She doesn’t even hear the bell ring at the door until the cook clears his throat loudly and Angie looks up. Her breath catches and she has to swallow down her blush. Her hands still, she forces on her best smile.
“English,” she whispers. It comes out a hoarse croak. Peggy Carter’s right eye is a livid black and blue, and she’s got a bandage around her hand that looks nasty and is still a bit stained with blood. She hasn’t been home the past few days, telephone conference in DC, she’d explained loading up her suitcase while Angie leaned against her open door and watched her movements with the lazy appreciation that a gal sometimes has for a friend. “What happened to you?”
Peggy slumps down into Tito’s vacated stool and Angie turns and collects the tea things without a word. She sets the milk and sugar that Peggy usually turns away down before her and gives her a look, the kind that Angie’s got to remember for auditions. The one that brooks no argument at all. “Thank you,” Peggy says weakly.
Tea softens her. It makes her seem less brittle, less like she’ll fall apart if Angie touches her. Peggy’s shoulders hunch forward and she holds the tea before her, two sugar cubes deposited in when she thought Angie wasn’t looking and far more milky than it usually is. Angie fists her hands in her apron so she doesn’t reach out and press her fingers to Peggy’s temple and smooth her hair into something less bedraggled looking. Anything to make her look less like she hasn’t lived through a war and a half, and that she’s still fighting.
“You gonna tell me what happened?”
“You know I can’t.” Peggy replies, her eyes shifting down, guilty.
“Won’t here or you ain’t gonna?”
“At home, Angie, please.”
Angie’s missed her.
It’s been a solid six months since the last time we recced a Cartinelli fanfic, so I feel totally within my rights bringing you all another one. The Hustle is set in those glorious post-Season-1 Angie-and-Peggy-in-domestic-bliss days—except their domesticity isn’t exactly as blissful as anyone hoped.