Visiting Hours With Family
[Stark-Med Security Footage 12212013]
Loc: Private Nursing Facility Washington DC
Peggy: <still scolding> All this time I thought you were frozen in fear at the thought of dancing.
Steve: <realising she’s both serious and joking at the same time, laughs, taking her hand> You caught me. I was so afraid of stepping on your toes that I hid in an iceberg for sixty-five years.
Peggy: <putting a hand to his face> You haven’t aged a day.
Steve: You’ve only gotten more beautiful.
Peggy: <laughs> You use that line on all your old girlfriends, Soldier?
Steve: <winks> No ma’am, only the best for my best girl.
<Tony slips out quietly, leaving the couple to catch up while he discusses Peg’s current treatment with her doctor. He returns after an hour or so, to the sound of arguing mixed with laughter>
Steve: I’m telling you, Peg! I didn’t ‘let’ you win! A hundred and seven one-handed push-ups is a challenge! Even for ME!
Peggy: Fine! Then we’ll settle it with a rematch! Right here and now! <starts to get out of chair>
Tony:<rushes in, taking her arm, guiding her towards her bed> No, Aunt Peg! You’re Ninety! It, ah, well, hm, wouldn’t be fair of you to embarrass a guy less than half your age!
Peggy:<sits down on the edge of the bed, suddenly appearing confused and agitated. She looks first to Steve, then Tony> Howard? You found him? You FOUND him!
Tony: <smiling sadly, yet projecting his best Howard impression>, Of course, I did Pegs! I made you a promise. And when Howard Stark promises a dame something, he always makes good! Besides, I’ve lost count of how many times I owe ya one, this ought to count for some of it! <Backs quietly out the door to get a nurse>
Steve:<sits down on the bed beside her, as a nurse gives her a sedative> Shhh, Peggy. It’s ok, I’m here. I’m not leaving my best girl. <the sedative calms her, and she slips off to sleep after whispering>
[SHIELD IN HOUSE SURVEILLANCE FILES: 03092017 0900hrs]
Loc: Medbay, NYC SAFEHOUSE Madison/59th
<still in his undercover gear, Fury appears to be dozing lightly in chair beside Maria’s bed, as a WHiH news report drones on in the background>
Christine Everhart: Events in the Robert Goss Stand Your Ground trial have taken a dramatic turn. Prosecutors have introduced into evidence numerous social media posts that indicate that not only was the murder of Inhuman Orlando Acosa premeditated, but that Goss may be the leader of the local Watchdog group in his area.
<Fury hears Maria stirring, sits up immediately, turning off the tv>
Maria: <grins weakly> You keep denying my requests for vacation time, so I had to take drastic measures.
Fury: <smiling> How you feeling, Maria?
Maria: Like I went three rounds with a mechanical Brock Rumlow back from the dead who lit me up like a Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza.
Fury: <nods> Yeah, that sounds about right from what Carter said.
Maria: <eyes widen> Peggy! What happened after I was knocked out?
Fury: She’ll be ok. Apparently after he zapped you, he went after her. Stark’s overprotective streak saved both your lives. When she gave Rumlow a faceful of repulsor beam, it automatically activated an alarm and tracking beacon. We still don’t know what happened to Rumlow after, but Rescue was on the scene almost immediately. You were having a heart arrhythmia when she found you and flew you in. <leans in, takes her hand> Your heart stopped for about two minutes after you got here. Thought I was gonna lose my best Agent.
Maria: <smiles, squeezing his hand> You were just worried about breaking in a replacement for me. You’re not getting rid of me that easily Boss.
Fury: <smiles softly> Good. Because the list of people I trust is even shorter than the list of people I consider family, and you’re on both.
<a nurse enters, checking Maria’s monitors, Nick rises to leave, turns back to Maria, his serious face back on>
Fury: You’re on bed rest until cleared by Dr. Cho, but here’s a bit of irony for you to think about. If ANY of our female agents had taken A Day Without A Woman off, yesterday would have gone a lot more sideways.
*****Hallway Outside Peggy’s Room*****
<Tony and Pepper, making their way to Peg’s room>
Tony: You did amazing yesterday, babe. You saved Aunt Peg, Maria, hell, half the city. <concerned> We’ve got a problem though. Now that you have a suit, <pauses, sighing> you have to sign the Accords.
Pepper: <looks at him defiantly> I’m not signing.
Tony: Pepper, I’ve already dodged three <pulls his smartphone from his pocket, the name ‘Wonderdolt’ on the caller ID, Tony hits ignore and stuffs the phone back in his pocket> make that FOUR calls from General Ross. Now as much as I enjoy avoiding him, we both know why he’s calling.
Pepper: The Accords were a dangerous idea when you signed. Now, with that power hungry nut-job in the White House? It’s only looking worse. I wish you had listened to Steve when he tried to tell you.
Tony: <closes his eyes, inhales a deep breath through his nose, exhaling through his mouth, opens his eyes, ignoring her last comment> It’s part of the job, hon. You put on the suit, you join the Avengers, you sign the Accords. It’s not my call.
Pepper: <scowling, hands on her hips> And if I don’t?
Tony: <purses his lips> Then either, you retire before you even start, or they arrest you. Ross will throw you in the Raft, and seize your suit. Not to mention freezing all of yours and the company’s assets. Of course, then I’d have to go break you out, and we’d have to live a fugitive’s life on the run. I’d have to dye my mustache, you’d have to shave your head. It’d be a whole thing.
Pepper: Or you could speak up against the Accords. Admit you were wrong, and publicly back King T’Challa’s proposal to rescind them.
Tony: <face scrunched up, eyes closed, hating to admit she’s right> I think I could really pull off blond.
Pepper: <tilts her head, smirking, her voice stern> Tony.
Tony: Are you sure you’re not ready for a kid? Because, <snaps his fingers> you’ve got that mom voice thing down.
<They slip in quietly, but Peggy is already awake watching the news, Tony sets a tall plastic cup full of something green on her table>
Christine Everhart: Her appearance was NOT part of the International Women’s Day proceedings, and is believed to be a cheap PR stunt for the company. <Everhart puts special unnecessary emphasis on the word ‘cheap’>
Pepper: <narrowed eyes like daggers> Cheap PR stunt? That little…. <trails off fuming>
Tony: <quickly shutting off the tv> Ok, that’s enough fake news for one day. <turns to Peg, concerned> How are you feeling? You got banged up pretty bad from what I heard. We tried to come last night, but they wouldn’t let us visit until you’d had some rest.
Peggy: <irate, croaking hoarsely> Anthony! Would you PLEASE tell these people to disconnect all these bloody machines? I feel like they’re going to robotomize me like that man from yesterday!
Tony: <rolls his eyes at Pepper> See what I mean, Pepper?
Pepper: <laughs> So she really has always been a spitfire. I just thought it was something that happened as she got older. <gently places a hand on Peg’s good arm, rubbing it> Hi Aunt Peg. It’s good to see you awake.
Peggy: So you’re the Iron Woman who saved the city yesterday? That was quite impressive, my dear!
Pepper: <blushes> I was just doing what needed to be done, <looks at Tony> to protect the one thing I can’t live without.
Tony: <grins sarcastically> That bake shop over on W49th st?
Pepper: <swats him playfully> Yes. Yes, I had to save Donna Bell’s. Because their muffins are better than fondue.
Peggy: <snorts> Oh dear! <starts coughing, the raspy barking making her shake, her eyes squeezed tight as her throat and shoulder scream in agony>
Tony: <hands Peg the cup> Here, they told us you were restricted to fluids only, so I brought you something special.
Peggy: <coughing fit subsides, she takes the cup, a cold damp earthy smell rising from it, she takes a sip, her face screws up in disgust as she forces herself to swallow> WHAT. WAS. THAT.
Pepper: <nudges Tony, mumbling> I TOLD you, you should have made her a blueberry smoothie instead of the wheatgrass.
Peggy: <holds the cup up, looking at it> Ugh! Grass? Really? Even during the war, we never resorted to eating grass!
Tony: <looking hurt> It’s good for you! And the cold will sooth your throat. <Peggy still looks unconvinced> Ok, fine, next time I’ll bring blueberry.
Pepper: <pats his arm> Wheatgrass is acquired taste Tony. <turns back to Peggy> Is there anything else we can bring you Aunt Peg?
Peggy: <points to the immobilizer, joking weakly> A new arm?
Pepper: <grins> Be careful how loud you say something like that around here. Has Phil shown you his? <she pantomines removing a fake arm and Peggy’s eyes widen>
Tony: You still haven’t installed the AI assistant that I brought, have you? <Peggy looks at him quizzically> That little chip I gave you when I brought the rest of the gear?
Peggy: <voice getting weaker> Oh! That little thing! You brought so much that I never got a chance to ask you what it was or what it did. I just put it in the top drawer of my desk. I meant to ask about it the next time I saw you. <rubs her throat, closing her eyes for a moment>
Tony: Ok, I’ll grab it tomorrow and help you set it up. You just, just stop talking and get some rest. AND I’ll bring blueberry next time. <grins, chuckling> Never thought I’d get a chance to tell Aunt Peg to be quiet without getting swatted. <Peg gives him a fierce glare, Tony cringes just a bit, Pepper laughs at them both, her eyes watering> Damn! That look is still as scary as it was when I was a teen and you caught me stealing the old man’s gin.
Pepper: <grabs his arm, still laughing> Let her rest, before she tries to ground you!
<the pair step back out into the hall, closing the door behind them, Tony reaches into a different pocket, pulls out a flip phone and looks at it thoughtfully>
Pepper: <looks at the phone in his hand> You’re thinking about calling Steve, aren’t you?
Tony: <sighs, sits down on a nearby bench, hanging his head> I finally understand why he didn’t tell me about mom and dad. But, I don’t know how much longer I can keep Fury’s secrets. <looks up at her> We could have lost her yesterday, and he’d never have even known.
Pepper: <leans over him, kissing his forehead gently> This is something you’re going to have to figure out on your own, babe. All I can tell you is, follow your heart. <taps his chest>
Tony: <pulls her closer hugging her tight> You are my heart, just like she’s his. <puts the phone away> He already lost her once when he went into the ice, and a second time when she died. Having her back, and then ripping her away a third time would destroy him.
Meanwhile In Wakanda
[Palace Security Footage 03092017]
Loc: Guest Quarters, Palace of King T’Challa, Wakanda
<Nat and Steve talking over coffee>
Steve: Any word on Kreig, and Cross? Now that we know for certain that HYDRA is back, we need to be on our guard more than ever.
Nat: <shakes her head, frustrated> Nothing so far. I have a few contacts in Russia looking into some possible connections. I’m worried about that woman from the portal. There have been a few potential sightings of her around Europe, but I have a feeling she’ll be trying to find a way to the US. Lucky for us, she doesn’t have the advantage of a cloaked Quinjet.
Steve: <chuckles> True. It still doesn’t mean she won’t find a way. Speaking of strange women, you know that one I’ve been talking to in the Resistance?
Nat: Your MissUnionJack? I knew she was too good to be true! What’s wrong with her? Don’t tell me, I wanna guess. Is she related to Carter too?
Steve: <glares at her, unamused> No. Turns out not only is she working for Fury, but she’s a time traveler. She came back almost 70 years to help the Resistance beat HYDRA and the GOP. Which really worries me. She knew nothing about the helicarriers falling on DC, and she hasn’t mentioned the Avengers or the Accords. What if HYDRA won, and re-wrote history?
Nat: Are you sure you can trust her, Steve? That’s a whale of a tale.
Steve: She was looped up on pain meds, so either she was telling the truth, or she’s got one hell of an imagination.
Nat: <eyebrow raised> Pain meds?
Steve: She was part of the Women’s Day rally security. I guess HYDRA crashed the rally and she got hit pretty bad. Her and Hill.
Nat: <almost drops her mug of coffee> Maria? Shit, it had to have been bad.
Steve: <worried> Yeah. She didn’t want to tell me just how bad, but I could tell it was serious.
Nat: So, what can we do?
Steve: Keep an eye out for old faces. She said Maria recognized him as a HYDRA mole that was supposed to be dead.
Nat <eyeing him with a sly, knowing smile> And?
Steve: <blushes slightly before returning to seriousness> See what you can find out about my friend Maggie.
Nat: <bites her lip to hide the laughter, a smile in her eyes> So, you want me to start doing background checks on your girlfriends, Rogers?
Steve: <rolls his eyes>You know it’s not like that. <looks Nat dead in the eyes> If she really came back in time, then something went wrong, and she’s here to fix it. She’s gonna need some help.
Notes from Peg’s Desk
We’ve got a lot going on in this one. So lets break it down a bit.
I like to start some episodes with these flashback scenes as they connect to the emotional mind set of what’s going on with characters now. It didn’t make sense to me that the visit in Winter Soldier would be the first(only?) time Steve would have visited elder Peggy, but he’d also need a little push for that first visit as well. Though now I kinda want to know more about that first Christmas at the Avengers mansion they keep talking about, don’t you?
Fury has come to trust and rely on Maria a lot over the years. She’s his Deputy Director, and his right hand. Without the same Kree technology that he used to bring Coulson back, losing Hill would have been a HUGE blow, not only as an Agent, but as a friend.
Tony and Pepper are going to have to deal with the repercussions of her involvement with the Women’s March event. Pepper wasn’t with Tony when he originally made the decision to sign and endorse it. I have a feeling if she’d been around to talk to, he might not have picked up that pen so eagerly. But what’s done is done, or can it be undone?
WHiH isn’t exactly unbiased news, and Christine has never been a fan of either Tony or Pepper. Despite ranking right up there with Sinclair Broadcasting and Fox News, we’ll continue following their coverage of the Watchdog trial, as well as any other events of interest that pop up around the country. From Hawaii to LA, to New Orleans, to Harlem and Hell’s Kitchen to, well, you get the idea. #ItsAllConnected
Steve’s misunderstanding about Peg’s time traveling has him extra worried, and now Nat is too. Worried enough to start pulling at threads that some won’t want her pulling. Will she find out the truth? If she does, how will she explain it to Steve?
Last but not least, Peg. She’s already going stir crazy in medbay. How long do you think she’ll let Dr Cho keep her hooked up to all those machines? Plus, how is she going to get any work done with only one good arm?
Want to know more? We’ll have answers to some of those questions next week! In the meantime, keep reading, keep resisting! Peggy