cover by dapatty
She caught Diana’s eye from across the crowded bar and smiled before vanishing back into the moving throng of dancers out on the floor. Agent Peggy Carter was apparently as bold reports led her to believe. Diana realized that her own face had pulled back into a delighted smile. And she was delighted, a warm flutter setting right behind her breast bone and beating in time with her heart. It’d had been years, since Steve, that she’d had this feeling.
Her feet were moving before she let herself doubt, heels clicking in time to the band, as she traced the path she’d have taken out of the bar in Peggy’s place. She’s certain, now that she’d lain eyes on her, that Peggy was like her, kindred, in both occupation of subterfuge and of spirit.
Agent Carter also had a tail, two men with pistols tucked into the backs of their trousers, and while Diana didn’t doubt that the woman could handle herself, introducing herself would be severely hampered if Peggy got shot by either of the men following her.
Carter had everything in hand once Diana turned the corner, but Diana did arrive in time to deflect a bullet shot from a third man that’d had hidden on a fire escape. Diana used her rope to grab his ankle and pull him from his perch.
“Diana Prince, while I appreciate the assist, trust I had that sorted,” Peggy smoothed down her blue dress. The material hugged all of her curves perfectly. Diana would relish taking it off button by button, but Diana was getting ahead of herself.
“Of course, Agent Carter,” Diana smiled, “the follow through on your punch would have made even my aunt proud.”
Peggy gave the slightest of smiles, then straightened, tucking a few stray hairs back in place. “well, these gentlemen aren’t going to interrogate themselves.”
“If they’ve not already used cyanide capsules,” Diana frowned as she turned the first man over to find froth around his mouth. “Seems, we are both looking for stray Nazi operatives.”
“Damn,” Peggy swore as she checked the other she’d punched and found the same. “What about the one you lassoed? Brilliant rope work by the way.”
“He’s still breathing,” Diana said, triumphant then coy. “I trust you have a less conspicuous location planned, otherwise it wouldn’t be my first time in an alley?”
Peggy flushed ever-so-slightly. “Yes, there’s a secondary location. If you’d get his legs, I’d appreciate help to my car, then you can be on your way.”
“No need,” Diana said, lifted him off the ground once she’d finished her knot work, carrying him like a suitcase. “I’d hate for you to go to all the trouble alone.”
“Well, rumors were to be believed about you,” Carter said, under her breath.
“I figured you for a well-researched woman, Agent Carter.”
“When you’ve seen miracles, a goddess is hardly a stretch,” she said. “And Peggy, please.”
“Peggy,” Diana smiled, placing the man in the trunk of Peggy’s car. “It would be an honor to assist you this evening and then take you to breakfast.”
“A bit forward, perhaps?” Peggy said, blush on her cheeks, slamming the lid.
“Is it,” Diana asked, stepping into Peggy’s space, smiling as Peggy’s breath caught as Diana caught her mouth in a chaste kiss.
“Perhaps,” Peggy spoke, her breath a light puff against Diana’s chin as she pulled back and straightened.
“On how efficient we are getting information from the man in the trunk,” Peggy checked her lipstick in the car’s side mirror and opened the driver’s side door, sliding into the seat.
Diana couldn’t keep the grin off of her face as she opened the passenger door. “I think we are off to a great start, Peggy Carter.”
Peggy’s smiled mirrored her own as she pulled out onto the street.
“But?” Peggy asked, her attention focussed on assessing the room, eyes narrowing suspicious at the gentlemen at the bar. Diana was certain that she’d also spotted all the ex-military security guards, of which there was an excessive amount. She’d yet to spot a guest that would warrant such a force of muscle.
Probably someone very small and insecure, Diana mused making note of two guards on the balcony she’d missed in her initial sweep and realized they were patrolling at random intervals now instead of the standard sweeps they’d engaged in the last hour. Interesting.
“Darling,” Peggy said, giving a little nod to a tall black man being led toward the back hall by two heavily armed generic looking men. “Would you mind terribly collecting Hardison? It seems he’s not impressed all the hired help. Try to be discreet.”
“Use a silver tray as a projectile one time and you never hear the end of it,” Diana said, rolling her eyes and fighting a smile as Peggy chuckled. “And where will you be off to?” Diana asked, depositing her glass on a different passing waiters tray.
“To find the other two ducklings,” Peggy said, pulling her in for a quick kiss. “Meet you on the corner in two minutes.”
Diana made her way to head off her target only to get there in time for a long-haired man punching the second of the two guards to the floor as Hardison stood on gingerly rubbing his chin. He must have taken a hit before his muscle got there.
“Well, the night has gotten far more exciting than I expected,” Diana said, mostly to herself. The man flipped his hair back with his hand and glowered at her as she approached, squinting at her.
“Oh wow,” Hardison said, noticing Diana, his friend promptly ignored her and went to check Hardison’s chin. “Damnit Eliot. I’m fine. He just clipped me.”
“Damnit Hardison, hold still.” Eliot grumbled, watching Diana from the corner of his eye.
Before Diana could introduce herself she heard the quiet shift of fabric of one of the tapestries behind her and the snick of a safety being switched on a gun. She turned, pulling her wrist up and deflected a bullet that would have struck Hardison square in the chest with one of her cuffs.
“Excuse me,” Diana said and launched herself at the tapestry. Tackling the shooter to the floor, she punched him unconscious in one swift movement and then unloaded his gun and then warped it in her fist.
“No way,” Hardison said, somewhat breathless as Diana stood looking for any other lurkers wishing to cause them harm.
“Yeah way,” Eliot grumbled, bodily putting himself in front of Hardison and Diana was so charmed by their camaraderie. “Those are some very distinctive cuffs.”
“Indeed,” Peggy said appearing with a blonde woman in tow. “Come on before your mark spots the rest of us.”
“Hi Aunt Peggy,” Eliot said, somewhat chastised, his shoulders hunching and taking Hardison by the elbow.
“Eliot, love, I’m so glad to see you,” Peggy smiled at him, eyes crinkling at the corners. “You’re looking well.”
“I certainly could say the same seeing as how you look younger than me,” Eliot gave a rueful smile.
“Ah, another lost kid who calls you aunt,” Diana grinned. Peggy had quite a few of those and they all were a pleasure to get to know. She couldn’t wait to find out the connection here. She suspected James Barnes was somehow involved or at least his genetics.
“I have so many questions,” Hardison said to the hallway at large.
“And we’ll all get answers, just not here,” the blonde beside Peggy said, giving a nod at Eliot who took point and led them out a service exit as Diana brought up the rear.
She did like how radiant Peggy looked regardless of the venue and tonight was no exception. They’d both chosen complimentary sequined dresses and Peggy glowed in silver to Diana’s gold.
Lucky for both of them, they’d manage to find a corner of entertaining criminal element. Diana considered alerting the authorities, but thought she’d leave them to their little job. She was pretty sure who their mark was and felt he deserved to part with a little money.
“I met your brother once,” Peggy said, face her usual composed, but Diana remembered that day and knew exactly how annoyed Peggy still was about the whole ordeal.
“Oh?” Debbie Ocean asked, her face resigned in a fond sort of way.
“Yes, she called him ‘a real tosser,’” Diana confirmed, keeping the smile off her face at the memory. “Granted, his friend stole her watch. She threatened them both bodily harm.”
“Well, he always did find an odd way to attempt to be charming,” Lou said, rolling her eyes and offering a toast. “Rest his soul, if he is actually dead.”
“Probably,” Debbie allowed. “Speaking of dead, hey, wasn’t there a big state funeral involving you, Director?”
“Rumors of my death,” Peggy dismissed. “And yes, I look amazing.”
“Of course,” Lou said taking a sip of champagne. “You do make that dress a dream.”
“Are we really just overlooking the fact that we’re talking to an immortal Amazonian princess and her 100 year old girlfriend who doesn’t look 100 years old?” Amita asked in a not-so-quiet whisper.
“Yep,” Eight Ball answered, rolling her eyes and adjusting her dress.
“Oh,” Amita nodded and muttered. “Sure this is no big deal. Fine. Okay.”
Peggy saved them all from any additional awkwardness by pointing out, “Well, well, well, isn’t that your mark?”
“Bingo,” Lou said.
“Daphne,” Debbie turned to the lovely brunette in question.
“Yeah, yeah, go flirt and be handsy so Constance can lift his phone,” she dismisses and sauntered off.
“We’ll leave you ladies to it,” Peggy gave a nod, hooking Diana’s arm in hers.
“Oh love, are you afraid I was admiring Daphne’s assets,” Diana purred in Peggy’s ear as she led them onto the dance floor.
“Maybe I just want to be a little distracting on my own,” Peggy allowed.
“You remain plenty distracting, my love,” Diana said, giving Peggy a twirl and falling into step with the band followed by a long appreciative look up and down Peggy’s body.
“As do you,” Peggy said, blush coloring her cheeks ever-so-slightly and turned her head to catch Diana’s lips in a quick kiss. As she pulled away Diana couldn’t help but smile. She loved when Peggy honored her by kissing her in such a public setting. Every kiss would always be a gift, but this was treasure and shined as brightly in her heart as Peggy did in her dress.
Diana finished with her meeting with T’Challa, dropping off the last of the Wakandan artifacts from the Louvre and stopped to admire the view of the terrace where Peggy would land. She and Nakia had been out looking into a vibranium theft. Well, Peggy was supposed to be shadowing Nakia and not punching anyone in the face for being a fool, but Peggy remains strong-willed. Diana wouldn’t expect anything less of her love.
Across the terrace, Shuri sat with her legs dangling over the edge and looking, well not sad exactly. Wistful, with a touch of longing, perhaps. Diana remembered bumping into Shuri with another young woman last week, MJ if memory served.
Ah, she thought, choosing to cross the terrace. Young love. I probably have a similar face for Peggy.
“Princess Shuri,” Diana greeted, giving an exaggerated curtsy that caused Shuri to giggle, “do you mind if I sit?”
“Princess Diana,” Shuri smiled giving an elaborate hand gesture, “pull up some terrace, as they say.”
Diana sat, mirroring Shuri’s position, kicking her feet and being glad she was wearing sandals with straps today. Diana liked that they made it a game each time they greeted each other. Shuri just liked to make her brother roll his eyes at their antics. Diana remembered what it’s like to carry so much responsibility at a young age. She always cherished the times Antiope treated her with a little silliness.
“Your country is quite beautiful,” Diana said. “This city, in particular, makes me heartsick for home.”
“You just like sparing with the Dora Milaje because they can almost keep up with you,” Shuri chided.
“It is an honor to spar with them.” Diana schooled her face and confided, “Besides, I think they go easy on me.”
Shuri’s laugh echoed out into the wind. “Sure, Princess. Sure.”
They fell into a comfortable silence and Shuri’s face slipped to the wistful set of before.
“You know you can talk to me,” Diana said after a few minutes. “I know what it is to have obligations and miss someone.”
“Right, of course, sure” Shuri said, nodding then paused. “Wait, what do you mean, ‘miss someone’? I do not miss anyone.” She spluttered.
“Oh, well, my old eyes must have imagined the longing looks between you and MJ,” Diana said, fighting a smile. “My mistake, clearly.”
“Look, it’s not like it’s like that yet. You know?” Shuri explained. “Or at least I don’t think so. I might would like it to be, but she was just here on one of our STEM programs. It would be a conflict of interest or something. Did she really looking at me longingly?”
“Yes, she did. She likes you. And before you ask, yes she likes the you that is brilliant and kind and not the Princess part. She thinks you’re cute. Don’t overthink and over-design a complex problem when it as simple as possible love.”
“I’m pretty sure there is nothing simple about love, Diana.” Shuri frowned, but there was a hopeful glint in her eye. Diana reached out and took her hands and met her eyes.
“Well, yes, love can be complicated and maybe a little scary when you don’t know all the variables, but I believe it is worth giving a chance,” she said, giving Shuri’s hands a little squeeze.
“I will consider what you’ve said,” Shuri said, somewhat formally.
“Just call her. She thinks you’re cute,” Diana said, releasing Shuri’s hands and standing as the jet she’d been waiting for arrived.
Shuri rolled her eyes as Diana gave a deep bow. “Princess. I bid you good evening.”
“Go kiss your wife,” Shuri dismissed fighting a smile to the sound of Diana’s laughter.
The jet touched down without a sound and Diana couldn’t help the smile on her face as Peggy walked down the ramp beside Nakia, smiling at Diana in turn. Her cargo pants had splotches of dried mud and she had a touch of mud on her cheek. Diana’s breath caught with how beautiful she was, maybe because she looked like she’d had a triumphant and dirty trip.
Diana nodded at Nakia who nodded back as the woman walked by. Shuri had jumped up to great her and was pelting her with questions about a piece of tech she’d sent on the trip with them.
“Let me guess,” Diana quipped, “Bar fight.”
“Undoubtedly,” Peggy rolled her eyes and grabbed the lapel of Diana’s shirt. “Now come here, love.”
Diana cupped Peggy’s face with a hand as she leaned down and kissed Peggy thoroughly.
She collected their drinks and walked over to their booth. Before she could slide in, Diana’s breath caught. Peggy let herself relax once she saw Diana’s growing grin.
“Love, what is it?” she asked.
“Did you not see who’s at the bar?” Diana asked, excitement lacing her tone.
“I’ve noticed quite a bit. Would you care to enlighten me as to why you look like Christmas has come early?” Peggy shifted to take stock of everyone at the bar and noticed a woman downing a bottle of whiskey with relish. Slamming the bottle down, she wiped her mouth on cuff of her armor. The woman looked familiar, perhaps an Asgardian sort of way.
“That woman is a Valkyrie,” Diana said, breathlessly. “I heard stories of them as a girl. They inspired me to fight just as much as the other Amazons.”
The woman, perhaps feeling Diana’s attention, turned and gave them both a once over. She smirked in response when Peggy narrowed her eyes at her.
“An Amazon?” The woman said. “I thought you lot all stuck to that island.” She reached over the counter for another bottle of whiskey and the bartender made no move to stop her. She strode over to their table, hips swinging in time to the beat of the music playing from the jukebox.
Diana stood and gave a bow. “I am Princess Diana of Themyscira and I am honored to meet a Valkyrie of Asgard.”
"A princess, eh? Yeah. I know a prince. Big deal." Valkyrie shrugged, but the corners of her mouth ticked up ever-so-slightly. Diana at her most excitedly sincere was always hard to dismiss.
Diana grinned and asked, ”Would you like to spar? I've heard stories of your legend. You are revered by the Amazons."
Valkyrie’s cheeks colored in a blush enough for them to see.
“I know that exact feeling dear,” Peggy gave her a pat on the arm. “If memory serves, there’s an abandoned warehouse next door. Love, don't knock down any support beams or load bearing walls. I'll not have a repeat from that time with Steve.”
“As you wish,” Diana rolled her eyes, but she was smiling as Peggy pulled her down for a deep and long kiss.
Peggy sighed as they walked out. This meeting would probably lead to them ending up halfway across the universe setting up a new intergalactic order of women warriors. Peggy couldn’t wait. She’d gladly go anywhere as long as Diana was at her side.