Title: At Last
Summary: Steve Rogers never got that dance with Peggy. But a certain God of Thunder and his brainy scientist girlfriend aim to make sure he gets it...even if they have to rip the fabric of time and space to do it. Crosssover with Thor, Avengers movieverse.
Spoilers: for ending for Captain America: The First Avenger, and Thor movies
Disclaimer: Property of Marvel. I own nothing, I owe everybody.
One would think that after spending a most of your life as a guy who resembled a wet toothpick that you'd be used to it.
Being made fun of by everyone else growing up because you were always too sick to play sports, having bullies think that it was their God-given right to turn you into their own personal punching bag or watching all the pretty dames turn their nose up at you at the Sadie Hawkins dances. Kinda hard to learn how to dance when no one wants to be your partner.
Yeah, loneliness was something that came with the turf when you were Steve Rogers. But contrary to what one might think, loneliness was never something that you ever got used to. You just learn to deal with it. Big difference.
But all the beatdowns and mean girls in the world couldn't have steeled even the iron will of Steve Rogers for the kind of ache he felt now. The kind of ache he felt for the last two months.
After all, it's not everyday that you wake up and find out that your whole life-sixty-eight years of it, in fact-just passed you by in a flash. That everyone that ever meant anything to you either grew old, or moved on…to the other side.
It's what made days like this incredibly tough to deal with. Days in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, watching all his Avengers happy as can be, sharing a precious moment with their significant others.
While him? He could only sit back and lean against the glass of the moving aerial fortress, staring at the clouds pass him by at incredible speeds…passing him by like the life he once loved.
Like the woman he once loved. Peggy.
The name echoed through his heart and his mind like a sad song. Beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Red hair, full, pouty lips and brown eyes that could twinkle in cleverness, harden in steely resolve or soften with a surprising vulnerability for such a skilled soldier.
Strong, yet compassionate. Fearless, yet sensitive. Nerves of steel, but a heart of gold. That was Peggy, right down to the core. She was perfect…the perfect dance partner.
And she was gone now.
He could still vividly recall when he found out the news barely a week after he had woken up in that S.H.I.E.L.D. hospital in Times Square two months ago…after spending 68 YEARS within the glaciers of Antarctica, the result of his final battle with the Red Skull, averting Hydra's planned global endgame aerial strike.
After relentlessly hounding Fury, the one-eyed Top Cop had given him a file on Peggy. She had married an Army doctor, almost 10 years after Steve disappeared. Had two children of her own, retired to England, where she stayed until she died roughly 10 years ago after battling breast cancer.
It felt like the word had been a steel pipe, and the Red Skull himself had punched it through his stomach and skewered his heart, it hurt that badly. People like Peggy weren't supposed to get cancer, were they? She was too strong, too tough…she deserved better than that.
He only hoped that it didn't hurt. That it was painless. That she was surrounded by loved ones, flowers and all the love and care that she deserved.
He sometimes wondered if she thought of him during those years…if she perhaps spared him a thought in those last, final moments of her amazing life. Or if she had long moved on, tucked him away in the deepest corners of her heart like a chest of old toys in an attic-too old to keep playing with, but too precious to throw away. Or, worse yet, if she had simply forgotten him, overlooked his memory like so many other girls had done so to him in the past.
He sighed, looking even more downcast than normal, feeling ashamed of himself. He shouldn't have thought of Peggy like that. He knew, deep down, that she had loved him, as he had her.
It just hurt sometimes. Especially now. Apparently, it was Tony who suggested 'having the wives' over for a tour of the helicarrier. Seeing as most of them had a strategic value or another, Fury was hard-pressed to say no.
Of course, Tony had to make it a party, of sorts. S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier staff were dancing to loud music while Tony was busy being the usual life of the party, Pepper close by, admonishing his antics, yet laughing like a schoolgirl everytime he drew her close for a dance.
Hawkeye was dancing with several of the more attractive female agents, while Thor and Jane Foster were cuddling in a corner, the Asgardian God of Thunder telling some hearty joke in that boisterous voice of his while the shy, yet pretty Jane hung on his every word. Even Bruce Banner and Betty Ross were having a good time, Betty laughing hysterically as Bruce intentionally danced badly.
Black Widow…Natasha…had generously offered Steve a dance only a moment ago. But all it took was one look at the red-haired beauty and all Steve could see was Peggy.
Swallowing down the bitter lump in his throat, Steve politely smiled, but shook his head and declined. Graciously, Natasha merely nodded, but left the door open for him if he changed his mind.
Unfortunately, there was no changing his mind. He found the perfect dance partner long ago…and she was gone now.
Gone, he mused sadly. And I never even got that dance.
"He looks so sad," Jane whispered softly, nestled in Thor's arms, as she eyed the crestfallen war hero from across the room.
As his sharp blue eyes took in the sight of the slumping Super Soldier, Thor could not help but to agree. "T'is sad, Jane, but very true. His is a warrior's heart, but there are some pains that not even a warrior can conceal. Such as the pain of a broken heart."
"He misses her," Jane sadly mused. Everyone knew about the brief love affair between Captain Steve Rogers-the famed Captain America-and famous British Strategic Service Reserve Agent Peggy Carter. The shot of her picture in his compass from the old newsreels was legendary.
Thor gave an equally sad nod. "Aye. I can sense it. His heart cries out for his lost love, this…Peggy Carter. Even now, knowing of her fate, he yearns to be with her once more."
Jane looked down for a moment, bitter images flashing through her mind. The day that Thor had seemingly died in her arms, only to be miraculously returned to her when his warrior's death, his sacrifice to protect the innocents in that New Mexico town, had made him worthy of wielding the mighty hammer Mjolnier once more…and to lose him again, when he destroyed the Bifrost Bridge to save Jotenheim from his mad brother Loki's intentions.
"I know the feeling," Jane muttered, instinctively squeezing her Thunder God boyfriend a little closer this time.
Her words were not lost on Thor Odinson as he stroked her hair affectionately. He, too, had a heavy heart, the anchors of despair and loneliness weighing down on his soul, when he thought he would never see Jane again, constantly beseeching Heimdall everyday for an update on what Jane was doing, what she was feeling…what she was thinking.
He thanked the AllFather everyday that someway, somehow, his brilliant Jane had managed to turn a year and a half of intense research and non-stop work, several particle colliders, a very large ARC reactor donated by Tony and a little bit of luck into a miniaturized Einstein Rosen bridge-a mini-wormhole-that allowed the God of Thunder to cross the barriers of space and time back to Earth, to New Mexico. He smiled to himself as he remembered Jane, her beautiful, inquisitive brown eyes full of tears as she leapt into his arms almost moments after he had touched down in the desert. And despite the heartfelt laughter he let loose at her emotional response, he found that tears had also sprung to his eyes, his heart's fondest wish come true.
She had never stopped searching for him, never given up hope…and now, here she was, in his arms. Being with Jane gave Thor a kind of strength than even Mjolnier, for all of its wondrous powers, could never bestow on him. For it was the kind of strength that came from deep within, born of hope and passion. Born of love.
"As do I," he replied softly. "But though it pains me, the only thing we can do is to offer the Captain our friendship and camaraderie. There is nothing else that we can do for him, I'm afraid. It's not as if we have it in our power to turn back time."
At that, he noticed that the beautiful astrophysicist's eyes suddenly sparked with an idea.
"What if…what if we can?" Jane asked, as an idea began to visibly dawn on her pretty features.
Thor frowned in confusion. "Jane…even for my people, what you speak of is impossible. One cannot simply travel across time as we would through the Bifrost. Not even a powerful magician could bend the laws of time."
"We crossed the barriers of space to bring you here, didn't we?" Jane countered, her mind suddenly processing information and ideas as fast as Thor could summon a bolt of lightning from his hammer. "I remember a few theories from Vasser and Einstein that all hinted at time travel being possible through the right configurations of an Einstein Rosen bridge…the same bridge we used to bring you from Asgard. With the right configurations-"
"Jane, I admire your intentions, they are worth the greatest of praise. But, my lady, I must advise you to be cautious of what you intend," Thor cautioned gently. He didn't wish to deflate her hopes, but he did not desire to have her risk her wellbeing in such a dangerous experiment, even if it was to help a friend. "There are reasons why we aren't able to cross the realm of timespace. Tampering with such forces can have dangerous consequences."
"Yeah, well, I wasn't ever known as 'Play-It-Safe-Jane', was I?" she quipped with a slight chuckle. When she saw that Thor's frown had not melted, she went to Plan B-the puppy dog eyes. "Baby, come on-I risked just as much to be with you. After all he's been through, after saving the world…doesn't Steve deserve a chance at a little bit of happiness?"
Despite his misgivings, Thor found that he could not argue with her, especially when she did that amusing gesture with her eyes. He of all people should have realized by now that when Jane Foster put her mind to something, no one and nothing-not even the cosmic barriers of time and space-could stand in her way.
"Very well, Jane Foster, you have my support, should you ask for it," he nodded at last.
A huge smile burst upon Jane's face, as she eagerly stood up. "Great! Come on, we've got to get started in the lab right now."
"Now?" Thor protested, almost in a whine. "But I was just…we will miss the rest of this feast…and Son of Coul had promised to introduce me to the onions which bloom perpetually-"
"Oh, I'll take you to the Outback Steakhouse later on, you big baby," Jane impatiently huffed and waved off his protests as she began dragging him to the lab, eager to get started on her greatest experiment ever.
I'll conclude it next week when the Captain America DVD comes out. See ya!