Pt 54. Peg’s day out…..
[AVENGERS TOWER SECURITY FILES: 04152017 1200hrs]
Loc: Residential Level A, Quarters of P. Carter, AVENGERS TOWER, Broadway & W 58th St, New York, NY
Peggy: <dressed for a day out in the chilly April weather, grabs a cup of coffee and pops a muffin with some butter into the microwave> April? Where are we on those SHIELD file downloads?
APRIL: About 72% done Boss, half the work is decrypting the files. Unless you’ve got any other major projects for me today, I estimate completion approx 6:03pm tonight.
Peggy: <looks at the clock> Still six hours to go. Well, I’ll be out most of the afternoon with the Tax March, so I suppose that will keep my mind off it. <grabs the muffin from the microwave, coffee in the other hand, heads to her office> Might as well clear out the messages before we head out.
APRIL: Light day, only 2 emails, and the usual 8DMs from the team rooms. Mostly last minute questions about today’s march.
Peggy: <between bites as she starts to devour the muffin> Right, we’ll get those straightened out quickly. <finishes her muffin and coffee between messages> Still nothing from Grant, April?
APRIL: Sorry Boss, nothing.
Peggy: <scowls, opening a DM> I’m still rather cross with you for sneaking home early.😠 Please be careful, Grant, and let me know when you’re safely in NYC. I’m out of the office running errands all day, but I do want to know you’re all right.
APRIL: Errands, Boss? You’re not telling him about the march?
Peggy: <face scrunched up between a smirk and a frown> Would you kindly stop peeking at my conversations with him!? From now on, I want privacy mode on when I’m talking to Grant. Besides, best not to worry him. I’m sure he’s got enough to be concerned about. <grabs a jacket, heading for the door> As do we, mustn’t be late.
[NYC Traffic Cam Footage 041517 1300hrs]
Loc: Bryant Park, Manhattan NY
<A large crowd mills around the park, Peg and Agent Cyrus Boone casually strolling along side the crowd, conversing as they keep an eye out for anything suspicious>
Peggy: Do you really think he’ll release them?
Boone: Honestly? No. If there’s any chance he’s indebted to foreign nationals, his taxes would be a sure clue.
<the two walk alongside the crowd, joining in the chants, making their way past the gaudy eyesore of a Tower towards Central Park, the two both bursting out with laughter at the sight of a giant inflated chicken>
Peggy: <wiping tears from her eyes> Who ever came up with that is flipping brilliant!
Boone: <still laughing> I think it really captures him, don’t you?
Peggy: <shaking her head in agreement, still crying with laughter> Indeed!
<they reach the end of the march, wandering through the crowd, listening to the speeches, still keeping watch throughout, the rally ends with with no incidents, the crowd dispersing peacefully at the end>
Peggy: Well, that went a sight smoother than the last one.
Boone: Yeah, I was out of town for that one, but I heard about it. Crazy! <he points off in the direction of the SHIELD safehouse> Ready to head back?
Peggy: I suppose we should check in for debrief, not that there’s really anything to report. <looks at her phone, notices a message from Grant>
Grant: Please don’t be cross, Maggie. Got in early this morning, safe and sound. Slept half the day away from jet lag, just woke up. Thought I’d take a walk around the city to get my bearings. Will get in contact with Nick later today, and will be online to talk to you later tonight so we can make plans to finally meet. I missed your birthday and I’m looking forward to making it up to you.
Peggy: <sighs with relief, talking to herself, puts the phone away> I suppose I’ll have to wait until after debrief to talk to him. At least he’s home.
Boone: <overhearing> Good news?
Peggy: <looks up, realizing she was talking aloud> Oh! Yes, friend of mine was traveling, just got into town and messaged me to let me know he’s back.
Boone: <notices the smile on her face, he grins> Let’s get this over with, sounds like you’ve got plans. I want to get home early myself, maybe surprise my husband with dinner when he gets out of work.
Peggy: That’s so sweet of you! <takes his arm> We’ll make our report, and then we can both enjoy our evenings with someone special!
[NYC TRAFFIC SURVEILLANCE FILES 04152017 1530hrs]
Loc: Outside NYC SAFEHOUSE Madison/59th
<Peg and Boone exiting the building, chatting>
Peggy: That’s all there is to it?
Boone: Yep, boil the noodles, drain them, add the cooked chicken, cheese sauce and hot sauce. Boom! Buffalo mac and cheese.
Peggy: You make it sound so simple! I may have to try my hand at that. Thank you Cy!
Boone: You’re welcome! <heads toward parking garage> Need a lift?
Peggy: Thank you, but no, I still have some restless energy left over from the march, think I’ll go for a stroll. Have a good night Cy!
Boone: <waves> You too Peggy!
<they part ways, and Peg switched from her SHIELD earbud to her bluetooth>
Peggy: April, anything I’ve missed?
APRIL: All quiet Boss. Hit a snag on decryptions, completion now estimated for 6:37pm.
Peggy: Very well, looks like I have time for a bit of a nosh. All that walking and talk of food with Cy and I’m ravenous!
<wanders a few blocks, trying to decide what she’s in the mood for, ending up at her favorite coffeeshop, she waits patiently next in line, the baristas working hard to take care of customer’s orders, a man in a dress shirt and tie comes from out back, ignores the customers to make his own coffee, trying to strike up a conversation with one of the baristas while she works>
Man: So Rosa, when is your boyfriend going to make an honest woman of you? Because you’re living in sin, you know. Not that I’m judging you, but I am. <laughs loudly, takes his coffee and returns to the back before the woman can answer, Rosa’s face goes from a mix of shock and anger, to an eyeroll and a head shake, she turns back to the register and smiles weakly at a now scowling Peg, recognizing her>
Rosa: Hi Peggy. <already reaching for an extra large size cup> Two sugars, no cream, double shot of espresso. Getting your club wrap today?
Peggy: <nods, leans in> That was rather rude and uncalled for behavior, Rosa! He’s no right to say such things to you!
Rosa: <types in the order, shrugs helplessly> It’s just him saying stupid things to get a rise out of people. He thinks he’s funny. <starts preparing Peg’s drink>
Peggy: You should report him to your superiors, that sort of harassment is unacceptable.
Rosa: <bits her lip> Can’t, he’s the owner. He does this sort of thing all the time. Last week he started ‘able-splaining’ what the laws on service dogs are to one of the other women here. Jessie spent six months learning about them before her daughter got one for her seizures, but <tilts her head toward the back> he thinks he’s the expert on everything.
Peggy: Why do you put up with it? Certainly someone as capable as you can find work in a less hostile atmosphere. You’re one of the fastest and hardest workers here, and you know everyone’s orders before they walk through the door.
Rosa: Working my way through college isn’t cheap. I started here in high school, and the few raises I’ve gotten over the years put me about a dollar over minimum wage. With overtime <whispers> and the occasional tips we’re not supposed to accept, that almost makes ends meet. If I leave, I start at the bottom of the pay ladder again.
Peggy: I’ve a mind to have a few words with that man. No one should treat their workers like that.
Rosa: <shakes her head> Please, don’t. He’ll just use it as an excuse to cut my hours, because I’m a ‘troublemaker’. <hands Peg the coffee>
Peggy: <frowns, taking the drink> There must be something that can be done.
Rosa: <reaches for Peg’s wrap from the sandwich maker> In another year, I’ll have a degree in IT Security, and I’ll be out of here as soon as I find a job in my field.
Peggy: <impressed, thinking> Let me know when you graduate, I may know of something in your field.
Rosa: <brightens> REALLY? I mean, that’d be so great! Thank you SO, SO, much!
Peggy: <takes the wrap from her, slipping a tip in the young woman’s hand> I’ll be glad to help a smart, hardworking woman like yourself advance in the world. I just wish I could do something more in the meantime.
Rosa: <looks at the bill from Peg, eyes watering> You don’t know how much you’ve just made my day. I just paid the electric bill this week, and I’m tapped out. My shift’s almost over, and I thought I’d be walking home from work tonight, because I couldn’t even afford the train. You’re an angel! I can’t thank you enough!
Peggy: <smiles> Just pass some good will along on your way home to rest your feet, my dear. <heads out the door>
[NYC TRAFFIC SURVEILLANCE FILES 04152017 1600hrs]
<Peg devours the coffee and wrap as she walks, exploring new areas of Manhattan she hasn’t seen, she spends hours wandering her way through an art gallery, a music shop, and a bookstore, marveling at everything>
[NYC TRAFFIC SURVEILLANCE FILES 04152017 1830hrs]
<still enjoying the sights, Peg continues her stroll, relaxed, having lost all track of time, she stops next to a young boy, both looking at a small storefront, collectible toys fill the window, she notices one corner where a figurine of what she can only assume is Anthony in his suit, flying over a large green monster, she looks past the display, into the store, smiling when she notices a replica of Steve’s shield hanging on the back wall>
Peggy: <whispering to herself> They still remember him. Good.
APRIL: Boss? Those files are now available for your access whenever you’re ready.
Peggy: Oh! <checks her watch> Right on time. Yes, I’m on my way home, have them ready when I arrive. <hurries off into the crowds, never noticing the man staring after her>