She knows the boys with blushing faces and sharp eyes, bashful-bold boys with sneaky fingers and mouths made for lying. She knows all about them, and she knows to avoid them because nothing was ever given to her, she's had to fight for everything she's built so far and so a pair of bright blue eyes do nothing for her, especially when they belong to someone who is, after all, when all's done and done, under her command.
But still, she knows how inexperienced Steve is — it shows on his body, it shows on his face and she knows him to be a sincere man, a good man, and so —
It's not absolutely accidentally that she bumps into him on the way to the briefing. Gentlemanly as always, he holds her hand like it's made of delicate glass, which would be touching if it wasn't absolutely infuriating. "Thank you, Corporal," she says crisply, and he lets go, immediately. He isn't ready.
Over the radio, there's hardly enough time to exchange information, much less pleasantries, and so she shuts down all his aww shucks and thank you ma'ams with a cool reminder not to waste the desperately needed bandwidth.
She hears from the gossips at HQ that she's gotten a reputation for being a stone-cold ice queen bitch and although ice blue has never been her color (Peggy Carter runs hot, as as hot and as red as the color of her most favorite lipstick), she's satisfied. Because it means she'll get less drunk-phone calls at one in the morning from asshole officers who think that every woman in a uniform is automatically at their beck and call.
But then again, Steve Rogers is probably convinced she hates him too, especially after that fiasco with that Private Lorraine, and yes, shots were fired — by her, but good lord, if a man couldn't figure out that she liked him — and why else in the world would she shoot him for, if she didn't like him? — Then obviously, he isn't — well, Captain America might be getting to be a good tactician, but not, as it were, in matters of the heart.
When Peggy was a little girl, she had been taken to the National Gallery, and had wandered along until she stopped in front of a painting of Botticelli's, of Venus and Mars laying down to rest. Mars slept with his head lolling back, while Venus glanced at the viewer, sly and secret. The painting must have caught them after a hard day's of fighting or fucking, or both, and in this atmosphere of redolent sensuality, there were wonky-eyed cherubs playing with Mars' armor, and satyrs doing heavens knows what. Of course the lesson to be learned was that love (read: sex) conquers war.
(Peggy was always quick with lessons.)
And that lesson is an important one, because Peggy Carter is determined to conquer Steve Rogers, and by extension, America.
Churchill would give her a medal if he knew. Thank God he doesn't.
It happens like this — Both Agent Carter and Captain America, Steve Rogers, are invited to a intimate soiree at the American Ambassador’s home. Somehow, the Captain’s squirrely friend, Bucky, a name better suited for a boy than the grinning, imprudent man it does belongs to, also wrangles an invitation.
Peggy is able, through a complex system of bartering, promises and outright lies, to acquire a stunning red silk dress, only a decade out of fashion and meant for a woman with wider hips and a smaller bosom than Peggy’s. However, thanks to the seamstressing talents of one Agnes Finch of the typing pool, it now fits Peggy perfectly, like a second skin.
She wears it with confidence, and does not let the leers of even the most wrinkled of generals daunt her.
After all the fuss that could be made about the Captain has made, he’s as easily discarded, standing ignored in the corner of the ballroom. He’s huddled with Bucky, who looks a little worse for wear. They brighten up considerably when she comes by.
“Is everything all right, Captain Rogers?” She can’t quite keep the archness from her voice. He blushes (and really he just looks like the world’s biggest schoolboy when he does that) and stammers out something between I’m fine and how fine you look tonight, Agent Carter. She inclines her head, and is about to say something when Bucky leans over and vomits quietly on the (possibly priceless) oriental carpet. Peggy jumps back, in time to save her her dress and herself.
The next few minutes are blur. They are escorted, politely but firmly to the door. The men in black are as heedless to the Captain’s apologies as they are to Peggy’s explanations. Bucky’s stifled moans add nothing to the conversation.
She waits on the pavement for a cab, as Steve hauls Bucky away from the marble steps of the embassy, and they agree to go to the hotel where Steve and Bucky are staying first, before going on to Peggy’s barracks.
“A hotel!” she exclaims as they scrabble out of the cab.
“The barracks were full, Agent Carter, could you...?” Steve looks harassed and vaguely sweaty, and if he could have, Peggy is sure he would have pulled at his collar.
“Of course, Captain Rogers. I’ll pay the fare, go see to your friend.”
As they waddle off to their rooms, she could almost swear that she hears Bucky say, “Are ya gonna nail her tonight, Steve?” And she could almost swear to God that she hears Captain America, the upholder of American values and common decency everywhere, tell Bucky to shut the fuck up.
The hotel bar is thinly stocked and her crème de menthe is more sour than sweet, and Peggy is about to declare this night a total bust when she feels a firm tap on her shoulder.
“Steve!” She’s delighted, she doesn’t try to hide it and the smile he gives her is as happy as she feels. “Is Sergeant Barnes taken care of?”
“Yes,” Steve heaves a huge sigh before sidling up to the bar stool next to her. “I am sorry for our language tonight. Bucky... He’s no longer accustomed the presence of ladies, I’m afraid.”
“I don’t mind,” she sips her drink carefully. “Well, actually I do mind.”
He looks stricken.
“Because we’ll never get there, will we?”
“Get where?” he asks carefully.
“To bed, Steve. Together, at the same time.”
“Call me Peggy, I’ve already called you Steve.”
“Peggy, I’ve got nothing but the most … I’m ardently .. I heartily...”
“Have you ever been with a woman, Steven?”
His mouth closes with a snap. “No, ma’am, I have not.”
She leans in close, and thanks to Steve’s super-senses, he can certainly smell the alcohol on her breath. “Would you like to be?”
She expects him to blush. (Again.) She expects him to bluster, and make an excuse to leave. Hell, she half-expects him to give way to a dead faint. He does none of those things. Instead, he says, “Yes. I would. With you.”
“If I’m offering?” Peggy cocks one delicate eyebrow and the grin Steve gives her is positively wolfish.
“If you’re offering, I’m accepting.”
It’s not exactly a mad scramble to Steve’s hotel room. First, he leaves, yawning and making a big show of it. He’s an amateur, and it’s sort of adorable to see him pretend not to sprint up the steps to his third floor bedroom. Peggy waits fifteen minutes, smokes a cigarette, and slips past the concierge as a large group of soldiers emerge from the streets, sopping wet and shouting. She makes her way to the servant’s staircase, and takes her damn time climbing to the third floor.
Steve’s room is number 64, and after a brief knock, she’s let in. Steve is in his dress-shirt and trousers, and yes, he looks delectable and very, very nervous. As she approaches, he starts to fumble with his pants. She pauses — reconsidering briefly if this is, indeed, what she wants to be doing — when he holds up a condom.
He’s blushing again. “We’ll need this. I’ve seen the films.”
“Yes, we will.”
The blush, as it turns out, is a whole-body phenomena. And what a body! Peggy can’t stop touching him, stroking, caressing, doing all the things she’s been dying to do the first day at Doctor Eskine’s lab. And Steve is just as eager. He’s especially taken with her breasts, which is natural, since they are quite magnificent.
He murmurs, so quiet she can hardly hear him, “I’d like to draw you sometimes.”
She shoots him a sharp look, “So you can see me without my kit?”
“No! Well, yes, but I’d like to draw you as well.”
“Huh,” she leans in to kiss him, and he circles those big arms around her waist and her voice is more than a little breathless when she says, “Captain America has a private collection, who would have thought?”
“You’re the first one in it.”
“I’m flattered.” She is.
She sinks into him with a sigh, balancing and pressing into his flesh until they are almost welded together. He knows enough to thrust, to arch his back as she does hers, muttering a soft torrent of words made dirty even by their complete innocuousness. He comes almost too quickly, but not before she guides him and teaches him what to do with his hands and how to do it and when. Steve, well, he’s an eager pupil and for his first time, he does a marvelous job. And like all good teachers, Peggy is not quiet in her praise.
“I could get used to this,” he says, mouth red and debauched and Peggy squirms with want and need and gasps out, “Don’t make me regret it, Rogers.”
Later, but not as late as all that, they’re curled up, skin to skin, flesh to flesh, in Steve’s big hotel bed. Peggy feels like she’s not quite ready to move, not just yet, and she’s not actually sure if she can, just yet, when he stirs next to her with a bone-shaking yawn.
There’s nothing bashful or boyish with the look he gives her. “Well, Miss Carter.”
“Well, Mister Rogers.”
They stare at each other, examining this new thing they have between them now.
Peggy says, “I suppose, having slept with with Captain America, I’ve also actually slept with America, as it were.”
“Ah, well, some symbol of America, at least.”
(And, Lady Liberty — he isn’t.)
The blush is back, but it quite compliments his tousled golden hair and bright blue eyes. It’s odd how much Steve looks like the type of person — well, girl — that dark eyed, dark haired Peggy Carter had once truly wanted to look like. She’s quite satisfied with what she has now (thank you very much), but still, Steve is …
“You know, I quite fancy Roosevelt.”
“Really? Well, he’s a handsome man. A bit old, but still.”
“No, I meant Eleanor.”
She laughs at his expression of almost comical surprise. And kisses his warm, ruddy check.
“You still have much to learn about, Captain Rogers.”
He surges forward, begging, teach me, teach me, teach me, now, here, before it’s too late, with every gesture, and every breath. And she says, with gasps and sighs, with fingers digging deep into his wonderful flesh, don’t worry, don’t despair. We have time.
We have time.