sleep tonight, okay?” and left.

Ginny smiled after him. Maybe the pregnancy test would be negative and her period was just late. She really didn’t want what they had to change.

 

On the way to the foundation offices, she stopped at a pharmacy. After discussing the pros and cons of several different pregnancy tests with the pharmacist, she picked the two that were supposed to give the earliest results. The pharmacist cautioned her that she still should see a doctor for confirmation.

“I know.” she said. “I’ve got that lined up for Saturday. I just need to know now.”

The pharmacist gave her a knowing smile and cashed her out.

By mid-afternoon, she had a caffeine headache and she was still struggling to stay awake, so she took a look at her schedule with Jess and had her move her afternoon meeting to the next morning and gathered the paperwork she needed to finish for that meeting to take home.

“Have you been in touch with Bucky this week?” Ginny asked Jess.

Jess’ shy smile told Ginny everything she needed to know. “Yeah, he’s called me a couple of times. Why?”

“Because we’re going to have a bit of a dance party on Saturday night and I didn’t know if you wanted to come up and join us.” Ginny said.

“Wow, that sounds like fun.” Jess said. “I’ll text Bucky and see if he wants me to come up.”

“Okay, let me know tomorrow.” Ginny said. “I’m going to go home and try for a couple of hours sleep before I tackle this paperwork for tomorrow’s meeting.

“Let me know if you need any help with anything. I’ve got nothing else going on tonight.” Jess offered.

“Will do.” Ginny said as she pushed through the door.

 

But as soon as she got home, she peeled open one of the pregnancy tests. She’d never used one before, but the instructions were fairly straightforward.

So she peed on the stick and waited for her cellphone timer to go off before checking the results…positive.

She stared at the stick for a long time, praying she was mistaken, but it wasn’t even an ambiguous result. It was definitely positive.

So she peeled the second test out of its wrappings, followed the directions to the letter, and got another positive result.

For the next half hour, she wandered aimlessly around her apartment with a chaotic jumble of thoughts bumping around in her head. Every time she tried to hold onto one, another would bump it out of her grasp. Finally, one thought stopped long enough for her to examine it. Jas. She had to call Jas so she could see her on Saturday.

She dialed Jas’ cell number and waited. After three rings, Jas answered.

“Hi, Ginny, this is a welcome surprise. What’s up?” she said.

“Jas, are you alone? Can we talk?” Ginny managed to blurt out. What if Steve was there?

“I’m alone in my office, Ginny. What’s wrong?” Jas’ voice had turned serious.

Ginny was still having a hard time forming words, but she managed to finally blurt out, “I think I’m pregnant.”

There was a long pause on the other end of the phone.

When Jas did speak, her voice was tightly controlled. “You know it can’t be Steve’s.” she said, simply.

“I know.” Ginny said. “He told me. But it can’t be anyone else’s either.” She let that statement hang between them.

“How late is your period?” Jas asked.

“Just a week.” Ginny said, still having trouble talking, but Jas’ professional demeanor was helping.

“That’s not very late. It could just be delayed.” Jas said.

“I’m on the birth control shots and I could always set a clock by my periods. I’ve never been a week late.” she said, still fighting panic. “And I did two different pregnancy tests and they were both positive.”

“I never trust drug store pregnancy tests, although these newest ones seem to be more accurate. Are you coming up this weekend?” Jas asked.

“Yes. I was hoping I could come see you on Saturday.” Ginny asked, hopefully.

“I’ll be in the infirmary from about 10 am. Just text me when you want to come down.” Jas said. “Are you going to tell Steve?”

“I’m going to have to.” Ginny answered. “He already knows something’s wrong. And if it is a baby, he’ll wonder why I didn’t confide in him.”

“Tomorrow night?” Jas asked.

“Yeah, unless I chicken out.” Ginny said, with a half-smile. “Thanks so much, Jas. I’ll see you on Saturday.” and she hung up the phone.

Ginny looked at her bed, then at the briefcase full of paperwork and opted for the paperwork. She had so much adrenaline coursing through her, she’d never sleep. But if she could focus, she could get herself ready for her meeting the next day before the adrenaline crashed.

She plowed through and got enough done to deal with the meeting before she started to crash. She was tempted to eat something, but knew she’d better sleep while she could. It was 7 o’clock when  she laid down and she slept right through until 6 the next morning when her alarm went off.

When Steve called at 8 and got her answering machine, he sincerely hoped it was because she was sleeping.

 

The next morning, Ginny still felt groggy, even though she had slept for almost 12 hours straight. A shower helped a little bit and so did coffee, but she could tell today was going to be another slog.

She saw that she had missed a call from Steve the night before and then a text.

 

Hope you had sweet dreams.

Love you.

 

She smiled when she saw that and then frowned. How on earth was she going to tell him what she had to tell him?

That was a concern for later, so she pushed it away. She packed up what she’d need for the weekend, ate a big bowl of oatmeal, and headed for her office. Dress on Friday was casual and her meetings were all internal, so she was wearing jeans. That meant she wouldn’t have to change for her drive upstate.

Jess caught her on her way in and told her that she’d be coming up Saturday night to dance.

“Bucky’s thrilled.” Jess said. “He really wants to take me dancing.” She was glowing.

Ginny smiled. “You two are really cute together. What time am I getting out of here?”

“If your afternoon meeting doesn’t run long, you should be able to hit the road by 3.” Jess said, consulting her tablet.

 

Even though she was exhausted, the day went quickly and she got a lot accomplished. She almost succeeded in forgetting the conversation she was going to have to have with Steve.

But she had more than enough time to think about it and rethink it and rehearse it in her head on the drive up to HQ. Too much time. She finally cranked up ABBA to drown out her thoughts…and it kinda worked.

Ginny pulled up to the Avenger’s HQ and could see Steve waiting for her inside.

“Hey.” she said, as he came out to the car to grab her duffle bag. “How did you know when I’d be here?”

“I called Jess and she told me you left at 3.” Steve said and kissed her. “She also said she’d be coming up tomorrow night to dance.”

“Tomorrow night should be fun.” Ginny said, distractedly, letting Steve put his arm around her as she put her arm around his waist.

Steve looked down at her as they walked and then looked ahead again. Obviously, they still had something to talk about. So he steered her directly to his quarters.

He put her duffle in his bedroom and came back to find her still standing in the middle of the room, wringing her hands.

He came up and put his hand on the small of her back and said, “Dinner won’t be here for a couple of hours. Come and sit down and we can talk.”

She looked up at him with a combination of terror and sadness, and started to pace.

He stood there for a moment, his hand still in the air where her back had been. Whatever she wanted to talk about was going to be news to him, and not good news.

He grabbed a dining room chair, and turning it backwards, sat down with his arms across the back of the chair and his chin resting on his arms and waited.

But Ginny just paced, still wringing her hands. She’d stop occasionally and Steve would think she was going to say something, but then she’d continue her pacing.

Finally, Steve said, quietly, “Talk to me,  Ginny. You’re starting to scare me.”

Ginny was across the room from him and she turned to face him. She gave him a sad smile and shook her head.

She forced her hands apart and dropped them down by her sides.

She held his serious gaze for a moment before saying, “I…I think I might be pregnant.”

Steve raised his head and held her gaze for a moment. There was a look of shock on his face.

He stood up and turned his back to her. When he turned back around, the pain in his eyes was palpable.

He walked up to her and said, “What kind of a cruel game are you playing?” His voice was full of anger and pain.

That look almost broke her. But she knew she couldn’t break down now. He needed her to be strong.

So even though tears prickled at the corners of her eyes, her hands clenched into fists by her sides and she let her anger take over. She met his steely blue gaze with equal intensity.

“If you think,” Ginny said through clenched teeth, “that I would bring this to you if there was anyone else involved, you don’t know me very well.”

She held his eyes and saw the pain start to turn to uncertainty.

Ginny dropped her eyes first.

“If I am pregnant, Steve, the baby is yours.” she said, quietly.

Steve stood looking down at her for a minute longer. Then he turned away from her. He sniffed loudly as he wiped his nose with the back of his hand.

Ginny grabbed a tissue to blow her nose. “I still have to see Jas, but I’m a week late with my period and I did two drug store pregnancy tests, both of which were positive.” she said to his rigid back.

Steve was shaking his head. “It can’t be mine. you know that.” he said with quiet menace in his voice.

“I know.” she said, quietly. “There are other things that can cause a false positive. None of them are…good.”

“Stop! Stop this!” he yelled. “God. I can’t listen to this anymore.” He ran his hand through his hair trying to get a grip on himself.

“I have to go.” he said and headed for the door.

Ginny stood watching the closed door for a long time with tears running down her face. When her knees gave way, she lay on the floor and let the despair she was feeling wash over her. She sobbed for what felt like hours curled in a fetal position.

 

Steve stormed up the corridor to the gym. He needed to hit something really badly and if someone had stopped him, they might have been what he hit.

He pulled open the cupboard in the gym to find tape for his hands and ripped it off of its hinges. He threw the door aside and managed to get his hands wrapped before starting on the heavy bag.

His mind was just a jumble of chaotic thoughts as he started to warm up. At first he didn’t even try to focus, but once he did, it only got worse. His negative thoughts fed on each other.

How could she do this to him, he thought, as he sunk a lethal punch into the bag. He thought that they had something special together, but now he wasn’t so sure.

Who could the other guy be, he wondered, sinking a three-punch combination before bouncing away. It could only be one of the other Avengers or agents. That’s where she was when he was lost in the hell.

So he was lost and his only thought was to get back to her and she was off with some other guy; the bag danced dangerously close to coming off its hook with his next punch.

All of the other Avengers were with him, so who could it have been? Peter in the infirmary? Maybe Alex? Who else had been on the mission? He grunted with each punch, imagining the faces of the men he thought might have done this taking the beating he was giving the heavy bag.

No, wait. Tony had taken everyone back when Bucky was hurt, so it could have been Tony. Was Bucky just his excuse to come back to Ginny? To comfort her while he was missing?

Shit, he thought, as he continued to batter the bag with his fists. What about Barton? Christ, he had a wife and kids! Or Thor; yes, it could have been Thor. He always seemed to have a bit of a different moral code than the mere mortals on earth.

Steve let his mind tell over all of the men on the mission as well as at HQ and then he started to look beyond them, to the other men in Ginny’s life. When he started to blame 15-year-old Sean from Ginny’s child amp group he stopped and shook his head.

“Shit.” he said out loud. “What are you doing, Rogers?”

He leaned his head against the bag to try to bring some order to his chaotic thoughts. One sentence came back to him from his conversation with Ginny:

“If I’m pregnant, Steve, the baby is yours.”

If? So she wasn’t sure. Although she wouldn’t have said anything to him at all if she didn’t have a pretty good idea that that’s what was going on. What else had she said? That there were other things that could cause a false positive but that none of them were good.

“Shit.” he said again, and started to unwrap his hands.

“The baby is yours.” she had said. If she was sure of that, there mustn’t have been anyone else.

But how? Now he needed answers and there was only one place to get them; in the infirmary.

 

When Ginny finally had cried herself out and gotten up off the floor, she stood for a minute in the middle of Steve’s quarters without the faintest idea what to do.

She sighed. “Well, that could have gone better.” she said out loud. She knew where Steve probably was and she also knew that she couldn’t go to him there.

But as she looked around, she realized that she couldn’t stay there, either. If Steve needed space to come to grips with this, her best bet was to head back to the city.

But before she headed back, she should see Jas to see if she could get some confirmation either way. She took out the Visine she now carried in her purse since her dad’s heart attack, squirted a drop into each eye, and headed for the infirmary.

 

Jas took her right into one of the examining rooms. She did an internal exam, letting Ginny know that she did feel a small mass, which was about the right size for a two- to-three week fetus. Then she and Ginny talked about the other things that could cause a false positive. The genetic disorders Ginny was concerned about had other symptoms, none of which Ginny was exhibiting. But along with blood for an early pregnancy test, Jas also took samples to be tested for cancer markers. With her aunt’s death so fresh in her mind, Ginny couldn’t help but be concerned about that.

As Jas turned back to untie the cuff on Ginny’s arm, she said, “I take it from your eyes, things didn’t go well with Steve.”

“Well, so much for Visine.” Ginny said with a sad smile. “No, they didn’t. He didn’t want to listen and he left, which is what I think I need to do now.”

“He’ll come around, Ginny. Just give him time.” Jas said, quietly.

“I know he will, Jas, but if he needs space to come to terms with this, I think I need to give him that space.” Ginny said. “I don’t want him to feel pressured into accepting something that he’s not ready to accept and me staying might just do that.”

Jas looked at Ginny with admiration. This is one strong lady, she thought.

Jas told her that in three weeks, she should be able to do a conventional pregnancy test and that she should have all of the other test results back in by then as well, and they could go over them together.

Ginny gave Jas a hug at the door and headed back to Steve’s quarters to grab her duffle bag for the trip home. She wasn’t sure if she was hoping he would be there or not.

But he wasn’t there and hadn’t been there, from the look of things. She searched for paper to leave him a note, but when she found some, she wasn’t sure what to say. In the end, she just wrote: ‘I’ve gone home. Call me when you want to talk. G’

Since she had just arrived, she hadn’t unpacked at all, so she grabbed her bag and purse and headed for her car.

 

Steve burst into the infirmary looking for Peter. It had been Peter who had given him the news of his infertility and hopefully Peter who could clarify those test results for him.

“Steve! What’s up? You seem out of breath.” Peter said in greeting. He had just arrived back from dinner and hadn’t realized that Ginny had just been there and left.

“Peter, I need to talk to you about the fertility test results.” Steve said, quickly.

“What about them?” Peter asked, starting to catch Steve’s anxiety over this.

Steve took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to calm himself. “Ginny may be pregnant and I need to know if there is any chance that the baby could be mine.” he said.

Peter looked at him closely. “Yes, Steve, there is.” he said. “A low sperm count and low motility rating, like you have, make it very unlikely, but not impossible. After all, it only takes one.”

Steve stared at Peter for a long moment trying to comprehend what he was saying.

Then Jas came over. “What are you doing, Rogers?” she said, angrily. “Ginny was just in here and you’re about to lose the best thing that ever happened to you.”

“What do you mean?” Steve asked, turning towards her.

“She’s going home. If you hurry, you might just catch her.” Jas said, pointing towards the front entrance of the building.

 

Ginny put her duffle bag in the backseat of the car and had just opened the driver’s door when she heard Steve walk up behind her. She took a deep breath and waited, not turning around.

It was a moment before he said anything…she could almost hear him struggling to find the right words to say.

“Ginny, please don’t go.” he said finally.

“Steve, we both need some time to come to grips with this…on our own.” she said, still facing away from him.

She heard him sigh. “I’m so sorry I doubted you. I am a fool. Can you ever forgive me?” he said in a rush.

Her next breath came out in a sob. Steve came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. “Please don’t leave me.” he said, softly.

“You left me.” she said, before breaking down completely. He turned her towards him so he could put his arms around her.

“I told you, I’m a fool.” he said as he held her, sobbing, in his arms.

When her sobs had faded to snuffling breaths, she said, “You can’t do that! This was important and you ran! You can’t do that to me! I wouldn’t do it to you!” She was looking up at him accusingly through puffy, bloodshot eyes.

“I know.” he said, quietly, wiping a tear off of her cheek. “I’m so sorry. I’m a fool and a coward. I couldn’t face what you might say.”

“And now?” she asked.

“Now, we need to deal with this together, whether it’s a pregnancy or something else. I won’t leave you again.” he said, firmly. She let him pull her back into his arms and they stood beside her car with the sun setting behind them for a few minutes.

“Come on. Let’s go inside. Dinner will be up soon and we can talk about all of this.” Steve said, reaching into the backseat to grab her duffle bag.

 

Dinner was just being laid out when they arrived back at Steve’s quarters, so they sat and started to eat in silence, neither of them quite sure what to say.

“What did Jas have to say?” Steve said, finally.

Ginny had been focused on her plate and now she looked up to meet his inquisitive look.

“She…um…did an internal exam and said she could feel…something; a small mass. She said it’s about the size she’d expect for a two-to-three week old fetus.” Ginny was still very emotional, so her delivery was really clinical.

“So this would have happened almost as soon as we started having sex?” Steve asked, taking a forkful of potatoes.

“So it would seem.” she said, continuing to eat.

“You said, ‘if this is a pregnancy’…what else could it be?” Steve asked.

She looked up at him and said, “There’s a few genetic disorders and several types of cancer that can cause a false positive on a pregnancy test. Jas has pretty much ruled out the genetic disorders, but she took blood to check for cancer markers.”

Steve looked up from his plate and caught her eye. For the first time, he realized what she’d been living with for the last couple of days. He reached across the table and took her hand.

“This week must have been hell for you. Why didn’t you tell me?” Steve asked, softly.

Ginny laughed out loud. “No. This wasn’t a conversation to have over the phone. I saw the look on your face.”

Steve shook his head. “I’m so sorry. I was a real jerk today.” he said.

Ginny looked up at him and smiled. “I love you anyway.” she said, squeezing his hand.

He smiled back at her. “I thought I’d lost you when Jas told me you were leaving.” he said, softly.

“I thought I’d lost you when you stormed out of here.” she said, as her tears started to flow again. They hadn’t eaten much dinner but neither of them seemed to have an appetite, so Steve got up and led Ginny over to the couch, where they could hold onto each other.

 

Ginny laid her head against Steve’s chest, just over his heart and he held her fiercely, almost too tightly, but she didn’t complain.

“When did you start to suspect?” Steve asked.

Ginny was quiet for a moment. “It was at the back of my mind all week, but it was Wednesday night when I really took the time to look at the calendar and yesterday afternoon when I did the pregnancy tests.”

“So Thursday morning…” Steve said, letting his voice trail off. “I knew something was wrong.”

“Yeah, I didn’t get much sleep on Wednesday night, or last night for that matter.” she said.

Steve was quiet for a minute, still trying to take this all in.

Ginny looked down at her flat belly and placed her hand there. Then she pulled away to look up at Steve. He placed his hand over hers. Her smile of wonder was matched by the one on his face.

“Papa.” she whispered, and pressed her lips softly against his.

“Mommy.” he whispered back and kissed her again. Then he gathered her into his arms and held her tightly, tears streaming down his face.

When he finally released her and reached for the box of tissues, he said, “This just doesn’t seem real, yet.”

She smiled at him. “For me, either. Other than the missed period, I haven’t had any other symptoms…no morning sickness, no food aversions, no fatigue. Hopefully, I’ll be one of the lucky ones and not have any of those to deal with.”

“But I understand,” Ginny said in a seductive tone of voice, “that some women become insatiable during pregnancy.” She kissed him deeply and came away sucking on his lower lip, something that always turned him on!

“Now that’s a symptom I can live with.” Steve said, kissing her deeply again. “But can we…I mean, we won’t hurt the baby?”

“The baby is just a microscopic dot right now, so, no, we can’t hurt it.” she said.

Ginny had started to undo the buttons on his shirt. “Are you sure?” Steve said, breathlessly as he kissed her again.

“I’m positive.” she whispered against his lips.

That was enough for him. The day and the week had been long and he wanted her badly. He moved forward on the couch to get his legs under him and carried her into the bedroom.

He lay her on the bed and laid on his side beside her. He slowly unbuttoned her blouse and her jeans and helped her out of them before resting his hand on her belly. She pulled him down to claim his lips in a kiss again.

Then she took his hand from her belly and moved it to her breast. She reached behind her to release her bra, which joined her top, jeans and panties on the floor.

Steve lowered his head to take one nipple into his mouth. Ginny cradled his head, urging him to take it deeper as she moaned her pleasure.

He moved to the other one until they were equally hard, then he stopped to look at Ginny’s breasts, still fondling one with his free hand.

“Have they changed?” he asked.

Ginny reached up to cup her breast, weighing it in her hand. “I guess they’ve gotten a little bigger and a little firmer, but not too much.” Steve dipped his head and flicked her nipple with his tongue.

Ginny jumped, “And a little more sensitive!” she said, giving him a playful shove on the shoulder.

He laughed and said, “Noted.”

Ginny pushed him over onto his back and started to pull at his belt. She could see his erection straining against the zipper of his jeans and took every opportunity to brush against it as she worked on getting his jeans off. When she got down to his prosthetic leg, she looked up at him questioningly.

“We’re not getting up again, are we?” he asked, pulling his t-shirt over his head. She shook her head and took the leg off, too.

As she slid back up his body, she ran her tongue up the length of his erection and he grasped the blankets with both hands, flexed his hips and moaned his pleasure. Then she straddled his hips just below his cock.

He had his hands on her hips. “No.” he said. “Not like this. Not without my leg. I can’t thrust properly.” He closed his eyes and bit his lower lip as she gently stroked the head of his cock with her thumb.

“Oh, that’s why you flipped me over last weekend.” Ginny said. “I wondered. I thought you liked this position.”

He flipped her over again and pinned her to the bed, claiming her lips in a series of playful, little kisses.

“I do, when I have two legs to work with. This position is better when I’m naked.” His voice faded to a whisper on the last word.

He slid down her body a little bit so he could suck her nipples again. He loved it when she was really wet.

As he slid back up to kiss her, she guided him into her and he thrust himself deep inside. She arched her back and moaned, then thrust her hips against him, urging him on.

He thrust deep and hard and felt her start to tighten around him as her body arched and writhed beneath him. He felt his balls draw up close to his body as he came deep inside her.

Ginny wrapped her legs around his hips to hold him still and ran her hands rhythmically down his back.

Steve raised himself on one elbow to look down at her. “One of my first thoughts when you told me was – how was I going to handle nine months without sex.” Steve said, pushing a hair out of her eyes.

Ginny raised an eyebrow at him and said, “That was not your first thought. Not even close.”

Steve bowed his head and then shook it. “You’re right.” he said. “My first thought was when did you have time to be with someone else, who was he and what was I going to do to him.”

“That’s my jealous man!” she said and kissed him.

“Then the no sex for nine months thing.” he said with a smile.

Ginny giggled up at him. “I love you, Steve Rogers.”

“I love you, Geneviève St. Pierre.” He kissed her deeply, flexing his hips as he felt himself slipping out of her, but to no avail.

So he rolled off of her and grabbed some tissues to wipe up before they snuggled back together under the covers.

“So what’s the plan for tomorrow.” Ginny asked. “Unless you want to just stay in bed all day.” she suggested running her hand slowly down his belly.

He caught her hand before she went too low and said, “As tempting as that sounds, I thought we’d check out the town near here. I’ve heard that it’s very quaint and picturesque and might be a good place to live and raise a family.” He was gently stroking her hand.

“That sounds wonderful!” she said. “I love exploring little towns! They always have such cute shops and little mom and pop diners.”

“Excellent.” Steve said. “If we get out of here in the morning, we can have lunch there and be back here for dinner and dancing. Tony’s set up one of the bigger arenas as a dancehall. I think 7 is when he’s got everyone coming.”

“I’m really looking forward to that. There aren’t a lot of places to just go dancing anymore.” She wrapped her arm more tightly around his chest.

“Are you tired?” he asked her.

“Actually, I am.” she said with a yawn. “You?”

“Yeah, I could sleep.” he said. “Tonight was really draining!”

“That’s an understatement.” Ginny said, with a little laugh.

After a few minutes, they drew apart so they could lay facing each other holding hands between them. They talked quietly for a little while about the baby and new possibilities until Ginny’s eyes started to close.

Steve leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “Sleep, love.” he said.

She smiled drowsily at him and let her eyes close on the longest day of her life.

Steve watched her sleep for a long time. He was emotionally exhausted, but his body wasn’t ready to sleep, yet. But that was okay. He had lots to think about and process.

When sleep finally took him and hour or so later, his mind was settled and he slept peacefully until morning.

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