Agent Peggy Carter sat in the London Officers’ Club, one of the few women in the place that weren’t dates of the officers. She was by herself, not that she couldn’t have had company if she wanted. Several officers had approached her but the look she gave them kept them at bay. They knew that look, too many of them had lost fellows they knew to not be familiar with it. They had come to the club to forget the hard times and to celebrate the end of the war and they knew she wasn’t here for that so they steered clear of her.
Peggy couldn’t believe the results of her physical, she was pregnant. She knew how she had become so, it had been just one time with Steve before that last attack on Hydra. But still one time shouldn’t have had her end up in this position. She couldn’t tell anyone about it because if anyone at the SSR ever found out, her child would be up for experimentation because they wanted to study anyone with Captain America’s genetic code. But she had no idea how she was going to hide it. She still had a job to do.
She was staring into her tea and a shadow fell over her. She looked up, ready to give the officer the look that had warned the others away, but this officer wouldn’t be put off by a simple look.
“Fancy seeing you here, Agent Carter,” Major, the Lord Falsworth said as he slid into the chair across the table from her.
“Major,” Peggy said.
Falsworth signaled one of the wait staff and ordered tea and biscuits. Neither of them spoke again until the order had been brought and served.
“How are you doing?” Falsworth asked as he stirred the milk and sugar into his tea.
“Fine,” Peggy said tersely. “You?”
“I’m selling out and going back to the manor. It’s time that I took care of my duties there,” Falsworth explained.
“Oh, I didn’t know you had manor,” Peggy said grasping at a conversational topic that wouldn’t focus on her.
“I’m the Earl of Falsworth, didn’t you know?” Falsworth said casually.
“Should I be addressing you as My Lord?” Peggy asked suddenly self-conscious.
“Only if you want me to call you Agent Carter all the time,” replied Falsworth.
“Right, Major it is,” Peggy smiled.
“Actually since I’m selling out – James would be better,” He said with a smile.
Peggy noticed the smile and that it did light up his face. Why did she have to fall for Captain Bloody America instead of a man like this? It would have been better if she had fallen for the handsome lord. She could have settled down with someone like him, a soldier who had done his duty as ordered but hadn’t gone above and beyond to be heroic.
“James, then,” Peggy said.
“So what has you crying into your tea?” James asked again. “Don’t tell me nothing. I know that look. I’ve seen it on the others’ faces often enough lately. DumDum crying in his beer is a sight you don’t want see more than once.”
“I miss him,” Peggy unbent enough to say.
“It’s more than that,” he suggested.
Peggy looked around the room. “Can we go for a walk?”
“Of course,” James signaled to put both orders on his tab to settle up later.
Five minutes later, Peggy found herself bundled in her coat and walking down the street with Lord Falsworth. Unconsciously she led him to the pub where Steve had assembled the team for the first time. The bombed out pub seemed fitting for what she was going to have tell him.
She sat at the table Steve had occupied when she had stupidly told him to respect Bucky’s choice to sacrifice for him. That conversation ended in the night that resulted in her predicament now.
“You’re right. There’s more,” Peggy said as James sat down next to her. “I’m pregnant.”
James let out a whistle. “The Captain’s, yes?”
“Yes,” Peggy said. “I’ll lose my job. It’s hard enough but there is no way they won’t court-martial me for this.”
James thought for a moment. He really did need to settle down and do his duty. What would be better than a wife and an heir all at once? That should please his mother.
“Not if you were my Countess,” James suggested.
Peggy looked at him. “You can’t be serious?”
“Perfectly. I need a wife who can run the manor as I look to the estates other interests. I know you’re capable. I like and respect you. I know the truth about your condition. I know and respect your child’s father. I would love the child as if it were my own and it will be once it is born,” James pointed out.
“But you don’t love me. And I don’t love you,” Peggy protested.
“There are many types of love,” James persisted. “Many successful marriages have been built on the love of friendship.”
“Then, yes, I accept,” Peggy said.
In later years, James Montgomery Falsworth came to doubt the wisdom of that statement to his future wife. He knew she loved him. Peggy had showed it in many ways. Part of him had small doubts. Sometimes he saw a far away expression on her face and he knew she was thinking of the Yankee who had left her. The anniversary of date that Captain Rogers disappeared was a tricky day. Both of them mourned, in different ways and apart from each other. He became Union Jack and Peggy threw her support behind him.
The day their son died, was the day the marriage almost ended, but their teenaged daughter kept them together. Then she sat beside James as he slowly died of old age. The last words he heard before he passed were, “I love you, James. I never regretted saying yes.” James closed his eyes and smiled. She may have missed the Captain, but she had loved him too.