schmevil: (ustice rider wondy)
schmevil ([personal profile] schmevil) wrote2011-11-23 09:53 pm

Peggy/Stephanie (bastardized contre le montre)

Basically, write on a theme and don't stop writing for a set period of time. This isn't much of a story, but hey, have some words.

You know how dames are.

She kissed Stephanie for luck: her lips touched Steph's, just the corner of her mouth, really. But her mouth was open in protest, so Peggy felt for a moment the heat of Steph's breath against her cheek. She pushed Steph onwards, smiling "Good luck soldier." Smiling, "Baby, please be safe." There's no safety in war but Peggy wanted it. For a moment, she wanted it more than anything. She could drag Steph back down beside her and insist there was another way. You know how dames are--what else did you expect? But instead, she kissed Steph goodbye.

She didn't cry: she didn't cry when war was declared. Nor when her brothers died, one after another. Nor when she wanted to serve, truly, and was blocked at every pass. Nor when the bombardment began, her childhood reduced to rubble. She'd made a policy of it, and damn their expectations. She didn't cry over the catch in Steph's voice, over their silly plans, over the radio going scratchy, indecipherable, silent. She held herself tightly, but her body still bowed in agony. They all watched her, but she wouldn't give them the satisfaction.

"But Cap weren't exactly a dame," he said with a wink, two weeks after they'd called off the official search. (The unofficial search, courtesy of Howard Stark, would go on for years).

"And what, exactly, do you mean by that?" She leans heavily on exactly, come on soldier, tell me exactly what's on your mind.

He flushed, but his shoulders went square, his body stuck between embarrassed and ornery. "She weren't like other dames."

"Oh yes?" You know how dames are was the subtext of his shrug, and his absent minded pawing at his (soon to be non-existent, she thought pettily) hair. She let the soldier defend himself, it was only fair, but it devolved into... less a brawl than a beating, fairly quickly. He came out of it with a blackened eye and a split lip, and she, with at least minor satisfaction. Steph wouldn't have approved.

Three weeks after that she went to a special bar, ordered a stiff drink, with further orders to keep them coming. She sipped from her glass, careful not to smudge her lipstick, and flirted with the prettiest girl in the bar--who looked nothing like Steph.

She kissed Stephanie for the first time: Stephanie blushed so prettily, and hell, they could be dead tomorrow, before morning even. That was the excuse she gave to herself. They were being shelled. Their lean-to shook with it every few minutes, and still, Steph could manage a sweet blush. So Peggy leaned into her side, boosting herself with a hand on Steph's shoulder and kissed her cheek. After, she stayed there and Steph let her, their bodies, faces, one line against the cold.

A great part of it was dumb luck, how Stephanie made it into the program. She'd been ruled unfit to be a nurse. Even secretarial duties were supposed to be beyond her, fragile as she was. But Erskine saw something in her, and Phillips was desperate. The first round of experiments had already failed--why not a woman? Steph was the least likely candidate of all of them, but Erskine had seen something, and soon, Peggy did too. Stephanie (when did she become Steph?) was ostensibly her competition, but it was never like that between them. At first, because Peggy had been so certain of her own success, but as their training progressed, it was because Steph was Steph. This girl, so unexpectedly strong in spite of everything, so terribly sweet, and never less for it.

They were best friends. No one, she thought, knew any different. Not Howard, who for all his worldly experience, couldn't see past himself to anyone else. Not the Commandos, who shrugged and said to each other, dames. Perhaps Bucky. But for all that Agent Carter and Captain America, weren't dames like other dames, there were some things even they couldn't get away with.

After: Phillips found her on a balcony, looking out on the defeated--liberated--Austrian streets. The house was once owned by a party official. SSR set up shop partly out of convenience, and partly out of spite.

"Beautiful evening," he said.

"Victory will have that effect." But it was beautiful, loud with celebration, not shelling.

"You've been an asset to this agency."

"Thank you sir." It sounded too much like dismissal.

"At ease, Agent."

"I am at ease." She leaned a hip against the rail, though.

"With the war over, there are going to be some... budgetary changes. Politicians." His right hand sliced through the air between them, a kind of dismissal of its own. "Not every agency will continue in its current form."

"The SRR?"

"Is effectively dead, as of today."

Despite her efforts to steel herself, Peggy's gut clenched. Her work. Her last connection to Steph. But that was too maudlin, when there were practical considerations. (Steph wouldn't approve).

"I've got my orders, Carter." He grinned then. "Playing nanny to a bunch of scientists and their lab rats wasn't my choice of postings, but it grew on me."

"Sir?"

"How do you feel about coming to America?"

Good, as it turned out. SHIELD was headquarted in rural New York, but close enough for a day trip to the city. She put it off for weeks, but finally, things were running smoothly, there were no crises to address, and no politicians to finesse or bully, so she took the day and visited Brooklyn. Bucky and Steph had talked about their neighborhood so much that it almost felt like they were with her. She found all their special places.

She didn't cry, because policy had at some point become character. But Steph would never have minded--she, better than anyone, knew just what kind of woman Peggy was. The marvel was that Stephanie loved her; that Peggy's love was returned in full.


Worth cleaning up, fleshing out, and posting to AO3? idk Needs a better ending, of course, but right now I'm going to bed.

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