Status: Updating slowly, but surely!

Brave.

Prologue: The Irony of Choking On a Lifesaver.

Steve knew someone was trying to talk to him, but he couldn't understand what they were saying for the life of him. Their voices were garbled, quiet, and each time he opened his mouth to inform team that he was perfectly fine, - what's with all the panic? He got caught in some weird purple smoke, is all. Hardly the most dangerous thing he's faced thus far - it felt like his throat was closing in on itself, making it so he couldn't breathe.

The more he struggled to open his mouth to speak, to take a very-much-needed deep breath, the more his chest seized up. He knew his eyes were open, but he couldn't see anything but a bright light. Sometimes he swore he caught flashes of someone's light grey eyes, but couldn't be sure. Did he know someone with grey eyes? He was sure he didn't, but he couldn't shake the feeling of familiarity when he saw them.

The muffled voices of his friends around him were quickly lost within uneven thumps that sounded suspiciously like a heartbeat. But whose? Not his, surely.

The only time he remembered feeling this way was before the serum. Before Project Rebirth. But that was ridiculous. Why would he be having an asthma attack when his lungs actually worked the way lungs were supposed to since he joined the army? It had to be something else.

Maybe he was having a - what did Dr. Banner call it again? Oh, yes, - a panic attack. He did say there were similarities in how asthma and panic attacks felt. That had to be it.

If the smoke from that HYDRA base seemed a little suspicious, so what? If he was conveniently separated from the rest of the team, what of it?

He was fine. He would never have to deal with asthma again. If he closed his eyes, went to sleep, - because, wow, did he suddenly feel absolutely exhausted - everything would be fine when he woke up the next morning.

And as his friends distant voices faded all the more as he fell into slumber, he felt himself smile, knowing he would be okay.

He's always okay now, with the serum running through his veins.