Avengers-Peggy smile

Agent Carter fic: Some Enchanted Evening

And ... the last of the SSR Confidential fics! Now I'm all ready for MCU AU Fest reveals ...

Title: Some Enchanted Evening
Fandom: Agent Carter
Pairing: Peggy/Daniel
Word Count: 1100
Summary: Howard throws himself a birthday party. The SSR protection detail is just par for the course.
Crossposted: http://archiveofourown.org/works/7143125


When it came to throwing himself a birthday party, Howard had spared no expense.

There was a fifteen-foot ice sculpture on the lawn (dissolving rapidly in the late-afternoon California heat), a chocolate fountain of a decidedly risqué nature in the dining room, tropical wildlife everywhere, and one couldn't turn around without tripping over a starlet or twelve.

All of which would be annoying enough on a normal day, but considering present circumstances ...

"I hope you know where the guest of honor is," Daniel muttered to Peggy, sidling up to her at the buffet, where she had been standing with a half-empty plate and admiring the tastelessness of a three-dimensional recreation of Da Vinci's Last Supper in bright-colored pieces of tropical fruit. "Because I lost him again."

Peggy took a moment to appreciate the rare sight of Daniel in a tuxedo, his hair neatly slicked back. The man did clean up nicely. From the way he was looking at her, in her deep green cocktail dress, she had a feeling the sentiment was mutual. Of course, Ana had worked her seamstress magic and the dress was hiding two guns and a knife, but no one outside the SSR needed to know that.

"He's by the chocolate fountain --" she began, then turned to see that the blonde actress who had been talking to Howard was now engaged in conversation with someone else. "Oh bugger."

Daniel sighed and reached for his radio. "Anyone got eyes on Stark?"

"He's by the pool," Rose reported back. "He seems to be ... er ... occupied at the moment."

"Let me know if he goes on the move again," Daniel said. He gave Peggy a long-suffering look as he signed off. "You know, some people would be willing to go to a safehouse if they're getting death threats, but no, not Howard Stark."

Peggy glanced around the room. From where she stood, she could see five or six SSR agents scattered about, blending as best they could, which wasn't very well. For one thing, at least two-thirds of the guests were female, and besides Rose and herself, they'd only been able to scrape up two female SSR agents, one local (Rose's relief shift on the front desk, a young woman named Martha) and a switchboard operator on loan from New York. Now that she had the ear of both the West and East Coast bureau chiefs, Peggy definitely had every intention of doing something about the bureau's deplorable lack of female agents as soon as possible ... but things kept coming up, such as Howard deciding to paint an enormous target on himself.

"He may be right that there's nothing to worry about," she said, popping a piece of pineapple into her mouth. "To hear him talk, he receives death threats all the time, although admittedly not ones which may have their origins with a Russian spy."

"Yeah, he's not kidding. Did you see the stack of threatening notes he turned in to the SSR? We've got the lab boys looking them over. Everything from cut-and-pasted notes made up of letters cut out of the newspaper, to perfumed death threats in colored ink on monogrammed stationery."

"Yes, I've seen them. Still, with Dottie at large, I'm glad the SSR is willing to treat it seriously."

Daniel brushed her fingers with his own: all they were normally willing to allow themselves on duty. "I'm off to check the perimeter again."

"Would you care for company?" Peggy asked, setting down her plate on the edge of the table.

Daniel looked wistful. "I'd love it, but I'd rather keep you near Stark. Not that I don't trust the other boys, but I know who the best agent out here is."

Peggy tried not to bask. On the whole, she was fairly sure she succeeded. "Stay alert out there."

"I will, although so far it looks like the worst thing I have to look out for is sunburn and flamingo bites."

She watched fondly as he left with a purposeful stride, then picked up her plate and went in pursuit of Howard.

Despite dire predictions, the evening went smoothly, and the party continued long into the night. She and Daniel even found time for a dance under the still-incredibly-inappropriate chocolate fountain. Daniel had insisted he couldn't dance with the crutch, so Peggy waited for a slow song, talked him into leaning it against the wall, and swayed slowly to the music with his arm around her waist. (Music from a live band, of course. Howard would have stood for nothing else, unless he'd built a high-tech record-changing machine or a robot orchestra, neither of which seemed to have occurred to him. Peggy definitely wasn't going to suggest it.)

"You seem distracted," Daniel said.

The main distraction was the warmth of his hand resting in the small of her back. "It is starting to appear that no assassins are going to show up, isn't it?"

"A good bodyguard is one who never has to draw his weapon."

"Mmm." She leaned into him, swaying to the music. Across the room, Howard was having grapes fed to him by someone Peggy vaguely recognized from movie posters around town. She glimpsed Jarvis and Ana dancing nearby, looking even more wrapped up in each other than she and Daniel were. Jason was dancing with a striking young woman as tall as he was, and she'd last seen Rose heading for the pool hand in hand with a strapping, tanned member of Howard's gardening crew. Jack would be terribly jealous he'd missed out on it all, back in New York. She would have to remember to send him a picture of the fountain.

And suddenly she couldn't help laughing.

"Care to share the joke?"

"Oh ... it's only ... I was thinking about all of this, I suppose. The sheer unlikelihood of it. Here we are, dancing the night away in a millionaire's mansion, surrounded by people who are most likely famous, while awaiting the possible arrival, or non-arrival, of Soviet assassins."

"Not how you pictured your life, huh?" Daniel looked up and around, at their opulent surroundings. "Yeah, it does kinda make you stop and think, doesn't it ..."

It made her think about a lot of things, really -- about where she'd been a year ago, and where Daniel had been; about how much all of them had lost, and how much they'd regained.

She wondered if Daniel was having similar thoughts, because he was quiet now, and his hand pressed more firmly into the hollow at the base of her spine, pulling her closer to him.

Peggy leaned into him, as the band struck up a new tune, and danced on.

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Heh, that's another one that I had recognized pretty much right away had to be written by you. I guess I'm getting used to the writing style :D
LOL, I thought I remembered you picked it out. In fact, I'm pretty sure you correctly picked every single fic I wrote that you didn't actually beta. Maybe I'm more obvious than I think.