Title: Marriage Part 4- The Honeymoon
Pairing: Toro/Anne, hints of Toro/Bucky
Rating: PG 13
Warnings: Some mild swearing, I think that's it.
Summary: They're finally married.
“That went better than expected,” Ann observed, wandering through into the bedroom, her white nightgown hanging around her. “At least no one tried to kill us.”
Sitting on the edge of the bed, her new husband, (for the last two hours), didn’t look up. “Yeah.” He muttered.
“Although the blond man who kept staring at me was a little creepy.”
“Roger.” Toro muttered, “Sorry, he’s not very happy with ...things.” He finished.
“Are you?” She asked, her heart pounding. Her first husband’s family had never liked her. It was partly why he’d been able to get away with so much. Her own family had washed their hands of her, virtually as soon as she’d turned 18, so there was no one for her to turn to.
“I guess.” The reply was slow. “It’s just...it feels like I’m being a coward. running away, when I should be fighting. “
“He who fights, then runs away lives to fight another.” Ann observed philosophically. Toro snorted.
“You taking lessons from Steve?”
Carefully, cautiously, she moved around, sitting on the white quilt, and slipping her arms around him.
“What for?” Toro’s face when he looked at her was genuinely confused. “This is nothing to do with you. This is me, and I have to figure it out.” He sighed. “That’s why everyone was a bit weird at the church today. They’re worried about you.”
Worried about her? She thought of her first wedding, of everyone lined up outside the church. All she could honestly remember was her mother warning her not to screw this up.
Was this the difference between marrying a superhero and marrying a soldier? With the her first husband, people were concerned about appearances, about everything being just so, so as to help him in his career.
With a superhero, they worried about Her getting hurt?
“Roger and Brian, used to tell us these horror stories about women who found out about their husbands. Pinky had a few too. They all felt really sorry for these women, who’d married in genuine love in most cases, and ended up being trapped. Couldn’t get a divorce, without being blamed, couldn’t tell anyone without being blamed, and that was just if he was only cheating on them, not if he blamed them in some way.”
She thought of her first marriage, and shivered.
“But I know.”
“Yeah,” Toro turned to her. “And one day, you’re going to want love in a way I can’t give to you. And you’re going to hate me for it.”
She thought of the night of her first honeymoon. Of the pain, of the blows, of the shame that enveloped her the next morning, when she saw her bruised and battered face in the mirror. Of every night of her marriage until he left for Korea if she was honest.
She couldn’t imagine ever wanting that.
“Never.” She vowed, ignoring the slightly pitying look on her husband’s face. “And what about you? One day you’re going to find someone to love in that way.”
Toro snorted. “The only person who held me in that way, is dead at the bottom of the ocean.”
“And If he came back?”
Toro snorted. “Not going to happen.”
Toro stared at her. “You’re my wife. Till death do us part, as the preacher said. Bucky was kinda firm on that. So am I ” He reached up, gently tracing his fingers along her cheek. “I vow I’ll be here, and be faithful to you, for as long as you want and need me. When you want to go, I’ll let you go. Heck, I’ll even let it be said I cheated on you, so as it’s not your fault.”
“Same.” She smiled, and kissed him. “I’ll also never tell anyone about this” She indicated their neat white bed. “If you accept me sometimes banishing you to the couch, because even when I know you’re not him, there will be some nights I can’t bear to have any man near me.”
“O.k. as long as you don’t mind sleeping on a metal bed, with flame resistant sheets and woollen blankets, so that I don’t start a house fire if I have a nightmare.”
She nodded, smiling at him.
“I’m going to keep working.”
“Would never ask you not to.”
“It’s not a traditional marriage.”
“It’s not a traditional time.” They smiled at each other, two conspirators in a conspiracy against the world and suddenly, Toro laughed.
“Sorry. I was just remembering. One night, in the war, we were in London at some big officers and their wives shin dig. The music had finished and everyone had taken their seats, except this couple in the middle of the dance floor, the Woosters, who were still standing there, arms around each other, swinging softly to a music only they could here.” He grinned. “Someone told us they’d been married nearly 30 years, and Steve said how nice it was to see a couple who were still so in love after all that time. Brian burst out laughing.” He shrugged. “If it had been Namor, or me and Bucky, no one would have paid any attention, but Brian always took Steve’s comments with a gentle smile. Once he got control of himself, he apologised, but the couple weren’t all they appeared. They’d got married to get rid of a plague of aunts nagging them to get married. She was apparently sleeping with her maid, and he was carrying on with his valet. They lived in London in separate apartments in the same house, and only saw each other when they went out together. And because they were always so witty and charming to each other, everyone thought like Steve did, that they were happily married and they were the envy of London society.” He smiled at his wife. “I was just thinking if that was us.”
Ann didn’t think it was funny. She knew many women who’d view what she had as ideal, even knowing everything. A husband who had desires on her body or her womb. A husband whose only request was that she helped him survive a world that he had fought for, then watched willing destroy it’s self out of fear.
She didn’t say this. Something told her that he felt guilty enough about the situation, even with her agreement. In spite of everything he’d seen, everything he’d been through, in many ways, he was still a child.
Gently, she kissed the back of his neck.
“Come on.” She said, softly. “Let’s get some sleep.”
She watched as Toro nodded, lying down on the bed and pulling the covers over him.
“Sorry if I wake you.” She could hear the sorry if I burn you in it.
“It’s alright.” She said, softly. “Just be prepared from Frank Junior bursting in at an ungodly hour.”
Toro smiled. “Sure.”
She closed her eyes, even though she knew it would be many hours before she fell asleep. Her husband, she knew would be asleep immediately, a product of the army.
As she closed her eyes, and let the darkness comfort her, she pretended she didn’t hear a name whispered over his lips.