It was your first day as an MI5 operative and your nerves hadn’t dulled the entire workday, a constant fear of not doing well enough, not comparing to your male counterparts in the office space. It was a rather dull day, a tour of the building from a condescending man in an ill fitting suit, sleeves falling past his wrists and trousers often being trodden on by the heels of his polished shoes. He left you at your desk with a patronising smile and squeeze of your shoulder, a stack of files ready for you to begin working through until something more exciting came along.
You often found yourself staring into space, chin resting in the palm of your hand waiting until you could go home - files were not your idea of fun.
As soon as you heard the ruffling of papers, mumblings of evening plans and the clink of pens being dropped into pots, you gathered your things to leave. Your mind wandered to your own evening plans, what you might grab for dinner, musings of whether your glass of wine might turn into two. You weren’t paying attention when you stepped backwards from your desk directly into someone else, the sheets of paper once in their grasp floating to the ground in a haphazard pile.
“Oh shit, I am so sorry.” You muttered, not sparing a glance at them before crouching down to pick up the mess you’d caused, missing the smirk at your words. You flushed at the realisation of what you’d said, swearing not overly ‘ladylike’ as people loved to point out.
“It’s no problem, you seemed lost in thought.” She laughed back, British accent soft and soothing as she helped.
“Embarrassingly, my mind was almost completely empty.” You smiled, flushing even further when your eyes locked with hers, hazel with lighter flecks looking back into yours. She smiled at you brightly, her lips painted red and you were sure it was the most beautiful smile you had ever seen.
“Maybe you’d have more to think about if you came for a drink.” She offered, slipping the papers onto the desk they were intended for before holding her hand out to you. “Peggy Carter.”
“Y/N Y/L/N.” You returned, her hand was soft in yours, nails manicured and painted red. Both of you were hesitant to let go, revelling in the sparks passing from palm to palm, something so right about the way you felt to one another.
“So - drink?”
A few hours later you were still deep in conversation, she’d moved to the same side of the booth as you to hear each other over the evening crowds, her knee brushed against yours. Her blazer had been discarded due to the warmth of the bar and the flush from the alcohol, a simple white blouse with sleeves rolled halfway up her arms tucked into her skirt.
Her elbow rested on the back cushions of the red leather booth and the side of her head rested in her hand as she listened intently, the other cradling a tumbler of whiskey, ice clinking against the side of the glass at each sip. You mirrored her position, astonished at how ethereal she looked under the yellowed glow of the lights hanging from the ceiling.
You spoke about your lives, learning about each other; how both of you are rather good fighters, underestimated in your intelligence due to being women. It may have looked strange, two 20 year old women laughing in a bar until midnight sharing a cigarette and sipping whiskey and wine. But if you learned anything about each other that night, it was how much you enjoyed going against expectations.
Peggy was bold, she knew what she wanted and would do whatever she could to get it.
“A lot of the men we work with are the worst.” She uttered, bringing the cigarette to her lips for a short moment before blowing the smoke away from you. “You have to be aware of your own value - I know my value so nobody else’s opinion really matters. Take a leaf from my book, I’m quite wise.” She smirked, hand resting on your knee. Neither of you made any attempt to move it so it stayed there, alighting a fire you didn’t know had been missing its spark.
“I might just do that, Peggy. I’ve been there one day and I’m already being dramatic.” You huffed. “The invisible feeling is what pisses me off - Harold asked me to make him coffee! ‘Oh darlin’ two creams three sugars’, he said.” You sighed with a laugh, Peggy’s adorable chuckle sounding at the impersonation.
“Harold is always like that, terrible coffee order and no respect.” She grinned, hand squeezing your knee. “The thing I’ve found with going unseen is that you can get away with more, unless we have reports, coffee or lunch they don’t see us - use it to your advantage.”
“That’s what you do?”
“Mhm, I do lots of things I shouldn’t.” She smirked, eyebrow quirking upwards as she sipped the remnants of her drink.
You didn’t truly know how her rebellious streak could work in your favour for another couple of months. You had become quick friends, missions completed together, skills growing with each other as you helped one another practise. You often went out for lunch, dinner, coffee or to her home.
It was an evening similar to your first together, a boring day at work much needing an escape. She faced you with an air of confidence, whiskey glass coated in condensation resting on her knee, finger dancing around the rim as she spoke. You eyed her over the top of your martini glass, brown hair brushed behind her ears and outfit not too dissimilar to yours with a blazer and matching trousers. There was something about her that day that was different, a glint in her eye when she looked at you.
She knew how it made you feel when her one leg crossed over the other, the heel of her shoe brushing against your leg, the gap between you narrowing as she shifted in her seat. It was the way she glanced at you that evening that felt different, the mischief in her features when she grabbed the cocktail stick from your drink, teeth grazing over it as she pulled the olive into her mouth. You gulped at the sight, the way she looked at you, the way she made you feel.
You walked arm in arm back to her flat, the moonlight reflecting off the cobbled streets where they were wet with rain. It was a cold evening and you were glad to feel the warmth on your skin stepping into her home, her fingers tugging the coat from your shoulders to hang up with her own.
You’d not stayed at the bar long, an unspoken want for some privacy, a shift in the dynamics between you. She knew you well enough to pour a glass of rum and ginger ale wordlessly, fingers brushing against yours as she handed you the glass, nodding you over to the sofa where you sat beside her.
You fell into easy conversation, sipping from your glasses as you did so. You both grew nearer until your legs were pressed together, your eyes following her body as she reached forwards to place her glass on the side table, prising yours from your hand to do the same. Her hand found your thigh, her touch electric making your heartbeat quicken in your chest.
It was unspoken the way you both inched forwards, conversation dying on your tongue at the feeling of her breath against your lips. She pulled you into her by the back of your neck, your hand winding round her waist. Her lips were soft, you could taste the gin and tonic in her kiss, the sweet yet bitter flavour.
She soon pulled herself on top of you, straddling your legs and holding your face between her hands, her chest pressed flush against yours. Her tongue slipped into your mouth, swirling with yours as your hands revelled in the way her thighs felt beneath your hands, squeezing the flesh and earning a sigh from her in response. The kiss was hot, passionate, desperate - clear you’d both been wanting it for some time. She separated from you with a tug at your bottom lip between her teeth, her cheeks flushed pink and lips swollen and now only sporting a smear of her lipstick. Her breathing was heavy, eyes dark as she looked down at you. She giggled at her lipstick that had transferred onto you, using her thumb to wipe it away before pulling you towards her room.
It was a night you’d both been longing for, passion filled, exploring one another’s bodies. A declaration of the forbidden feelings you’d been harbouring.
From that day on it was a regular occurrence, both of you falling further and further in love. You’d often have to help each other out when asked on dates by men, laughing about it in private afterwards. Her kisses never stopped tasting just as sweet as the first, her body never felt anything other than perfect. Your love was hidden to the world but in the company of one another it was the loudest thing in the room; it was a no brainer that you would move with her to the US.
Christmas of 1942 was when she gave you a ring, golden band with a polished rose quartz gem for her unconditional love. It shone in the light of the flames in the fireplace and hung from a matching chain; it was a bittersweet moment, a sour reminder that the infinite love you held for her couldn’t be shown publicly. But her arms around you were warm, home, her words in your ear were honey and when you were with her everything was right.
“One day, my darling, this ring will be on your finger displayed for the world to see. I will hold your hand as we walk down the street, kiss you wherever we are. One day we won’t have to hide anymore.” She spoke, chin resting on your shoulder from where she sat behind you.
“One day.” You whispered, smiling into her kiss.
Her birthday, the following spring, you gifted her a matching ring only silver where yours was gold. “One day.” You promised her, and she smiled through the tears welling in her eyes.
In 1943 you were both recruited onto Project Rebirth, working at a training base camp where the presence of two women wasn’t really welcomed with open arms. She was always the more confident of the two of you and often said things just to amuse you, to coax out a smile to help ease your nerves whilst surrounded by the men.
“It’ll be alright love, you’ll see.” She smirked, leading you both over to where they were doing push ups on the ground, a glint of mischief in her eyes. “Faster ladies! Come on! My grandmother has more life in her, God rest her soul, move it.” She ordered them, looking to you with a smile as you hid a laugh behind your hand. And, of course, in classic Peggy fashion she’d punched one of them in the face within the hour.
You soon met Steve Rogers and despite his obvious crush on your fiance, the three of you became friends. He was sweet and awkward and his attempts at flirting continued due to the hidden status of your relationship, it was amusing to see though and you completely understood - you flirt with her too of course.
One night over dinner Peggy told you that there was to be two people receiving the Super Soldier Serum, she had suggested you. “You can say no but think about it.” She said, taking a bite of the food from her plate.
“I don’t see how I’m even an option.”
“You’re already an amazing fighter, spy, you’re great with a gun. Plus, I’m sure you’d look dashing with extra muscle.” She smirked, you could only roll your eyes at her flirtation. “I argued with them - a lot - so at least think it over. Imagine, a female super soldier saving the world.” She mused.
“Fine, I’ll think about it.” You never could say no to that innocent smile she plastered on.
So it wasn’t a surprise to either of you a week later when you were in seething pain, in a chamber beside Steve as the serum pumped through your bodies. You could vaguely hear Peggy’s muffled shouts for them to stop, sweat gathering over your skin as you gritted your teeth until the pain stopped.
She pulled you into the tightest hug she’d ever given as soon as you stepped out, newfound muscles pulling your t-shirt tight against you; you didn’t miss the way her eyes grazed over your form, her lip bitten between her teeth.
Safe to say they were put to the test the same evening, arms easily lifting her, her legs wrapped around your waist as you stumbled through your shared apartment. Your extra speed and stamina were greatly appreciated, the bedroom filled with pants and moans long into the night.
You worked alongside Steve, ‘Captain America’ - kind of. You were more undercover than him though, being a woman in the 40s and all, he did his work in the spotlight whilst yours was done behind the scenes. You helped him train in hand-to-hand combat and you both helped one another learn how to use your shields. Where his was a vibrant red, white and blue yours was silver to keep it discreet. Either way, you felt a bit ridiculous in your costume, the only thing that made you feel less a fool was giggling with Peggy at Steve’s performances.
Your relationship was completely hidden, sneakily holding hands whenever you could or sharing glances and smiles across a room. Nobody knew until one day you weren’t paying quite enough attention.
Peggy’s hands gripped harshly onto your upper arms as she moaned into the kiss, perched on the edge of her desk with you between her legs. You held onto her waist as she deepened the kiss, despite your extra strength your touch never stopped being completely gentle. Your heads whipped round towards the door at the sound of it swinging open, no doubt looking a mess with lipstick smeared over your lips.
“I’m sorry.” Steve panicked, hand slapping over his eyes as he tripped over his feet hurrying to leave.
You both hurried after him to explain, not surprised when he was absolutely sweet and understanding, miming a zip over his smiling mouth to vow to keep it secret. Both you and Peggy were always sure he held similar feelings to his friend Bucky but decided not to mention it.
Before you left with Steve on that day in 1945 you did what you always did, she placed a kiss to the ring that hung around your neck and you mirrored her action before pressing a kiss to her lips.
“I love you, be safe.” She smiled.
“I love you too, Peggy. I’ll be home before you know it, gotta be back so that one day these rings’ll be on our fingers.” You grinned. She waved you off as you left, counting down the seconds until she could kiss you again.
You were beside Steve in the plane as he tried to get into contact with them, your heart was pounding in your chest, tears burning your eyes at the crackle of the comms, the words he was speaking not registering until he nudged you into alert.
“Give me your coordinates, I’ll give you a safe landing site.” She spoke, that voice you’d been in love with for five years helping to quell your anxiety.
“It’s not gonna be a safe landing but I can try and force it down.” Steve returned.
“I’ll get Howard on the line, he’ll know what to do.” She stuttered out and it hurt your heart to hear her this anxious, it almost never happens.
“There’s not enough time, this thing’s moving too fast and it’s heading for New York.”
“We’ve gotta put it in the water, Peg.” You uttered, throat feeling as though it was being crushed as tears threatened to spill.
“P-please don’t do this, we have time, we can work it out.”
“Right now we’re in the middle of nowhere, if I wait any longer a lot of people are gonna die.” Steve responded, shooting you a nervous glance as you wiped the fallen tears from your cheeks.
“Peggy, this is our choice.” You choked out, breathing through your mouth to gain control of your voice. You pulled the ring out from where it was tucked beneath your suit, holding it tightly between your fingers and placing a kiss to the gem, holding onto the chair with your free hand as the plane descended. “Peggy?”
“Our ‘one day’ might be a bit later than we planned.”
You heard her take a shaky inhale of breath before responding. “Alright. It’ll happen, darling. How about we just say ‘fuck it’ and wear the rings anyway, hm?”
“Sounds perfect.” You smiled, holding onto the hand offered to you by Steve.
“Next week. We’ll make a day of it. 8PM at that bar we like, a mini secret wedding.” She mused, voice wavering slightly.
“I’ll be there, my love.”
“Don’t be late, we know you’re not the most punctual.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world, Peg.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
It wasn’t long before you succumbed to darkness.
“Stark, what is this?” Natasha asked, her and the others following him into his lab whilst Steve aided him in carrying what they had found.
They had been on a recon mission at a HYDRA base, finding it abandoned and totally empty aside from a metal container. Tony being Tony decided to bring it back to crack into it and see what was inside.
“This looks as though it’s a cryostasis chamber of some sort.” He returned, tinkering with what was keeping it closed.
“Is there someone in there?” Wanda queried, everyone on alert just in case some kind of brainwashed HYDRA minion popped out.
“I guess we’ll find ou- yes there is someone in here.” He nodded, opening the top a lot easier than he thought and finding the main chamber to be made out of glass. “Can you help me lift this up here?” He asked anyone who was stronger than him, tapping a workbench.
Wanda easily lifted the chamber with her red tendrils wisping around it, resting it on the table on display. Everyone was shocked to see your sleeping form but Steve and Bucky were completely dumbfounded, rushing over to where you lay.
“Oh my God.” They muttered, hands pressed against the glass.
“How do we get her out, how long does it take?” Steve rushed out, unable to take his eyes off you; Bucky held his hand to calm his nerves but both of them were anxious to know.
“Well, she’s been defrosting - for lack of a better word - for a couple hours now so it could be pretty soon.” Tony shrugged, removing the lid of the chamber.
“Who is this, you know her?” Natasha questioned and Steve nodded in response.
“When I received the serum, so did she. Her identity was kept hidden ‘cause it was the forties and she worked with me undercover a lot, rare glimpses of her labelled her as ‘the masked hero: shadow.” He laughed under his breath at the memories. “She hated the name.”
“I’ve heard of her, she was a badass.” Tony nodded before going to rummage through some storage, things he’d accumulated over the years. “This was found with you in the ice, I always thought it was another of yours but…”
“Yeah, the silver shield was hers. Peggy always wanted her to have a union flag on there for their British heritage.” Bucky smiled. “She hated that idea too, said she didn’t wanna be cheesy like Cap.” The two men laughed at the thought, the others smiled along too, already warmed to your personality before meeting you.
Steve looked closer at you before speaking again with a sigh. “She’s still got the ring around her neck.”
“That looks familiar.” Natasha spoke, furrowing her eyebrows in thought.
“That’s because I have the other one.” He started, pulling his dog tags from around his neck and sliding the ring off. “It was Peggy’s.” He gave a watery smile, thumb wiping at the tears that began to fall.
“They were together?” Wanda smiled sadly, looking at your body.
“I’ve never seen two people so in love. They wore rings around their neck as a promise that one day they’d be able to make it official and wear them on their fingers. They’d survive on ‘one days’ - one day they wouldn’t have to love each other in private.”
The room fell into a sombre quiet, Bucky and Steve sharing a sad smile, heartbroken for you. They were able to have their ‘one day’, a modern world more accepting of their love but you would wake to find yours gone - just like that.
The five of them waited beside you, dreading having to break the news to you but wanting to be there to comfort you. Tony had never known your identity but knew you’d existed; he heard rumours of a second body being found with Steve but nobody ever saw it so presumed it to be false. Wanda and Natasha were happy for the secret supersoldier to have been a woman all along, sitting by your side ready for what might come next.
They all watched the clock, anxious to tell you that the world you once knew is a distant memory.
Your eyes blinked open against the harsh lights above you, adjusting to your surroundings before struggling to sit up. Your muscles ached and your body felt stiff as you pushed yourself up on your forearms with a groan, five bodies quickly ran over to you looking at you in concern.
“Y/N?” Steve muttered, hoping not to have another Bucky situation on his hands.
“Steve?” You croaked out, looking at him and the others who were staring at you feeling slightly embarrassed under their gaze. “Bucky? And a Howard Stark lookalike?” Everybody but Tony stifled giggles whereas he just rolled his eyes.
Steve yanked you into a hug which you happily returned, eyes darting around the room over his shoulder, confused at all of the modern technology.
“That’s a long story, doll.” Bucky answered before pulling you into a hug, the metal of his arm cold against your skin.
“Why the fuck is your arm metal?”
“Ah, that’s part of the long story.” He explained. “This is Tony Stark - Howard’s son, and this is Natasha Romanoff and Wanda Maximoff.” He pointed, receiving large smiles and waves from them.
“Howard’s son? There’s a lot I’m missing out on huh?” You laughed.
“Yeah, we can explain it all.” Steve nodded.
You turned your body to hang your legs off the edge of the table you were lying on just trying to take everything in, hand gravitating to your chest where the ring rested against you. You felt the atmosphere shift when you held it between your fingers, a smile tugging at your lips when you looked at the pink gem.
“Where’s Peggy?” You breathed, fearing the worst from the way everybody was looking at you. “Steve. Where’s my Peggy?” You asked again when you were met with silence, not daring to look up for fear of what you’d find.
“I’m sorry.” He answered, clearing his throat, holding out his hand where her ring rested in his palm.
“No.” You shook your head, tears rolling down your cheeks and trembling hand plucking the ring from him. “No, our ‘one day’ hasn’t happened yet.” The tears streamed down your face and anything that was being spoken became background noise as you hid your face in your hand. You felt sick, empty without her.
Steve pulled you into a hug, the familiarity helping to regulate your breathing. You missed the tears pricking everybody else's eyes seeing how you broke in his arms, the way your body was shaking with silent sobs.
“There is no world without her, Steve. What do I do?” You had never felt so broken, so lost. His hands rubbed over your back soothingly.
“It’ll be alright, we’re all here for you.” He returned, but what did he know? He found Bucky, they got the chance to have their love, to share it with the world. Your world is dead, Peggy is gone, how do you survive without your sun?
You pulled away from him to wipe the tears from your face, slipping both rings onto your finger. They felt heavier than they were supposed to. You clenched your hand into a fist, raising it to your lips to press a kiss to them both, whispering ‘I love you’ under your breath. With a shake of your head you gained some composure, lifting your head to find sympathetic eyes looking back.
“Take me to her.”
Steve and Bucky watched from the car as you sat beside her gravestone, fingertips tracing over the etchings of her name. It was surreal to you that she was gone, that you were sleeping for so many years, everything was numb.
“Peggy.” You sighed. “I don’t even know what to say, none of this feels real. I never imagined a world without you in it, my darling. My Peggy, I will love you ‘til the end. My heart is forever yours, one day we’ll be together again. One day I’ll come back to you, hold you once again. One day.” You breathed, twisting the rings on your finger. “One day - I promise.”