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every step I've taken has lead me here

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#01 - Comfort

On Saturday morning, when Peggy stirs, she’s first caught off guard by her unfamiliar surroundings, but when she realizes that it’s Daniel whose body she’s pressed against she sighs in surprise and relief.

#02 - Kiss

Thinking back on the previous night, she can’t recall which of them it was who’d first breached the gap between them, only that at some point they’d left any hope of it behind, and that, quite frankly, she’s not sure where it’s gone, since it clearly hasn’t stayed nearby.

#03 - Soft

She can’t frame the context of the very first kiss, only the glory of the ones that followed - and oh, God, so much more, more than enough to curse how she could ever have kept herself away - and the serene stillness of Daniel’s bedroom at dawn.

#04 - Pain

Serene, that is, until the headache hits her; she realizes how badly she doesn’t want to leave the bed and wills it away as best she can, but the hangover sticks with her more than she’d like regardless.

#05 - Potatoes

From somewhere in the apartment building - Daniel had remarked that it was quite small, but Peggy can’t remember noticing - she can smell breakfast being made, something that involves potatoes.

#06 - Rain

Outside the uncovered window, the rainfall that had begun the afternoon before continues, stopping on its way only to adorn the window with droplets of water and enunciate the strangeness of New York weather.

#07 - Chocolate

She doesn’t realize Daniel’s woken up until he remarks that apparently, the smell of potatoes is odd - because his next door neighbor typically makes chocolate chip pancakes for her children on Saturdays.

#08 - Happiness

Peggy chuckles at the comment before smiling a blissful but somewhat bashful smile and burying her head in her pillow for a short moment, then looking back over at him.

#09 - Telephone

She’s moving a bit closer and trying to think of what she’d like to say in return, when she finds out that they seem to have stumbled into a scripted show and the bloody telephone interrupts her train of thought.

#10 - Ears

She suggests pretending not to hear it, and for a few moments he seems to consider it; the ringing stops and then begins again just a minute later, and even though his newly-roaming hand traveling gently down her arm might tell a slightly different story, he picks up the phone from the bedside table.

#11 - Name

“Daniel Sousa speaking.”

#12 - Sensual

Peggy nearly winces, his voice having not only become louder but harsher, though it still bore the sleepiness of morning; he notices that small recoil and presses a gentle kiss to her forehead as the person on the other end begins speaking, and she leans over onto his chest, giving his arm the freedom it needs to wrap up around her and hold her.

#13 - Death

The next thing Daniel says is a deep “oh, God,” and just like that, from the pale of his face and his darkening tone, she knows that someone’s died.

#14 - Sex

Yet, somehow, she’s more surprised by the news of a another fallen SSR agent than she is by the realization that she’s quite sore all around, an obvious reminder of the cause-and-effect nature of particularly impassioned rendezvous…rendezvous such as that she and Daniel have now, through the course of the few events she remembers from the past twenty-four hours, shared.

#15 - Touch

She sits up and stretches, and Daniel’s adventurous fingertips follow in a path up her exposed spine; a light moan escapes her, and then hears Daniel having to explain to what sounds like a surprised Thompson that he is in fact not alone but with a woman.

#16 - Weakness

“Speaking of women, we can’t find Carter…probably just Jarvis not wanting us to wake her, but she needs to come in so I’m gonna need you on that,” reports Thompson, and Peggy claps a hand over her mouth to keep from laughing as Daniel keeps on his best undercover voice.

#17 - Tears

“I mean it, Sousa - we have a grieving widow and her sister who are supposed to be coming into the office soon and I’m pretty sure having to deal with her doesn’t qualify for any emergency protocol other than Carter.”

#18 - Speed

Daniel’s all too quick to retort, “since when have you admitted that Carter’s our best chance in an emergency?”

#19 - Wind

Peggy collapses back down to the bed and presses her face into her pillow, grinning like a fool and making a point to herself of turning her focus to the tree branches outside the window, which are rustling from gusts of wind and providing the only other thing she could possibly direct her attention to for the moment.

#20 - Freedom

Thompson gives only a gruff “just find the damn woman, Sousa,” and Daniel supplies him an obliging but sarcastic “yessir,” before finally returning the phone to its receiver, and Peggy angles herself back in his direction, taking advantage of the opportunity she now has for another warm embrace.

#21 - Life

Unfortunately, it was bad enough to think about having to leave the bed without having the few moments they spend kissing to realize that they’re going to have to talk about last night and this could be her life now: a life where she and Daniel woke up together, where they went to bed together - and didn’t have to be drunk for it to happen.

#22 - Jealousy

A life where she, like the mother in the apartment next to Daniel’s, can spend her Saturday mornings having treats like pancakes with her children, a life where she could have children, and God, how did she get from thinking about how great it had felt having him inside her to imagining children?

#23 - Hands

As his hands travel around to the small of her back, she realizes that most women’s lives worked like that to begin with.

#24 - Taste

It’s the thought of not being able to choose that for herself that tends to leave the sour taste in her mouth, but it’s one notably absent from her current circumstance.

#25 - Devotion

But then again, the longer they kiss, the more each of Daniel’s movements feel like prayers.

#26 - Forever

It doesn’t take long for her to come to the conclusion that she’d rather they feel like promises.

#27 - Blood

But, it’s not like she hasn’t shed blood for her share of broken promises; she’s broken hearts, and she’s had her heart broken, her hopes dashed.

#28 - Sickness

She’s been sick with sorrow and heartbreak, at moments, so much so she’d felt physically ill.

#29 - Melody

She’s had to endure the love songs on the radios, and that godawful Captain America show.

#30 - Star

But perhaps, she thinks, the stars on Daniel’s uniform in wartime were the same as Steve’s; perhaps they’d been earned by the same rights; and certainly, she’d fallen for their bearer just the same as she had for the love before him.

#31 - Home

But was the pivotal difference between the two that Steve hadn’t made it whereas Daniel had, that the Brooklyn from whence Steve had come and gone was now the Brooklyn where she might now have a chance to call someplace - someone - home?

#32 - Confusion

The intensity with which she starts to wish she was sure of her answer starts to ache inside of her.

#33 - Fear

Daniel pulls back from her, tilting his head down at her from his pillow, his brow furrowed with questions they should have asked the previous night but had steamrolled through instead.

#34 - Lightning/Thunder

A tree outside creaks particularly loudly, and Peggy startles, swirling around just in time to catch a glimpse of it as a freakishly bright - and even more freakishly conveniently-timed - streak of lightning finds the snow-sparkling tree in its path, a number of its branches ripping off and collapsing down to the ground below; her voice shakes when she speaks, but she glances back up at Daniel and says, “that might be as good a reason as any to forgo orders.”

#35 - Bonds

“I’ve had better,” Daniel replies, and it worries her that she can’t quite tell whether he’s being serious.

#36 - Market

“Have better right now, but we’ll both be damned if I’m ‘bout-a report to Thompson on that matter.”

#37 - Technology

The telephone rings yet again; “if that’s Thompson griping at me to get a move on, I might go into the office just to shoot him,” Daniel declares.

#38 - Gift

The next thing he says is, “apparently the widow’s sister doesn’t want to drive in a snowstorm.”

#39 - Smile

Peggy grins; “she’s done some of my work for me.”

#40 - Innocence

Daniel’s eyes twinkle happily, but he purses his lips and furrows his brow like he’s not sure what she’s on about; another moment of silence from her dulls that immediate sparkle.

#41 - Completion

“You do know that we have to discuss why I’m in your bed with this hangover rather than my own, yes?”

#42 - Clouds

“If we’re going to resort to the excuse of clouded judgement, I’d really rather not.

#43 - Sky

“Who said anything about excuses?” she manages to protest, with a voice that’s sort of broken and embarrassingly full of desperation because oh God, he thinks she doesn’t really want him, or maybe it’s that all he needed was a little sexual fulfillment to escape whatever turn of fate could have locked him into wanting her - it’s not like that’s ever ended well for people - and for a moment she feels like the whole sky could crash down without her caring.

#44 - Heaven

But then, just as she notices her breath has hitched, he scoots down his pillow with his hand reaching around to the back of her neck and kisses her again, and knocks it out of her, only a momentary endeavor before he withdraws just the slightest bit, staying pressed to her - his mouth barely an inch from hers - as she works to catch her breath and he breathes a sigh of relief.

#45 - Hell

He decides to taunt her, though, and doesn’t let her lips reach his when she tries to kiss him again before her breathing has steadied.

#46 - Sun

Even though it’s hellish waiting those few extra seconds - it feels like longer, but Peggy’s grown good enough discernment - when he does finally kiss her again, she cocoons herself inside his grasp, and they stay like that for so long that she feels the sliver of sun that peeks through the window rest upon her back.

#47 - Moon

The moon shows itself early that day, beating down against the snowfall that still covers the Brooklyn streets, marred slightly by the warmth from the rain it had preceded but there nonetheless.

#48 - Waves

They admire that sight and those of each other with hot chocolate - better suited, for a day in, Daniel thinks, than tea, though he doesn’t deny her a number of cups of that, either - and far too much blushing, along with kissing and sharing stories at varying intervals throughout the day; Peggy’s sure to suggest that they make pancakes someday.

#49 - Hair

This Saturday night, she’ll remember for a long time to come, she knows, with their heads and their places in each others’ lives clearer than ever and Daniel’s hands running through her hair as they return to his bed.

#50 - Supernova

Peggy drifts to sleep, for the first of what she hopes will be countless times, ensconced in Daniel’s arms with her back pressed to his warm chest, looking out his window at the stars.