Her first true vacation day - indeed, since Pearl Harbor - is the first day she actually wondered whether it might be nice not to go back to New York at all.
She would certainly wait until Jack was well enough to return to his own post in New York, and to discern whether she and Daniel were indeed good enough together to commit indefinitely, but it was an interesting thought that she really needed time away.
She could take time to learn to cook anything that required more skill than boiling water, to read books and listen to radio shows and visit with the Jarvises as friends rather than as associates.
It was very difficult for Peggy, staying in one place for long; it always seemed to be too long if she was doing something other than physical or mental labor.
Daniel thought it was a bit more of a problem than she did, but she can see where he’s coming from: he likes soft, quiet moments, laying back on the couch with a bottle of wine and wordlessly letting the baseball game play, and Peggy has been interrupting that rhythm of his.
Not that he seemed to be complaining, per se, but he continually was making her slow down, and it truly didn’t seem to be for lack of ability to keep up; he was careful to be clear he didn’t want her to feel any shame about her habits or personality, but he still wanted her to be careful and sometimes even calm, and it wasn’t for lack of understanding, either: it was very much, as she’s seen before, part of the beginning of most relationships, a period of blissful adjustment.
Perhaps if they’d only just met she’d be better content to laze around and let soft kisses stay soft, but any time she recalled that they were really together she couldn’t help but be reminded of how badly she wanted, and how could she keep her heart steady and her hands to herself, when he was actually hers?
It had been too long since she’d felt a modicum of what he makes her feel, and it had taken far too long to realize it.
She was acutely aware that they did not have all the time in the world, and that they never could, not even on the blissful mornings when they'd awoken beside each other and it seemed to be so.
The world was not theirs, even if they were each other's; even just feeling at the wounds still left on her body, let alone the stump of Daniel's thigh, could tell them that.
She couldn't help but be torn between wanting forever and wanting safety; to run from what they were becoming would be to betray them both, even if she ended up convinced it would make her less vulnerable.
She's already dreading the opinions people will try to impress upon her, of her as a working woman, in a man's profession, in a man's world, with a boyfriend (however conveniently, in addition, her boss).
Well, nevertheless, she was still here humming to herself and washing the dishes left over from the weekend...and now that it dawns on her, it is getting towards time for--
“Peggy?” Daniel’s call rings through the house, and she hears the front door closing after him; she answers, “in the kitchen!”
Daniel moseys up behind her as she’s finishing with washing the last of her dishes; leans his crutch against the counter, then grabs the towel before Peggy and does most of the drying of her hands for her with his hands caressing hers, not particularly helpful but also not unwelcome.
After he slips the towel back onto the rail on the door of the stove Peggy makes use of their grasp to pull his arms around her, settling her hands - and thus his - around her stomach.
His touch, gentle though increasingly familiar, sees his fingers curling deeper between hers, their tips leaving want in their wakes as they dance above her navel, not firm enough to be called a grip but not quite light enough to tickle.
“Have you anything in mind for dinner?” she tilts her head back a bit further and asks, and he happily nuzzles closer into the crook of her neck.
“No, sorry, dear. I really didn’t give it much thought,” he apologizes warmly, then pressing a kiss against her cheek, “however, I will confess that I have been looking forward to dessert.”
“How absolutely improper of you, Daniel! Surely you know dinner is supposed to precede dessert?”
He presses his chest fully up to her back, and indeed she feels him, hard, against the small of her back, as he moves his warm hands down the sides of her stomach; Peggy bites her lip to let him speak again.
“In my admittedly thin defense, I am a man weak to temptation, who never had tasted something half so sweet…” he whispers warmly.
“And yet your talk can be so saccharine,” Peggy says sharply, rolling herself backwards into him, pleased with the immediacy of the soft lustful grunt Daniel gives her in response.
“Hmm. I was under the impression it had you swooning,” he grins, all too knowingly; Peggy attempts a scoff, knowing as she twirls around to face him and leans back into the counter that they both see through it.
“Do you tell your mother you love her with that mouth?” she adds with a gasp, and Daniel smirks on purpose, proving he’s certainly not thick enough not to see how enthusiastically she’s playing along.
(They had to joke, they just had to. It was embarrassing both to be so desperate and so oblivious as they now know they had; if holding torches had involved actual torches, they might well have burnt more than just bridges before their wildfire revelation had been reached.)
Daniel presses tightly up against her, his chest warm in front of hers and his left hand curling around the corresponding side of her neck, thumb just barely pushing at the base of her throat, drawing an aroused swallow from her, just firm enough that she has to work against him to complete the otherwise reflexive movement.
“I think you have a pretty good idea of what I love, Peg,” he groans, his voice just more than a whisper by her ear, before sliding his grip up to her chin and diving into placement of a trail of wet, increasingly forceful, kisses, down her neck, all the way to where his hand had been; she moans out when his tongue dips into the hollow above her sternum, and can feel him smile against her skin.
“...with my mouth,” he adds, reinforcing the conversational connection they’d both made as though it needed reiteration.
"Darling, do I ever," she hums, cutting off the tail end of her last syllable when she tilts her head downward to urge him up into a proper kiss; her voice strums half arousal and half teasing and the mutuality confirmed by Daniel's answering eagerness lets her know she's not about to be allowed to forget it.
And, of course, they were still so spectacularly needy--they're still exploring, they still don't have a prescribed rhythm, still barely know what they're doing with each other, aside from what they've observed themselves enjoying during the past few days; they're established but for God's sake, Peggy almost wants to skip to whenever they'll feel permanent.
Effectively although not gracefully, Peggy slings her arms up around Daniel’s shoulders: broad, strong, and so very tangible right under thin summer shirts; the learning they as a couple have accomplished is spoken for by the easy motion of his arms as they encircle the middle of her abdomen, pulling Peggy as close to taut against him as possible before scooping her up and setting her upon the edge of the sink.
The counter is low enough that they’re just as matched at eye level as they are both standing, but this way, her dress stays in place after they maneuver to scoot it up past her arse; after the sturdy fabric is no longer an obstacle simply wrapping her legs about him gives Peggy the leverage to rub herself against his groin, both needing the contact for her own sake and hoping the friction keeps him moving forward.
As teasing and as sensually charged as the moment is, Peggy notices something does on Daniel’s end feels…off, and from concern does manage to enquire, with an unsturdy query of “bad day, darling?”
An awkward chuckle escapes him, a sign he’d hoped she’d not be paying enough attention to have made note; yet with a scrunch-worthy peck on the tip of her nose Daniel gives her the utterance of “better, now.”
“Tell me about it?” Peggy urges him.
“Well,” Daniel begins, a cocky tone sneaking into his voice, “As you have probably observed, I really quite enjoy--”
“Your day, Daniel,” she amends, rolling her eyes although she can feel a blush warming her cheeks, and he ultimately sighs by the time the statement’s completely left her lips.
“Drama, just drama, really--me, not being who the guys think I am, dodging questions and eyes and apologies about the engagement and it’s all just...they’re more invested than I’d gotten, and I, the one who was in the middle of the damned thing, am having the time of my life coming home to a woman I can’t yet even tell ‘em I’m with…”
whiskey and rum
“It’s not forever,” Peggy murmurs, since there’s really nothing else she could say, “but maybe it’s time for a nice cold drink.”
She curls her hand around the back of his neck, looking mostly for supplementary closeness, not even the indulgence he grants her of his tilting forward and softly kissing her, but he seems happy enough to give her that that she decides to hook one of her ankles around the back of his corresponding thigh, not entirely unintentionally putting him even more off balance.
Even better, he knows exactly what she’s doing, and it both cracks him up and keeps him right up against her; having not thought about it for a moment, Peggy’s a teensy bit surprised that all their heat’s so ready and waiting as to immediately bubble up to the surface, but all the same, it seems so very fitting that it does.
“Well, silly doll, I got nothing ‘gainst drinks, but I do recall having had some other ideas…” he grins confidently; “Oh, and yours are better, darling?” she teases, some of her own hot air coming back towards her after it touches his lips half an inch away.
Daniel feigns a scoff, grumbling, “You just get a kick out of being fired up, Peg.”
Peggy slips her free hand down his side to his hip, tucking a pair of fingers inside at least one of the waistbands resting nearby; “I don’t believe I’ve ever heard you complaining…’bout me, at least.”
He chuckles, adjusting himself slightly so he can pretend he actually has to put his finger underneath her chin to keep her looking at him; “Not while you’ve been in my arms, no-- but you know you still scare me sometimes, running headfirst towards danger like you do.”
Peggy bites her lip: she’d wish he’d give that argument up, but it’s not like the reverse is going to happen, either, so she’s come to grips with the fact it won’t; with their luck-- supposing they start getting some of the good luck they deserve--they’ll still be scolding each other when they’re grey.
Peggy slows herself with a couple breaths, remembering that they actually have to learn how to live together before they really consider making a life together - not that it’ll stop being so terribly tempting to imagine a future rife with thrilling investigations and wedded bliss and feisty children.
“I suppose you’ll just have to keep your arms around me, then, huh?”
“Stick around, love, and I suppose you’ll find out.”