Categories > Movies > Marvel Cinematic Universe

your heart was glass (i dropped it)

by peitho_x 0 reviews

Looking back, it was the thirteenth of December 1945 when everything began to fall apart. Margaret Carter blew into the office like the flurry that swirled outside, shaking snow out of her dark cur...

Category: Marvel Cinematic Universe - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Romance - Published: 2022-01-10 - 2449 words - Complete

Looking back, it was the thirteenth of December 1945 when everything began to fall apart. Margaret Carter blew into the office like the flurry that swirled outside, shaking snow out of her dark curls.

“I’m here to see Chief Dooley,” she said, looking around the bullpen.

“Looks like Dooley finally hired me a secretary like I asked,” Jack said.

“The hell do you need a secretary for?” Krzeminski asked.

“For the paperwork on all of my cases and arrests.” Jack turned in his chair to look at Peggy. “Hope you’re a fast typer.”

Daniel shot Jack a look and said, “He’s in his office.” He pointed at the office in the far corner of the room.

Peggy smiled and stopped at his desk on her way over. “Thank you.” She held out her hand. “Peggy Carter, originally SOE.”

“Daniel Sousa,” he said. “And that’s Jack Thompson, he’s a dick and you can ignore him.”

“At last, something familiar,” she said with a smile.

“When did you arrive in the States?”

“This morning,” she said. “I wanted to get things settled here before I got, well, settled in.” She glanced at Dooley’s office. “Well, thank you, Agent Sousa.”

Daniel nodded. “Agent Carter.”

Jack sauntered over to Daniel’s desk as she walked away.

Daniel leaned back in his chair. “Secretary, really? Way to give her a good first impression.”

Jack grinned. “I was joking. The impression I wanted to give is that I am a funny and charming guy.”

Daniel shook his head. “You’re a remarkably unpleasant person.”

“And yet.”

Daniel’s face softened into an almost-fond smile. “And yet.”

And that was all they could say, really, when at work or in public. It was a relationship of unspoken words, stolen looks and secret touches, always on the lookout. It was equal parts thrilling and terrifying.

It began not too long after Daniel had started at the SSR. He had been at Red’s, which he had heard was a place he could be comfortable in his exploration, and had seen Jack across the room. While Jack’s first thought upon seeing Daniel was something along the lines of Score! Daniel immediately assumed that Jack must be undercover and fled out the backdoor.

The following Monday, Daniel avoided Jack as much as he could until he was finally cornered in the file room.

“You going to Red’s on Thursday?” Jack asked casually. “Beer’s half off if you wear something red.”

“I, uh.” Daniel cleared his throat. “I’ll have to see.”

“Think about it.” Jack winked and left the room, leaving Daniel to eventually decide that this would be a strangely elaborate way to arrest him.

So now, here they were, staying over at each other’s places, staggering their arrivals to work, and generally sneaking around.

“I wish you were easier on her.” Daniel was lying in bed, watching as Jack got ready for the day.

Jack rolled his eyes in the mirror. “That’s what you’re thinking about right now?”

“I was thinking about work. You know Dooley isn’t right about everything.”

“I am well aware that Dooley’s not right about everything.” Jack’s voice was grim.

Daniel looked at him sympathetically. “I’m just saying that just because he doesn’t let her out into the field, doesn’t mean she isn’t qualified to.”

“Alright, sure.”

“Cause I’ve read her file.”

Jack turned around to look at him. “You’ve read her file?”

“Yeah, I read everyone’s file. And the stuff she did with Captain America and the Howling Commandos–”

“If I knew this would turn into the Margaret Carter Praise Hour, I wouldn’t have stayed till morning,” Jack grumbled.

Daniel rolled onto his side, grinning a little. “Aw, are you jealous?”

Jack huffed. “Of course not. I have much better hair.”

“That’s debatable.”

Jack glared at him.

Daniel grinned. “Anyway, I don’t understand why you don’t like her.”

“I don’t dislike her.”

“You don’t respect her.”

“She’s your friend. If I started being nice to her, she’d be so blown away by my charm that she’d ignore you, and I’d feel bad.”

Daniel rolled his eyes. “C’mon, if you don’t leave soon, I’m gonna be late for work.”

The SSR’s New Year’s party was an uncharacteristically jovial affair. Nearly everyone got drunk, Dooley the most of all, and Jack was searching for Daniel to drag him into a closet for a probably ill-advised make out session. As he looked around, he found Peggy by the punch bowl, looking pensive.

“Not enjoying the party?” he asked, sidling up beside her.

She looked at him as though sizing him up, then looked back at the rest of the room. “It reminds me of my engagement party.”

“You were engaged?”

She shrugged. “It didn’t last long.”

Jack realized that even though Daniel seemed to talk about her all the time, he didn’t know very much about Peggy aside from her work during the war. “Why not?”

“Quite a few reasons. He didn’t want me to join the SOE.”

“And you did.” Jack poured two drinks, offering one to her.

Peggy accepted it with a curious smile. “Well…”

“You didn’t?”

“It’s more complicated than that.”

Jack took a long drink from his cup. “It always is.”

She nodded. “Do you have a girl, Thompson?”

He raised his eyebrows at her. “Do you think I have enough time to have a girl?”

“Agent Krzeminski somehow manages to juggle two of them, but I suppose he isn’t exactly a model employee.”

Even though Krzeminski’s infidelity was hardly secret enough to be an open secret at the office, he was surprised to hear her joke about it. Maybe he had misjudged her. “Don’t say that too loudly, one of them’s here tonight.”

Peggy’s smile was playful. “The question is: which one?”

Jack laughed, surprising both of them. He raised his glass to her. “You have a good night.”

“You too.”

The thought of Peggy in a wedding dress mulled around Jack’s slightly drunk mind. He saw her walking down the aisle toward some British man who began to look more and more like Daniel. He shook the thought away and pulled a flask from his coat.

When he finally found Daniel at about half-past one, they snuck out the back and went to Daniel’s place. There they were about as quiet and subtle as stampeding elephants, but his neighbours weren’t the nosy types. They tumbled into bed – and nearly out of it a few times – and by the time they laid still, side by side, it was so late that they were beginning to sober up.

“You ever wanted to marry someone?” Jack asked into the silence.

Daniel frowned. “Like, someone specific?”


Daniel thought for a moment. “Tracy O’Brien, my high school girlfriend.”

Jack had heard about her. “The redhead. What happened?”

He shrugged. “We graduated. Drifted apart.”

Jack nodded.


Jack chuckled. “Nah.”

There was a long pause, interrupted by loud laughter upstairs. Then Daniel said, “When I’m married, I think I’d want to move to the suburbs.”

“On a field agent’s salary? Good luck.”

Daniel shrugged. “I know they’re talking about opening a new SSR branch somewhere. If you’re gonna take over here when Dooley retires, who else would they make chief? Krzeminski? Yauch?”

“I’m surprised you don’t think Carter should be chief.”

“While I do think she’d be good at it, they’d never let her.”

Jack shifted and rolled over, pulling the blankets up to his chin. “Well, maybe she’ll transfer to your office, and you can give her all the field assignments she wants.”
Daniel tugged at the blankets until Jack relinquished enough for him to sleep under. “I know you’re being sarcastic, but I would.”

Peggy came around for the lunch orders one day while Jack was at Daniel’s desk.

“The regular?” she asked Daniel. “Or do you trust me enough to let me surprise you?”

“The regular,” he said. “But you can surprise me with the type of bread.”

“Very adventurous,” she said as she wrote it down. “And you, Thompson?”

“No surprises, thank you,” Jack said. “I’ll have a BLT.”

“Very good,” she said. “Carry on, gentlemen.” She smiled at Daniel and moved on to take Krzeminski and Yauch’s orders.

“She likes you,” Jack said once Peggy was out of earshot.

“Well, I am one of the only ones in the office who’s nice to her,” Daniel said pointedly.

Jack sighed. “She flirts with you. All the time.”

“No, she doesn’t.”

“Yes, she does.”

“Okay, maybe she does. What’s wrong with that?” Daniel asked with a challenge in his eyes.

“Nothing,” Jack said, an uncharacteristically quick capitulation. “Do you– Nevermind.”

“Do I what?”

“Nothing, it’s not important.”

“What were you gonna ask me?” A smile played at Daniel’s mouth.

“Do you like it when she flirts with you?”

“I don’t dislike it,” Daniel said. “I don’t get flirted with often.”

Jack lowered his voice. “I flirt with you.”

“Yeah,” Daniel said with a smile. “But that’s different.”

Jack very deliberately did not ask him why.

Daniel had been trying to get Jack to meet his mother for weeks, but for some reason that he could not quite parse out, Jack was resistant to the idea.

“She makes the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had,” Daniel said one night.

“You really think you can tempt me with pie?”

“It’s a secret recipe and everything. Even I’m not allowed to know it.”

Jack laughed. “What does she think you’ll do with it? You can’t cook for shit.”

“I don’t know. She says it’s only for the women in the family, so she’ll tell my wife when I’m married.”

Jack’s smile wavered a little.

“Honestly, it’s not my top reason to get married, but it’s up there. To come home to a house smelling like Mom’s peach cobbler, what a dream.”

Jack cleared his throat and they lay in silence for a bit. Then Jack shifted. “I think I’m gonna head out,” he said and sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed.

“What?” Daniel sat up too. “It’s nearly midnight and we have work in the morning.”

“Well, buses run all night, don’t they?” Jack said, buttoning up his shirt.

Daniel reached out to touch his shoulder, only to be shrugged away. “What is it?”

“Nothing,” Jack said, standing up to grab his pants from where they hung over a chair. “Just don’t need to hear about how fine and dandy your life will be once you’re happily married.”

Daniel sighed. “That’s all you had to say. I don’t have to talk about it if it bothers you.”

“That’s– It’s not that it bothers me that you talk about it, it bothers me that you–” He clenched his jaw and did up his pants. “Whatever.”

Daniel got out of bed, watching Jack curiously. “What did you think was gonna happen, Jack? That we’d be bachelors forever?” he asked. “I’ve always wanted a family, you knew that. I want to get married. I want to have kids.”

Jack looked at him for a long moment. “Out of the two of us, you being the one with a foot halfway out the door is ironic.”

“Jack, don’t–”

“No, because everyone sees you as the nice, approachable, and understanding one, and I’m the arrogant hardass who doesn’t care about anyone.” He shook his head. “I should be saying that. I should be the one telling you it was never serious, that there were no strings, that I was just messing around until I found a girl I wanted to marry.”

“That’s not what I said.”

“Only because you clearly don’t have a lot of experience being the douchebag boyfriend. Just some pointers: you either let them down easy, or you make them hate you, so they leave on their own.”

“That’s not fair.”

“Of course, it’s not fair, it’s never been fair. That’s just how it is for…” He paused. “Well, you know.” He clenched his jaw, and suddenly his work demeanour was back, arrogant and devil-may-care. “You know what? Have your fun with Carter, I don’t care. Take her to the movies, get married and have a dozen kids behind a white picket fence, just you always wanted.” He turned to leave.

“What does she have to do with it?”

Jack laughed, harsh and humourless. “She has everything to do with it.”

Maybe it was a trick of the light, but Daniel thought he saw tears in his eyes. Daniel caught his arm. “Jack, you can’t just–”

“Can’t just what?”

Daniel sighed. “Pretend like you don’t care. I didn’t realize it, because you were always the one who didn’t want to label or categorize what this was and refused to talk about it.” He slid his grip down to hold Jack’s hand. “Please, let’s talk about it now.”

Jack stood there for a long moment, fighting very hard to look like he was still being cavalier. “Forget it, I’m done.” He pulled his hand out of Daniel’s. “We’re done.”

Daniel was stunned for a moment, staring at him. “Jack.”

“See you at work, Sousa.”

Jack had hoped to hold it together until he got home, but as soon as he closed the door behind him, he felt his chest heave. He took a deep breath and gritted his teeth, striding down the hallway and the stairs. He pulled the brim of his hat low as he stepped out into the street, grateful for the cover of night. He would take a sick day tomorrow and come back to work on Monday his old self like nothing had happened.

Daniel sank down onto his bed, confused and overwhelmed. How had they gone so quickly from Jack’s ridiculous refusal to meet his mother to this? His read on him had failed quite fundamentally if he had missed something this big. And given Jack’s stubborn unwillingness to talk about his feelings, Daniel doubted he’d ever get another word out of him about this. It was over.
Sign up to rate and review this story