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capтaιn kaтнerιne вeckeтт (
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OPEN RP POST
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Steve & Peggy
2016-07-15 06:15 am (UTC)
I suppose I just wanted a second chance at keeping him safe.
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2016-07-22 11:04 am (UTC)
The Avengers' new location, a compound in upstate New York, was, as it turned out, repurposed Stark Industries property. Of course Steve had already known this. What he didn't know was that deep in one of the sub-basements were still caches of forgotten old plans, parts, and other miscellany of
Stark's. They'd done their research and even remodeled most of the place, but not thoroughly enough. Apparently Steve, and even Tony, could have stood to consult with Hank Pym on what the property and its assorted building spaces had been used for prior to closure due to the elder Stark's untimely death. After that, when Tony did make use of the place before the whole Avengers makeover, it was nothing more than interim storage for unclassified manufactured pieces. A glorified halfway home for nuts and bolts and only on the upper floors. Time did as time does and closed off rooms in the basement were forgotten, especially the ones Howard had intentionally left off schematics and blueprints.
As the team slowly made the place theirs, with the highest floor dedicated to personal residences for the team, and the others offices, training spaces, and so forth, the place had come to life. Storage was needed in time and so the places hidden away were encroached upon just a little more with every month that passed. Tony wasn't completely careless though. He'd stumbled over secrets of his fathers, ones that changed the nature of physics, hidden before and so he made sure the dustiest of places were priority access. Just in case. Avengers only. And also used to store things he got tired of or then decided he missed when he destroyed the replacement.
Such the case when Tony rewired the new microwave to the television and 'popcorn' cabinet he devised. In theory it was supposed to calculate the average amount of popcorn per viewer and make more during movies. Steve didn't know much about technology but he was convinced that the automated butter-as-it-cooked was probably going to end up overkill. Regardless, they only made it an hour into the new Star Wars before something in the kitchen was on fire. "My money is on that popcorn contraption," Sam wagered and Steve laughed though refused to take the bet because he wasn't born yesterday. Tony muttered something bitter about Steve barely being born last century so to keep laughing it up. Which both soldiers did as Tony went about turning off the automated fire suppression system, lest the entire kitchen soon be doused in chemicals. Turning on them, Tony fixed a petulant glare. "You know what chuckles? How about you go be useful and get the other microwave out from the basement. If you're lucky, I'll be nice enough to keep it radiation free."
"Oh is that how it's going to be?" Steve asked, though he knew he was soundly beat, given the reference to a text conversation he was too embarrassed to want to stand around and hear Sam laughing his ass off when it was explained. Rather than wait for the humiliation, Steve was off for the elevator. Its automated retinal scan took him the few levels down and just as he disembarked was about the time Steve realized he had no idea where Tony had any of the spare appliances kept. Cellphone reception was garbage so that was right out. Well. They'd be cleaning up that mess for awhile anyways and it wouldn't hurt to familiarize himself with the one area of the compound Steve hadn't spent much time in. For the most part the Avengers just played escort when things were brought down or up. The first few rooms were expansive and the ones Steve was most familiar with. Locked down with additional security because they served as backup armories. Steve didn't bother there. A glance was spared to a room that was clearly filing - records worth keeping but not digitizing, some old Stark Industries stuff that probably just never had been dealt with.
Finally, the end of the hall and a big broad door. This was where Tony kept the Stark Tech he utilized around the compound. A palm print, retinal scan, and voice authorization later, and an unfamiliar AI greeted Steve. "Hello Captain Rogers." Despite getting used to JARVIS and eventually FRIDAY, Steve still found himself put off by AI. The incident with Zola at Lehigh left a bad feeling under his skin. Shaking it off, Steve headed in and found the microwave with ease. A roll of his eyes because he couldn't help himself. Ridiculous security for a damn microwave. And he did know better, there was a lot of technology in there that had components that could be used for so much more and in bad ways but. Still. Couldn't the microwave have been in the filing room?
Steve was hefting the thing up, just about to go, when his eyes caught a picture of Howard hanging on the far wall behind boxes and crates. It wasn't as old as the ones Steve was used to. Upon closer inspection, this one actually had Maria in it too. She looked heavy-set, pregnant even. There was a small, sad smile as Steve moved closer and traced Howard's face with a finger tip. Layers of dust had caked on the glass through the decades with no one to give it proper care. Steve wasn't surprised the photo had gone unnoticed though. It was in an odd spot, far off center and without nearby lighting. He only even caught the glimpse of Howard that he did because he was tall and that super soldier sense of observation just never turned off. Steve had to wonder, perhaps this was a personal work space for Howard some time ago? When he knew his friend, the young Stark had never been the sentimental type. But. People change. Either way, it seemed like such a waste to leave the picture down there. So, instead, Steve set to moving enough boxes so that he could free up space to safely take down the portrait without damaging the glass or frame. As he slipped the hanging wire off the hook, Steve paused. He could swear he felt the strangest sensation of the hook clicking when he did so. A quick moment was spared to make sure the picture was put in a safe spot before Steve's attentions went back to the wall.
"What were you hiding Howard?" he wondered quietly, twisting the hook. No, it was definitely catching and clicking, Steve hadn't lost his mind. It didn't take long for him to connect the dots and realize that there was more to this corner of the room. No air current, so likely just a small space off the main, but definitely something there. It took him a little while but given the picture Steve decided to go out on a limb. Twist the hook to clock equivalents for letters and spell it out. A-N-T-H-O-N-Y. Patience rewarded and the corner split. Not much, narrow enough for Steve to just barely push through given his bulky size. It was probably far easier for Howard back in the day.
Littered about were wooden crates, stamped with the Stark name. They were Howard's greatest inventions, the ones he'd never sold or shared with the public. The true work of a genius that the world wasn't ready for. If Steve were being honest, he wasn't really even sure what he was looking at of the things that weren't tightly sealed away. Nearly everything in the room appeared inert, it ought to have been after all this time. Everything except for one silver baton that flared at both ends and glowed with rings of blue. It was sitting on a shelf with a note penned in faded handwriting. There was something additional on it in darker ink as well, likely added at a later date.
I never thought it would work. Or, at least, I think it worked. Sent all those cats through and never was quite sure where they ended up. But this time? This time I lost her. I screwed up and I lost her. Keeping this one out of storage, just in case.
It's been years now and I don't know how to refine the quantum transducer. Even if I did, I'm afraid it would break or somehow alter her chances. So I just keep hoping.
Scanning the note, Steve read the cryptic references with a frown. There was no name. Who did Howard even mean? The science side of it was completely beyond him though and to that end, Steve probably shouldn't have picked up the item in question so reflexively. It was careless of him. He knew better. And yet. For some reason it was almost as it if he was compelled to.
With a lurch, the room started to spin and Steve felt disoriented. Scenes played out across the space that were far more realistic than a movie, though seemed almost watery. Dimensional but translucent. Yet somehow he felt as though he were there. There in the lab he was seeing. He could smell the place, feel the linoleum tile. Hear the male voices, frazzled and searching for... something. And see. See.
. Peggy. His Peggy. She was there, plain as day, frantic for some reason, like the others. Steve was so focused on her, the long dark pants, the pretty pale blouse, the way her lipstick offset her brunette curls, that he stopped registering the room. He didn't notice that the crates everyone was digging through were the same ones, albeit looking far less aged, as those he'd just discovered. And then Steve saw Peggy pulling out that silver and chrome wand. It was glowing the same faint blue as Steve saw in modern day but when she touched it, the blue started blinking rapidly and shifted to a blinding shade of violet.
"PEGGY NO!" Steve screamed, as if somehow she'd hear him back in time and wouldn't be lost to whatever the hell thing Howard Stark had created.
Edited (hit enter too soon)
2016-07-22 12:14 (UTC)
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2016-07-22 07:46 pm (UTC)
Chief Dooley was dead.
His death shook her deeply, not in they way the death of a mere colleague normally might. Not in way death usually shook her. Peggy had lived through the war; she had been on the front lines, had watched men with more honor than Dooley cut down like stalks of corn before her eyes. Men who had treated her with more respect than he ever had, and yet, watching him die had chilled her to the bone. Maybe because in his last breaths, it was her that he had sought out; her help he had demanded. For all his faults, for all the ways he had mistreated her, he had listened to her before it was all over. Heard her out, trusted her, respected her for what she had to offer.
The thought was stuck in Peggy's brain, circling like water down a drain, swirling down into the back of her mind where all of the things she fought to forget went. Before long the guilt and the blame she placed on herself for what happened to him would be hidden away, shoved down into a corner of her heart where it would rot and fester and bubble up again next time before she once again shoved it into place.
Next time someone she cared for died. Chief Dooley, Agent Krzeminski, Colleen, Michael, Steve... Peggy was beginning to wonder if it was just her, if she was the poison seeping into her own life, killing the people around her. Howard was a dangerous man for what he created, but Peggy was dangerous for what she was. How much longer could she deny the destruction that she always seemed to leave in her wake?
They had rushed to the lab after Dooley's death, her fingers trembling as she opened the container that held the final known remains of the man she loved. A metallic taste burned in the back of her throat, and she could almost feel Mr. Jarvis' sigh of relief, in time with hers, as the vial popped up with Steve's blood inside of it. For all they had been through, she could have smiled. Everything was falling apart around them, but at least she had kept the last part of him that she had safe. At least he wasn't lost to her all over again.
"We need to find out what Ivchenko took." The words barely escaped her lips before everyone began to frantically dive into the cupboards and shelves in search for something missing, whatever deadly weapon had been taken for whatever nefarious plan Leviathan had concocted. Peggy moved to help them, pausing for only a moment to brush her finger over the vial, stealing herself a split second in the moment of chaos to let her heart break again, to grieve, to miss him more than she would ever let anyone believe. Just a moment, before she was rushing with the rest of them.
The sound of wooden lids clattering open took over the lab, muttering voices and sharp remarks thrown back and forth. Peggy was only halfway aware of the chaos around her, the other half stealing glimpses of memories of Steve even as her body automatically opened crates in search of more of Howard's missing abominations. The first crate held an innocent looking pair of goggles; the second, a smattering of odd electronics. The third, for reasons she didn't know, gave her pause. Inside of it was a silver wand, nestled in the hay of the box, but it was
. The blue rings pulsed and Peggy found herself captured by the soothing rhythm. She knew better, after what she had just watched, and after what she had encountered first hand with Howard's contraptions. But all sense was lost as she felt compelled to pick it up, her fingers wrapping around the smooth metal as she pulled it from the box.
The sound of warning was too late, though, and Peggy's eyes widened as she watched the blue rings pulse faster as it shifted color. She wasn't sure now who had called to her, as the room began to spin around her and she felt like reality had shifted into a swirling roundabout that she was falling off of. Instinctively, she grasped the baton in her hand even tighter, her eyes screwing shut as she tried to breathe. Then, at the corner of the room, Steve appeared.
He was holding in his hand the same silver baton, the look on his face concerned and horrified. Peggy felt her stomach drop, like she had just jumped off a cliff, and while she wanted more than anything to say something to him, she couldn't find the words.
And then the insane ride she was on seemed to change. The world shifted back into place, but the people around her faded into darkness. Peggy watched as Mr Jarvis' concerned face vanished, the tables disintegrating from her view, the wooden crates disappearing or aging before her very eyes. The spinning slowed gradually, and when it came to a stop, Peggy stood in the dark room, her hands now empty, the glowing baton having vanished with everything else. The baton in Steve's hands remained, the pulsing lights slowing again to a soothing blue. Peggy hadn't taken her eyes off of Steve; as everything else had faded, he had become clearer, solid, real. She didn't know what to think or say as her eyes stayed, unwavering, on his impossible form.
When she finally did speak, her throat was thick with emotion. "Steve..." It was all she could manage.
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2016-10-05 05:36 am (UTC)
If Steve didn't have the gift of an incredible constitution he probably would have found himself retching as the room stopped spinning. Fortunately, another gift of the serum and he was beyond grateful because it meant he was able to keep his bearings without needing to orient when the device finally went null. All the lights and electric whirring silenced, even on the level of Steve's acute hearing. When he looked down at the baton it appeared to be, effectively, dead. Good enough for him and he hastily discarded it back on the shelf with just enough care to be sure it didn't fall to the floor. There was something far more important in the room, so long as her presence wasn't contingent on the transducer.
Peggy seemed to remain intact when his own hands left the device, despite the fact that she stumbled several steps back from it in translation. He hesitated, briefly, just to be sure he wasn't hallucinating. When she spoke, there was nothing else to hold him back. Steve closed the distance between them in two long strides. Strong arms wrapped around her silently, pulling her against his chest. He held her there tightly, almost crushingly, savoring the reality of her existence.
The ends of her hair brushed his fingertips. He could smell her skin. Even if it only lasted for the barest of minutes, Steve was going to let himself be awash via every sense.
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2016-10-07 06:52 am (UTC)
She wasn't sure he was real. There was no way to be sure; that is until he came to her. Until he wrapped his arms around her. She could feel his muscles against her back, his strong chest against her cheek. Peggy sobbed gently as her eyes fluttered shut, and she pressed her ear to his chest. She could hear his heart pattering gently.
"Steve..." There weren't any other words. She didn't know how this was even
. Obviously whatever just occurred had to do with whatever contraption she had picked up of Stark's, but she couldn't fathom how. Not that she particularly cared, either. For the moment, all of her energy and thought processes were completely overpowered by her need to wrap her arms around Steve and her need to pull him as close to her as possible.
Any part of her that wasn't clinging to him was trying not to cry. He felt so real, but Peggy had suffered too long to believe it. Perhaps the baton caused some kind of full sensory hallucination, or perhaps she was simply unconscious and dreaming. She had, after all, just held Steve's last vial of blood in her hands. Since she listened to him go down, he was never far from her mind or her heart.
Peggy held him for what felt like hours, and he didn't vanish. She finally pulled back, gazing up at him, taking in every feature, every curve. He looked different from how she remembered; he was more like himself than her memory had created. Ever her occasional glimpse at his picture in the SSR archives failed to do justice to the reality of having him in her arms. Peggy couldn't help but think of that night, two years ago, as she stood in the middle of the Stork Club at eight o'clock on the dot. She had fussed with her dress. She had fought back the onslaught of tears. She had stared at the door, her stomach lurching because she knew no matter how hard she hoped, she wouldn't get her miracle. Peggy knew Steve would never walk through that door, no matter how long she waited.
Reaching up, she cupped his face in her hands and caressed his cheeks gently with her fingers. Peggy finally was able to muster a smile through her tears.
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