I Will Not Forget
A/N: I have sent multiple e-mails about a Captain America: The First Avenger category, but so far I've been ignored, so I am posting this here until (hopefully) the proper category is made.
Any inaccuracies are my own fault.
Peggy stares absently at the floor. She sees nothing as her grief and despair has rendered her into an almost comatose state. Her body is poker straight and just as stiff; her right hand grips a glass of scotch so hard it threatens to shatter. She tries to hold back the tears that well in her chestnut eyes. She is so encased in her unhappiness; she doesn't hear the footsteps behind her, or the slight squeaking protest of the chair beside her as a hefty body collapses on to it with a weary groan.
"Agent Carter?" Peggy recognizes the voice as that of Colonel Phillips. She makes no reply, only knocking back her glass of scotch. A glass bottle appears in her line of vision and refills her glass. She turns her head very slightly to face Col. Phillips in surprise.
The Colonel holds a glass cup and he pours himself a drink. "I figured we could both use a drink," he explains. He raises his glass towards her in a toast. "To Steve."
Peggy gently knocks her glass against his, before turning away and focusing on the floor again. She misses Steve so much her heart aches with the pain. Most men she had known or met had been rather the same. Bone headed and bawdy, eyes a bit too appreciative of her curvaceous body. Like Hodge; he had been one of the worst. Condescending of her British accent, rude to those around him and a bully. She remembered the satisfaction she felt when she punched him and knocked him down into the dirt. A faint smile formed upon her rouge lips.
"Glad to see you smiling again, Agent. What amuses you so much?"
Peggy looks at him again, still smiling, albeit faintly. "Just thinking."
"A lot of that happening," Phillips replies. "We all have a lot to think about now."
Peggy nods sadly. The Colonel words are filled with truth and it makes her hear ache all the more and the tears well up faster. It is getting harder to hold them back. She thinks about when she first laid eyes on Steve Rogers. He sure hadn't looked like much. Short and scrawny, he didn't look like he could survive a day at training, much less the actual war. Nobody had been really sure just what Doctor Erskine had been thinking by signing Steve Rogers up.
But she remembered how he dived upon that dummy grenade, whilst his fellow soldiers fled for safety. He had crouched over it and yelled at her to get back. He would have given his life for her. She had been very touched.
The ride to the secret laboratory, hidden in the antique shop, had only strengthened her affection for him. "I'm just waiting for the right partner." She had been able to tell that Steve was truly a good man.
And then everything had changed. Steve had been given the serum. His good personality had remained the same, but his body had changed dramatically. Peggy remembered how he had stepped out of the machine. His muscled body covered with sheen of sweat. She bit her plump bottom lip hard. He had been attractive before in a scrawny sort of way, but his muscled body had been darn near irresistible.
Even though Steve was now gone, Peggy was still glad that his personality hadn't changed. He had saved her and everyone. He had saved the world. He had given his very life to save it. Her hand squeezes her glass tightly. It finally relents and shatters.
The Colonel bellows in shock. The pain makes itself known immediately. The liquor's harsh bite makes Peggy grit her teeth. She stares down at the wound, a red slash in her white palm, the red blood oozing from within it and the light from overhead winking off the shards of wet, slightly bloodied glass. Dancing off the glass. Dancing. "I'll need a rain check on that dance."
The Colonel kneels down in front of her and carefully takes her injured hand in his and plucks the shards of glass from it. He looks at her with stern eyes. "Damn, it Agent." He pulls a handkerchief from his jacket pocket. Peggy smiles at the sight and watches him bandage her wound. He glances upward and sees her smile." Not a word."
She draws her fingers across her lips in the childish gesture. "I promise."
Col. Phillips rocks back onto the balls of his heels. He sighs and runs a hand through his brown graying hair. "He died a hero."
"He died fighting for his country. He wanted that."
The Colonel rises to his feet and examines Peggy closely for a moment. He gestures to her injured hand, now wrapped in the alcohol and blood stained handkerchief. "That's clean, well was clean."
Peggy manages to coax a lackluster smile to her lips. "Thank you, Colonel Phillips."
Colonel Phillip's eyes dart away from hers and back again. He seems to be steeling himself. "H… He loved you, Peggy… Agent Carter."
Peggy bites her bottom lip so hard she fancied she would draw blood. She could imagine the metallic tasting tang of it. The blood just a few shades lighter than her red lipstick. She draws a deep, but shaky breath and forces herself to look at Colonel Phillips. She can't speak. Her throat burns from tears that still threaten to fall. She can only nod.
Phillips looks away, tactfully. He seems, like many men, to be uncomfortable around a grieving woman with watery eyes. He pats her on the shoulder. He starts to walk away when he pauses and comes back. He picks up the half empty bottle of scotch and examines it before handing it to Peggy. "A cure for a broken heart, of sorts," he tells her.
Thank you, Colonel," Peggy whispers in a raspy voice. She listens to his receding footfalls until she can hear them no more. She glances behind her and sees that he has thoughtfully closed the door behind him. She is alone again. She unscrews the lid off the bottle and takes a deep swig of scotch, savoring the burn when it runs down her throat.
She reaches into her pocket and pulls out the photograph she so loves, the photo of Steve that was in the profile Colonel Phillips gave to her. The Steve in the photo is scrawny, before he had the serum, but she loves him anyway. She remembers their kiss. She closes her eyes and remembers the feel of his lips on hers. She remembers the warmth and passion.
She opens her eyes and tilts her head back until she is staring up at the ceiling. She drinks deeply from the bottle. The scotch will dull the pain. No. She cannot do that. She is a tough woman and she takes pride in that. She isn't a dizzy dame. She can hold her own and fight through anything. Even this. She screws the lid back onto the bottle regretfully and moves it aside.
She remembers when she lost Steve. The tears fall now. She cannot hold them at bay any longer. She puts her face into her hands as sobs rack her body. After a minute she straightens up and brushes back her brunette curls. Steve has left behind a great legacy. Captain America. She smiles. She has seen young children running through the street dressed in Captain America garb. Comics about Captain America being read by young and old. The Captain America movies that have inspired so many people. Steve was Captain America. He did all that and because of that, he would never be forgotten.
"I'll need a rain check on that dance."
"Saturday from next. At the Stork club. 8'clock on the dot."
She looks at his photo one last time, before tucking it back in her pocket. She wipes the tears from her face and sighs. She loved him. He died a hero. Still, she wishes she could have danced with him.
"It's just… I had a date."