The Dove and The Strongman, By: XRebelRevenantX
Dum Dum Dugan was content to drink that tab under the table... That is until he meets Lyla Rogers, the blind sister of Captain America and they begin a tentative friendship writing letters back and forth. What will the Strongman do when he's faced with a possible future at an impossible time...
Chapter 1: Open Tab
~~'The Howling Commandos...hmph..'
Dum Dum Dugan shook his head at the name given to the rag-tag bunch he was currently sitting with.
They were to follow Captain America into battle against the dastardly Hydra.
He chuckled to himself, taking another chug of his beer.
He'd do anything as long as they kept the tab going.
Timothy glanced over at his new C.O. and shook his head again.
'Kid's young but got the strength and brain to back it up.'
The captain was talking to Barnes about something, noticing that their eyes kept looking over at the doorway, like they were waiting for someone. Then Agent Carter comes through in a red dress and he about chokes on his drink.
He moves to stand up but then she's giving that look to the Captain and Dugan deflates.
'Cap's one lucky man.'
They're talking about something and he sees Carter point Rogers to the doorway and he has the biggest grin on his face.
So he decides to lift his glass to his lips and turn to face the same way and nearly drops his drink in his lap. 'Wha..'
Because Howard Stark just came walking in with the most beautiful woman he had ever seen on his arm.
She was a small gal, and would probably only stand to just under his shoulder, but by god was she stunning. She had the palest milky white skin, and her strawberry blonde hair fell in soft waves past some rather shapely curves.
Dugan clears his suddenly dry throat and takes a quick gulp of his beer, still keeping his eyes on the beauty.
"Elle est très belle...very beautiful, no?" Dernier elbowed him.
Dum Dum could only nod, deciding to down the rest of his beer in one go, and set it down hard onto the table.The woman briefly glanced their way before turning back to the Captain.
He could see their lips moving but again with all the noise it was impossible to hear them.
But then cherry red lips melted into the brightest smile and Dugan's heart stuttered.
"I agree wholeheartedly, chap. I feel rather envious of Stark right now. How did he find such a woman?"
Morita shook his head."That's Stark for you. Wealth and power always attracts the gorgeous ones."
Dugan tilted his head watching with confusion as the gal reaches for Rogers and is floored when the Captain pulls the girl to him and envelops her in a hug, lifting her off the floor.
"Well, that's odd. You think Stark would be wise to not let another man hug his girl like that?"
Dugan is too busy eying the expanse of leg that has been exposed.
He almost takes another sip of his beer before rememebering the glass was empty.
Rogers sets the girl back down and then Barnes steps forward and the girl smiles brightly again, before being hugged the same way.
The Captain takes her hand with one of his own before shaking Starks' with the other.
The pair, flanked by Carter and Barnes turns and suddenly they are moving towards them.
He notices right away there is something different about her.
She is tilting her head every which way, looking down the closer they got to their table and in the last few steps, that's when he figures it out.
"She's blind." He blurts out, not thinking.
The others stop speaking and stare shocked at the girl.
Which causes Steve to stop, and the gal continues forward a step and stumbles.
Dugan doesn't hesitate a second, he jumps up and grabs her shoulder to steady her.
"Easy now, miss."
She turns her face to him, sightless gaze fixed just past his shoulder and smiles."Thank you."
Her voice is soft and breathless and-'so beautiful...' A jolt of nervousness hits him and he stutters a reply.
He's quick to blame the beer.
The captain motions to her, "Everyone, I'd like you to meet Lyla Rogers."
Everyone's jaw hits the floor.
Dum Dum could only stare in shock and slight jealousy
'Wait...Rogers? That's his wife?!'
They are all quick to remember their manners.
"Ma'am." Dugan tips his hat then kicks himself internally.
He just tipped his hat to a blind woman.
Barnes noticed and shook his head with a smile. Dum Dum glared back.
"Pleased to meet you, Ma'am."
"Enchanté de vous rencontrer madame."
"So, Mrs. Rogers, is it over-whelming to be a hero's wife?"
Barnes starts chuckling as Cap shakes his head vehemently. "Wait, no, no, Lyla isn't my wife..."
Dugan quickly signals the barkeep.
He needs another beer.
"Lyla's my sister."
He signals again. 'Better make that two.'
Lyla giggles and Dugan rips a glass of beer out of the barkeep's hands and take a huge gulp.
Gabe lightly punches his shoulder and he reluctantly places the glass down with a thunk.
"Dugan, you okay?"
"Yessir, just enjoying this fine cold beer."
She looks up in his general direction, softly smiling and he feels heat creep along the back of his neck.
'I must have been in the field too long. Good God.'
"I'm terribly sorry, Cap. I guess we all jumped to conclusions, huh?"
"That's alright Falsworth. I should've explained to begin with."
'Damn right.' Dugan mentally replied, giving the girl another once over.
"I don't do well in large groups, so either Stevie or Bucky handle the small talk. And well being blind doesn't help either."
"Why?" Dugan again speaks without thinking.
'Damn you beer.'
She frowns and he can feel the itch in his hands to hit someone stir.
"Well, not very many people know about the things blind people have to do differently. So that makes it a problem for them and then for me because-"
"Because they're all idiots who don't have a single decent bone in their bodies. Know that feeling all to well, myself."
Her cheeks turn the loveliest shade of pink, "T-thank you."
Rogers looks at him with a stunned look on his face.
Then he notices the empty mugs.
"We have to go over some logistics tomorrow afternoon, so don't stay up too late, gentlemen."
"There's an open tab. I'm staying until its done."
The Cap just waved him off.
"Then the next time we're here, I'll open another one."
That got his attention.
"Miss, if you don't mind me asking this...just where are you to be staying? I know the blind need help doing some tasks. "
"Stevie and Bucky are the only two that I know. So Mr. Stark has given me a room-"
"Rooms, actually. And you won't have to worry about anything at all while there."
Howard stated, coming up alongside Barnes.
Lyla shook her head.
"I may be blind, Mr. Stark, but I am not physically disabled. I can still do some tasks for myself. I'll just need to get used to the layout of the house first."
"But that'll take weeks."
"A week at the most, Mr. Stark. Not that difficult. Just don't think about rearranging anything. Oh and if I could have a nice open area to paint, that would be lovely."
Timothy smirked. 'She's got some fire. I like it.'
Howard nodded until what she said last hit him.
"But how? I mean you're...uh..."
"Blind? It surprisingly helps more than you know." She laughed.
The sound sent a shiver through him.
'Stop it beer. I've only had 5 of you.'
"You're a spitfire, aren't you?"
"I've been told I get it from my mother. She was Irish. An nì chì na big, ‘s e nì na big. Which means: What the little ones see, the little ones do."
He could only stare at her in silent awe. 'Good God, she speaks Gaelic...'
Heat hit him like a low ball punch to the gut, causing him to swallow hard.
It was then that Dum Dum Dugan realized he was in big trouble.
Very big trouble.