Work Header


Work Text:

"How do I look?" Jack pats his hair.

"I think that's my line," Peggy says, nudging him out of the way to see herself in the mirror. She won't admit to the anxiety eating away at her. Jack is nervous at meeting her family. So is Peggy, for entirely different reasons.

Her parents didn't understand when she broke things off with Fred to have a career. They are unlikely to understand why she's taken up with this brash American while she still has one. Peggy herself doesn't always understand. She only knows this is right. She must keep faith that her decisions are the best she can make, just as she must keep faith that Michael's miraculous return from the dead is a harbinger of better times to come.

Jack slips his hand around her waist and pats a kiss against her hair. He doesn't disturb a strand. Like he's reading her mind (and after that encounter with the Talus Beam who can say he isn't?) he says, "Things are going to be fine. Michael's safe. You've told me a million times how much you missed him."

"I know." She rests against him, watching them in the mirror together. She's got a better use for the hotel room mirror and Jack later tonight, much later, when she'll be looking for reassurance and safety from her renewed fears. For the moment, their reflections look happy together, and that's enough.

She stares out the taxi window all the way to the hospital as they travel down roads that will never be familiar. Jack helps her out, and walks with his hand in hers as they head towards the private room Jack's connections managed to get them. The head of the SSRI carries weight even in England.

Peggy hurries her steps, breaking ahead of him in her sudden excitement. Her hand fumbles the doorknob, opening to see her parents standing by the white-sheeted hospital bed. She knows Michael's face, even covered with the extensive bruises from his ordeal. She stops dead in the doorway, staring at this ghost, until Jack reaches her again, placing a hand on her shoulder. He doesn't push her inside. He waits until she takes the steps herself.

"Hello," Peggy says, voice caught on her own emotions. She forces herself to walk to Michael's side with some dignity, nodding to her parents as they step aside, allow her to take her brother's hand. A moment later, she realizes Jack hasn't joined her. "This is Jack. My fiancé. He."

She can't talk any more, not with the tears sliding down her face and blurring her view, not with the joy of being in a room with the people she loves most in all the world.