It started out like a normal day. Jacqui woke up at 6:00 to prepare herself to head into S.H.I.E.L.D’s New York Headquarters for 8:00 and attend meetings all day with the man who took her in and used to be her SO, Agent Coulson. Slowly she turned over and slammed her hand on her alarm clock to turn it off, startling the resting pup at her feet.
“Sorry Pippin.” Jacqui mumbled softly as she sat up. The Golden Lab pup - who didn’t look at all like a pup - sprung to his feet to meet his master at the top of her bed. He licked her face and climbed over her. “You’re one hell of a wake up call. Come on, lets go outside.” she said to him. Growing up, Jacqui remembers asking her foster parents for a dog. All of her friends had dogs, so she wanted one. Neither of them liked dogs, so no dog for Jacqui. The second she got her own place - which was a place that originally did not allow pets - she told her SO that she needed to relocate. She always wanted a dog.
She lived in a quaint little area of Manhattan. Her apartment building had a nice little area in the middle surrounding it, allowing for residents to have animals. Pippin cheerily went and quickly did his business and followed Jacqui back upstairs. The smell of pancakes filled Jacqui’s senses as she neared her door.
“I see someone gave you a wake up call.” Natasha said from the kitchen. Agent Natasha Romanoff was known to be one of the best agents in the industry. Originally, her reputation with S.H.I.E.L.D was not the greatest, but her trust was gained within the agency quickly. Natasha is rarely ever somewhere for very long, but whenever she is in New York Jacqui has an open room for her to stay in. With S.H.I.E.L.D being short of female agents, Natasha and Jacqui became pretty good friends.
“As if my first alarm didn’t wake me up enough.” Jacqui commented, sitting on a bar stool by the counter where Natasha was cooking for both of them. Pippin placed himself in the corner of the kitchen, watching her cook and waiting to catch anything that fell from the counter.
“We’re going to need the food for the day. I just checked my messages, Fury said that today is a big day and a long one. Didn’t say why.” Natasha said, serving up breakfast for the two. Jacqui groaned as she ate, dreading the day. She should have known that Natasha being here meant that something big was going to happen or that something big already happened and she had not been cleared to know about it. The rest of the morning went by in silence. Natasha cleaned up her mess and went to get ready for her day, while Jacqui started brewing a coffee to get ready for hers.
She took out one of her uniforms and dressed herself in it, getting her jacket and making sure her identification card was within it, as well as her small wallet and car keys. She brushed her hair out and called it a morning. Speeding into the kitchen, she quickly poured her morning coffee into to-go cup and fixed it up to meet Natasha at the door. Pippin followed them out on his leash and they left the building.
It wasn’t normal for agents to bring their dogs to work. But with Jacqui being so highly respected by Coulson and Director Fury himself, they made an exception to the animal. Plus, Director Fury liked having the animal curled up in his office quietly, even if he didn’t want to admit it to him. Jacqui saw the footage - Fury has a stash of dog treats in his drawer just for him.
“Do you know what this thing is?” Jacqui asked Natasha as she drove. Natasha shook her head. “If you don’t know then this must be huge. Like, no joke huge. There isn’t a thing that Fury doesn’t tell you.”
“Well you didn’t hear it from me, but remember the stories about Captain America saving the country from Hydra? How he had to drive the plane into the ocean?” Natasha asked her. Jacqui nodded. Coulson loved Captain America when he was a boy, so as soon as he took her under his wing, he told her all the stories and how he was a hero. “Well, I do know that Fury and Coulson have been secretly trying to track down the plane to find Captain America. They want to see if any remaining DNA from the serum they used was left over to research it.”
“I thought Howard Stark and Peggy Carter had made notes on that?” Jacqui asked.
“They were burned.” Natasha said to her. Jacqui sighed as they reached headquarters and she parked in their private garage, getting Pippin from the backseat and walking him in.
“Agents Rimes and Romanoff. Director Fury and Agent Coulson need you up in his office at once.” the desk receptionist said to them. Nodding, the agents got into the elevator.
“Floor 78.” Natasha spoke. The elevator started going up quickly and soon enough they were up at the base of Fury’s office. The door was open, so Jacqui let Pippin off his leash to let himself into Fury’s office.
“Well hello there.” Jacqui said to the men. Agent Coulson smiled up at her and Fury looked at her with his usual demeanor. Pippin parked himself next to Fury’s desk as the two women sat across from him. “How may we be of service today?” she asked.
“Captain America has been found.” Fury said to them. “He is alive and breathing. As a matter of fact, he is here in the building. A team of medical professionals are keeping him asleep right now. We have him in isolation right now and plan to integrate him into our world slowly. Agent Romanoff, you will be informed when he wakes up and will go into his isolation unit in costume to speak with him. Slowly introduce him to the idea of our ways.”
“What is my role, sir?” Natasha asked.
“A nurse. He’s in a cell that looks like an old hospital room. He’ll have a radio playing an old Dodgers game, hopefully he will believe it all. When he wakes up, answer all questions he has. We’re taking this one step at a time.” Fury said to Natasha, turning to Jacqui. “Once we have him accepting that he’s been sleeping for almost 70 years, thats where you come in Agent Rimes. You will be in charge of helping Captain Rogers adapt to our world. Things have changed for him and he will need someone with a lot of patience and expertise to help him. You were Coulson’s first pick.”
“How will I do that, sir?” Jacqui asked carefully.
“You have a spare room at your apartment? I was hoping you wouldn’t object to him living with you.” Fury said to her.
“Well it looks like I need a new place to stay.” Natasha said out loud.
“That’s a different story, Natasha. I have something else for you after this in California. Agent Rimes, are you up to the task?” Fury asked her. She knew that it wasn’t really a yes or no question. Jacqui had to take this job even if she didn’t want to. She was secretly honored to be the one in charge of Captain America, but she was also terrified.
“Of course, sir. But… are you sure i’m stable enough for the position?” Jacqui said. Even though she hadn’t had an incident with her magic in months, but she was afraid that if she had one around the Captain he would freak out about her having magic. As if the poor man was not already freaked out enough on his own, seeing that would truly weird him out and that was not a topic she exactly wanted to dive into.
“Agent Rimes, you’ve been clear for months. Like I said, you were Coulson’s first pick for this job and I wouldn’t have even brought you in here if i weren’t confident in your ability to do this mission.” Directory Fury said to her. Fury frightened Jacqui at times. He was a good man and she knew that, but there were times when she was terrified of him. This was almost one of those instances.
“Then if you feel confident in my ability, I am up to the task.” Jacqui said to him. He flashed her a tenth of a smile.
“Well then, lets all get into position. Jacqui, you are to stay on the main floor in the reception area. Once he is awake, we will escort Captain Rogers to you and you can bring him home. Natasha, stay for a little while longer. Agent Rimes and Coulson, you are dismissed. Pippin is dismissed as well.” Fury said, sneaking a dog treat to the dog as Jacqui whistled to him. She snapped his leash back onto him and walked out with Coulson to the elevator.
“First floor.” Jacqui spoke to the system. “How are things?” she asked Coulson.
“All things considered, good. Finding Captain America is pretty amazing.” he said to her. “I recommended you to Fury because I know you can do it. He’s going to be confused and need a lot of help, just like you did.” Coulson said to her as the elevator door opened and they walked together into the reception area.
“It will be interesting. I just hope that he will be willing to learn. You never know.” Jacqui said as she sat, Pippin climbing up on the couch next to her.
“I”m going to make a coffee. Want a French Vanilla Cappuccino?” Coulson asked. Jacqui nodded as Coulson made the coffee. There was live feed of Captain Rogers inside of his unit. Slowly, she saw him moving.
“He’s awake!” Jacqui said to Coulson as he reached her with the drinks.
“Well then, I should leave then. Incase they need extra security. Make sure Pippin doesn’t drink my coffee, I’ll be back for it.” Coulson said, dashing out of the room. Jacqui watched closely as he observed his surroundings. He didn’t believe he was in New York for one second. Sure, his surroundings were very good, but she knew that he knew he wasn’t home. Right on cue, Natasha walked in and spoke to him. Suddenly, he got tense and two back up guards went into the room and he shoved them through the wall and ran out. Agents were running everywhere to catch up with him before he exited and went for the streets. She dashed to the window to watch the whole thing unfold in Times Square. Fury talked to him before he got him into a car and back into the building. The door to the room opened and Fury and Coulson walked in, Natasha in tail with Captain Rogers looking very shaken up.
“Captain, I would like you to meet Agent Jacqui Rimes. We have her in charge of helping you adapt to this world of ours.” Fury said to him. Captain Rogers was a very tall man, taller than Jacqui had expected. His hair was light and he had very blue eyes. Jacqui had to admit, he was a very attractive man. As much as he was attractive he was also dangerous and scared of this new world. Jacqui knew she had to approach him slowly and kindly.
“Hello Captain. Its a pleasure to meet you.” Jacqui said, holding her hand out for him to shake. Slowly, he took it and shook back. “I know this is a whole lot to take in, but me teaching you about our world will require a lot of time and it is easier if you just live in my apartment with me for the time being. Is that okay?” she asked. Fury gave her a look, but it went away instantly, as he understood where she was going.
“Well, I certainly have no other place to go. And please, call me Steve.” he said to her. Jacqui nodded as Pippin woke up and raced over to Fury, sitting in front of him.
“I hope you like dogs. This is Pippin. He’s my dog and a favorite around these parts.” Jacqui explained to Steve, her voice lowering, “Even Fury likes him. He just doesn’t admit it.” she added to him. Director Fury grunted as he turned and walked out of the room.
“I love dogs.” Steve said with a chuckle as Pippin was now inspecting Steve.
“Well, Director Fury leaving means that you two are free to go.” Coulson said to them. Jacqui nodded as she clipped Pippins leash onto him.
“Phil, come over for dinner sometime soon. Its been a while.” Jacqui said to him.
“As long as I’m not the one stuck cooking, like the last time.” Coulson said, turning on his heel and walking out. Natasha had taken off a while ago Jacqui assumed.
“Well Steve, if you would follow me right this way. Seems like we can head home.” Jacqui said. With Pippin at her side, Jacqui escorted Steve to her car and unlocked the door, letting Pippin in first and then the two of them entering.
“Well, cars have changed.” Steve said.
“Two things always keep changing in this world: Technology and cars. The two usually go hand in hand.” Jacqui said as she drove off. it was about a 15 minute drive from headquarters to Jacqui’s complex, and once there Steve looked even more confused. She briefly explained how her complex worked on the walk to her apartment and unlocked the door, letting Pippin loose to go and climb on the couch to nap. “Welcome to my humble abode.” she said, putting her keys on the table and taking her jacket off.
“Its nice. Bigger than apartments were in my day.” Steve said casually.
“I bet. Your room is right over here.” Jacqui said, directing Steve to the room that Natasha had been occupying. Her stuff was already gone and replaced with new bags - presumably for Steve. “Your bathroom is through that door, and those two double doors are your closet. I’m assuming these bags are some clothes that S.H.I.E.L.D has bought for you. If they’re hideous, we can go out shopping later this week.” Jacqui said. She went into the bathroom. “I have some generic shampoo and conditioner in there for you to use that I always keep there. Soap, tooth brush, etcetera…”
“Thank you, Agent Rimes.” Steve said to her awkwardly.
“Please, call me Jacqui.” she said to him. “Now I know that you just slept for about 70 years, but its only 9:00 and I got little sleep last night. If its okay with you, i’d like to take an hour nap.” Jacqui said to Steve.
“Sure thing. I saw a book shelf out there, maybe I’ll read something.” Steve said.
“If you want to know where Pippin got his name, read The Lord of the Rings. They’re arranged on my self in the order that you read them in. Trust me, they’re great.” Jacqui let out a yawn before she retreated into her room, leaving Steve alone. Slowly, he made his way out into the living room and over to the bookshelf. He took Jacqui’s advice and took out The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and sat on the couch. Pippin got up from his spot and curled up next to Steve, surprising him. The animal warmed up to him quickly, but he ignored it and began to read.
Jacqui jolted awake when she heard the familiar laugh of Natasha at her door.
“Well good afternoon to you. I was just coming to check up on how you were doing. And to rant about my new mission before I leave.” Natasha said.
“What time is it?” Jacqui asked groggily, sitting up to get out of bed.
“About 12:00. Cap said you went to bed at 9:00 when you got back.” Natasha said. Jacqui mumbled a ‘shit’ under her breath as she jumped up and past Natasha to look in her living room, finding Steve on the couch reading still, Pippin sleeping next to him. Steve looked up briefly to look at her.
“I don’t get it. Why did Bilbo leave Frodo to deal with the ring? It was his mess to clean up, he should have left the ring with Gollum when he found it and avoided this whole mess. Also, why does Gandalf keep making them go off course?” Steve asked. Natasha narrowed her eyes at Jacqui.
“Which book are you even on?” Jacqui asked, seeing the stack in front of him.
“I got halfway through the first book and realized I wanted a better understanding of the ring, so I read The Hobbit. I’m starting Two Towers now.” Steve said. Jacqui laughed as she seated herself next to Pippin, Natasha leaning on the end of the couch.
“So my next assignment is an undercover in Malibu. Take a guess who i’m looking at?” Natasha asked. Jacqui roared with laughter, almost peeing herself. “Shut up.” she said.
“Oh god, I’m sorry. Stark is gonna try hitting on you every second. Does Fury have audio enabled cameras in the house? I’d love to see that.” Jacqui said, trying to contain herself. Steve’s head pitched up from his book.
“Stark?” Steve asked. Jacqui looked at him questioningly. “I knew a man Howard Stark back in the 40s. He helped with the serum.” he mentioned.
“This is his son, Tony. Howard and his wife were killed in a car accident sometime ago.” Jacqui said to him. Steve nodded and went back to his book.
“So, just came to say goodbye. Good luck on your end of this ‘mission’. Good luck being one of the only women at headquarters.” Natasha said, going towards the door.
“I think Jemma Simmons is still in New York, maybe i’ll invite her to tea if I go to crazy being the only woman.” Jacqui said, remembering the young and spunky scientist from their academy days.
“You’ll be inviting her for a drink at the rate of this.” Natasha said, gathering up some miscellaneous stuff of hers. “Captain.” she said, nodding towards him and leaving. Jacqui said, noticeable by Steve.
“Having a trouble?” Steve asked her. Jacqui laughed.
“I literally don’t know where to start. I mean, everything has changed since the 40s that I can’t think of an easy place to start for either of us.” Jacqui said to him.
“How about we get to know each other a little bit?” Steve asked.
“Well, everyone at S.H.I.E.L.D. knows about you. When they started the search to find you we were all given a packet.” Jacqui said to him with a small laugh.
“Then you can tell me about yourself. How you ended up with S.H.I.E.L.D., your home life, stuff like that.” he said to her, putting down the book on the table in front of him and giving Jacqui his full attention. Jacqui panicked for a small second, before she got herself together and figured she might as well tell the Captain about herself.
“From what I’ve been told, I was born in Boston, Massachusetts. My mother died shortly after child birth and left no name of my father on my birth certificate. I was given to a foster family that lived out in Charlestown, West Virginia and I was with them for 13 years until S.H.I.E.L.D. came and took me in. My foster parents weren’t exactly the nicest of people towards the end as I got older, and I guess S.H.I.E.L.D. saw potential in me and took me away. Agent Coulson took me under his wing and I’ve been with them ever since.” Jacqui explained, twisting the truth a little bit. She wasn’t going to jeopardize the mission by telling Steve about her powers until he had a bit more of an understand as to why S.H.I.E.L.D. is around. The room was silent, and Jacqui distracted herself by putting on the news, knowing that Steve could tell something was wrong.
And he could. The Captain was almost trained to spot lies, and Steve could tell that she was lying about her foster family and how she came to be with S.H.I.E.L.D. He knew that she was hiding something that she did not want him to know, but he decided not to push it yet and get on her bad side and just let it be. In silence, he picked back up The Two Towers, and kept on reading.