Pt. 40 Visiting Hours With Family…..
[SHIELD IN HOUSE SURVEILLANCE FILES: 03092017 0900hrs]
Loc: Medbay, NYC SAFEHOUSE Madison/59th
Nick: <appears to be dozing lightly in chair beside Maria’s bed, hears her stirring, sits up immediately, tries to joke, but his concern is visible> ‘Bout time you woke up, lazybones. Not like you to sleep on the job.
Maria: <grins weakly> You keep denying my requests for vacation time, so I had to take drastic measures.
Nick: <smiling> How you feeling, Maria?
Maria: Like I went three rounds with a mechanical Brock Rumlow back from the dead who lit me up like a Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza.
Nick: <nods> Yeah, that sounds about right from what Carter said.
Maria: <eyes widen> Peggy! What happened after I was knocked out?
Nick: She’ll be ok. Apparently after he zapped you, he went after her. Stark’s overprotective streak saved both your lives. When she gave Rumlow a faceful of repulsor beam, it automatically activated an alarm and tracking beacon. We still don’t know what happened to Rumlow after, but Rescue was on the scene almost immediately. You were having a heart arrhythmia when she found you and flew you in. <leans in, takes her hand> Your heart stopped for about two minutes after you got here. Thought I was gonna lose my best Agent.
Maria: <smiles, squeezing his hand> You were just worried about breaking in a replacement for me. You’re not getting rid of me that easily Boss.
Nick: <smiles softly> Good. Because the list of people I trust is even shorter than the list of people I consider family, and you’re on both.
<a nurse enters, checking Maria’s monitors, Nick rises to leave, turns back to Maria, his serious face back on>
Nick: You’re on bedrest until cleared by Dr. Selar, but here’s a bit of irony for you to think about. If ANY of our female agents had taken A Day Without A Woman off, yesterday would have gone a lot more sideways.
<Tony and Pepper slip in quietly, but Peggy is already awake, Tony sets a tall plastic cup full of something green on her table>
Peggy: <irate, croaking hoarsely> Anthony! Would you PLEASE tell these people to disconnect all these bloody machines? I feel like they’re going to robotomize me like that man from yesterday!
Tony: <rolls his eyes at Pepper> See what I mean, Pepper?
Pepper: <laughs> So she really has always been a spitfire. I just thought it was something that happened as she got older. <turns to Peggy> Hi Aunt Peg.
Peggy: So you’re the Iron Woman who saved the city yesterday? That was quite impressive, my dear!
Pepper: <blushes> I was just doing what needed to be done, <looks at Tony> to protect the one thing I can’t live without.
Tony: <grins sarcastically> That bake shop over on W49th st?
Pepper: <swats him playfully> Yes. Yes, I had to save Donna Bell’s. Because their muffins are better than fondue.
Peggy: <snorts> Oh dear! <starts coughing>
Tony: <hands Peg the cup> Here, they told us you were restricted to fluids only, so I brought you something special.
Peggy: <coughing fit subsides, she takes a long sip, her face screws up in disgust as she forces herself to swallow> WHAT. WAS. THAT.
Pepper: <nudges Tony, mumbling> I TOLD you, you should have made her a blueberry one instead of the wheatgrass.
Peggy: <holds the cup up, looking at it> Ugh! Grass? Really?
Tony: <looking hurt> It’s good for you! And the cold will sooth your throat. <Peggy still looks unconvinced> Ok, fine, next time I’ll bring blueberry.
Pepper: <pats his arm> Wheatgrass is acquired taste Tony. <turns back to Peggy> Is there anything else we can bring you Aunt Peg?
Peggy: <points to the immobilizer, joking weakly> A new arm?
Pepper: <grins> Be careful how loud you say something like that around here. Has Phil shown you his? <Peggy’s eyes widen>
Tony: You still haven’t installed the AI assistant that I made you, have you? <Peggy looks at him quizzically> That little chip I gave you when I brought the rest of the gear?
Peggy: <voice getting weaker> Oh! That little thing! You brought so much that I never got a chance to ask you what it was or what it did. I just put it in the top drawer of my desk. I meant to ask about it the next time I saw you. <rubs her throat, closing her eyes for a moment>
Tony: Ok, I’ll grab it tomorrow and help you set it up. You just, just stop talking and get some rest. AND I’ll bring blueberry next time. <grins, chuckling> Never thought I’d get a chance to tell Aunt Peg to be quiet without getting swatted. <Peg gives him a fierce glare, Tony cringes just a bit, Pepper laughs at them both, her eyes watering> Damn! That look is still as scary as it was when I was a teen and you caught me stealing the old man’s gin.
Pepper: <grabs his arm, still laughing> Let her rest, before she tries to ground you!
<the pair step out into the hall, closing the door behind them, Tony reaches into a pocket, pulls out a phone and looks at it thoughtfully>
Pepper: <looks at the phone in his hand> You’re thinking about calling Steve, aren’t you?
Tony: <sighs, sits down on a nearby bench, hanging his head> I finally understand why he didn’t tell me about mom and dad. But, I don’t know how much longer I can keep Fury’s secrets. <looks up at her> We could have lost her yesterday, and he’d never have even known.
Pepper: <leans over him, kissing his forehead gently> This is something you’re going to have to figure out on your own, babe. All I can tell you is, follow your heart. <taps his chest>
Tony: <pulls her closer hugging her tight> You are my heart, just like she’s his. <puts the phone away> He already lost her once when he went into the ice, and a second time when she died. Having her back, and then ripping her away a third time would destroy him.