It wasn't that he felt threatened by Daniel Sousa, or even that he considered him competition. He had never thought of the Chief of the Los Angeles SSR in any way, really, other than a colleague of sorts. Obviously Sousa and Peggy had known each other for a while. They worked seamlessly together, even when Sousa pushed back. He wondered if their history together was more than professional.

He thought he had made his feelings for Peggy pretty clear-clear enough, without saying outright that he was falling in love with her. He had tried to, but then everything happened, and here he was, sitting in his containment chamber, waiting for Peggy and Jarvis to return.

Ever since the mission into Roxxon, when Peggy fell, things had been different. She was still driven and focused on saving him-God love her-but at the same time, she didn't seem interested in spending any time with him. She was fixated on that Russian assassin-that's where she was now. When he had finally become solid again, thanks for the chamber, she had offered him a handshake, when all he wanted to do was kiss her. And he had, but he could tell her heart hadn't been in it.

He drained his glass of wine, thinking about the day before. They had come back from the hotel with the sample of Zero Matter. He had excitedly told them about his plans for this very containment chamber, and Peggy and Sousa had completely ignored him. He remembered the way Sousa had held her wrist, and in true heroic fashion, told her he would take all the blame for what they had done. The way they had looked at each other, held each other's gaze, and the shy smile she had when she left the room. Peggy hadn't looked at him that way for days.

Now that he was more aware, he could remember Sousa watching Peggy, looking at her in a way he now understood, because it was the same way he now looked at her: with longing. Longing for what might be...or for what might never be. When he was shadowing Peggy at the SSR, he had witnessed a moment between them when they thought they had been alone. Sousa had said something like, "You know I'm on your side," but it was the look in Sousa's eyes that he now recalled. But that was the kind of guy Sousa was, he figured. The kind of guy who would do anything for a woman, even if it meant ruining his own life in the process. He thought now that Sousa would sacrifice anything for Peggy, and he wondered...would he?