Pt 58 The Clock Strikes…..
[NYC Traffic Cam Footage 041517 1930hrs]
<Peggy stomps along the bright, noisy streets of NYC, head down, muttering and fuming to herself, her heart aching from her discoveries, compounded by Grant’s cruel jest at her expense, her tired feet pound the pavement, she looks up and around, realizing she has no clue where she is>
Peggy: APRIL, where are we? Is there any quiet place in this city to just sit and rest for a bit?
APRIL: We are currently heading south on 6th Avenue. If you turn left at the next intersection, there is a public seating area a block and a half east. <Peggy trudges on, her mind still overwhelmed and distracted, paying barely enough attention to where she’s going to follow APRIL’s directions>
[Paley Park, 3 E 53rd St, Manhattan, NY]
<Steve slumps in his chair, hat slung low, still staring at the last message on his phone, his gaze intense, his mind going through all their past conversations, putting the pieces together, all the times she didn’t quite make sense, didn’t get a reference, asked him questions about SHIELD and the Accords, how much she reminded him of Peggy, whispers to himself> How did I not know? <answers his own question> Because she was gone. I was there when she was laid to rest. I carried her to her grave. <a chill runs up his spine, cold as an iceberg> She was gone, and I was alone. <he finally notices the blinking light, opens the missed messages>
Nat: Where are you? Fury knows you’re home, so does Tony. Found that thread I was looking for, but it’s something you’re going to want to hear face to face.
Steve: It’s Saturday night, Paley Park. I just found out about Peg. I’ll deal with Nick and Tony. I don’t know what I’m going to do about her though.
Nat: Stay put, and stay down. They’re looking for you, and her.
Tony: I know you’re in town Rogers. We need to talk. This is important.
Steve: Now who’s keeping secrets, Tony? How long have you known?
Tony: Steve, I swear, I wanted to tell you.
Steve: HOW LONG?
Tony: A couple of months. I found out by accident.
Steve: <so engrossed in his text conversation with Tony, he doesn’t notice the weary woman collapsing into a chair at a nearby table> She thinks I’m dead.
Tony: It’s complicated. Tell me where you are, or come to the Tower, and we can talk about it.
Steve: It always is. There’s a lot of things we need to talk about.
Tony: I know. I’ve had to re-think how I look at things, there have been a lot of changes lately. In my world, it the world at large. Just come to the Tower.
Steve: And you’ll tell her the truth?
Tony: No more lies, no more secrets. The hell with Fury. We’ll figure out the repercussions later.
Steve: Fine. I’ll come. My old rooms still there?
Tony: Nah, I threw all your stuff out. Turned the whole floor into the Tony Stark Historical Museum. You know, for when the Smithsonian calls to do an exhibit on me.
Steve: <laughs for the first time all day> I thought you said no more lies Tony.
Tony: What? It could happen!
<Steve shakes his head, still chuckling, rises from the chair, slinging the brim of his hat even lower, turns, finally noticing the woman a few tables away, alone, her head in her hand, softly sobbing and mumbling to herself, he watches her, quietly moving closer, trying to make out what she’s saying>
Peggy: I can’t do this, I thought I could. I should never have come here. This is what happens when you let people get close to you Margaret. They get killed, or they betray you. Why did I ever trust him? How dare he! Did he actually think I would believe him? Did he know who I am? <a hand gently touches her shoulder, she turns, looking up in shock>
Steve: <his eyes a mix of sadness, joy, and love> If I had know, I’d have found a better way to break it to you. <Peggy stares at him, speechless, the tears starting anew, the pounding of her heart in her ears, drowning out the sound of a nearby clock tower chiming the hour, Steve smiles softly> Sorry I’m late.