Nah, it's cool, you just don't /understand/ Springsteen.

June 11, 2015:

Cap and Peggy meet, greet, and eat, talking about their relationship and Howard Stark.


A Restaurant that's name is not really important to the story. So it wasn't given one.


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Summer has finally come to New York City with a vengeance. The rainstorms and chilly spring temperatures have given way to 80 degree weather and warm nights. This is a bit fortuitous as Peggy has attempted to pull Steve out on what one might consider a traditional date: going out to a movie. Though, as the movie doesn't allow much catching up or talking, she's also found a nice cafe nearby where they can order some light food and tea, coffee, or a limited amount of liquor and beer before the showtime. It seems appropriate to go see a comedy called 'SPY' after all.

A salad sits in front of Peggy as she keeps a hand on her wine glass. "It's good to just get out," she tells him with a smile. "It's been too long. How was your mission?" The one that was out of country. She's recently been fully reinstated to SHIELD, though with a much lower clearance than she is used to. That, of course, she figures she will work through in short order. She is Agent Peggy Carter, after all.

Steve leans back from his hamburger and throws an arm over Peggy in the booth. In actuality, it's one of those patty melt things with the brown bread, but it's a hamburger to Rogers. "The mission went alright. I went in hoping I was going to get closer to Skull. By the time I got there, we were too slow. I think the boys in the tech department got some evidence off of the computers. I suppose we'll see."

"Fitz and Simmons?" Those are the only real tech people Peggy knows at SHIELD at the moment. As she gets more involved, she'll most likely find out all their names - she's good at remembering faces and words like that, being an old school spy. If it's not them, well, she'll research more about whoever it was. "I'm sorry you didn't get closer. I've been looking into what I can, but I got a bit sidetracked lately." She glances at her salad before turning her head to look toward Steve. "Howard mentioned you two had spoken. I would have told you, but you were away."

"Actually it was Isaacson and Reynolds," Steve says with a shrug. As she brings up Howard, the Captain nods. "Yeah, I know we hadn't gotten the chance to touch base before that. Sounds like Howard and Tony are in some hot water. You gotten anywhere on it?"

The names don't mean much to Peggy. It's clear that the fact bothers her, but she'll learn them eventually. She founded the agency, she will find a way to make sure she knows the people she is supposed to. "It's been a bit too long," she repeats, a small bit of worry managing to break through her usually rock solid facade.

Perhaps realizing this, she moves forward with their topics of conversation. "Nothing. I spoke with the man responsible and he's convinced that Howard is involved in something sinister. It has less to do with Tony and more to do with Howard. Erben worked with Tony, respected and still respects him, if I can still read an interrogation properly. It's Howard's return that triggered this sudden terrorism. Whether it's true or not, he certainly believe that Howard is responsible for the decline of his village."

"But rather than go after Howard, he went after Tony? Do I have that right?" Steve asks. "Usually the good vengeance seekers go right after the source. It's the guys in the black hats that go after your family."

Steve winces a bit, "Why was he blaming Howard?"

"It's not that he went after Tony, he went after the both of them together." The idea of it makes Peggy frown quite deeply. "I've been trying to get to know Tony, as the Peggy he knows was as good as an aunt to him. So, the three of us went out to dinner, which is why we were all there. And while it sounds as if his target was Howard, he was intent on taking the both of them." Remembering the evening makes her shake her head and take another sip of her wine.

"Erben is convinced that Howard is responsible for the arms factory that restarted in his area. He lost a sister to investigating what happened. I believe he thought he was evening the score." The thought of that leaves a bitter taste in her mouth, but she keeps going. "I want to go investigate, but it has been slow going. HYDRA is very prevalent in the area, apparently."

"Gotchya. I got the feeling that Tony was the target, but maybe that was because of Howard's reaction. I guess if I were a dad, I'd feel the same way," Steve says. "How long ago did this weapons business restart in this area? Howard hasn't been back too terribly long. Does this Erben guy seem like the type to do his homework?"

"Apparently the factory restarted about two weeks before Howard announced that he was alive." Peggy has done her research on that, at least, Howard was at SHIELD and in an LMD at that point, so it is at least possible if not probable. "Erben doesn't seem calculating. His pain at losing his sister is real. His belief in the fact that he saw Howard touring the factory when he was a child is real. This isn't a political or economical hit, he's doing this because it is personal. And you don't do that unless you believe you have a just cause." She sighs. "So, I don't know. I believe it when Howard says he never was there, but I also believe Erben when he says he saw Howard as a child."

"Well either someone is lying, or there is some sort of explanation for it. How old is Erben? Does the timeline work out that it could have been after Howard's memories were catalogued?" Steve scratches at his chin, at a loss. "Short of that, I'm not sure where to go. Thoughts?"

Peggy smirks. "It's in the time that Howard's memories are patchy," she tells him. "The two of us will look into it. If nothing else, we'll go to Sokovia and infiltrate the factory." Just like that. She's nothing it confident. "I'm not sure either of them are lying so much as there might be other things at play here. Howard just showed me that it's possible to change your face with some sort of mesh." It was incredibly disconcerting. "But, I also didn't just come here to talk shop with you, Steve. This is our date night. We should, I don't know, talk about things other than our friends being wrapped up in international intrigue, right?"

"It wouldn't be a date if we didn't spend half of it talking about Howard," Steve says with a grin. "I offered to help any way I can, so if you need anything, you know that you can ask me for anything. I'll be right there."

Steve looks out over the other patrons, "What do we even talk about other than work? And cricket versus baseball."

Peggy snickers. "Well, he is part of the reason I'm here. I guess he gets some consideration. But, he's my friend and not on this date. I mean, you don't sit around with Howard talking about me all the time, do you?" She's not there so she can't guess. She assumes the answer is no. "I only brought this up because it's what I'm dealing with right now."

As for what she needs, she blinks, looking at her salad for a moment. It's still a strange feeling to be completely supported by someone. "Of course," she tells him, attempting to keep her voice the same as it was before. "Thank you. I'm sure the infiltration of Sokovia could use some of the Captain America touch."

As for what they should talk about, she grins. "I don't even like cricket." There it is, a traitor to her country. "I'm not sure. What is it that normal people talk about on dates? Coworkers and friends we've covered." She gives a soft laugh. "I've only ever known you through the frame of the SSR and the War." Which is her work and his.

"How much is there to us outside of the war? Regardless of the year. Before it I was an artist. I made a good living, but I wasn't happy. I wasn't ever really happy until I met Erskine. Some people work to live. Other people are there work. I have a feeling that we're the latter, and if we aren't, I'm not really sure what a normal person does. I haven't done anything all that normal in more than 70 years."

The question is met with a frown as Peggy looks at her salad. "There's something," she tells him. "There's us, though I suppose we're not normal." Her eyes focus on the plate as opposed to Steve. "I was a part of the military since I was 15. All I cared about was being recognized as an equal: to prove that I wasn't just as good as they were, but better."

It was a driving force to her for far before she met Steve. Finally she looks at him. "You were the only person I had met who looked at me as both a woman and an equal. And then you were gone." This is the most open she's been about her time after he became frozen in ice. She doesn't like to think or talk about it.

"It's funny you say that," Steve says as he pulls her a bit closer. "You were the only person who really gave me the time of day before I had the operation. Then when I woke up, you were gone. Or, well, your life had already gone by." There's a shrug as he awkwardly goes for his drink. "In some ways I think it's really a good thing you ended up here. I mean, aside from my selfish reasons. What I mean is that this world fits you a lot better than the old one."

"You understood my struggle," Peggy tells Steve with a soft, meaningful response. "And I could tell that I understood yours." It's not often she meets someone who faces so many adversities and keeps fighting. And, more than that, sees a kindred spirit and doesn't feel threatened or defensive. As she's pulled closer, she leans against him all the more readily. "You were Captain America far before you were ever given the title," she tells him with a self-confident surety.

As for this time period, she smiles. "It's a bit off-putting," she tells hime sincerely. I've only had to put one person in their place for inappropriate behavior toward me. I'm not used to being given this much blanket respect." She's used to fighting and scraping for it.

"Well," Steve responds as he gets that twinkle in his blue eye and the smirk upon his face that he always does before he cracks a deadpan joke. "If you're ever feeling in the mood, we could just take you over to Jersey. There's a few jaws over that way that need busting. And they'll all tell you about some guy named Springsteen." He shrugs, clearly clueless.

"Springsteen?" Peggy raises an eyebrow, unsure of what he means there. She's certainly not heard of him. The suggestion is met with a bit of a laugh. "I'm not sure it's exactly in the spirit to go looking for a fight." But, then again, it doesn't sound like she's completely opposed to it. If people have those views they should be taught a lesson. A hand reaches out to take his. It's still not something that has completely sunk in: that Steve is here and will continue to be so. "I'm just glad you're here."

"I can't agree with you more without sounding really sappy. And honestly, there's so much about this day and age that strikes me as so sappy, I'm going to hold off on it if it's just the same to you," Steve says as his fingers play with hers. "Besides, who else would head to Jersey with me to punch jaws?"

Peggy can't help but laugh. "It's a date, then." Even if they won't actually punch jaws. Or at least, she won't be going there to do so, but she can't make any promises for what happens once she's there. "Well, I won't force you to be sappy. I haven't taken in all I should, I think, but it's certainly a different place. Apparently the USSR is just Russia and multiple other countries now." That makes much of what she learned about the Black Widow program a bit more difficult to translate. "A lot of world changes. But, I can't say I think all of them are bad."

"Yeah, I've been reading a lot about the Cold War, just to try and figure things out better for these days, and it's remarkable. Some of those nations had their own languages and cultures, while others were just lines drawn on a map by Stalin for management purposes. When it fell apart, the countries fell based on those lines and became new countries," Steve says. "I'd like to visit there, sometime. As a civilian, I mean."

"I have, too." And not just because the recent dust up with Howard must mean it involves the Cold War. It's an interesting period in time where spies of her caliber were more useful, it seems. Peggy gives a soft smile. "Well, I speak Russian, so I've been able to learn a bit more about it, but, yes, it seems like quite a horrible dissolving of a large government that led to quite a few unstable regions." As for visiting as a civilian, she laughs. "Then, maybe we'll got. The two of us. It seems a strange place for a vacation, but I'd like to see it as well." And the two of them are not exactly normal, either.

"Well," Steve says as he rests his head against hers, "You pick the town, and I'm there. Just as soon as we destroy Hydra, stop whatever it is that has it out for Howard, shore up the JL:A's relationship with the government, and whatever else is on our ledger."

Peggy smirks. "That's quite a ledger," she tells him. But, Peggy is nothing if not resourceful as well as determined. "I'm sure we will manage to find a few vacation days in there. And I'll be right there with you for all of it," she tells him with a wry grin. "Come on, let's pay the check and go see a movie about funny spies." Because the idea of funny spies already just tickles her fancy.

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