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If You Ever Need a Pal, I'm Your Gal

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Angie obviously wanted all the parts that she auditioned for. Why else would she audition? Sure, there were a few things in the plot that she could do without and the love triangles were a bit too complicated, but Reno was a good part with amazing songs. And she’d be the star of the show, Anything Goes. Well, understudy to the star of the show, but she would get to perform it occasionally, and it was still a paying part.

She had a really good feeling about how this audition had gone, too. Technically, it wasn’t just an audition; it was a call back, which meant it had already gone better than most of her auditions did. Now, she was sitting on a ridiculously comfortable and expensive couch in her shared house with Peggy Carter, waiting for a call. She sat directly beside the telephone, anxiously tapping her fingers on the arm of the couch. It might have been a little pathetic considering how long she had been waiting there, but she didn’t much care. Angie wanted to know if she had gotten the goddamn part.

Glancing at the clock on the opposite wall, she sighed as she noticed that it hadn’t even been a full minute since she last checked. Though she would never admit it, her mother was right about one thing: she was far too impatient. But the call really should have been coming soon.

Finally, she heard a shrill ring. It took maybe a second - although probably less - for her to yank the phone off the receiver on the wall and press it firmly to her ear.

“Hello?” she greeted, her voice probably sounding a little too nervous and a little too hopeful. “Yeah, this is Angie,” she responded to the voice on the other line. “You’re pullin’ my leg! Really?! Oh my God! Thanks!” She slammed the phone on the receiver, before letting out a loud, victorious squeal.

After taking a few minutes to compose herself, she moved to the front door so that she could ambush Peggy with the news as soon as she arrived from work. It wasn’t long until Peggy walked through the door and Angie grabbed her by the shoulders.

“Hey, English, I got the part! Okay, well, understudy to the part, but ya know, that’s better than what I’ve been getting!” she exclaimed, pulling Peggy into a hug.

“Angie, that’s wonderful! Really, I’m so happy for you!” Peggy said as she awkwardly attempted to return the hug.

“Thanks, Peggy!” Angie replied, releasing her.

“We should get dinner to celebrate. Wherever you want to go, my treat.”

“Anywhere but the automat,” Angie said dryly.

Peggy smiled and put down her briefcase. “How about you decide while I get changed?”

“Great!”

 

*

 

As it turned out, the actress that Angie was an understudy for quit before she ever needed a sick day, which Angie was alright with, because now, at least temporarily, she was the star. It was a week until her first show. She tried to get tickets for Peggy, but apparently they were mostly sold out and she would have to pay money that she didn’t have to get the tickets. But she still told Peggy about it, who told Mr. Fancy, who told Howard, who promptly bought front row tickets for himself, the Jarvis’, and Peggy for her first show.

Howard seemed to be on Peggy’s good side again, at least somewhat. Their friendship involved a lot of mixed feelings. Angie didn’t think that she would like him at all if he wasn’t the one who gave her a very nice, luxurious place to live. And he got some points in her book for the tickets, too.

Angie was gone constantly, between rehearsals and her shifts at the L&L. She probably didn’t really have to work there anymore, but her role wouldn’t last forever. Actors moved on and shows closed. And she didn’t want to have to rely on anyone else. Peggy wouldn’t mind, she figured, but she also didn’t want to force that on her, so she was very busy.

Of course, Peggy was too. She always had some case to crack or some ex-Hydra agent lose in New York to track down. They didn’t really get the chance to see each other much, but when they did there were always lingering touches or glances; always something that made it a little more than friendly; always something that sent off warning bells in their heads that they really wanted to ignore.

That night grew slowly closer, and so did Angie’s excitement, as well as her nerves.

 

*

 

Angie was in her dressing room, carefully applying the pounds of makeup required for the stage. She was already in her starting costume and her hair was done. Peggy and the others were probably already in their outrageously expensive seats. The show was starting soon, after all. She glanced at the clock. Very soon.

The orchestra was starting to play Overture and Angie was almost ready. Goddamn, why did she have to be the first one in the show to sing? Okay, she knew why. Because she auditioned for that part, and she got it.

She went on stage when she was supposed to and said her lines when and how she was supposed to and it went well. She sang her song about loving someone who didn’t love her back and avoided looking at Peggy as best as she could, but the actress did see the woman smile a bit at the world “ennui.”

By the time she sang again, she was feeling much more comfortable on the stage and this time she wasn’t singing alone (even if it was a song about how great the male lead was and she sang it with a costar that she didn’t like). But he sang about how great she was too, so it was alright. And having Peggy there to glance at occasionally instead helped too.

Her next song was another duet that was a more comedic one about friendship with an actor that she didn’t mind as much as the first one, so that was a plus. After that there were a couple songs and then the big song that she got to sing with the company, right before the intermission. She was happy to note the significant blush on Peggy’s cheeks at, “or me undressed you like,” even if it did make her stumble over the words a little.

She only had a few songs in the second act, and those went by quickly. Soon enough, they were at the last song, which she sang with the ensemble. She was one of the last to come out for bows and was bombarded by roses and various flowers. When she looked out to the crowd, the first thing she noticed was Peggy cheering loudly on her feet. Her smile widened and then they all exited the stage.

 

*

 

Peggy was waiting at the stage door after Angie had removed all of the makeup and changed back into her own clothes. The annoying male lead was done signing autographs and was leaning on a wall and leering at Peggy with a stupidly smug grin on his face.

“Hey doll,” he started at her, “Who’s that rose from, and uh, does he mind sharing?”

“That rose is from me, to the wonderful star of this show who outshines you even on her first night and deserves a far better person to perform with than you. There is no man, but I’m afraid I’m not even the slightest bit interested in you and feel that I should inform you that I could easily reduce you to a sobbing sack on the ground if I felt so inclined.”

The man had the grace to look a little ashamed before awkwardly laughing and walking away. Angie was too busy signing autographs to notice the interaction. After she was finished, she almost missed Peggy, who was lurking in the shadows.

“Hey, uh, I think your friend’s waiting for ya, Ang,” said the only actor there who wasn’t an asshole, winking as he said “friend.”

Angie rolled her eyes dramatically. “It’s not like that.”

“If you say so.” She shook her head and joined Peggy a little further down the block.

“Where are the others?” Angie asked curiously.

“They’ve all already gone home. Howard said he’d call a cab for us. That was a wonderful performance, dear. This is for you,” Peggy responded, holding out a single rose.

“Oh, uh, thanks, English.” She did her best to act normal and not at all flustered - which was difficult, as she was very much so.

“There was a bouquet, but I’m afraid we threw the rest during the bows.”

“It’s alright. Really, thank you for coming an’ all.”

“My pleasure.” Neither of the two spoke for a minute, waiting for a cab that maybe hadn’t even been called, until Peggy cleared her throat. “Angie, here’s the thing, you make a magnificent leading lady, and I really like you and I wanted to know if you’d be my leading lady and that sounds horribly cheesy and of course I understand if I’ve been reading everything wrong and you want nothing to do with me and you can keep the house but I really just had to ask because that chance, well, you’re worth it, and to quote Reno, ‘At words poetic, I’m pathetic’ but you are the top, and I’ve begun to ramble I’m afraid…”

Angie giggled a little at the amount that Peggy was blushing and searching for words to fill the silence. “Shut up, English. You talk too much. Some spy you are. You thought you might be wrong? Come on, Peggy, I’m crazy about you and I have been for a while.”

“Well, that’s a relief, darling.”

“It’d make a great story, don’t you think? The charming waitress turned Broadway star and the beautiful and mysterious British spy and Captain America’s former sweetheart, who meet and fall in love and in the middle of all of it the spy is forced on the run from her own organization. They should make it a show.”

“Why do I doubt they’d go for a show that’s plot is a romance between two women?”

“Well, it’d certainly make Betty Carver more interesting.”

Peggy snorted. “Oh, god, wouldn’t anything?”

“Probably. Honestly, she’s got no depth. It’s a shame, considering the perfect person she’s based of off.”

“You flatter me.”

Angie shrugged. “Someone’s gotta do it.”

“You poor thing, being forced to take on this impossible task. Come on, I think that’s our cab.”

“Alright. And, English?”

“Yes?”

“It may have been cheesy, but it’s cute too.” Angie pressed a tiny kiss to the corner of Peggy’s mouth before stepping into the vehicle with Peggy behind her looking slightly in shock and growing quite red. “And you’re adorable when you’re flustered.”