Just a Little Sibling Obfuscation

August 15, 2018:

The Carters lack the ability to be completely straight with one another. It comes with the territory.

Peggy's Apartment

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NPCs: None.

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Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Peggy knows that Michael's hideaway was most likely destroyed in the Hell's Kitchen bombing. Though her immediate thought was to invite him to stay with her, the penthouse also houses Thor. And while he is a thoughtful and surprisingly great roommate, he has little thought for espionage. She knows Michael would never feel easy in a place where his cover could be blown at any stray word. And so, she has not offered.

Instead, she invites him over when she knows Thor is off on another adventure, like tonight. And she is already prepared. There's boxes of Chinese food from her favorite place and some tea and scotch ready.

*

The good thing about a city like New York with a new crisis every half block is that you can disappear relatively well if you choose to. Just…as long as you keep dodging the superpowered crisis du jour.

Michael's knock is a soft rat-tat-tat, designed to let her know that he's not on the other side of the door with a bad guy's gun shoved against his spine.

Hazard of the job.

When she opens it, she'll find her brother looking, well…not well-rested, but not as strung out as the last few times they've crossed paths lately. "Hello Firecracker? Oooh, is that moo shu?"

*

Even with the proper rat-tat-tat, Peggy still checks to make sure that Michael is alone. It's a quick thing, but one that is easily done. Then, the chains are taken off and the door opened. "Hey Michael," she greets. "And…yes." There is definitely moo shu there for consuming.

While she didn't exactly expect her brother to look the best, she can't help but still worry. "How've you been?" she asks. It's an asinine question, but it's the start to something, at least.

*

Michael leans in to peck her softly on the cheek. He then presses a bottle of off-dry Riesling into her hand. "Now that's a silly question, isn't it? I'm a hunted man. Clearly I'm wonderful because I'm getting my cardio in with ease." His tone is about as dry as the bottle he gave her.

*

The Riesling is taken and then checked out. There's a bit of a head nod at that. Of course Michael still brought wine while he is on the run. Protocols, politeness, Britishness. It's all a bit wrapped up together. "Yes, thank you for the obvious, Michael, I know it is a silly question. However, how am I supposed to start our conversation?"

The door shuts behind her and he reattaches the chain and the locks. "Welcome to my home, brother, I see you have been effectively dodging the assassins and spies that have dogged your heels the past few months?" It seems talking with Thor sometimes makes her speech tilt in that direction.

"Truthfully, though, what can I do?"

*

"Well, that does sound a bit mad, but at least it's not inane. And you? Dodging wretched paperwork?" Michael crosses to the table to start poking curiously at the food. "You know, I never get tired of American Chinese. It's trash, and as far from authentic as you can possibly get, but I'm a sucker for MSG."

*

"We're British, Michael, we live for inane polite chatter to start." Peggy gives him a bit of a kick to the shin as she says it. Then, she moves to put the bottle into the fridge to chill. "I have a fondness for it as well." Returning, she shrugs her shoulders. "Not quite. I've become rather embroiled in the Hell's Kitchen Bombing." Pause. "Also, we have a member of your organization in holding." Another pause. "I also ordered Sesame Chicken. I know you're partial to the Moo Shu, but this place has a remarkable sesame chicken."

*

"I've never found better Moo Shu than this one time in Amsterdam in the eighties. The place is long gone, but there was something in it that I've never tasted anywhere else." Michael's eyebrows go up, "Perhaps it was weed. Is that crass of me?" He chuckles and pretends to wince from the kick. "Yes. The bombing. Terrible thing. Have you any leads?"

*

"I refuse to believe that Amsterdam has better American Chinese food than New York does." Of course, Peggy also doesn't remember the eighties. Or at least, this one doesn't. "Crass to have smoked weed? No. Though I would have thought it disallowed in your program." An eyebrow is raised. The subject is not forgotten, no matter how much Michael may skip over the one thing that she has said that relates to him.

"You'd know if there were any leads from reading the paper and if you didn't know from there, you'd know I could not tell you, Michael." Two can play at the spy game. Or, well, they both will play it. "I am sure you know by now what has happened." Peggy was the one that brought Courtier into SHIELD's fold, after all. She can assume that Courtier may still have connections to Michael, might discuss the case as it is.

"Thoughts?" A smirk is given as she spoons some of that sesame chicken onto her plate and then pours herself a scotch. "You were the one that wished to forgo the inane, remember. I was quite happy with the small talk."

*

"To assume the secret ingredient in food from Amsterdam is cannabis," says Michael as he goes about fixing himself a plate. He lets her steer the conversation back to pertinent issues. "Or perhaps I'd hoped that SHIELD might have some trust in me at this point. Or at least, my sister."

He bites into the end of an egg roll, then works at tugging the end of a little packet of soy sauce. "About the man you have in custody or the chaos in Hell's Kitchen?"

*

"I could say the very same to you," Peggy tells Michael. "We have the man who wants to speak to one of us in custody. I thought to bring it up casually, but as you so often do, you have to make things difficult. You know the man who killed the other Peggy Carter also taunted her with black roses. There has to be a connection here. You were alive during that time…the time when the other Peggy would have known this man. He also is possibly the one that set you up. This guy hates Carters. I was hoping to get something of a more personal read."

*

"Darling, both your counterpart and myself have built up quite a lot of enemies. If you asked me to make a list, it would include agents from every serious power on the globe, a few extinct powers and a few minor powers for good measure." Michael unsheaths a set of chopsticks. "Narrowing it down by who might have a beef is an exercise in futility. It is…" he picks up a piece of chicken with deft hands using the chopsticks, "…concerning that this man has infiltrated Six-Five. I had rather hoped we were beyond such disloyalty and pettiness."

*

There is a flash of her eyes. "You were the one that our family thought dead for over seventy years, Michael. If we are talking about who has been upfront with who…?" Peggy then shakes her head and tries to clear it of that anger. "Forgive me. I haven't gotten much in the way of rest in the past few weeks." Otherwise outbursts such as that would be kept much further under wraps.

"I'm attempting to find out more information. I thought you might help. I was attempting to prompt you into it subtly, hoping you would tell me what I might wish to know without having to actually interrogate you. I am not the Peggy Carter who lived through anything other than your Norway encounter. Before that incident, I know little of what happened between our agencies other than what you have told me and what I can glean from SHIELD files. I wished for your take, not some report I was given. If that is not something you wish to give, we can return to inanity and Chinese food."

*

"I am honestly not being obtuse," says Michael as he sets the chopsticks down to reach for a crepe. Not even a sibling argument can keep him from his good-bad Chinese food. "The list of people who might want to kill me is exceptionally long and could be for any number of reasons. Same can be said of the entire intelligence community, including your counterpart. I would dearly love to box Warhorse's ears to see what information might emerge, but I am fairly certain nothing is going to come out unless he chooses it. Six-Five is exceptionally good at steeling even its administrative agents against interrogation. And Warhorse is far higher up the rung than an administrator."

*

"And I'm honestly not being opaque." Peggy frowns and shakes her head. She's still trying to be too much like the woman most people think her to be. There's silence as she thinks all these things through. Michael wants to know more but she cannot put him in a room with Warhorse without endangering him. She wants to know more. Warhorse is a trained spy and hard to break. What can be done in this case? Then, it hits her.

Smirking, she looks up. It's so simple. "Michael. He wants a Carter. I can give him two. If I can get you into the Triskelion without anyone knowing, would you go?"

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