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Grocery Adventures

Chapter Text

Sam is at the local grocery store looking at fresh fruit when Steve starts trying to get his attention. Nat had sent them both out together to get the groceries because she didn’t trust either on their own, which was at least part Nat’s paranoia if also part fair. It had taken her a year to let them go anywhere without her direct supervision. Apparently, Steve ‘lacked undercover stealth’ and she was sure that him and Steve kissing would attract more attention, not less. This was definitely a fair assessment.

“What?” Sam finally asks Steve. Steve jerks his head at some man in another aisle.

“I recognize him,” Steve says. Sam is immediately on alert, but Steve didn’t signal that their cover had been blown. “I recognize him from an old photograph,” Steve explains. “He was one of the first fallen agents of SHIELD. He worked with Peggy.”

Okay, they need to get out more, Sam thinks. Steve has clearly lost it.

“What are you on about?” Sam asks. Steve looks at him like that is an unreasonable response to someone saying a random man at the grocery store is a dead secret agent from the forties. “Maybe it’s his grandson?” Sam tries.

“It’s him.” Steve states, staring at the man who is now walking over towards- Sam holds his breath- but it’s not them, it’s some woman a little ways over, looking at vegetables. Sam exhales and Steve continues, “If I can be here, why can’t he?”

“Okay,” Sam tries, “Let’s say, hypothetically, it’s him. You wanna do what, exactly? Corner him in the grocery store? Ask a dead man how he got to 2020 from 1945?”

“He died in the 50s,” Steve says distractedly, still craning his neck to look at the man and woman who are clearly a couple.

“Right,” says Sam looking over at them too. “He looks pretty alive to me, man. Alive and happy, based on how he’s looking at that girl.”

“It’s suspicions. It could be a plot. That woman could have kidnapped him.”

Sam is starting to think that Steve must be very, very bored lately. He raises a skeptical eyebrow. “They look suspicious to you? I think you’ve been spending too much time around Nat. They’re just laughing. They look like a regular couple in love.”

Steve turns to face Sam, turning fully away from the couple for the first time. He looks at Sam flatly. “They’re laughing at cereal. No one gets that amused by cereal.” Then he turns back to them, looking like an idea has occurred to him suddenly. He pulls out his phone.

“What are you doing?”

Steve fiddles with it before turning back to Sam. “Help me work this.”

“Stop, put that away!” Sam whisper yells at him. “Oh fine, let me.” He grabs the phone from Steve.

Daisy is in the produce aisle of the grocery store looking at vegetables-because she can be an actual competent adult Kora, thank you very much. Daniel had wandered off at some point. Probably to go replace the produce she already put in the cart with better ones (she’s never had much opportunity for grocery shopping in her adult life, okay, she lived in a van, on a plane, in a secret base, underneath a lighthouse…). Daniel tries to be stealthy about it and she pretends that he succeeds and then he pretends that he doesn’t know she’s pretending and she…

They end up with actual edible produce, is the point.

But when Daniel returns to her cart, he isn’t carrying vegetables but rather, a box of some sort.

“Daisy, Daisy look.” Daniel says approaching her excitedly.

“What?” Daisy asks him bemused.

He shows her the box he is holding.

Daisy looks at it. Looks at Daniel. Looks back at the box. Back at Daniel.

“It’s…cereal?”

Daniel shakes his head emphatically. “It’s Quaker Squares. QuakerSquares, Daisy, get it?” He gestured to her at the ‘Quaker’ and himself at the ‘Squares’ to emphasize his point.

Daisy bites her lip. “Did you just, did you just give us a ship name?”

He tilts his head, confused. “A what?”

She pauses, trying to figure out how to explain it him. “Like um Sousy, or Daisysous, or Dousy.”

“Doozy!” Daniel exclaims. “That’s a real word!”

Daisy can’t hold back her wide smile at that.

“What?”

She shakes her head fondly. “Nothing. You’re cute.”

Sam has done a lot of questionable things in his life, but he’s never felt more like a paparazzi creeper than at this moment, hiding behind a bunch of watermelons, trying to take a picture of some random couple. The woman pulls the man into a kiss and he is turned so that he faces away from them and Sam only gets a picture of her.

“Damn,” Sam mutters.

“She did that on purpose,” Steve says at once.

“Okay now I know you’ve been spending too much time with Nat.”

Steve’s eyes light up with an idea at that. “Nat. Let’s get this back to her. She can run facial recognition.”

“Fans of yours? Quake.” Daniel asks Daisy, part teasing, part serious.

“You noticed them too,” she says wryly. But of course he did, they weren’t exactly inconspicuous. The Falcon and Captain America were a lot of things, but subtle was not one of them.

“Should we be concerned?”

“No. It’s just, complicated.” And it was probably a good thing Daniel didn’t recognize Rodgers. (The beard was a surprisingly good cover.) A grocery store probably wasn’t the best place to run into ones’ ex’s dead ex who (also) wasn’t actually dead.

She continues, “And we don’t want them to see you, since your supposed to be…”

“Dead,” Daniel finishes. “Yeah. Probably a good call. I think they got a picture of you though.”

Daisy shrugs, “Well, I don’t exist. I wiped all records of the team a long time ago. Even if they look, they won’t find anything on me. You though…We couldn’t exactly wipe you from history in this timeline. There are hard copies. The new ID I made you holds up, but if people know what to look for…” It would be suspicious, to say the least. And Mack would be pissed at her for the headache.

“And you think they do?” Daniel asks.

“They might. I’ll explain when we get back…” Daisy lets her voice trail off. That would be an interesting conversation. Now that the rogue Avengers were back in town, maybe it would be a good time to meet up with them.

“Twenty bucks says they’re just a couple in love,” Sam starts the wager.

“Undercover spies,” Natasha counters.

“I’m telling you, time traveling superheroes,” Steve states.

The others look at him. Natasha raises her eyebrow. Steve stands by it.

 

Chapter Text

It was a fairly typical SHIELD kidnapping, though the trio involved did not yet know it. They were at the grocery store again, all three of them, because the first time they need groceries after stalking that couple, they decide to go together. Natasha had insisted.

“I just have a feeling,” she had said.

But the grocery trip itself was uneventful. Now they are in the parking lot of the grocery store, loading their groceries into their trunk when a van pulls up behind them.

Sam feels something on his neck. “Oh hell no,” he swears. But before he can even turn around, his world turns to darkness.

 

 

Sam wakes up in an unfamiliar location. He blinks, eyes adjusting. He looks around. Steve and Natasha are on his either side, Steve looking concerned and Natasha decidedly less so. Across from them, staring with some amusement, are two woman, including the woman from the grocery store the other day.

“Something funny?” Steve asks.

“So many things,” says the grocery store lady.

“You just kidnapped us?” Sam says incredulously. They just kidnapped three Avengers- one an assassin, one a super solider, and he himself is no slouch- and they were standing there, smirking at them?

“We have some experience with that,” the grocery store lady states dryly.

“SHIELD,” says Nat knowingly. Apparently she knew something he didn’t.

Sam looks at her in question.

Nat shrugs, “This is fairly typical of them.”

“Comforting,” Sam mutters sarcastically. A secret government agency that liked to kidnap people, and, last he checked, was still way too intertwined with Nazis for his comfort.

“Wait,” Steve cuts in. “The last I heard of SHIELD was saving Chicago from that rogue general.”

Sam remembers that. The rumors were that someone had sent the dude flying into space. He’s not sure he believes it. “No one got a good look at who it was who did it. All the cameras were mysteriously cut out at that time. Not even any cell phone footage made the web.” Sam looks pointedly at the woman as he says it.

She smiles mysteriously, “That’s odd.”

Steve clears his throat, “You know, some people think there’s a SHIELD base on the moon.”

They all look at him incredulously but Steve just looks back impassively. Nat catches Sam’s eye and he inclines his head a fraction. They needed to do a refresher course on internet competency.

The other woman speaks up. “Well, not the moon, and not a base so much as a, spaceship.”

“Come again?” says Nat.

“SHIELD is in space?” Steve blurts out.

“And while we're at it, who are you?” chimes in Sam, exasperated.

The woman from the grocery store smiles, “My name is Daisy. And that’s Kora, my sister. Now come on, there’s someone you should meet.”

 

They follow her down a dingy dimly lit corridor. Did SHIELD not have the budget for better lighting fixtures? They turn into a large open room that seemed to be some kind of common area. It’s empty except for a man. The man from the grocery store. 

“Hi there,” he says brightly. “Daniel Sousa.” Sam groans internally.

“I knew it!” Steve exclaims. They all turn to look at him and he blushes sightly. “Sorry, uh. I’m Steve, Rodgers.”

The man, Sousa, smiles. “Yeah, I know. Peggy spoke very highly of you.”

Steve smiles back, a connection passing between the two men. The kind that soldiers share when they are remembering a fallen loved one. “I gotta admit,” Steve says, “I was surprised to see you’re not dead. Glad, but, surprised.”

“I was taken by surprise too,” Sousa says mysteriously, exchanging a smile with the woman, Daisy, who smirks back at him.

Sam just shakes his head. Damn, these people were weird.

“So,” Sousa says, looking around at them all. “You’ve already met Daisy and Kora.”

“Met is one way of putting it,” says Nat under her breath. Sam snorts.

Unperturbed Sousa continues, “We’re the-”

“Don’t say it-” Daisy begs.

“Astro Ambassadors,” Sousa finishes with a broad smile.

“Ambassadors? How often does that work out for you?” Sam asks skeptically. If kidnapping was their go to move for a conversation he was somehow doubting their ambassador skillset.

“Not nearly as often as the Director would like,” Daisy says.

“Director?” Nat prompts.

“He’ll be here any minute,” Sousa says. “He’s just, um, talking with someone.”

“He’s still freaking out?” Daisy asks him in a quiet voice.

“He’s self conscious.”

Kora chimes in, “I thought he was over his existential crisis and self loathing stage.”

“Kora,” Sousa chastises but Daisy laughs.

“It comes and goes,” she explains.

Steve clears his throat. “Sorry to, interrupt, this.” He gestures with his hand at the ‘Astro Ambassadors’. “But can we go back to the part where he’s alive.” Steve jerks his head towards Sousa.

Kora shrugs. “Time travel.”

“Right, just some casual time travel,” says Sam. This was ridiculous.

“He’s not from this timeline,” Kora says, as though that explains everything. “Neither am I. In this timeline, we are dead.”

They all stare at her uncomprehendingly. Alternate timelines? They were just gonna casually drop the existence of alternate timelines on them and act like it was no big deal? What was wrong with SHIELD?

“The Director will debrief you,” Daisy reassures him.

Nat gives Sam a look like just go with it. He glances at Steve who just shakes his head. Sam sighs. Fine. He will just go with it. But he wants answers. Alternate timelines? Maybe SHIELD really does have a base on the moon. 

They stand around a bit uncomfortably for a moment. Then Steve suddenly says cheerily, “Looks like someone owes me twenty dollars.”

“What’s with everyone betting on us?” Daisy mutters in the background.

“I don’t think we do actually,” Nat says playfully.

“What? I said time traveling superheroes.”

“And I said undercover spies. They’re SHIELD agents, so technically…”

“No no no. That does not count.”

Natasha shoots a smirk at Sam, who, catching on, says, “I said couple in love and they clearly are.” He gestures to the pair in question who have started their own side conversation. Something about different bets being placed. Kora looks back and forth between the two groups with amusement.

Steve lets out a long deep exasperated sigh.

 

 

After the initial introductions, the group splits off into different conversations. Daisy steps back and lets the other talk. Daniel and Steve start talking and she can hear ‘Peggy and Angie together’. She’s glad they’re doing this. It will be nice for Daniel to get some closure. And to talk to someone else who remembers Peggy and remembers life in his time period. Daisy knows he likes it here, but she also knows it can get a bit lonely, being the only one.

After a while Kora starts to get impatient. “I’m gonna go check on them,” she says.

“Be nice,” Daisy calls after her.

“I’m nice.”

“Umm hmm.”

 

A moment later, Natasha sidles up next to her. “So, Quake,” she says casually.

Daisy looks over at her, startled. “You know who I am?” she says surprised. Natasha had made no sign of recognition earlier, though of course she could hide it if she wanted.

Natasha just raises her shoulder in a little shrug. “I recognized your photo, and SHIELD is…SHIELD.” Daisy laughs at that. She’s not wrong. Natasha continues. “So I figured Steve was right. I just wanted to mess with him.”

There is a fondness in her voice, and closeness between the three of them that Daisy can recognize. “You must be close, all that time on the run.”

Natasha nods. “Yeah. Like, family.”

Daisy looks at her then says lightly, “It’s weird right, family?”

Natasha smiles softly. “It’s a good weird though.”

 

“They’re coming,” Kora announces, returning to the room.

“No more surprises,” says Sam.

“Well, one more surprise,” Daisy says with a grin.

Because out of the shadows, steps a very dramatic Mack in a long trench coat. And beside him-

“Phil Coulson?”