That could have gone worse

January 29, 2016:

Steve bumps into Sara as she gets back into town.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Agent_Carter Paul_manning

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Sara Pezzini has been out of town for months now, half on assignment for WAND and half chasing down some leads of her own. Tracking a ring of artifact collectors, she spent the last few months in England and the rest of Europe hunting her leads. Leads which ultimately have led her back to New York City and the Triskelion, where she's checking back in with the higher ups.

Stepping out of the office she shares with another agent, she pushes a hand through her hair, looking up and down the hall. What next? There's not even anyone giving her a hard time yet.

When Sara steps out, she's nearly barreled into by none other than Steve Rogers, of whom she knows quite well.

"I'm sorry, I should hav—Sara?" the Captain asks as he realizes who he's literally bumped in to. "I thought you were half way across the world," he says as he looks to her. He's about to say something, but can't find the words, so just swallows them with a degree of difficulty.

Sara turns right into the bump, reaching reflexively for his shoulder before she even realizes who it is. "Oh, hey," she greets, an awkward smile touching one corner of her lips. "Yeah. Well. I was. Turns out the what I was looking for led right back here, so. Back home again." Belatedly, she drops her hand and steps back, sticking her hand into her pocket instead. "So…how've you been? Keeping busy?"

"Uh, well," Steve says with raised eyebrows and hands that head to the back of his faded blue jeans. "Yeah, I mean. I've been trying to keep busy. How's Manning?" Steve feels this inner yearning, a desperate desire to keep the conversation quick and snappy to avoid awkward pauses and thoughts that might linger.

"Haven't checked in yet, actually," Sara admits, shaking her head. "Soon as I got back I was hitting up a lead when John Constantine showed up and did her usual thing. Been all paperwork since then. Trying to track the financials, keeping track of what might've walked off the shelf while we were bringing in the guy at the front desk."

"Just passing through, then, or staying for a while?" Steve asks, hoping that he doesn't come off sounding like too much of a dolt. "Sounds like pretty exciting work you guys are doing."

"Hey, New York's home, right?" Sara says with a crooked smile, lifting one shoulder in a shrug. "Hoping I'm home for a while now. Not that it isn't nice to see the rest of the world, but this is where I belong. Worked some things out with the 'blade, too," she adds in a lower tone, glancing down at her bracelet. "Getting a little more…comfortable. Not sure how I feel about that, but."

"Well, you've always used it for good. At least, as far as I've seen," Steve says, trying to be reassuring. But then, there it is, a bit of awkward silence he was hoping to avoid. "Oh, hey, there's a really good Italian place that just opened up not far from where you live. Or lived. Or wherever you were at, I mean."

"Yeah? Real Italian, or New York Italian? I've been informed there's a difference," Sara smirks, rolling her eyes a bit. "Usually by people who think they're being smart. Which is to say, you probably shouldn't answer that question, because you end up sounding like a snob either way. Trick question. Sorry, don't mind-" She cuts herself off, rubbing a hand over her brow with a rueful look. "How's, uh. You know. You and Peggy?" Be cool, Sara, be cool.

Steve shrugs, "I like both kinds, but this one is New York Italian. The best real Italian I had was in real Italy during the war after we broke their line." Steve's eyebrows raise in shock, not putting two and two together. Of course Sara didn't realize. Why would she know? She probably would not even have cared. "Peggy?" He shakes his head, "Peggy and I haven't be an and for about 6 months. End of summer we broke up."

"Oh." Sara's brows rise and she clears her throat, flushing despite herself. "Well, so, hey, got my foot all the way into my mouth, so we can get past the extra weird parts, right?" She hesitates, trying to find the right words as she looks at the floor. "I'm sorry," she finally says, looking back up. "Though I guess you're doing all right. Don't look like you stopped eating or anything," she smiles faintly.

"You don't need to be sorry," Steve says with a shake of the head, "It was something that I think we both needed to find out given what happened. Some things just aren't meant to be, and I'm sure she's fine with it. I actually ran into her too the other night and she seemed like she was doing really well."

"Well, that's good to hear," Sara nods, smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "Guess that means I can hit her up for old war stories without worrying about things getting weird, then."

"Yeah," Steve admits. "I'm sure things will be a little less odd around here. All the awkwardness will be out and things will be back to normal." He sighs, "I'm sorry, for what it's worth. I never meant to hurt you. You were always great to me and treated me with more respect than I deserved. That meant a lot to me."

Sara quirks a brow, amused. "You're sorry? Steve, you don't have anything to be sorry for. There's no 'sorry but my girlfriend I lost when I got deep-frozen for seventy years showed back up jumping through dimensions' clause in relationships. Just like there's no 'sorry but I'm not sure if you're into me or my jewelry' clause," she adds ruefully, shaking her head. "No harm, no foul."

"Into you or your jewelry?" Steve says as his face hits with a lot of confusion. "People like you for the br—did you think I only liked you because of your powers?" His head turns very slowly as though he looks like he's about to take heavy issue with something.

"No," Sara laughs, reaching a hand for his arm. "No. One of my favorite things about you, actually. It just happens there's a very small overlap in the venn diagram of people who can handle knowing about the blade and the ones who don't want it or to use it for something."

"Well, anyone who doesn't appreciate you for you is an idiot. And I say that as king of the idiots," Steve chuckles a bit. "Well, I'm late for a meeting—I'd better get going. I'm glad you're back in town, Sara. It's good to see you."

"Good to see you, too, Steve." Sara leans in to press a kiss to his cheek, giving his arm a squeeze before she's stepping away. "Give me a call if you want to check out that Italian place sometime. You know me, I'll forget to eat if someone doesn't remind me."

"I'll do that. I know it's Waspy of me, but the chicken parm is amazing." Steve gives her side a bit of a side-hug as she leans in to kiss his cheek. "Tell Manning I said hi, would you?" Steve gives her a smile and has to go back to figuring out how he's going to crack this case of whoever is trying to kill SHIELD agents.

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