The wind howled over the brown shingled roof of the two story London home. The red bricked walls held steady under the force as the snow swirled around violently it all. A snowstorm was expected to leave a thick blanket of snow across the area. Snow wasn't anything new around this time of year but it had been a while since they had received so much at once. For some, it made it seem more like Christmas. To others, it was a dreadful annoyance interfering with their livelihoods.

For Steve Rogers, it was a welcome sight as he was finally getting a chance to spend his time indoors during it all and out of the harsh elements. HYDRA vanquished and the war officially declared over, his days were becoming more like the average person's. Sure, there were still some loose ends to tie up, some people they needed to find and take care of, but until they had all the intelligence they needed, they were stuck returning to a semblance of civilian life for the holidays.

"Where have you gone, Captain?" Peggy's soft voice murmured behind him. He grinned to himself, waiting for her presence closer. Sure enough, he felt her slender arms wrapping around his midsection. His hands slid out of his pockets to rest on top of hers. Her felt her chin rest on top of his shoulder as her arms squeezed.

"Just appreciating being warm inside instead of running around outside in all the snow for a change," he shared. His fingers laced with hers, their long digits interlocking from memory.

She hummed in agreement. She could feel the warmth of his body through their clothing. Her own personal heater.

"How are you with all of this?"

He nodded. "Pretty good, actually. Your dad doesn't seem like he hates my guts but I can't really figure your mom out yet. I can't help but feel like she doesn't like me because I'm an American," he joked. "But it's only been three hours. There're still nine days left. That's plenty of time."

"Nonsense, darling," she laughed. Her arms released their hold as she moved to stand in front of him. His eyes couldn't help but glaze over her body. She looked beautiful tonight in a deep navy blue dress with two red strips of fabric around her waist. It was suitably modest for an evening in with her parents but outlined her slim figure in a way that left Steve waiting for the moment he could release her from its confines.

Not that he'd be doing any of that while they were guests at her parent's house. He didn't need to find out if her dad had a shotgun he kept handy to ward off his daughter's suitors.

"My father loves you," she continued, feeling a shiver of delight run down her spine at his looks, "in case you couldn't tell from all of the war stories he's been telling you. He saves those for people he actually enjoys being around. My mother, on the other hand, is a bit of a different story. Since I've never brought a man home to meet them before, I'm afraid I have nothing to compare her behavior to. I can tell you, however, that she's determining whether or not she thinks you'll be able to handle me."

His eyebrows shot up in amusement. He couldn't see anyone being able to handle her, including himself. Women like Peggy Carter weren't handled. They commanded those trying to handle them.

"Handle you?" he repeated, bemusement dripping in his tone. He pointed towards the kitchen where her mother was. His face took on a thoughtful look, but a mischievous one she recognized well. "If she knows a way to do that, do you think she'd teach me? We could probably bond over all of our stories about your difficultness."

She pursed her lips in that way she did when she was her damnedest not to smile at him. It was a look that meant she was amused by him, but she didn't want to him to know she found him charming. Men often thought that she was a hard book to read but Steve had found that once he learned the language the book was in, he was a native looking at the foreigners like they had two heads.

"How would you like to sleep outside in the cold tonight, Captain? I'm sure it'll make you feel more at home, what with the familiarity of such a frigid atmosphere." Her tone dipped lower into that sultry one he loved. "And no warm body nestled into your side."

Steve scoffed and lowered his voice. He glanced over his shoulder before speaking. "It's not like I'll have that tonight so I may as well."

She grabbed a fistful of his navy blue sweater and pulled his body closer to hers. It wasn't easy considering his mass but she had gained some experience in manhandling him.

"I think we can manage to find a way around that unfortunate arrangement," she murmured seductively. Unashamed of her surroundings, she brought his mouth down to hers. He was sure her lipstick was getting all over him but he couldn't bring himself to care. Everything about her was so intoxicating. Her perfume filled his nostrils as he inhaled deeply. His large hands wrapped around her small waist, curling around her frame to keep her close to him. He could feel her delicate hands sliding up around his neck; her nails scratching in a whisper against the nape as he opened his mouth for her. She tasted sweet, like the shortcake they'd had at dessert, but also like something that was uniquely her.

His mouth moved with hers, letting her guide him. He had picked up a thing or two under her teachings but he was content to follow her lead. Her lips slid smoothly over his. His lips parted for her like the Red Sea, eager, and he shivered when he felt her tongue brush across his.

Steve never thought this would be his life. Women never gave him a second look before the serum. Never wanted to talk on the double dates Bucky set up or dance with a guy they were taller than. Never wanted to hear the random facts and history he had stored in his brain.

Until Peggy came along.

She had seen him. She recognized he existed and heard the words he was saying and leaving unsaid. She saw him. Insecurities and confidence. Timid and eager. Shy and brazen. She brought out a new side of him, a side he was definitely getting used to. He was sure being Captain America had something to do with it, too, but the woman who had always believed in him deserved the most credit.

He hadn't hesitated in kissing the daylight out of her the moment he returned to SSR's London base. She'd been the only one in the room but he doubted the presence of others would have stopped him. He'd only eyes for her, a face he thought he would never see again. She'd been startled at first, naturally. He didn't make it a habit of manhandling women, especially not a woman who was technically his superior. The moment he saw her, however, all the speeches he'd prepared during his trip back had flown from his brain. The way her lips felt against his own, unhurried but riddled with intense emotions, was a moment he would never regret.

Nor would he regret their actions later that evening.

It was different than he had imagined from all the bragging Bucky had done – being intimate with a woman. It had been ridiculously and embarrassingly awkward on his part due to his lack of experience but she had been a very patient teacher. She hadn't hesitated in telling him where to go, what she liked, how to touch her, and for that he was grateful. It didn't bother him to know that she had had other partners before him. Not many, she had confessed. Just two men who had caught her fancy before and during the war. She was quick to assure him she didn't make it a habitat to run around with any man that could manage to hold a conversation with her for longer than five minutes. He hadn't bothered to tell her she could have told him she slept with every man in the 107th and he would still look at her like she was the Virgin Mary.

It was clear to everyone they were courting one another though they hadn't outright said the words to each other. They hadn't quite figured out a plan for their lives now that the war was over. They were still finishing their work with the SSR but once that was over and done with, Steve had hopes that Peggy would move to Brooklyn with him. She had expressed before her openness in following her career wherever it took her. While Steve had no plans in remaining with the military now that the war was over, Peggy wanted to remain in that line of work. He had to agree that it suited her to a T. He just hoped there was something she was looking for in Brooklyn.

Regardless of whether or not New York held a job for her, they still had plans to return stateside after the holidays. He wanted the chance to show her his hometown. There wasn't much waiting for him there now that Bucky was gone but it would always be his home.

He was hoping Peggy would see it as her home as well.

Someone clearing their throat loudly behind him had him ripping his face from hers.

"If you could unhand my daughter long enough, Captain, my wife sent me to inform you both that tea is ready," Grant Carter announced from the den's doorway. If Steve wasn't mistaken, the older gentleman sounded more amused than angry. Regardless, he found him nodding as he ran a hand across his mouth. Across from him, Peggy was covering hers to keep her smile from showing.

"Yes, sir."

"Thank you, daddy. We'll be there shortly."

He could hear her father chuckling as he left them to compose themselves. Steve glanced up at the ceiling, trying to get his body under control. He felt Peggy's thumb run across his lips in an attempt to remove the lipstick she'd left behind. Her touch was rough but he knew from fond experience that it was the only way to remove dark red lipstick.

Bringing his head back down, he met her eyes. They were dancing with amusement. "You're dad doesn't keep a shotgun handy, does he?" he wondered, only slightly worried, hoping he wasn't going to have to worry about an angry father chasing him out of the house in the middle of the night.

Peggy's only response was to smile devilishly at him.

SPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSP

Peggy had always been a rule breaker. She adored order and strategy but despised being told what to do by others who thought they knew what was best. Especially when it came to ways that pertained to her life. The only person who knew what was best for her was herself. After all, she was the one that had to deal with the outcomes life decided she should receive.

Which was why she found herself creeping into the room Steve had been relegated to by her parents in the middle of the night.

Unsurprisingly, he wasn't asleep. He was sitting on the floor in her brother Harrison's room, his back resting on a bookcase and a well worn book in his hands. Harrison wouldn't be joining them for a few more days as he was still on active duty with the RAF.

Steve glanced up when he felt the disturbance in the room.

"Peggy? What are you doing in here? Is something wrong?" he immediately fired off, concern showing on his face.

She shook her head and walked up to him. She held out her hand to help lift him from his position. She grabbed the book from his hands and placed it on the table beside the bed, leaving it face down to the page he was on. He had already changed into his night clothes. Peggy herself hadn't gotten that far in her nightly routine. She had only gone as far as removing her makeup and shoes and taking the pins out of her hair.

She wanted to make sure Steve got his unspoken wish in undressing her.

She had recognized the look that crossed his face earlier in the den. She had seen that look enough times already to know exactly what it meant. She couldn't deny that it hadn't been on her mind constantly since they had left the barracks. There were so many ways she had already accepted that she acted like a man, albeit while remaining every inch the respectable lady – feminine and graceful like Rita Hayworth - but she never would have thought that sex would be one of them. In fact, it wasn't. Not until Steve came along at least. It had started as a mild fantasy in the beginning. She was drawn to his character like a moth to the flame. She had never known a man of their age to act the way he did, to possess the values and beliefs he did. As he gained confidence, thanks to his new war persona, the attraction grew. Embarrassingly so.

Every time he came back from a mission, a different fantasy took over her mind. The fantasies increased in passion and fervor. And frequency. She found herself dreaming about him throughout the night. She would often wake up with a cry of pleasure ready to escape from her lips and the unsatisfying feel of a cold mattress beside her. She always needed a few hours to regroup from these dreams before she saw him the next day. She wasn't one to blush at the sight of a man, but her face would have been red as a beet if their paths had crossed fresh from sleep.

Now that she had him beside her, when she had dreamt about him being for so long, she wasn't letting him go.

She met his eyes when he reached full height. His eyes held hers but she could tell he was scanning her up and down with his peripherals. They were similar in that regard, always checking over the other after absences to make sure they were all right and unharmed. She leaned in close to him, her body flush against his. She could feel his abdominals squeeze in for a moment in tense pleasure before slowly releasing with his exhale.

"I seem to be having trouble with my zipper," she whispered in his ear.

The look she saw cross his face was one mixed with worry and longing. She knew how much he wanted her parents to like him and how much he wanted to do right by them. None of that could compare to how badly she needed him by her side at night, though.

"I… but…. you're parents," he squeaked out feebly.

"They are asleep but I don't require their help. I think it would be rather awkward, actually," she assured. Seeing it was going to take that final push to send him falling over the edge she dragged her lips across his jaw. "I've been thinking about your hands on me all day. It's been absolute torture not being able to do anything about it."

"But.. wh..."

He was weakening under her touch. His arm had wound its way around her waist, keeping their bodies connected. She could feel his desire pressed firmly against her, confirming to her he was about to cave.

After all, Peggy Carter always got her way.

Her mouth found his in the barest of touches, just grazing the surface. She smirked against his lips when she felt him chase her mouth when she pulled away. The fingers of her free hand tangled around the fabric of his shirt around his stomach as she slowly led them out of the room.

She hastily pulled him into her room before shutting and locking the door behind him. The room had only a soft light coming from her bedside table. It filled the area with just enough light to see by but didn't cause them to strain their eyes.

Peggy presented her back to him, a hand sweeping her short hair aside. It still met the requirements of women's hair length in the service but Peggy had skipped her last haircut in favor of letting it begin to grow out.

She felt the warmth of him pressed against her back; every ripple, every dip, every firm, delicious muscle from head to toe. Warm breath fluttered past her ear, a shiver shooting through her body in anticipation. Fingers met her zipper as teeth met her ear lobe. She drew her bottom lip between her teeth, biting back a moan but she couldn't help the small one that escaped. He tugged gently on her ear as the zipper crept slowly down her back. His hands helped guide the fabric down her arms with a long motion. His fingers were like electricity against her skin. Every synapse in her body was firing off as he exposed more and more of her bare arms.

Her dress pooled around her feet in a whoosh in a forgotten heap. Her breathing grew shallow as his fingers trailed down her sides. His touch was light, lighter than expected for a man with his bulk. That had surprised her on the rare occasions they had touched before their relationship. She suspected it had to do with being an artist. He kept his touch light on the pencil to create depth and character.

His large hands gripped her light pink slip, bunching it up at her sides just as his lips found the underside of her jaw. She titled her head to allow him better access. Despite his initial nerves, he had picked up on seducing her in no time flat. Though he'd had some guidance from her in the beginning, he had quickly picked up on what she liked, what made her lose her breath, what made her moan with wild abandon.

She pressed her backside into him when he bit at a pulse point on her neck. He felt even harder than he had been only moments before. She felt a smug satisfaction in her heart that she could do that to him with only minimal touches and fleeting kisses.

Her slip soon found itself in the puddle with her dress. Her fingers automatically flew to the garters connecting her nylons to her white corselet while Steve's fingers undid the small clasps in the back. In no time, the both divested her of her final piece of clothing. He helped her step out of the pile of garments and over to the bed.

"Off with it, Captain," she quietly commanded. She enjoyed the grin that crossed his face as he obeyed. She sat on the bed to remove her nylons as his fingers deftly undid the buttons on his night shirt. She watched the light play across his body as he dropped his shirt to join her clothes. Contrary to some women, Peggy had always felt comfortable in her skin. Making love with the light on didn't bother her. She preferred it, actually. It allowed her to see her partner's reactions, letting her know if she was on the right track or not. There was something deeply intimate about that connection.

His shorts and pants joined in short order. She didn't bother to be subtle about her eyes roaming his body. She wasn't ashamed of letting her appreciation be known but he certainly had nothing to be ashamed of. The sight of him naked and ready for her had her aching for the feel of him pressed intimately into her. She felt her desire pool between her legs. Her skin grew flush and her breathing grew heavy.

"See something you like?" he asked cockily. He knew exactly how much she enjoyed what she was seeing.

"As a matter of fact, I do. I might need to give it a closer inspection, though."

He was already moving towards her as she spoke, looking a bit like a lion stalking a gazelle. She could feel the smile playing on the corner of her lips, not quite showing through but practically bursting her heart at the presence of him. Her legs spread open to accommodate him, ready for the feel of his bare legs against hers. She watched as his hand reached out to grab the dog tags she sometimes wore around her neck. His dog tags. She could see his thumb run across the lettering, no doubt unaware that he was doing it.

His tags had been found with his belongings in camp after he'd gone down in the crash. Phillips had asked Peggy if she wanted to go through his things to be boxed up. He had no relatives for it to be delivered to so his belongings would remain in storage. He had stammered around, something incredibly unlike him, before she finally agreed to it. It was difficult but cathartic as well. She had run her fingers over his books, stopping to read each title. She'd pressed his shirts to her nose, taking in the lingering scent and picturing him next to her. She was hesitant to look through his sketch books. That had seemed more intimate and invasive than sniffing his shirts so she had placed them in a separate pile from the storage one. That pile might have accidentally ended up going home with her.

Completely accidental, of course.

She wore the tags often. She had started wearing them under her uniform, before he came back. It made her feel close to him in some strange way. It was ridiculous, really, to expect the cold metal to bring a piece of Steve back to her. It made her feel reassured, though. When Steve came back, he had seen the tags around her neck but hadn't asked for them back and she hadn't offered. Not long after that, she had seen a dark string around his neck that wasn't quite hidden by his combat uniform. Her curiosity ate at her all day until he came back later that evening. When she divested him of his shirt on the pretense of checking him over, she saw her own identity discs, one red and one green, dangling from his neck.

He pulled her towards him with the tags, leaning down to capture her mouth in a fierce kiss. He made her feel like she couldn't breathe. Like when she pulled away from him, all the air in the world wouldn't be able to fill her lungs. His teeth nipped at her lips, pulling and tugging roughly. She enjoyed it, liked when he dropped the good boy demeanor and took what he wanted. She had never really been one for the bad boy type; she despised it really – the world was full of it. But it was roguishly becoming on Steve.

She let him guide her backwards until she was lying flat against the mattress. She shuffled around until her head met the pillows, never losing contact with Steve's mouth. His body hovered above hers, bracing himself on his forearms while he lavished attention on her. She couldn't find it in herself to be embarrassed by the guttural moan that escaped her lips. The pleasure he pulled from her body was unlike anything she'd ever felt before. His fingerprints were leaving a trail of fire everywhere he touched. His prints was scratchy yet smooth; his palms showing the days of hard work of a soldier but his fingers showing the soft prints of an artist.

"Steve," came the whisper from her. His lips teased at her throat. They danced across the sides, never staying in one place too long, before taking a long suckle where her esophagus sat. She could feel the tags around his neck dancing across her chest. She swallowed hard under the attention, her breath quickening while her heart beat loudly in her ears. Her eyes fell shut involuntarily.

"What does the teacher think of her student?" Steve wondered of her, his voice a delicious low rumble. The sound vibrated through her, coming down to tingle against the most intimate of her places. He sounded smug, pleased with himself that he was making her come thoroughly undone. It wasn't exactly new seeing as how they had done this before but she had no doubt that it tickled his pride to know he could make the unflappable Agent Peggy Carter squirm like a schoolgirl touching a frog for the first time. "Does he need more lessons or is he ready for the test?"

Not one to be bested, her thighs came up to cradle him. Her feet danced across the backs of his thighs and traced down the backs of his knees to his calves. She gave a gentle but persistent squeeze and used her lower body strength to push him against her to give him notice of her need for him. He groaned softly at the contact. She smiled, pleased with herself that he lost his bravado for a moment.

Her eyes peered into his, adoring the twinkle in his icy blues. "I think he's already aced the test and working on extra credit. After all, he is the teacher's pet."

Steve laughed at that. They both knew he had absolutely no trouble disobeying rules and orders when the occasion called for it, something that made him slightly unlikeable to officers above him. That had never mattered to him. He didn't care who hated him, so long as he was able to do his job.

But he would always be at her mercy, the need to please and impress her one of his top priorities.

She reached up and caught his mouth, glad to have the upper hand again. While she didn't mind relinquishing control to Steve, she preferred being the one in control. Too much time around men with superiority complexes.

She kissed him greedily, taking from him everything he had. Her tongue lapped at his full bottom lip, urging him to open his mouth for her. She drank from him eagerly, their mouths making loud wet noises in the dim room. She heard him exhale forcefully through his nose. Her hands found their way between their bodies, trailing down his chest. Her fingers dipped into every ripple, drawing shivers from his body. To her surprise, he dragged her hands away. He entwined their fingers as he stretched their arms out to span across the width of the bed. She tried pulling away to look at him, thinking perhaps he had changed his mind about how far he wanted to take this in her parent's home. She was about to tell him it felt like it was no longer an option to stop when he caught her lips in a surprisingly chaste kiss. He trailed over her jaw, his nose brushing against the soft skin of her cheek. She turned her head to give him better access, her eyes falling shut again. His hips ground into hers, hitting her in just the right places. The breath left her lungs, hitching with a squeak. She bucked into him, desperate for him to do that again, but he remained where he was.

Teeth tugged roughly at her lobe before licking away the pain. He finally gave in to her silent demands and ground down again, harder this time. His hands left hers where they were in a silent command to stay put. She dug into the sheets, gripping the fabric with iron fists as one of his hands made its way down her stomach to brush through the course curls down below. She squeaked in surprise when she felt his fingers against her.

"Let me take care of you for a change, Peggy," his smooth voice whispered in her ear.

Unable to speak, she nodded.

SPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSP

She watched Steve as he looked around her bedroom. He hadn't had a chance to see it earlier when they were arranging their bags. Her mother had done her best in shuffling them around as fast as possible upstairs. Her father had undoubtedly convinced her to allow Steve to stay with them while she was home for the holiday. She had probably been scandalized the moment she found out Peggy was bringing a man with her.

She smiled to herself. She could just imagine her mother's reaction if she knew what her daughter had done with her guest under her parent's roof.

Her bedroom was simple; Peggy had never been one for heavy decorations. She didn't feel the need to place a photograph or painting on every wall where there was blank space. For her, the lack of filled space always said more. Her walls were a deep red, a color that she hadn't chosen but had grown into as she aged. The house had belonged to her grandparents before it passed to her mother in their will. The room Peggy called her own had been her grandmother's library.

There were two floor to ceiling bookcases lining the wall across from her bed on either side of the door. A small vanity resided to the right of her bed, close to the bow window. She had a small desk that she never used on the opposite side of that window. A small picture hung above that, one of her and her brother from when they were younger.

Her closet was on the same wall as her armoire, the door open to show her civilian wardrobe. As much as she enjoyed the structure of her service uniform, she missed the variety and colors of her every day attire. Her bed was under a large window with paintings of wildflowers on both sides of it. She had found them one rainy day while she was rummaging through the attic.

"I like your room," he told her. The bed creaked softly under their combined weight but Peggy knew it would hold. Her brother Harrison and she used to jump up and down on it endlessly when they were younger. It was a queen bed, perfect to accommodate her sleeping habitats but a bit of a tight fit with Steve's large mass. "I see you in everything."

"I'm glad you approve," she spoke dryly. She propped herself up on her elbow, leaning over his frame. His head rested against the only pillow on her bed, one hand behind it while he flung his other out next to her. Her free hand drew patterns over his bare chest, tracing spots where she could see the impression of her finger nails around his shoulders. She looped a finger through the leather bootlace around his neck. The two discs slid around her fingers, the red circle flopping around freely before she stopped to run her thumb across the soft green hexagon. Her mind noticed her actions were similar to Steve's earlier, making her smile at another of their similarities.

Though their intimate relationship wasn't that old, Peggy had quickly developed preferences in being with Steve. Something she had realized immediately was she slept better with him being near. She always worried about him, ever since the beginning. It didn't matter the abilities he had, how fast he healed. She didn't like the thought of the ones she loved being in danger and Steve was no different, superhero or not.

She preferred to sleep with the feel of his skin on hers. He produced warmth like nothing else but it wasn't just that. It was the intimacy of it, the knowledge that she was the one he was pressed against all night. Knowing that she was the one who got to call him hers.

She was never one to need a man. She had always been an independent person, even from a young age. Her father had instilled that in her; that, to get the job done right, you had only yourself to depend on. He had taught her a number of skill sets that he would have taught a son had she ended up being society's preferred sex. She had him to thank for being one of the finest shots in Britain. Her father had always been the only man she needed in her life. The jury was still out on her little brother half the time. But the need she had for her father was one that couldn't be compared to the need she had for the man that had captivated her heart two years prior on an army base in New Jersey.

When Steve had crashed that plane for the sake of the world, it made her realize just how short life truly was. One never knew what was going to happen from dawn to dusk, especially in war times. It had been hard enough keeping her infatuation under control while they were in each other's presence nearly every day. But once she thought she might never see him again….

Her world exploded.

When he came back – to her, she secretly told herself – she'd had to put that out of her mind. She didn't want to dwell on it and neither did he, he'd confessed to her that night. They had to think of the future. Their future.

His eyes found hers in the dark. She had turned off the lamp not long ago, tired of its light. Luckily the moon was out. It managed to creep out from the clouds every once in a while, but the natural light the snow on the ground provided helped them see each other.

"What did you and my father talk about earlier?" she pondered. It had been bothering her for hours. She didn't want her father to be too hard on Steve. Grant Carter could be a hard man, soft where she was concerned though, and she didn't want him ambushing Steve to threaten him about her well being.

She adjusted herself next to him until her left leg rested comfortably over his.

"Oh, it was like you said earlier. War stories," he assured, sounding a little too breezy about it. She must have been giving him a skeptical look because he grabbed her hand and brought it up to his lips. "I promise he didn't threaten me in any way. We just talked about… guy stuff."

She still wasn't convinced but she let it slide. She knew her father loved Steve. She had seen him one day when they needed to confer with the RAF. After they'd handled business, they'd had time to catch up. Her father had told her all of the wonderful things he'd heard about Captain America and how relieved he was that he was found all right after taking down HYDRA. Peggy had been a little shy in admitting that she was rather close to America's treasure. Luckily, her father had always been on her side. He had always supported her decisions. He had supported her decision to join the war at such a young age, despite all her mother's protestations. He understood her need to do something, to help the war effort.

After all, she was her father's daughter.

Peggy fluttered her fingers, ridding them of Steve's hand. She used the digits to trace his lips, running back and forth across the silkiness.

"What are you thinking about?"

His lips pursed against her index finger.

"That I really hope your parents didn't hear any of that," he teased.

She laughed softly. "Well, my mother had three glasses of wine and it only takes one to put her out like a light. My father on the other hand… well, if he did hear anything, he'd just as soon pretend it was a burglar coming to steal his old rugby trophies and antique gun collection."

His laugh shook the whole bed.

"No, what I was really thinking about was how I can't wait to show you Brooklyn. Well, to actually be able to show you around and not just places I got beat up when I was younger," he corrected himself. She grinned happily.

"I can't wait to see it the way you do," she voiced. He always described Brooklyn with such nostalgia. She had seen his drawings but they hadn't quite done justice to the passion behind his stories. "I've never really been in love with London the way you seem to be in love with Brooklyn. It's always just been a dreary city where it rains all the time and a suffocating gray fog covers the roads."

His left hand moved up from its prone position to clasp the back of her neck. His firm grip was warm and comforting. Though he was a strong man, one who at times was still figuring the limits of his strength, she knew his strength would never hurt her. She had seen men walk away from a handshake with Steve with grimaces of pain written across their faces. But she had never felt that from him. His touch was always surprisingly light but pleasantly firm at the same time.

"There's just something about it. A lot of people see it as a busy city. And it is. But there's just a magic to it, I think. My parents were born and raised there and I guess my mom just instilled her love of it in me. Now, I never knew my dad but she'd always tell me stories about things he did around the city, all the different jobs he had to support them. He got to know the city pretty well since he was always running all over it. I used to sit on the roof of our building when I was younger, home sick from school like always, and just stare out across the building tops, daydreaming about everything that was going on at that exact moment."

He spoke matter of factly, no traces of sadness. She supposed he had had time to get used to the idea that it was just him in the world with no parents to look after him or guide him on his journey. He didn't mourn what he lost but rather cherished what he'd had.

"After my mom died, and whenever my asthma wasn't acting up, I'd walk all over the city seeing the places she'd always talked about. I did that before she died, too, but after it just seemed more meaningful. One of my favorite places to walk around was Ebbets Field. We didn't have much of anything most of the time but mom would save everything she could to afford two tickets every opening day of baseball season. Win or lose, it was always the best game of the season. The rest of the games, Bucky and I would watch from the top of one of the buildings not far from the field. We couldn't see everything that was happening so we had the wireless on, too, but there's no better way to watch a Dodger's game than from the roof of a building."

He grew quiet, his eyes focused on a spot on the ceiling. She watched him silently, letting him have the memory he was lost to in that moment. Her fingers threaded through his hair. She brushed back the strands from his forehead, pushing them to the side before sweeping them straight back. It remained where it was, giving his hair a spiky look.

"My father used to take me to cricket games when I was younger," Peggy remembered, "which, as you've already told me, is nothing at all like your American baseball. Truthfully, I absolutely despised the game. Still do, as a matter of fact. It's dreadfully boring and I never really know when they're supposed to run. But my father loves it. He played it as a child with his brothers and their friends. He would take me to the Cricket Club matches. Now, the club was a part of the Gentleman's club my father belongs to. He despises that, too, but my grandfather decided he simply had to be a member of it to be someone."

Steve had begun to play with strands of her hair dangling around her shoulder. She could feel his eyes fixed on her face but her own had focused on a spot on his chin.

"Men were only allowed at these clubs, and the cricket games, too. It was just as well. What woman would want to spend her afternoons watching men hit a ball no bigger than a golf ball with a paddle four inches wide while middle aged men run back and forth? The first time my father took me to a game was when I was eight. I was all dressed up in a pink dress my mother had made. I wanted to look perfect because I knew how important this was to my father. He spent every Saturday there. When we got there, I remember everyone staring at the two of us. No doubt, they were surprised by my presence. But my father took me by my hand and strode head high to our seats. "

She smiled fondly, remembering the events clearly as if it was yesterday.

"I'll never forget what he told me. 'Don't ever let anyone tell you you don't belong, Maisie. Boy or girl, you're just as important as everyone else.'"

"Sounds like he's your biggest supporter," Steve mused. She made a noise of agreement.

Peggy focused on his eyes again. He still had that deep, penetrating stare. It was one that hit her deep in her stomach. It twisted and turned her insides and made the butterflies in her stomach flap their wings harder when he turned it on her.

"What about your mom?" Steve asked of her. His fingers were skimming the back of her arm. "You two seem kinda…"

"Hmm, yes, I know," she rolled her eyes. "I love my mother but she expected my life to be different. She would rather I be a housewife with three kids at this point in my life but my father always accepted my need to do more with my life. She can be a bit tough and pushy but she means well. I know she's proud of me but the ideal life she had planned for me in her head is still a possibility in her eyes. We have our differences but I love her."

Peggy pressed herself closer to him and ran her hand through her hair quickly. Her curls were growing flat but she hadn't cared about putting in her curlers. Something women never liked to admit was that they were painfully uncomfortable. They had to keep themselves busy while they were in to keep from focusing on the pain. But no one ever said that the price of beauty wasn't painful.

"It's nice being here," Steve murmured softly. His body shuffled onto his side, jostling her in the process. Her body leaned in towards his but she kept her position. He mirrored her stance but wrapped his arm around her torso. His palm opened flat against her lower back and he scrunched his fingers up and down to scratch lightly. He continued, "Being with your family, some place where you tell stories about the old days. Where, even though you have moments where you can't stand the sight of each other, you'll always come home for the holidays. It's nice being allowed to share it. But I am still scared out of my mind that you're father is gonna walk in any second and shoot me if I ever hurt his daughter."

She pressed his nose with her index finger.

"I've told you, Steve, he adores you. And he would never shoot you." She pat his cheek gently. She smiled cheekily at him, like she was letting him in on a huge secret, "He would let me shoot you. I'm a far better shot."

"Ha ha." He rolled his eyes at that but she had no doubt he knew she was mildly serious. She knew he would never do anything to willingly hurt her but he was still figuring out women. He was bound to frustrate her sometimes. "I'm serious, though. I've never really had a family. It was always just me and my mom. And Bucky. It feels good to... belong somewhere. To have a family."

Peggy felt her heart constrict tightly with emotion. It was something highly unlike herself. She didn't allow herself to grow emotional over many things. She didn't even cry when she was shot by a German soldier back in '42.

But Steve Rogers always managed to affect her in a way that nothing else ever could.

She pulled him close, closer than they already were. Her fingers found their way to the short hairs on the back of his head and threaded through them. In a way, his words hit too close to home to when she'd thought she'd lost him forever. When the future she had been envisioning for them was never going to be a possibility. Then he returned to her. A little banged up and with a lingering chill but otherwise just the same as when he left.

Their future together wasn't exactly something they had talked about yet but Peggy hadn't felt the need to talk about it. She could see it when she looked at Steve that the look in his eyes mirrored the feelings she felt in her heart. She knew they had something that would last forever. He was the only one for her, the only one she could see herself being with now and for the rest of her life. He understood her and stood in her corner, just as she did for him. They were equals in every way possible.

She pressed her forehead to his, their faces close enough for their noses to touch. Her thumb swiped at his cheek.

"You'll always belong with me, Steve," she whispered, her voice unable to rise any higher. "Always."

She crashed her lips against his, their mouths coming together roughly. Her hands gripped at him savagely, practically tearing at his flesh. She felt as though she couldn't get close enough to him. There were times when she felt as though they were one. It extended to everything from combat to brainstorming. The times they made love was when the feeling was strongest but this felt different.

To some unbeknownst reason to her, they had yet to come out and say 'I love you' to each other. It wasn't that she didn't; she would move mountains for him if she had to, and she was positive he felt the same. To be honest, she was afraid to say the words out loud. She had never said the words before to someone outside her parents and brother. The thought of being so vulnerable made her freeze. Every time she opened her mouth to try, she stumbled for words in a way very unlike herself. It never failed to cause Steve to give her a funny look and her to give him a pathetic excuse. So she tried to compensate. She was always one for the motto 'actions speak louder than words.' During the times they had seen together, there was certainly no shortage of actions on either of their parts to tell her that this man loved her and she him.

She pushed Steve onto his back and smiled against his lips when he let his relaxed body roll willingly. She could feel select muscles tightening throughout his body, just as they always did – his thighs, his biceps, his forearms, abdominals. He never tightened them all at once though. It was as though his body was a musical instrument and his muscles were the notes. Peggy simply had to press the right keys to produce the concerto.

Like an animal ready to pounce on their prey, she rose above him. She couldn't stop the pleased smirk when his eyes dropped to her chest for a fleeting moment before catching hers again. She took in her prey – sultry eyes, hands balling into fists in repetitive motions against her thighs, lips parted slightly, chest heaving rapidly with shallow breaths. She grabbed his hands and placed them above his head. The tags hung from her neck. They dangled low enough to reach Steve's chest and cause his body to shake with a shiver. With a slow precision, she lowered her torso onto his inch by inch, making sure their bodies were touching hip to shoulders. She brushed her hair to one side. She licked his chin and suckled the flesh before nipping at him. Her hands trailed down his body in slow sweeping motions, making sure to make a second pass around his chest.

Her eyes met his head on. His own were barely open; his breathing hot and heavy against her face.

"Now allow me to take care of you, Captain Rogers."

Swallowing hard, Steve nodded.