Working Breakfast

March 12, 2017:

Darcy Lewis makes sure that Phil Coulson gets to meet Peggy Carter, drawing him along in the wake of her personal whirlwind.

The Triskelion

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Jane Foster

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

8AM - Triskelion, New York

It was a really pretty morning. The weather was starting toward Spring a little more. The only issue for Darcy was stupid daylight saves time. Spring Forward sucked monkeys. Though the time shift happened n Sunday, the feeling of losing an hour slipped right into her Monday. But, there was still work to do, and so Darcy forced her body moving an hour before it wanted to move. She got dressed and went to her favorite coffee place for a big warm mocha thing for herself. The rest of the drink caddy she handled, dangling from her elbow, were for others. One slot was free because Darcy's mocha.

Moving on caffeine, Darcy went to then to her favorite Kolache Factory. Breakfast in a conveniently wrapped semi-sweet bun. It was perfect for today. And maybe for going in to talk to a few colleagues first thing. Darcy never liked walking into people's offices to demand things from them without offering food. Or maybe it was the years with Dr. Foster, who would forget to eat sleep and shower if not for the once-intern. Maybe that's it. SHIELD accepts the receipts for working breakfasts she submits, so this doesn't' bother her monthly budgets.

Breakfast Kolaches in box in bag in hand, Darcy moves to a tea places that is nearly around the corner. It's useful working near the UN. There are multi cultures eateries everywhere. English Breakfast tea in a large insulated cup. She had asked for a good English breakfast tea. The lady behind the counter took her literally. Darcy knows just enough about tea to have accepted it completely at face value as 'hey! It's tea, right?' Right. Into the free slot of her drink caddy it went.

And into the Lobby of the Triskelion. Badge flashed. Onto elevator, and onward toward Carter's office where one Phil Coulson was spotted moving with that pleasantly noncommittal smile in a not quite aimlessly purposeful way of his.. in the same general direction she was headed. Well, he had mentioned wanting to meet her. So….

"Heya, Coulson. Good morning. Here, hold this?" Darcy says as she comes up to his side and very efficiently hands over the box in a bag that holds the breakfast nummies, then leads the way right into Carter's office with two raps of her now free hand's knuckles on the door frame.

"Morning, Leggy Peggy." Don't ask. Somethings just tumble out of Darcy's mouth before was passes as a Brain to Mouth Filter on her can catch it. Darcy sets the drink caddey in a bag down on a free place on Peggy's desk that the Office Supply Logistics Agent cleared with a steady hand of memorizing how it was all set out as she's restacking it so when food is had it can all be returned exactly.

"Had breakfast? I've got a tea something for you, and Coulson's bearing kolaches. Have you even eaten today? How long have you been in the office anyway?" Hurricane Darcy, Category Mocha. Need FEMA's number?

—-

Phil Coulson had indeed been…ambling. Towards Agent Peggy Carter's office. He hadn't gone right away upon learning about her, though he'd been tempted.

Very, very tempted.

All the same, there had been responsibilities to meet and work to do. Today, he's wearing his best suit, and he's got that faint smile on his face, like this is just routine. Just popping in, no big deal. He doesn't count on Hurricane Darcy, nor a sudden armful of snacks. He probably needs FEMA's number.

Still, he is quick on the ball. He takes them. "Good morning, Agent Lewis," he says mildly, then…he's just sort of drawn in her wake. But that's where he wants to be.

Until she addresses a legend as 'Leggy Peggy.' A pained look crosses over his face. Like everything else about him it's an understated thing, but readable. "Ahhh…please forgive Agent Lewis, Agent Carter— is that your proper title? Agent Carter? It seems like you should get a bigger— ah, a better. One. Title. I'm Agent Phil Coulson, it's…" He starts juggling the snacks until he can stick out his right hand, smiling boyishly all of a sudden. "It's really an honor to meet you, just a real honor. Darcy told me you're the real, ah, the actual Peggy Carter. I wrote papers about you…"

That is an awkward thing to say. So he amends, lamely, "In college. They weren't good. Anyway just a pleasure to meet you…"

—-

Inside her office, Peggy Carter is already seated at her desk, piles of papers organized on either side of her. The interior is small, but neat. Though everything is modernized, there remains something of a vintage feel about the space. Perhaps that's simply from the woman herself. The knock on her door is not exactly expected, but this is SHIELD and there are always unexpected visits and things that need to be done.

"Come in!" she calls out - all business - to the closed door. Of course, the door is already opening even as she says it. Darcy: she should have known. A smile crosses her face at the greeting from the other agent. "I have not just yet, thank you! That's incredibly thoughtful." Standing, she gestures for her to take a seat somewhere. Then, of course, she notices the other agent standing behind her.

Smiling at Coulson, she gives a soft laugh. "Oh, no need to apologize. I've worked with Darcy before. I'm quite aware of her idiosyncrasies." The smile turns into something more like amused confusion as she shakes his hand amidst the stumbling of words. "Ah, yes. Agent Carter is certainly fine. And I am not a clone or an alien, if you were worried." She smiles - humor dry.

"I appreciate it. But, truly, it's not necessary. It's a pleasure to meet you as well, Agent Coulson. I've heard of you as well, I must say." Peggy smiles and also gestures for him to take a seat where ever he wishes."Are you here in the wake of Agent Lewis? Or did you need something?"

—-

Drinks settled, Darcy puts out Peggy's tea, then fishes out one of the standard coffee things to set aside. Drink caddy in a bag is then placed on another flat surface nearby. Darcy takes a long moment to watch Awkward Coulson and his Boyish Smile.

"Oh he's totally here with me this time, though I'm pretty sure he'd love something in this office. I can give you two some time alone so he can get his fanboy on?" Darcy offers oh so helpfully while she collects Standard Coffee and exchanges it for Box in a Bag. Another sip from her mocha is taken, and Darcy's setting down the box to unbag it and open so everyone can take a stuffed roll for themselves. None are labeled, all look identical, but there is the odd assortment of all maner of breakfast things with varying combinations of egg and cheese and meat and vegetables and maybe a jalepeno one.

"I mean… he wrote a paper about you and everything. Writing papers totally trumps bringing foodstuff." Darcy is teasing mercilessly. Because Coulson took her Jane's research and now this is totally adorable and she's never going to let him live this down. Ever.

—-

Phillip Coulson's smile had turned both incredulous and bashfully gratified when Agent Peggy Carter said she'd heard of him. It's modest and a little taken aback, as if he can't conceive of why. Which is of course ridiculous…a moment later he shakes himself. "Well yes ma'am, of course you're on top of everything that goes on around here," he says, clearing his throat.

Darcy is unpacking breakfast right out of his arms, when this is done he swipes up a kolache, one with jalapenos. "Nonsense, Agent Lewis," he says mildly, recovering a little bit more. "I wouldn't dream of chasing you away from the breakfast you so graciously brought, I did say it was a terrible paper. Nor am I— " You know what? He's not going to try to make the argument that he's not being a total fanboy. That is a losing proposition and he knows it.

Instead he clears his throat a second time, and recovers the tattered shreds of the dignity he himself ripped apart and tossed all over the floor of the tidy little office. "I'd thought to introduce myself as a professional courtesy. I'm back from assignment and am still getting caught up myself. Seeing Darcy headed this way with a delicious breakfast didn't hurt either."

—-

Peggy knows Darcy well enough by now to know that she is teasing Coulson mercilessly. She gives Darcy a bit of a look: don't be cruel. The smile remains, though, as she believes this all to be in good fun. "I am sure that is not necessary. After all, there's far too much food and drink here to be consumed by just two people." Plucking one of the cups that is labelled as 'tea' instead of coffee, she sets it on her desk for the moment and then goes about selecting a roll.

"Yes, apparently there is even a biography. I have not read it, as it was apparently unauthorized." And, really, she doesn't wish to learn about what she may or may not have done from someone who decided to write a biography without the consent of her elder self or family.

As for being on top of everything, she smiles. "I generally like to believe myself to be so, but this intel actually came from another source: Dr. Jane Foster." There's a pause, as she waits but a moment to gauge Coulson's reaction to the scientist's name before she continues. "It's good to meet you, and welcome back."

—-

Peggy also knows Darcy well enough to see how the younger Agent's mind is translating Coulson's comments of Peggy being on top in the start of a snicker and the broad mischief of her grinning lips. Darcy receives The Look from Peggy, and so she stays quiet, reaching for a kolache herself while sipping her mocha.

"Oh, I read it. Not worth the read. And completely unhelpful for thesis defenses," Darcy quips, also gauging Coulson's reaction to Jane's name from Carter's lips.

—-

Jane Foster's name produces a rueful quirk of his mild smile; Phil says, "Ah, so you expected me to be ten feet tall at least. Sinister laugh, twirly mustache, clawed fingers, possibly breathing fire. I'm sorry to disappoint."

As the two of them discuss the biography, he decides not to mention that he has read it, highlighted it, annotated the multiple pages, cross-referenced it against other sources, underlined points in the text which he thought had to be crap, cross referenced those against SHIELD records in his spare time…

Nope. In this regard they are on a need-to-know basis, and they don't need to know.

He'll just have to make sure his copy is locked away somewhere now so they never find out. Level 5 security on that thing, just as soon as he can make the arrangements.

Darcy takes 'being on top of things' in an inappropriate way, and he turns his gaze on her: eyes narrowing faintly, mouth going just a little bit tight as his smile, quite briefly, clears.

Then he opts to take a bite of his kolache. Disapproval only encourages her. He knows this.

—-

"More along the lines of the villain who tied innocent women to railroad tracks. He had a twirly mustache, though, did he not?" Peggy grins. "I'm disappointed to find you clean shaven, I must say."

When Darcy teases that she read it, the Agent gives a sigh and a shake of her head. "Maybe one day I'll ask you for an abridged telling of it. Though, I have a feeling you wrote no papers on my exploits." The idea of hearing what she might have done from that stand point is a bit easier to handle through the filter of Darcy. At the very least she knows it will be an entertaining retelling.

Taking a sip of her tea, she sets the paper cup back down. For the moment, she keeps the kolache merely in hand rather than eating it. While she does not prod Coulson about the reading of the biography, she can infer a few things from his silence. "You're settling in well?" she asks Coulson. "It's clear that you have a willing helper in that." There's an indication of Darcy. "Though, you two did know each other before."

—-

"Sure. I'll have to reread it though. Which could be a fun drinking game. I'll read it outloud and when they get something wrong, we all take a shot," Darcy suggests brightly, like a college frat boy she most certainly is not. This as she takes a healthy bite of kolache: egg cheese ham. Not the green variety.

"My money's on us being plasters before we get through Chapter One. And no, I didn't write any papers from that piece of crap. Totally not peer-reviewed, fucking worthless as anything other than entertaining, especially now that I KNOW you. I did use some of our conversations in my final defense though. I think I freaked out the Review Board? Security Clearance is hilarious," Darcy says around a mouthful of food, some how making her words clear despite the food in her maw. Which gets washed down with mocha.

"Always willing to help Coulson. He's the reason I'm even here, that I got my Master's bullshit all figured out, am able to be a grown up and pay my fuckign bills on time." She pauses and points her bitten into kolache at his face.

"Still pissed about the pet store and the iPOD." she tell him, so seriously, so angrily, only for the expression to fall right back into a warm smile, friendly and open.

"But yeah. I've got your back, Coulson," she finishes on another big bite of nums.

—-

"Sadly the only mustache I can grow doesn't twirl well," Phil quips. He grows even more close-mouthed as the subject of the biography continues to unfold, and as their assessment makes his own thorough study of the thing even more embarrassing. He mentally ups his estimate of the personal security he needs to add to his copy by a considerable margin.

The faintest flicker of surprise crosses his face when Darcy actually says the things she says though. "Well, that's very kind of you, Darcy," he says. "As for the iPOD, it seems I have Agent Carter to thank for making that right on my behalf. And as for the pet store…" Here he gives a cryptic smile. And says nothing more on that subject, at least not directly.

Instead he says, "Agent Carter, I think you'd be proud to know, if you didn't already, that Agent Lewis lives up to the ideal that we are not just a shield for the people of the world, but for all creatures great and small as well. It's why we recruited her."

—-

"Unfortunately, I will only be able to act as polygraph for a certain amount of time. After that, the biographer's guesses will be as good as my own." There's quite a lot about her own history that remains secret, as the woman that might be able to explain it would be most unsettled to see her. Most the others are dead.

With a laugh, she nods. "It's good to see that fences are mendable." And, hopefully, that means there's hope for Jane to forgive Coulson. Some day. Maybe not in the near future, but sometime!

"I'm afraid to ask about the pet store," she says, glancing between Phil and Darcy. "But, yes, Agent Lewis is a remarkable agent, if a little unconventional in her methods." That's not something she minds, it sounds like, though. She, herself, was an unconventional woman in her time.

—-

Darcy was just thinking that too: mending the Foster-Coulson bridge. It's a far trickier thng than finding an Einstein-Rosenburg bridge. But far more plausibly accomplished. And Darcy might has said something about that had her phone not rang.

"'Scuse me," she says, taking her mocha with her and shoving the rest of the kolache into her mouth as she slips out into the hallway to deal with whatever it is that's calling her phone during work hours.

—-

As Darcy steps into the hall to take a phone call Phil Coulson regards Agent Peggy Carter with a look of understated compassion. As if now that he's gotten past his Fanboy Moment he has started to contemplate what it might be like to be ripped from one's own timeline, to be displaced into an era where she had accomplished so many things that she did not remember. It's just a slight softening about his eyes, around his face, but it's there. It's a moment that sooths some of his hero worship, which reminds him that this is a human woman sitting before him, no matter the amount of grace and aplomb with which she has handled her unusual situation.

He finishes his kolache in a few quick, efficient bites before he speaks again. He doesn't elaborate on the pet store out of habit; as it is he's sure she can pull the file if she really wants it. Her clearance surely outpaces even his own. Instead he says: "I hope you won't hesitate to call upon me if I can provide you with any support for any of your endevours, Agent Carter." This is delivered far more professionally than his fumbling fanboy attempts to say hi to her.

Though he might spoil it a little by asking shyly, "Was Darcy having me on when she said Captain Steve Rogers and Sargent James Barnes are here too? Did they come over with you?"

When Darcy steps outside, Peggy watches her and then turns her attention back to Coulson. Finally, she takes a few bites out of her food and settles back into her chair. She gives a nod at the offer, appreciative. "Thank you. I'll be sure to think of you, should I need any help."

The shyness with which he asks the question about Steve and James is met with a smile. Ah, it seems as if the fanboy reaction extends to all the people involving World War II, the Howling Commandos and the start of SHIELD. "Ah, no. My situation is rather singular in that matter. However, so is each of theirs in their own way. But, I was just as surprised to find Steve and James here as, I believe, they were to find me."

There's a pause, as she contemplates her question. Then, she asks, "What made you wish to join SHIELD, Agent Coulson? If you don't mind my asking."

—-

"SHIELD recruited me right out of college, trained me, turned me into something other than a very dorky young man with no clear idea of what he was going to do with his life." Phil says, picking up his coffee at last. He lets one of those little smiles cross his face. "I was a history major." Who had written papers. About them. Apparently. "I had no idea the organization paid attention to college obsessions, but apparently they did. I suppose the fascination started with learning just how much SHIELD had done for the world. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? SHIELD has been my life and my family, really, ever since."

He shows zero shame and zero hesitation about confiding something so touchy-feely: this is his home and he is utterly devoted to the organization and its people. He even straightens just a little bit as he talks about it, sheepishly proud to be part of something that he feels is so very important.

—-

And, well, Peggy might be the best person to confide such touchy feely things about SHIELD. Though this no longer feels like the same place she started so long ago, it's nice to hear that it means something to some people. The history major puts a few more things into place for Peggy. A history major, someone who takes pride in his work: this makes some sense as to why he might be a fan of Captain America and of herself.

The smile widens. "That's good to hear, to be honest. You know—" There's a ring on her phone. "Just a moment, pardon me." Picking up the phone, she listens for a few moments. "Of course." Then, she cradles it. "Forgive me, but there's a few things I need to handle. It was lovely to speak with you, Agent Coulson. I hope to speak with you again soon."

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