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Back for the Dance

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Peggy stood in the corner at the pub; she knew that it had been stupid to hope. She sighed and downed the rest of her glass. She walked to the bar and pulled out some cash. Someone must have told the bartender about who she was waiting for tonight, for he waved her hand away when she placed the money on the counter. "It's on the house tonight, Miss." She smiled weakly and turned towards the door.

It swung open and a gaggle of soldiers came in. They were the group of men that had been considered Captain America's group. Seeing them, Peggy's started to sting. She watched as they sat down at a table. One of them stood up and walked towards the bar. When he saw Peggy, he smiled. But she caught the hesitation in his voice as he said hello. She nodded and watched as one by one; the other soldiers noticed her and stood. "Miss Carter, we're sorry about the captain." The first man said.

She took a shaky breath, and tried to smile. The result wavered then faded. They smiled, knowing she couldn't talk, and patted her shoulder before returning to their table. When she finally left, she just kept walking, not paying attention to the streets. About a half hour later, she stumbled across a flower stand; she bought a bouquet of roses and headed for the bay.

She walked to the vista over the bay and looked out. The tide was low and steady, nice and peaceful.

"Peggy…"

"I'm here"

"I'm gonna need a rain check on that dance."

"All right. A week next Saturday at the Stork Club."

"You've got it."

"Eight o'clock on the dot. Don't you dare be late. Understood?"

"You know, I still don't know how to dance"

"I'll show you how. Just be there."

"We'll have the band play something slow."

"I'd hate to step on your…"

"Steve?! Steve?!"

"STEVE!"

Furious with herself for believing that Steve could have survived, she paced the railing. Finally she slowed and stopped. Leaning against the railing, she slumped and started to sob. For the first time, she allowed herself to grieve. Letting the feeling take over and flood her body.

She must have stood there for a long time, for when she stood, her knees were stiff. Wiping her eyes with a hanky. She looked at the roses in her hand.

She started to walk down the stairs to the pier, trying to keep calm. When she reached the water, she quickly bent and put the flowers in the cold water. "For you, Steve, please let them find you." Her voice cracked. "Please, please!"

Quickly, before she started crying again, she hurried back up the stairs and to the flat the army had gotten her.

She was cold from her trip to the ocean, so she quickly stripped and slid into a flannel nightie. Rushing to the bed, she pulled the heavy duvet over her before she started to cry.

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In the pilot's seat, Steve's body was unconscious, sprawled awkwardly across the chair. But his mind was elsewhere. Right now he was in the plane, up in the air, returning to the army base. As the wheels toughed down, he pushed in the brakes and jumped out as soon as it stopped.

All he was focused on was that he was late, late for his dance date with Peggy. He already knew where she was, knew that she wasn't at the club, but he didn't question that. Racing up the stairs of an apartment building, he reached her door and knocking on it.

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Someone was pounding on her door. She sat up quickly, reaching for the lamp. Switching it on, she grabbed her dressing gown off of a chair. She headed for the door as soon as she was decent. Taking a breath and scrubbing the tear tracks off of her face, she slowly opened the door.

"Steve," she breathed. She grabbed the door and leaned on it.

"You didn't think I would leave without that dance? Did you?"

She laughed shakily before throwing herself into his arms, hoping she wasn't going to bash against the opposite door, proving he was just a figment of her imagination.

"You're here!" she smiled into his shoulder. To her embarrassment, she started to cry.

"Hey, hey. It's okay, I'm here." He said rubbing her back. He pulled back to look into her face. "Peggy" he sighed, before catching her mouth in a sweet kiss.

They were both panting after they came up for air. But Peggy pulled him back and started walking into her apartment. Steve swooped her up in his arms, and she started to laugh. "Steve, I can walk!"

"Yeah? But it's better up here in my arms."

His eyes scanned the room before lighting on the radio. He started carrying her towards it. When they reached it, he gave her a heated kiss. He started to set her down, lips still toughing, she found herself grabbing onto his shoulders as her knees threatened to give out.

"See, you wouldn't have been able to walk." He chuckled

She leaned against his chest smiling. He reached around her to turn on the radio. When a classical station came on, he looked down at her, before taking a step back.

"Miss Peggy Carter, may I have this dance?"

She grinned, "Of course, Captain Steve Rogers."

He took her hands leading them up to his shoulders. He then dropped his down to her waist. They began to sway to the music.

"Peggy, you know I will always be here with you." Steve whispered into her hair. She smiled, holding back tears again. "No matter what." His breath heated her hair.

Peggy slid her hands behind his neck and held on tight. "I know," she replied, her voice quivering. "I know."

They danced silently, both just reveling in each other's warmth and feel. Peggy had her forehead pressed against his chest. Steve was peppering her hair in kisses, holding on to her waist with his big hands.

When Peggy's eyes started to droop. Steve pulled her closer and picked her back up. She looped her arms back around his neck and cuddle up to him.

He kept on swaying, just letting her rest in his arms. In five minutes, her breathing started to slow and she fell asleep in his arms.

Laughing silently, Steve walked to her bed and put her down. She whimpered at the loss of heat. He smiled gently and slid out of his shoes before joining her. She snuggled up to his heat, forcing him to wrap her up in his arms. He looked back into her face and was surprised to see that she was awake, but it was obvious that she wouldn't be for long.

He took the opportunity to kiss her, to let her run her hands through his hair, to show his love and admiration of her, she, in return, gave him her love. When they broke apart, Peggy leaned her head on his arms.

"Stay," she whispered, "Say with me awhile."

He tightened his hold and nodded. She smiled and closed her eyes, getting as close to him as she could. He grinned, not so long ago; he had though that he would never have a chance with him. Heck, when he had been the kid from Brooklyn, he thought he would never have a chance with a dame.

But here he was, lying next to the dame he loved, watching her sleep. There was a part of his brain that reminded him, that this was just a temporary time. He quickly pushed that voice to the back of his mind.

Peggy's face replaced as she slept. That night, for the first time since Steve had gone under, she slept in peace.

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Back under the water, Steve's mind returned to his body. His stiff body relaxed, moved to a more comfortable place, and went into a type of hibernation.

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When she woke up, Peggy felt peaceful. Her eyes popped open and she noticed she was in her dressing gown. As she struggled to remember what had happened, a classical song filled the room. Her happy mood dissipated as she felt the kisses from last night.

She burrowed back into the covers. Then she remembered Steve's words. He wanted her to move on. So she forced her way out of bed and started the day with happy memories and a smile.