Avengers-Peggy smile

Agent Carter fic: To the Heart

... and so the post-finale ficalanche begins. :) It probably goes without saying that this is MASSIVELY spoilery for the finale.

Title: To the Heart
Fandom: Agent Carter
Word Count: 1600
Pairing: canon ones (but mostly gen)
Summary: Post-finale angstyfluff and h/c. There is no way to summarize this without spoiling the finale, but if you've seen it, you can probably guess what, and who, it's about.
Cross-posted: http://archiveofourown.org/works/6152824

Black and white and red.

Time went in jerks, started and stopped. The world was blurred. Moving.

Dizzy and disoriented, he felt himself slipping in and out. He tried to cling to consciousness. Every time he felt himself going under, he didn't know if he'd surface again.

Scared. He was scared. His chest hurt and he couldn't breathe and he thought he might be dying.

"Jack, can you hear me?"

Woman's voice. Familiar. Couldn't pull her name out of the dim pit of memory.

"Jack, look at me."

There was a whipcrack of command in that oh-so-familiar voice. It pulled him out of the darkness like a lifeline, and as her face danced in his blurred vision, he whispered, "Peggy."

"Did you see who did this, Jack? Tell me who shot you."

Shot. He'd been shot. That would explain the pain. And the blood.

"I don't know," he whispered.

"You didn't see them, or you don't know them?"

"Don't know them." Thinking about it made it easier, somehow. He tried to focus on the familiar task of giving a colleague details about a case, even if the subject of the case was himself. "Male. About my height. Wearing a mask. Couldn't see his face." He coughed, and the taste of metal flooded his mouth.

Peggy's hand touched his face. Somewhere out of sight, someone said, "Miss, you'll have to leave," and she snapped over her shoulder, "I'm a federal agent!" before her clear gaze returned to Jack's. He slowly became aware that she looked desperately worried.

"How bad?" he whispered.

"You're going to be all right," she said firmly. "What sort of mask? Did you see anything else?"

"Black mask. Knitted type, for winter."

"Well, that should draw attention in a California heat wave," she murmured. "Do you know what they wanted? Why they shot you?"

He tried to shake his head, but the movement sent a sharp hot pain tearing through his chest, and ripped him loose from the world. He heard Peggy say his name, and was dimly aware of a flurry of movement around him, and then --



He surfaced slowly, becoming aware before anything else of cold and thirst. He felt like absolute hell, like he had the world's worst hangover on top of the flu. Achy all over, couldn't draw a deep breath; his throat hurt and his mouth tasted like something died in it. When he tried to open his eyes, they were gummed together. He had to peel them open and then squint at a world that was painfully bright and so blurry all he could see at first were vague shapes.

A sound drew his attention. Small soft rustlings. He wasn't alone. He turned his head to the side, and the vague blurs got more colorful, and then slowly resolved into ...

.... Carter and Sousa, on the chair next to his bed ... canoodling.

Peggy was sitting in Daniel's lap, with his hands buried in her hair, firmly liplocked to his mouth. Jack couldn't see where her hands were, which was probably a mercy.

Jack stared for a minute, and blinked, which cleared some of the blurriness from his vision but didn't make them any less ... there. Or any less entwined.

"I'm dead, right?" he croaked.

The response was thoroughly gratifying. They both jumped. Peggy made an abrupt attempt to get off Daniel's lap that nearly overbalanced them both; as Daniel clutched wildly at the wall to stabilize their overloaded chair, Peggy seemed to decide that staying where she was had the least likelihood of causing bodily injury to anyone, and was reaching up hastily to try to tuck her mussed hair back into place with a guilty expression, when both of them realized who had spoken.

"Jack," Peggy said, his name coming out on a long relieved sigh. Her smile was incandescent, and she leaned away from Daniel's lap to put her hand over his. Her fingers felt hot, but maybe it was just because his were so cold.

Daniel's hand settled on his shoulder, warm and strong, and squeezed lightly. "The lengths some people will go to ... You could've just admitted you wanted to stay in L.A."

"I don't want to stay in L.A.," Jack retorted weakly. "I hate L.A. I hate it even more now." The scratchiness in his dry throat threatened to erupt into a cough. He tried to stifle it, but it still felt like someone had pushed a knife into his chest and twisted. It must have shown on his face, because Peggy and Daniel looked instantly worried.

"So," he said, in an attempted end run around the deeply disconcerting feeling of being fussed over by Peggy and Sousa, "looks like I missed something while I was out."

The two of them looked at each other and then said in perfect unison, "We have no idea what you're talking about."

Sousa managed to keep a straight face, but Peggy was smiling in a soft, bedazzled way that Jack never would've expected to see from her.

"Fine, be that way." He fought off another cough, and gritted his teeth against the pain. "I'm happy for you and all. Think one of you could break off the hanky-panky long enough to get me a drink of water?"

Peggy extricated herself from Daniel. "I don't know if he's allowed to have it," Daniel said, his eyes following her as she rose, as if drawn along a magnetic track. "After surgery they might not want him to take anything by mouth."

"I'll ask a nurse." Peggy brushed Daniel's arm with her hand before tripping briskly off.

"Right," Jack said, turning his head to look at Sousa. "This is something you'd know about."

"More than I'd like."

His hand was still resting on Jack's shoulder, which should have been weird. In fact it felt familiar and comfortable, which made Jack wonder how long he'd been out and just how much time, exactly, they'd been spending here.

Peggy was back in a moment with a glass of water. "I was told it's all right for you to have small sips as long as it doesn't make you feel ill."

She sat on the edge of the bed, looked momentarily uncertain, and then tried putting an arm around his shoulders and lifting him. The room dipped and swooped; Jack closed his eyes against the dizziness and a surge of nausea. The cold rim of the glass settled against his lips. He took a few sips -- the water eased his sore throat, but cramped in his stomach. He didn't object when she eased him back down with a combination of awkwardness and determined confidence that would have amused him under any other circumstances.

After the bed stopped rocking under him, he cracked his eyes open to grin up at her. "We'll make a nurse out of you yet, Marge."

Peggy shared a commiserating glance with Daniel. There was a warm soft undercurrent to it, though, and he didn't think all of it was directed at each other.

How close had he come to dying, anyway?

"You figure out who shot me yet?" he asked, to distract himself.

Another quick look passed between them. He didn't even think they knew they were doing it. "We were hoping you could tell us," Peggy said.

"I couldn't see the guy's face." His memories were hazy, though, running together in a blur of pain. It was hard to be sure, now.

"You're sure it was a man?" Peggy asked.

"As opposed to Dottie Underwood, say? Yeah, it was a guy. I think."

"Well, that narrows it down to half the population of the city," Daniel muttered.

"Do you have any idea what he wanted?" Peggy asked, leaning forward with an intense stare. "Did you see where he went afterwards?"

"What I saw," Jack said wryly, "was mostly carpet and my own blood."

"Right. Yes." Something odd, an emotion he couldn't quite name, sparked in her eyes. Seeming to come back from her Top Investigative Agent mode with a jolt, she looked down at his arm resting on top of the blanket; her hand had settled onto his wrist. "Jack, you're freezing."

"I'd be less freezing if someone who's mobile could get me a blanket."

Her smile was fond rather than annoyed. Damn it, he was going to have an uphill road trying to wring some cooperation and respect out of these two after this. Not that he'd ever really been able to.

Peggy squeezed his wrist and got up, moving out of sight. "I don't imagine you heard anything," she said from somewhere off to the side of the bed. There were rummaging noises. "Something to do with his footsteps, somewhere he might have gone in your room ..."

"I assume you examined the room," Jack said, trying to push his voice above the dry whisper that was all he seemed to be able to manage. All he did was push himself to the edge of another coughing fit.

She seemed to be able to hear him anyway. "Of course. We didn't find anything. Not even fingerprints. Just your luggage."

"And a lot of blood," Daniel murmured.

Peggy came back carrying a blanket and tucked it around him, with more enthusiasm than actual skill for tucking blankets. Still, he no longer felt so deathly cold, and he found that he was already losing the struggle to stay awake.

"So the shooter remains at large, and we still have nothing to go on," Peggy said, sounding frustrated.

"Well," Daniel said, and pulled Peggy back onto his lap. She put up a token resistance before sliding easily into place. "Guess we better stay on guard duty a little while longer."

"I feel safer already," Jack murmured, letting his eyes slide shut.

The weird thing was, he actually did.

This entry is also posted at http://sholio.dreamwidth.org/1066324.html with comment count unavailable comments.
This is the most fantastic combination of adorablecakes and OH NO JACK PLEASE BE OKAY. I have complete and utter love for this fic.
Thank you so much! ♥ ♥ ♥ This comment put such a huge grin on my face, you have no idea.
Oh this lovely. Perfect h/c and little bit of snark thrown in
Oh my goodness. THIS IS SO JACK I CAN'T. I'm flailing at the moment, which is dangerous because I haven't even had my coffee yet.

This is wonderful and helps all my "arrrrghhhhh" feelings feel a little less arrrrrghhhhh-y about how the season ended (especially if it doesn't get renewed... IT MUST GET RENEWED!!!). Daniel & Peggy canoodling next to unconscious Jack is so hilarious beyond words, as his Jack's reactions to. Jack's reactions to everything here, though. So perfect.

*happy sigh*

Edited at 2016-03-03 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D I am so glad you like my Jack! It's weird, I always struggled somewhat with his POV, but I ended the finale just wanting to write ALL THE JACK POV FOREVER. (I'm working on another post-finale fic that is also from his viewpoint. With more vague boggling at Peggy and Daniel being the world's cutest and/or most annoying couple, hee.)

So glad you enjoyed it! I also enjoyed your flailing over at AO3. XD (I will be getting to those comments soonish ...)
This is lovely, just what I needed. Perfect Daniel and Peggy, and Jack's "I can't get any respect" annoyance, even when hospitalized, was great. :)
Oh, perfect!! This is so adorable and hurty and wonderful!! And Daniel and Peggy's guilty jump when caught canoodling by Jack is so funny, and so them!! :D

Perfect last lines too! If the show doesn't get renewed, this will be my head canon, thank you! :D
There are never enough cutesy Daniel/Peggy moments, are there? (Well, maybe not according to Jack. LOL! )
I have apparently fallen completely for the idea of Jack as the long-suffering third wheel to Peggy and Daniel as the annoying newly-paired-off couple who can't keep their hands to themselves. XD (I also still ship them as an OT3, but this new configuration is amusing the hell out of me.)

The idea of Jack waking up to see Carter and Sousa "canoodling"—that right there ended any funk left over from seeing that last scene.

Damn it, he was going to have an uphill road trying to wring some cooperation and respect out of these two after this. Not that he'd ever really been able to.
Thank you so much! ♥ I'm making myself feel better by writing fic; I'm glad it's helping for other people too.

Like I was saying in an above comment, I have fallen completely for the idea of Jack as the long-suffering third wheel to Peggy and Daniel as the annoying newly-paired-off couple who can't keep their hands to themselves. He would just be so grouchy about it.