assembles: (i like icons with the back showing)
Steve Rogers / Captain America ([personal profile] assembles) wrote in [community profile] entrancelogs2017-07-03 08:49 am

to the morning we're cast out [closed]

Who: Steve Rogers & Peggy Carter
Where: Room 515
When: 07/03
Rating: PG
Summary: Steve has some fessing up to do.
The Story:
[ Now that the shock of Peggy's arrival here has worn off and she's settled in as much as anyone can really settle into Wonderland, Steve knows that it's time. A mixture of guilt and obligation has settled over him ever since she got here, a reminder nagging at the back of his mind that he needed to clear something up with her as soon as possible.

Because they're from different times and places now. Peggy's only a couple of years out from the war, whereas for Steve it may as well be a lifetime ago. He's had four years in the future, three in Wonderland, and when he looks at her she's still how he remembers her, except that there's more grief in her now, and it's hard to reconcile that it's grief for him that's worn her down.

Steve knows what Peggy's life becomes, or at least the broad strokes of it. She'd moved on after his death, and he's had to do his own kind of moving on, but Wonderland complicates everything.

This is a conundrum he'd had to struggle with once before, when Peggy had been here a previous time, though he'd never had the chance to resolve it back then. Not before she'd vanished.

All it takes is a text message, though he hesitates for a few minutes on hitting send. Steve has no idea how Peggy might react to the news of him and Bucky, if she'll be shocked or upset or confused or a mix of all those things. He knows how it'll sound, but all he can do is stay calm and explain himself.

Once she gives him the okay to come to her room, Steve appears within minutes and knocks firmly on her door. ]


Peggy? It's me.
mucked: (☂ if heaven and hell decide)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-07-03 06:08 pm (UTC)(link)
[ the text unnerved her. but she couldn't say why. perhaps it's because it's remains a frightfully new kind of social interaction -- brief missives sent digitally in advance of a more authentic conversation. try as she might, she can't help but interpret those pixels on the screen as anything other than something which lacks sincerity. somehow, they're worse than telegrams. and not nearly so nice as letters.

steve's message isn't alone in her disdain. every one she gets feels like that. she wonders if it's a discomfort she'll ever overcome. maybe she'll be lucky and she won't be stuck here in wonderland long enough to find out.

but if she is going to be stuck? well, at least the company continues to floor her. it's been well over a month and she has yet to properly digest the revelation that steve is alive. she hasn't spoken with him as often as she'd like but -- but she isn't the type to go throwing herself at moments which ought to sprout organically from the dirt and muck of this place. regardless, she carries herself with a silently harboured expectation.

for a dance, perhaps. or possibly more. when she thinks about it, she grows a heady mix of mournful and giddy. as such, peggy doesn't allow the thought to cross her mind too often.

except for now when she receives his message and the whole time between him sending it and him arriving causes her to be eaten away -- eroded -- by curiousity.

truth be told (embarrassing, really), she's within reach of the door when his knock arrives. peggy counts to ten, steels her heart against the sight of him, and eases the door open with an expression schooled perfectly as though she hadn't spent the last few minutes feeling like a schoolgirl again.

her face is inscrutable except for a distantly polite smile. peggy steps aside, jerking her head to indicate that he ought to enter. at the very least, she's moving better now; the wound she'd arrived with doesn't both her. ]


I rather doubted it'd be anyone else. [ wry. ] It's not as though I've been here long enough to make friends.

[ and the one earnest connection she'd made is apparently evil now, so that's a whole other kettle of drama. ]
mucked: (☂ etherized upon a table)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-07-04 11:38 am (UTC)(link)
[ -- he's got some reason to be here, she assumes. although she as-yet doesn't mind what it might be. although she's careful not to go seeking it out too doggedly, she's already fallen hard and fast for cherishing every spare moment she can glean out of him. even when he does something that makes her uneasy, such as ask after her wound.

peggy flattens a hand against the place on her lower stomach where she'd incurred the injury. the fabric of her blouse crinkles under the touch. ]
It'll scar. But it's coming along nicely. I barely notice it. These days.

[ but she doesn't want to talk about her wound. not even with him -- even now, she's remained particularly coy about its details, aside from the obvious cause-and-effect. for now, she tries to adjust the conversation around that obstacle and prove how much of a recovery she's made when she lifts a chair from where it's snug against the wall and carries it into the middle of the room. a place for him to sit.

evidently, she doesn't have company over often. ]


-- You said a majority of the people here are worth knowing. What about the minority?

[ see, she's been thinking about this a lot lately... ]
mucked: ( easystreet ) (Default)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-07-12 03:51 pm (UTC)(link)
[ he says something about an ointment and -- and the temptation is certainly present. but, in the end, peggy's not certain she wants to compromise the cautionary tale left by what will scar over and whorl and gnarl. maybe if it was in an area more readily visible. a hand; a shoulder; a face. recognizable marks could be an intelligence agent's downfall, as evidenced by her adventures in the last year.

peggy also eventually sits. she holds onto the edge of her bed with both hands, and crosses her feet at the ankles. it's a remarkably relaxed posture. for her. and it stays relaxed even as he brings up the example of a sly cannibal.

although she certainly does frown. ]


Sounds like something a bit more than a bad apple. [ her gut twists at the prospect. ] How long had he been at it?

[ she keeps a division between her questions and her emotions. her reaction is as clinical as she can manage. ]
mucked: (☂ so powerless and small)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-07-18 10:13 pm (UTC)(link)
[ as macabre as the conversation is, peggy can't help but glean away the impression that it's all one big placeholder. a stopgap, shielding something else from taking front and centre stage. yes, disgust twists in her gut at what he describes. and, yes, he's correct in thinking that the mirrors reach for that damn same level of disgust. but...

but although it's been some two years since she's seen him, she can read between his nerves. she can't read them exactly, of course, but peggy's made a career of watching for these tells and tics. of listening for when a thrust of a conversation is evident, or when it seems to be missing.

and this one is missing.

so peggy makes it easy on him, for once in her life. she folds her hands in her lap and leans forward by degrees. ]


But I rather doubt you came here to discuss cannibals, Steve.
mucked: (☂ mad sounds in your ears)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-08-03 01:05 am (UTC)(link)
[ aha, now here's the thrust of the conversation.

the moment he names sergeant barnes, peggy thinks she knows what this is about. after all, the man had tried to tell her himself back at the ski lodge. hadn't he? something about hydra, and something else about having hurt people. worse, likely. and she'd been flinty from the outset. it's not information that's easily digested. but, then again, she's yet to come across anything new and relevant to this place that hasn't turned her stomach in one fashion or another.

(sometimes, she feels so left behind by the changes that have so outpaced her.)

peggy huffs a breath, steels herself for one story, and sees no foreshadowing of another. ]


We've talked. Once. Twice, technically, but it turns out the first conversation was with the mirrored one.
mucked: (☂ i suffer mornings most of all)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-08-07 05:20 pm (UTC)(link)
A great deal, actually.

[ he's told her a great deal. all in one hard, honest rush. peggy hadn't taken it with grace; but, then again, how could she? it hadn't been the easiest truth to swallow: to consider first that one's life work hasn't been half so successful as one had thought, and then the sub-realization that such a failure had impacted the lives of those she'd once served beside. what would the commandos have felt, she'd wondered, to learn that their efforts in swabbing up hydra after the war hadn't done near enough good?

peggy's mouth goes dry. her careful mask doesn't fall apart, but it certainly doe shift. ]


He told me about HYDRA. Hinted at what happened to him. I confess, it came as something of a surprise.

[ peggy doesn't outright say it. you should have told me. but the rebuke is there, hidden under her brown eyes. ]
mucked: (☂ if heaven and hell decide)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-08-10 12:50 pm (UTC)(link)
[ she's been thinking a lot about this, lately. about programming. brainwashing. not least of all because of the current point of curiousity with one mister rip hunter, but because of the memories it dredges up of just over a year ago. of fenhoff, of her first time crossing paths with dottie underwood, and of what leviathan had found themselves capable of achieving. that influence gained over a person's very willpower hadn't seemed anything like this -- nothing, indeed, like what happened to sergeant barnes. but it sticks her in craw all the same.

like a shadow-edged puzzle piece she can't quite force into place. it bothers her, gets under her skin, and turns her cranky even when she doesn't mean to be. but (for now and for his sake) she swallows that urge to snarl her way through a fresh tirade. ]


Programming of any sort is a tricky thing. [ peggy owns up to a passing familiarity, but not much else. ] It's remarkable he managed to break it -- although the way he tells it, you were instrumental in that.

[ that part peggy believes. utterly. ]
mucked: (☂ and in the night time)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-08-13 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
[ oh i don't know, she nearly answers, a bit of ignorance can be a balm. but that wouldn't have been her rational mind at work. rather, she'd be speaking with the sore and aching parts of her heart that haven't quite coped well with all she's learned since her arrival. even this, even what he tells her now, invites storm-clouds onto her face. beaten, steve says, to within an inch of her life.

her stomach turns at the thought. the old possessiveness rears again. but peggy does the good thing (the right thing) and stamps it out. ]


But I assume you did. [ tell him. it would likely be the proper thing to do. ] In the end.

[ truth be told, she's not certain why they're having this conversation of all conversations. perhaps it's something steve needs to hear -- although as yet she hasn't figured out why she needs to, also. ]
mucked: (☂ mad sounds in your ears)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-08-17 04:49 pm (UTC)(link)
[ now this! this is a cruel piece of dramatic irony. steve speaks of chances found and chances lost. of 1945 and of here and of the great space and time lost to tragedies endured all 'round. and peggy, blinkered as she is by her feelings, finds it in herself to smile.

it's small. and, in truth, it's more a twitch than a smile. a quirk of her lips not dissimilar to the way she'd meet his victories and triumphs in camp lehigh: a funny mixture of pride and aloofness that went dormant for so long but which finds itself alive and well again of late. it's the one good thing (she thinks) that's been bundled into being here.

a prickle along her spine prompts her to tell him how she has been thinking about just that -- about opportunity. but even before she'd met steve rogers, she'd been a reticent creature. so peggy swallows down her hope and finds herself once more putting other priorities in its place.

for one, she's not yet convince steve has reached his point. the brief spark of something pleasant dies on her face. she replaces it with the old professionalism. ]


Must have been quite an ordeal. For both of you. [ she proceeds with compassion. after all, she remembers steve's grief in the wake of what happened on the train line. she remembers finding him with a useless bottle. to retread so much ground, and then break soil on new trauma?

quite an ordeal indeed. ]
mucked: (☂ under a spell)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-08-21 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
[ something deeper than friendship.

here it is -- the moment where a funny kind of dread starts to winnow into her bones. it's nothing like the icy grip of a fight, of an infiltration gone bad, of a miserable realization where lives hang in the balance. it's a softer dread, but it's dread all the same.

nothing in what steve says spells anything concrete, but good god she can tell when she's being let down easy. and so something constricts in her throat. something turns hazy in her head. the final piece doesn't fall into place, but she understands that it won't be what she longs to here.

sergeant james barnes took a leap. huzzah, it seems, for sergeant james barnes. ]


And?

[ peggy urges him onward with a single word. she sits a little straighter, demeanor twisting a little more distant. get on with it, she wants to tell him, stop dawdling.

piss or get off the pot, she thinks. she's getting the story piecemeal; it's beginning to fray her nerves. ]
mucked: (☂ still looks the same)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-08-30 09:44 pm (UTC)(link)
[ she betrays a grimace. no, she doesn't much care to hear how good barnes was, is, will be at sweet-talking anyone. no, she doesn't want to hear about chances taken. no, she doesn't want to hear about any of it.

but she forces herself to listen -- hoping that maybe the the brunt of it will shock her system like an ice bath and teach her to know better than to pin her heart on half-made promises. grief-stricken daydreams. steve speaks about surprise, about an 'us,' about work.

peggy feels her stomach turn. and it's got nothing to do with the prospect of best friends becoming more. it's got everything to do with the meager hope she'd nursed for years after his voice had crackled into little more than static over the radio. ]


Is that all? The long and short of it? [ to protect herself, her voice runs chilly. hard and impersonal, although the sudden glimmer of something wet in her eyes suggests there's nothing impersonal about it. with grace, she rises to her feet and makes for the door -- prepared to open it for him and see him out of her room.

her voice quivers. ]
Honestly, Steve, I don't see what the fuss is -- your personal life never was and still won't be any of my ruddy business.

[ already, and with a lie, she tries to distance herself. already, she tries to shrug it off as though it means nothing. but in the process she betrays precisely how deep she's been hurt. enough to make her skip the part where she gets angry and makes a scene. this isn't private lorraine and four fired shots. this is something different.

different enough (aching enough) to snap up her walls and her armour as though he were anyone other than himself -- someone less privy to her inner-workings, exiled from any vantage point from which he might see a scrap of vulnerability. ]
Edited (and then i notice typos, like, an hour later.) 2017-08-30 22:20 (UTC)
mucked: (☂ if he hollers)

[personal profile] mucked 2017-09-02 05:12 pm (UTC)(link)
[ he's got the gall to apologize. to try to, at any rate, and to follow it up with what can only sound to her like a cheap mention of 'we' -- an 'us' that never existed because it never got to exist. not beyond an offensive imitation in a godawful radio programme: the gallant captain america and the damseled triage nurse, betty carver.

that's it. that's all of it. as close as they'll ever come to 'what we wanted' -- a bad radio soap opera and the dreams she'll never cop to having dreamed. while steve thinks about how she might have moved on, peggy is left adrift under understanding that she'd not yet managed it. she'd poured his blood into the east river, yes, and she'd taken a chance on a man who'd not returned her calls and...

and however much she might move on in future, she feels very stuck in this moment. stuck, and humiliated, and hurt. even so, she meets his eyes as readily as ever. she's never had a hard time staring him down. ]


You should go. [ peggy tells him tersely. she doesn't miss the flicker of his hand and before he can do something stupidly noble -- anything gentle or sweet or tide-turning at all -- she sees fit to banish him from that duty. if his personal life isn't to be her business, then she'll equally make hers none of his. this is a mess he's got no obligation to help clean up. ] Please, [ she exhales the word more than speaks it, ] go.

[ she'd much rather be alone with her sore feelings. ]
Edited 2017-09-02 17:13 (UTC)