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Smoke and Strawberries

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Angie wasn't sure what fresh hell was descending upon her, but she sure as hell wasn't on board with it.

The smell of smoke and strawberries wafted through the slightly cracked door of her room on the second floor of Howard's house.

Angie didn’t think that Peggy would light something on fire, so she figured it was Howard’s fault. Everything usually was Howard’s fault in the end. After the incident with the radio that blew up after their second week in the house and the washing machine that spits out soap like a volcano, Angie knew to expect that any and everything could and probably would eventually catch on fire.

Groaning, the blue eyed young woman flopped onto her back one arm raised to cover her eyes while her head spun with the earliness of the hour and the fact that she was a little hungover from the night before.

Finally being able to speak freely with each other, or as freely as Peggy will ever speak to anyone about her job, the housemates had taken their Friday night off to relax and swap stories about their week. When Angie nonchalantly announced that she'd gotten a supporting role in a musical she'd auditioned for weeks before, the night had really kicked off.

After polishing off two bottles of wine and a bottle of schnapps, the pair were left buzzed in the living room on the couch in front of the fireplace that heated the overly chilly room. When it came time to call it a night, Angie had pulled Peggy up off the couch and managed to stumble them into her room.

Peggy, obviously not registering that it wasn't her room merely muttered a goodnight once she hit the bed. Angie'd just shook her head and went about her nightly routine as best she could without falling over or waking up Peggy.

For a moment though, before climbing into bed, Angie raked her eyes over the lovely figure that was her friend and roommate. Even though Angie knew she was violets for the one and only Margaret Carter, she'd known from the moment they met that whatever feelings she had needed to be hidden. She'd gotten burned too many times in the past to simply wear her heart on her sleeve. Plus Peg didn't seem like the type of girl to return Angie's affections.

Finally Angie settled down into bed and just closed her eyes when she felt an arm flop heavily over her stomach while the still unconscious Peggy decided to snuggle up next to her. That's how Angie found herself wide awake with her best friend and secret crush's body pressed against hers. For nearly an hour she managed to bask in the feeling until own her tired body eventually rebelled against her and shut itself down.

Now with the morning light streaming in from the window and the smell of smoke getting stronger, Angie let out a deep breath before slinking out of bed to face whatever the morning had to throw at her.

What she didn't expect was to actually have something thrown at her.

***

Now, Peggy Carter was no idiot, she was merely slightly inept when it came to the ways of the kitchen. She knew that she could scrap together a meal for necessity, but since Angie Martinelli had come into her life she'd never wanted to eat another ration packet or canned item every again.

Traditional Italian meals were Angie's specialty as she'd come to learn through numerous times watching Angie flit about the kitchen occasionally explaining what she was doing to the completely entranced English woman across from her. Peggy would just smile like a fool and nod along, all the while trying not to acknowledge the fact that she'd gone and fallen in love with her best friend.

Not something she'd planned that's for certain, but as she was learning, Angie was never what she planned for.

Although Peggy was up nearly everyday at five thirty in the morning to begin the same routine she'd had for years, Angie somehow almost always managed to shuffle out of bed in order to make them breakfast, even if she didn't have a morning shift.

The brown eyed woman had been rather shocked the first few times it had happened, until the day she asked why and Angie just shrugged before offhandedly stating,  "Breakfast is important English. So that's why you've gotta share it with people you like. Start the mornin' off right."

After that moment Peggy began to pay even closer attention to the way Angie was in the kitchen. The Italian-American had told her that the ease she felt in the kitchen was attributed to the fact she'd started learning to cook the day she was able to sit up and hold a spoon. Also, that while her mother held the title in her family for best cook, Angie wasn't too far behind due to her ability to make

During the war and even after, Peggy had never given much though to the meal she would scrounge together and then shovel into her mouth because it simply something that had to be done, but to Angie, it was an art form, a display of her past and her love given to the people she shared the food she'd made with.

Honestly Peggy was in awe of Angie. Her talent, friendship, kindness, humor, and attitude were all characteristics of the younger woman that Peggy Carter deeply revered.

Which was the reason after she'd woken up that morning with her eyes nearly popping out of their sockets when she realized that she was neatly tucked up behind a peacefully sleeping Angie, that Peggy decided to attempt to make breakfast for her friend in celebration of her new job.

After silently exiting the bed with careful consideration to the arrangement of Angie's limbs, Peggy's shrugged on her robe, attempted to slow her racing heart rate, and tip toed down to the kitchen. Glancing at the clock she realized that she had a little over an hour before Angie would begin to stir and she hoped it was enough time for her to make a spectacular breakfast.

By the time the hour was up Peggy wasn't sure if she was going to survive the battle she'd unwittingly entered in order to make breakfast.

***

After freshening up a bit, Angie had tip-toed her way downstairs, but sadly she wasn't prepared for the war zone that was her usually spotless kitchen.

Thankfully, she'd ducked just in time to miss the whisk that had come flying out of nowhere. It that would have hit her straight in the face had her years of dodging punches from her brothers, swats from her mother, and kisses from fellas hadn't kicked in.

Angie could fell her eyes widen comically as she took in her surroundings.

Flour coated nearly every surface of the main kitchen island while some type of batter dripped down the fridge's front. Strawberries, diced and whole were scattered across the floor and smoke filled the air from it's origin point at the stove. There seemed to be a few salvaged, what looked like pancakes off to the side of the counter on a plate that was teetering on the edge.

While the state of the kitchen may have caused Angie's heart attack, the image of Peggy Carter sitting on the kitchen floor in her nightgown and robe, leaning up against on of the cabinets for support with her face buried in her hands was enough to make Angie Martinelli's heart stop.

Ignoring the mess on the floor and counter, Angie bee lined for the stove where she smothered the small fire with an oven mitt and a pot lid. Then scooped up the plate with the pancakes on it, holding it close as she willed her eyes not to well up from the smoke. Once that was taken care of, she immediately sunk to her knees in front of the older woman.

"Mornin' English. I see you got a head start on breakfast."

A barely audible breathy chuckle emerged from the form of the brunette, but Angie heard it and smiled softly. She set down the plate and gently pried her friend's fingers from her face and nearly bit through her lip to keep from laughing.

When they first met Angie had thought that Peggy was the epitome of prime and proper. That was until she saw her shove half a piece of blueberry pie in her mouth and realized that the Englishwoman was far from the completely classy woman she once thought her to be.

As Angie stared at the woman in front of her, she gave up trying to contain her wide smile as she brought up her hands to cup Peggy's cheeks. She used the pad of her thumbs to rub away the flour that marked the other woman's face. Peggy just stared back at her, brown eyes softened by the earliness of the morning and the feeling of adoration she felt for the blonde in front of her.

"Yes, well, it seems I am not as adept in the kitchen as I thought that I was. I believe I shall be leaving the cooking to you from now on." Peggy watched as Angie's face screwed up in laughter before adding, "Merely for the sakes of the kitchen, our stomachs, and your sanity."

"Okay Pegs, whatever you say. So I take it these were supposed to be...?"

"Pancakes."

"Oh thank god." Angie stated before getting to her knees and rummaging through a draw before withdrawing a fork.

"Angie, what are you doing? You're not actually going to eat that are you?" The brunette stared at the blonde

barely masked horror.

“’Course I’m gonna eat it English! You worked so hard on it and obviously if my kitchen was the sacrifice to be made in order for you to try and make breakfast well then so be it.” Angie dug her fork into the slightly burnt pancake and used all her will power not to choke.

“Thank goodness for acting classes” The aspiring actress thought to herself as she attempted to look joyful as she took another bite, blatantly ignoring Peggy’s stare.

Peggy wasn’t sure whether to be touched or shocked or disgusted at the fact that Angie liked her enough to completely ignore the wreck she’d made of the blonde’s favorite part of the house and to actually eat the wretched thing she’d dared to call pancakes.

All Peggy truly could think about was how beautiful and blue Angie’s eyes were in the morning, while at most times they were bright and excited now they appeared calm and sweet.

One more bite swallowed by Angie and then Peggy’s lips were on hers. Soft, but demanding attention that Angie gave wholeheartedly as she returned the kiss.

The fork clattered to the floor when Angie dragged Peggy closer to her never breaking their embrace.

Finally, Peggy pulled back from the kiss just enough to rest her forehead against Angie’s.

Huffing out a chuckle, Angie proclaimed vehemently to Peggy, “You can cook anytime you want if this is the reaction I’m gonna get.”

“Darling, if that were to happen I think we’d both end up spending more time with upset stomachs than we would doing what we just did.” The brunette blushed as she fumbled with the end of the sentence, but Angie just tossed her head back and laughed.

“Alrighty then Pegs, lets make a deal then: I’ll cook, you clean, we both make out like crazy kids whenever we want. Deal?” The blonde pulled back enough to stick her hand out to the woman she was fallin’ more and more in love with everyday.

Peggy just blinked at her in response as she tried to stop her brain from short-circuiting due to the thought of kissing Angie.

With no response, Angie pulled back even further and began to ramble in an attempt to fix her previous statement.

“Oh, I didn’t – if you don’t wanna Pegs, its no hard feelings really. Okay maybe there will be some feelings on my side, but that’s only because I’ve been violets for ya since we met, but I don’t wantcha to feel –“

Peggy cut her off with a sharp kiss that was considerably more passionate than the first. Once Angie felt Peggy’s tongue trace the edge of her bottom lip seeking permission, she knew that she was a goner.

As quickly as the kiss occurred was it ended as Peggy pulled back, cupping Angie’s face with both her hands before whispering against her lips, “Deal.”