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Peggy Carter and the Magic of Broadway

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Living with Angie was a bit of a predicament. That's not to suggest that Peggy's unhappy about it. Angie is an incredible roommate and an even better friend. The issue is the exact opposite. Living with Angie is too good.

Her little crush on Angie, which, alright is the opposite of little in every sense of the word, was hard enough to keep to herself at the Griffith when they were neighbors. Now that they're living together in a single house, all to themselves, with no one to bother them, Peggy's struggling to get a hold of herself.

It doesn't help that everything they do is so domestic. And honestly, nobody should be allowed to look as cute as Angie does while doing the dishes. It's not fair.

And when it's not household chores that are making Peggy want to profess her undying love, it's Angie just being Angie. Making her favorite tea every morning, smuggling home leftover cake from the diner, rambling on about an eccentric family member.

That's the issue with living with Angie. If Peggy hadn't been head over heels for her before, she certainly was in too deep now.

She gets home early after a pretty quiet day at the SSR with a thick folder to browse through for a case the office is working on, and there's singing.

Angie's voice, with the sound of flowing water, echoes down the hall from the bathroom. And Peggy is screwed.

She stops in the middle of the hall, coat half off, briefcase and file in her hands, and smiles like an idiot.

It's a Broadway song, not one that Peggy knows well, but a tune that Angie's hummed before around the house. It's a duet too, from the way Angie will switch to a deep voice impression every few lines.
Peggy sets her things down, kicks her heels off and leans against the wall, just listening. She feels the tension deep out of her, the pressure built up from dealing with twits all day washes away.

For a few minutes Peggy feels at peace with the world.

She barely notices the sound of the water stopping, but when the singing transitions into soft humming and footsteps, Peggy wakes up. She moves back over to the door to get her stuff together seconds before the door that she had been staring at like a lovestruck idiot opened.

"Oh hey, Pegs. You didn't say you were gonna be home early today."  And there's Angie, standing in the doorway, wet and wearing nothing but a towel.

"It was very last minute," Peggy explains, forcing herself to meet Angie's eyes. "It was a pretty slow day, so I thought I'd get things done here."

"You spend too much time at that office anyway," Angie protests with a fond grin. "Oh! You'll never believe what happened today!"

"I think you'll find there's not much I won't believe nowadays."

"They opened auditions for this off Broadway show and I'm going to try out," Angie announces with a beaming grin.

"That sounds wonderful, Angie. You're going to be great," Peggy assures her friend.

"Thanks, English," Angie sighs, rubbing the back of her neck. "I was, uh, wondering... I know you’re busy with work and everything so it's totally fine if you can't, but I was wondering if you had the time, you could help me prepare. Only if you want to of course."

"Angie, I'd love to," and really, Peggy would agree to anything if it would make Angie smile that bright. She lets out a squee and pulls Peggy into a hug that she enjoys maybe a little too much. And there's also the fact that she is still only wearing a towel.

"Uh, Angie," Peggy says, pleased that her voice is neutral.

"Oh right." Angie jumps back quickly and fixes the towel. "Sorry 'bout that. Well, see you at dinner."

And with one last smile, Angie is off down the hall to her room and Peggy needs to collect her stuff and calm down.

***
They have a calendar. It's in the kitchen and Angie usually uses it to keep track of what days she needs to be at the dinner and who's birthday is coming up. Peggy's job is not something predictable enough for a calendar and she doesn't have many family members to keep track of so she rarely uses the calendar. That doesn't stop her from smiling every time she sees it because it's so domestic and lovely.
Living with Angie is becoming a very large problem. Because Angie pens in the day of the audition with big block letters and a red pen, and Peggy smiles so wide and fond from where she's sitting at the kitchen table that she almost isn't able to stop when Angie turns around.

Yeah, this was about to become a Problem.

***

So Peggy can be a little jumpy. Being in war does that to a person. Being in a war and coming home and still being an agent, well, Peggy's a little paranoid and a little jumpy and constantly ready to fight.
She's making tea, padding around the kitchen, heels off. She's relaxing after a long, exhausting day, but all that changes in a second.

A yelp echoes down the hall, followed by a thump.  In an instant Peggy is racing down the hall, kitchen knife in hand, heart pounding, fear coursing through her because not Angie, anything but Angie.  

She all but kicks down the door to Angie’s room, pushes her way in, knife poised and ready, and there’s… nothing.  The room is fine: no smashed glass, fallen objects, or unusual disarray.  Angie is fine: frozen, standing by the mirror with an open binder in her hand.  Her mouth is half open like she was in the middle of saying something, and she looks shocked to see Peggy there, in full attack mode, but her cheeks are turning pink like she’s embarrassed.

“Jeez, English, give a gal some warning,” she teases, pressing her free hand to her chest.  “Nearly gave me a heart attack.” She looks shaken and nervous, but not in danger, so Peggy relaxes her grip on the knife and lets out a breath.  

“I heard shouts,” she explains, as calmly as she can.  And she leaves it at that because she can’t get into everything else: the fear of losing another piece of her heart, the guilt at ruining yet another perfect person.  “Is everything alright, dear?”

Angie turns a deeper shade of red.  

“Yep, everything’s great,” she insists.  “I was just… well, practicing.  Audition’s in five days.  Gotta make sure I really know the monologue.”

Peggy knows that the audition is in five days.  She stares at the stars and hearts around the date on their calendar every morning and grins like a lovestruck fool.  

Peggy later blames it on the fear and adrenaline, because even though nothing happened, something could have.  Despite the well function brain she has and the fear of losing her friend over this silly crush, Peggy decides to make everything harder.

“Would it help to practice in front of an audience?” she offers, and immediately scolds herself for once again acting like a complete oaf.  

Peggy is a spy.  Her life depends on being able to hide her emotions carefully from those that would exploit them.  Yet for some reason, she can’t seem to do that around Angie, and even worse, puts herself in situations that will surely out her secret.

She would regret it, but Angie starts looking significantly less embarrassed, which makes it all worth it, and Peggy really needs someone to stop her because she certainly can’t stop herself.

“Really?  Yeah, that'd be great,” Angie agrees enthusiastically, beaming. She drags Peggy into the room, hand around her wrist, and has her sit on the ottoman by the edge of the bed. “I need to make sure I have it memorized,” she explains and dropped the binder on Peggy’s lap. “The part in doing starts here and ends there.” Peggy forces herself to focus on the passage and task at hand, because Angie needed her help to prepare, not for her to get distracted by the joyful look in her eyes.

Angie backs up, standing in the center of the room, facing Peggy, and takes a deep breath.

“I'm still working on it, so… Let me know if it's too over the top or whatever. Okay, English?”

“Of course,” Peggy agrees, even though she doubts there's a single thing Angie could do that would require any criticism.

She was in way too deep.

Angie takes another long breath, schooling her face into a calm expression and then changes.  Her back is straight, shoulders back, chin jutting out, in a way that Peggy’s never seen before.  She looks like a completely different person, but still Angie and Peggy’s supposed to be making sure she has things memorized but can’t seem to draw her eyes away from her friend.

“Listen, I know you’re afraid.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t,” she begins, accent strong, voice low.  “But you’re acting like a coward.  Yes, this is dangerous, but no more than anything else in our lives.  We made promises.  And I know it was a long time ago and things change, but I still mean to stand by those promises and I think you do too.  I know you still miss her.  I know you blame yourself, but it’s not your fault.  I’m not asking you to forget what happened or ignore what’s happening now, but you keep running.” Angie stalks forward, arms crossed.  “I’m tired of chasing after you.  Right now it’s Salerino’s men, but tomorrow it’ll be someone else or something else.  You will find any reason to not do this and I used to think it was me.  Maybe you didn’t mean what you said, maybe you… never loved me, ya know? It wouldn’t be the first time I saw something that wasn’t there. But it’s not me.  It’s you.  You’re afraid and you’re a coward! But you’re not just making choices for you, you’re making them for me as well, and I’m not inclined to sit here and let you! I chose to be here with you, and I know what that means, all of it.  So if you don’t want this then fine, I’ll walk right out of this room and leave you be.  But I get the feeling that’s not what you want.  So stop acting stupid and let’s just do this.”

And just as sudden as she started, Angie finishes, and the character she had just transformed into disappears, leaving Peggy’s friend kneeling right next to the ottoman with a hesitant grin.  Peggy is having trouble breathing naturally, unable to drag her eyes away from Angie’s even though the performance is over.

“I think I skipped a paragraph,” Angie admits softly, still grinning, still leaning into Peggy’s space not that she was complaining.  

“I… uh, didn’t even notice,” Peggy offers, trying very hard to get a hold of herself.  “That was amazing.”

“Thanks, English,” Angie says, cheeks turning a light pink.  “I’ve been working really hard on it, making sure to draw my emotions from the right place and all.  It isn’t all that hard if you have the right inspiration.”

“Well, you’re… amazing at it,” Peggy repeats, swallowing hard.  Angie just grins and leans forward a little only to be interrupted by the shrieking of a tea kettle from the kitchen.  

Peggy jumps to her feet, simultaneously relieved and annoyed at the interruption.

“I better go get that,” she announces, handing Angie the binder as calmly as she can. “You’re going to do great on Wednesday.”

Angie nods, looking slightly stunned and disappointed, but Peggy’s already racing out of the room.  She takes a few seconds after she closes the door to cool down and collect her thoughts, which ends up taking much longer than it should have.  She was going to have to do something about this crush before it got any worse.

***

The rest of the week was a mess. Peggy tried to avoid Angie as casual as possible, but quickly found it impossible to actually say no if Angie needed her help with something.

So Saturday found her helping Angie pick a musical arrangement and almost outing herself again because how is she supposed to decide which song she sings better when she can barely focus on the song. And on Monday she was a stand in dance partner, helping her go over the routine she'll need to know. Finally got a dance , she thought to herself and then ignored the heartache for a little while because Angie was grinning and happy and things seemed good.  Peggy’s trained to withstand all sorts of tortures but Tuesday night crosses a line, as she sits down in the living room and helps Angie pick out an outfit. It's like the song picking only a million times worse than that because Peggy knows if she has to see Angie in one more dress, she's going to blurt out all the poetic nonsense in her head about how gorgeous she is and it won't be pretty.

Honestly, Peggy’s not sure how she survives the week, but she does make it to Wednesday, calms Angie down when she starts to panic, and then spends the whole day at the office feeling anxious and proud at the same time. When she gets home, Angie is making dinner and smiles weakly when asked about the audition and says it went fine.

It's not marked on their calendar but they’ll find out Friday if she got the part or not. Peggy is once again unable to get ahold of her emotions and feels like she's about to vibrate out of her skin for most of the wait. She can't even imagine what's going through Angie’s head.

***

It's Friday.

Peggy tries to act like it's any other Friday but just like her attempts to keep her crush on Angie to herself, it's not going well. She goes to the office, tries to focus on the important, time sensitive case she's been assigned, but she's off her game, has been for a few weeks but today is especially bad.

Nobody asks her to stick around after hours to work on the case, so she calmly rushed home (and wow was it getting way too easy to think of it as home).  Angie's not there and she's disappointed and relieved at the same time.

She makes some tea for herself and sits down in the kitchen desperate to calm down and get a hold of herself.  It doesn't work.  

The door slams open and Peggy nearly jumps out of her skin. She wants to rush right over, learn if she has to leave death threats for certain casting directors or not, but she stays calm and in her seat, listening to Angie's footsteps as she stalks down the hall with purpose.

“English?” She calls, and Peggy’s pretty sure she used to be good at reading people but she can't figure out what's going through Angie's head. “You home?”

“In the kitchen, darling,” she responds. Calm, just stay calm. Angie marches into the kitchen with a purpose, and Peggy swallows hard. “Do we- Did you-?”

“I got the part,” Angie announces, a small smile spreading across her face. Peggy doesn't remember getting out of her chair but she's suddenly on her feet, dragging Angie into a hug.

“Darling, that's incredible,” Peggy says, amazed that she's able to respond calmly instead of just squealing incoherently in excitement. “I knew you would get it.”

Angie pulls out of the hug after a small eternity and meets Peggy’s eyes with a determined stare. Her hands come up, resting against both sides of Peggy’s face. Before she can make sense of what's going on, and really it's sad because she's supposed to be a spy goddamnit, Angie is leaning forward, eyes closed.  As stunned as she is, Peggy meets her halfway and presses their mouths together.

It takes a few minutes for her brain to catch up, and by then it physically pains Peggy to pull away but she has to figure out what's going on.

“Angie?”

“Sorry. I promised myself, if I got the part I would do that and if I didn't I'd let it go,” she explains, rubbing the back of her neck.

Peggy just smiles and leans in again. Living with Angie quickly becomes the opposite of a problem.