The last vestiges of dusk had been gone for quite some time when Peggy Carter finally arrived home. Another tiring day chasing down paperwork and reports. It was not at all the adventurous life she had once lived, but operating SHIELD required a steady hand and calculating mind, and there was none better suited to the task than she. At least, that’s what Howard Stark had told her when he’d first proposed the creation of a new strategic agency dedicated to protecting the world from Hydra and whatever else lay lurking beneath the surface of everyday life.
Peggy had jumped at the chance back then. Now, two years later, she found herself missing the chaos and uncertainty of fieldwork. However, she did not miss the occasional bullet wound or broken appendage. Peggy supposed she should be grateful for that, but damn it if it still didn’t annoy all her from time to time.
Removing her hat, she placed it on the peg that hung by the door. “You knew it would happen eventually,” she muttered aloud. Yes. She did know it. However, that didn’t mean she had to like it, she reasoned. She made her way down the hall, rubbing a weary hand across the back of her neck as she tried to massage the knots collected there. It was blasted hot tonight - the weather unseasonably warm for New York City this time of year. Howard had promised her some kind of electric cooling machine for the penthouse since last year’s heat wave, but he’d yet to deliver. She frowned as she stepped into the library and made a mental note to remind him of it tomorrow when she saw him.
Intent on reaching the brandy and pouring herself a large glass, Peggy didn’t register the figure of her sleeping roommate, illuminated by a small lamp on the end table near the couch, until her lips wrapped around the rim of the glass and the first taste of liquor splashed against her tongue.
Bringing the glass down quickly, Peggy swallowed and opened her mouth to apologize for rudeness, but halted when Angie mumbled something unintelligible and shifted against the cushions.
Despite her earlier frustration, Peggy felt a smile tug at the corner of her mouth. It appeared her best friend had fallen asleep in their library. Moving closer, Peggy was surprised to see Angie had foregone a robe - apparently, she had found the heat just as stifling - and lay there sleeping clad only in a thin nightgown, a book clutched in her hand.
Gently liberating the novel from Angie, Peggy smiled when she saw the title - Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. Angie had told her she was trying to read more than audition scripts. Peggy was impressed by her choice. She, herself, had been meaning to read the story for the past several years but had not yet gotten to it.
She placed the book on the table and regarded Angie. Although she was sleeping peacefully, she didn’t think her friend would appreciate the kinks and stiff shoulders that would greet her in the morning after a night on the couch. Giving her a gentle nudge, Peggy tried to wake her.
“Angie… Angie… time to go to your own bed, darling,” she murmured.
Angie merely grunted at her and curled up tighter against the cushions.
Shaking her head, Peggy leaned closer and gently gathered her roommate in her arms before lifting her from the couch. “Oh honestly, Angie,” she sighed in amused exasperation.
The movement stirred Angie awake - albeit quite sleepily - and she tightened her arms around Peggy's neck as she nestled closer.
“English.. you’re home.” Her nickname for Peggy came out as a little sigh, and Peggy cursed her traitorous heart for speeding up at the sound of it. But aloud, she merely nodded and replied, “Indeed. I apologize for not calling. I lost track of time this evening.”
Already slipping back to sleep, Angie tucked her head beneath Peggy’s chin. “S’okay. Forgiven.”
Peggy couldn’t contain the soft chuckle that escaped. “How magnanimous of you.”
Within a few minutes, they were upstairs and in Angie’s room. Peggy deftly pulled the covers from the bed with one hand, whilst holding Angie close. Satisfaction coursed through her - a year of desk work hadn’t made her completely useless, after all - and she gently extracted herself from Angie’s embrace and placed the young woman on the sheets.
Peggy’s eyes were drawn to the pale, bare thigh suddenly on display as Angie shifted, settling back to sleep. While not necessarily scandalous, it was undoubtedly far more than Peggy had ever been privy to, and try as she might, she couldn’t look away. It took even more willpower not to reach out and run her fingers across the smooth skin just inches away. As such, Peggy reasoned that there was no harm in allowing herself a few moments to take in the lovely sight before her. Angie’s bare legs were deliciously pale and toned; the curve of her hips pushed against the folds of her nightgown, and those same folds hugged the distinct shape of an area Peggy had covertly watched many times before when she was certain no one would notice.
When her gaze settled on Angie’s parted lips, Peggy felt a familiar warmth creep through her, and without thought, she leaned closer until she could feel Angie’s steady breath against her own mouth.
It would be so easy, she reasoned. Just an inch or two, and Peggy could finally taste the kisses that she knew would be lovely. Kisses that she suspected would be freely given if only she would ask. Intoxicating kisses. Of that, she had no doubt.
With a defeated sigh, Peggy marshaled what remained of her dwindling self-control and forced herself to lean away from the delectable lips so near her own. But she was unable to entirely resist the Italian woman’s allure, and so with considerable restraint, she pressed a chaste kiss to Angie’s brow.
“Goodnight, darling,” Peggy whispered.
She watched a smile bloom across the sleeping woman’s visage and felt a familiar warmth pool inside her. There would be other nights to reveal how she felt. But for now, Peggy would have to wait and be satisfied with stolen moments like this.