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“Anything else, ma’am?”

“I have said my peace, Agent, there is nothing left worth saying,” Peggy says crisply, twisting  the pen in her fingers as she signs her name one last time.

She places her badge and sidearm on the gleaming surface of her desk. Smoothing the lines of her skirt as she stands. She takes nothing with her as she walks out the door but her purse and a handful of framed photographs. “Good evening, gentlemen, I leave SHIELD in your good hands.”

A murmur of promises, sickly sweet fall on her ears. There are no sugared words to take the bitter taste from her mouth.

Her heels click smartly on the floor and catches her reflection in the steel elevator doors.

Dark curls, streaked with silver, perfectly in place. Painted lips a weapon. Sharp as words. Sharp as the blade tucked into the lining of her purse.

She remembers the woman she once was; stubborn and brash, and achingly young. Standing in a pub in a red dress, and heels that pinched her toes. A young man stumbling over his words in a perfectly pressed uniform. Cigarette smoke, alcohol, and aftershave.

She takes in a steadying breath. Imagines dragging the scent of Red Roses into her lungs.

The scent lingers in her memories long after she stops wearing it. The same way Steve lingers there in all his stubborn pride.

We tried our best to make the world a better place. Tried and cocked it up,she thinks.

Her hands are steady, if not as clean as they once were. She can still walk away with her head held high. Hope in her chest that time will make a difference.Time heals, she thinks and purses her lips. It’s a romantic notion that she has no truck with.

Time does not heal, it allows scars to formShe has more than her fair share of scars.