4867/Ghost Stories

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Ghost Stories
Date of Scene: 25 January 2021
Location: Peggy's Brooklyn Apartment, N.Y.C.
Synopsis: In the wake of the spectre attack on her condo, Jacqueline joins Peggy at her apartment for the night. While they discuss the realities of the occult investigation ahead of them, they also find themselves recognizing the toll virtual immortality takes on the soul.
Cast of Characters: Peggy Carter, Jacqueline Falsworth

Peggy Carter has posed:
Intake at SHIELD takes a *while*. Two reports given, settling the patients in with the doctors, giving them reports, getting scans to be certain neither of them is carrying something outside on them. Peggy got a bit of a glare from medical for the neck but she doesn't seem in critical injury, so she's been sent away with painkillers and a rest order. An order that got a roll of her eyes. Now they are headed back to the little Brooklyn apartment she's been keeping. It's half apartment, half safe house, so she takes her time getting there, going down several side streets and looping back at least twice. "Sorry...just would rather not have any tails." She states simply to the woman.

When they finally get inside the second story walk up, Peggy clears the room before nodding Jacqueline inside. It's still fairly spartan. A few dusty black and white photos on flat surfaces, nothing on the walls. A few pairs of shoes, news papers, the vault in the corner, but this has not been made into a home by Peggy. Maybe no where has.

"The couch pulls out. I can take it and you're welcome to the bed. I... am sorry. I wish I could offer more. I realize you probably would have rather had a hotel and been far more comfortable..." Peggy admits with a bit of a frown, looking across the place which can be called meager at best.

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline answered what questions she could for the SHIELD agents that questioned her. But she filtered much of it through Peggy. The MI-13 agent is perfectly willing to work with SHIELD. She's not willing to put herself in a position where they cut her out of the loop.

They're both just lucky Peggy's an L6, now, instead of an L4. It makes it much easier to facilitate that.

She doesn't remark on Peggy's caution going home, other than to give a tight smile and an understanding nod. "Can't be too careful."

Jacqueline enters the apartment and looks around. She slips her shoes off, but keeps her bag with her until she's in the living room. "I can take the couch," she says with an easy smile. "It's fine, really." She cants her head, looking at her friend. "Peggy. We've hidden in foxholes, together. If I'd wanted the Ritz, I'd be there, now. Frankly..." She lets out a soft breath. "Frankly, I'd prefer the company. As you might imagine, it's been a rather trying evening." Does she really need to translate that?

Peggy Carter has posed:
Tired eyes flicker across to her old friend, evaluating those words, before she gives a slight nod of agreement to both the foxholes comment and the fact it was a long night. Peggy pushes her boots off her feet, having been given a new pair when she was at the Triskelion, the shoes she started the night wearing completely dead now. "Do you want a drink? I can put on tea, or I've got whiskey somewhere around here, if John hasn't drank it all."

The older woman goes over towards the little liquor cabinet and pulls it open. There's a few dark ales in there and a single bottle of mostly drunk whiskey. She pulls that out and two glasses, answering her own question. Her throat still sounds like she's been drinking rocks, but she's tried to push through it enough and whatever pain killers they gave her are taking the worst edge off.

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline watches Peggy pull out the whiskey and smiles. "Whiskey, yes." She makes a note to bring over another bottle soon. "Whatever's left of it, anyway." She looks around again before finally settling herself on the end of the couch, dropping her bag on the floor beside her.

"So, how close are you and Mr. Constantine really?" she asks without much preamble. She's a spy, just like Peggy. She can read the scenes. Especially given Peggy's earlier panic.

Peggy Carter has posed:
That question gets a very quiet grunt from her. It's not a happy one. Peggy pours out the whole rest of the whiskey, meaning they both have about three fingers to sip upon, but then the household is down to beer. "Ice?" Depending on her friend's preference, she doctors it or not, and then carries both over to the sitting area. She hands Jac her drink and raises the glasses, "To interesting times, as ever." With that toast and a clink, she finally settles, moving like a woman who is gently whole-body sore. She has had worse, though.

"We aren't... close. We have an understanding of mutual use. Sometimes that use is in a bed, sometimes it's professional. But neither of us is exactly the settling down sort and it's best kept that way."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
"Ah, I understand." Jacqueline even smiles as she says it. She does understand. She hasn't done that in many, many years, herself, but she *has* done it. She lets the question of Constantine drop and takes the whiskey.

"To interesting times," she echoes. She doesn't actually pause very long to appreciate it. Instead, she throws back a fairly sizable mouthful and lets it burn all the way down. Her eyes close for a moment, the burn a pleasant sensation.

"I don't know what it is we're mixed up in," she says, fully accepting, it seems, that Peggy will consider herself mixed up in it, too, "but whatever it is, I expect it's going to get very, very messy. Most of the languages I heard were variations on the Black Mass and indicative of cultic obsessions with power and blood. That never ends well."

Peggy Carter has posed:
There is a strange box of something on the coffee table, a return address from a law firm on the outside, but it's been cracked open and inside are dozens of folded, yellowed documents. It's hard to see what they are without actually picking them up, but the whole box has the yellowing of decades of age. Maybe it's part of Peggy's research into the old SHIELD files. Probably. But the handwritten address on the outside is odd.

Considering Peggy is on pain medication, she maybe shouldn't drink at all. But she, instead just takes it slow with a few gentle sips from her whiskey as she settles into the couch and tucks her bare feet beneath her, trying to curl up, get warm, and forget that oddly hollow sensation in her chest. She sighs at those words, "I... am already on too many assignments. I'll give you back up as much as I can on this but... Constantine is who you need on it. As dirty as that makes me feel. He's an asshole when awake, just a warning.."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline's eyes drift to the box, but only because it's there and she's still in the process of absorbing the details of the room -- determining how much is Peggy and how much is 'some place to collect mail'. The address on the box catches her eyes, leading to a faint cant of her head. But she doesn't reach for it. Doing so would be rude.

Doesn't mean she might not snoop later, if the opportunity presents itself.

"Constantine's not exactly in a position to help, right now," she notes dryly, taking another swallow of whiskey. "But that's fine. I can understand, if you'd rather sit this one out." Doesn't blame her in the least, in fact. "I'll call the home office. See if they know of anyone over here they can recommend."

Oh, it's not that she's unwilling to work with Constantine. She's worked with assholes before now. She was a woman in the 40's, after all. She just can't work with a comatose body or a possessed medium with any great ease. It's a logistics thing.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"I... I'm not the sort to sit things out. I'm here and if you need me, I'll be there. I promise. I just... I think if we can get John back into his body, he's going to be far more effective in a mess like this. Don't tell him I said that. I'll never hear the end of it." Peggy states with a little groan. She then takes another, longer sip of her whiskey and realizes this is not going to help much.

"...Going to put tea on. That damned spectre is worse than the last time someone actually tried to strangle me." She gives a weak little laugh as she says that, it meant to be more of a joke than a rather concerning statement, but it's probably both. She then stands up, moving for the kitchen and her tea kettle which is well used and well loved in this house. "How are you holding up otherwise, Jac?"

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline smiles at the joke, but the concern doesn't leave her eyes. She watches her friend move to the kitchen to make the tea. As Peggy goes, Jac leans forwards enough to peek briefly into that box. The handwriting is vaguely familiar. But it takes no more than half a second to ascertain the letters are private and old.

She can deduce the rest, so she sits back and leaves them be.

"Physically, I'm right as rain," she replies. It's hardly a surprise, for a regenerating mutant such as she. "Other than that? I'm unsettled. Not upset, per se. This isn't my first dance with something like this. It just wasn't something I expected. I can see someone sending me a package on purpose. But to intercept something accidentally, is somehow worse. I know my enemies. I know how to deal with them. This is far more... random. I don't much care for it."

Peggy Carter has posed:
The letters are all in Daniel's hand, and there's a few other things. A necklace, some black and white photos. This practically looks like a care package sent from the 1950s. And most of the things seem to surround her long dead husband. Odd timing, but it's there and fresh, not a speck of dust on the package or the yellowed letters.

She returns to leaning in the archway from the kitchen door a moment later, hovering there as she waits for the kettle to scream, her arms folded across her chest and tired eyes rest on her old friend. "Are you utterly certain it was random? I know this Flora said there was a mix up but...do we trust her?"

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline lets out a sigh and finishes her last mouthful of whiskey, setting the tumbler down. "Not utterly certain, no. But it was sent by a man named Brother Theodore Faneuil. I fully intend to investigate him extensively come morning. The only thing remotely related I've heard of is a place called Faneuil Hall in Boston, though I can't yet imagine if there's any real connection there. My doorman, David, recalled it when I asked him if he was at all familiar with the name. I had wondered if perhaps he was a former resident." Not an unreasonable hypothesis, though it didn't apparently pan out.

She drums her fingers restlessly on the arm of the couch. "I'd also like to know what she meant by Gottfried." Not to mention everything else Flora wrote.

"Ms Lopez claimed Brother Theo was an octogenarian Jesuit archivist and someone she'd worked with for years. She also clamed to be a conservatist/restorer with the Metropolitain Museum." She'll be verifying that, too.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"So... What I'm hearing is we have a big mystery on our hands and a lot of legwork to do in the morning. It means...we probably should both sleep." Peggy doesn't necessarily look like a woman who is sleeping easy these days. She sighs at the thought, but knows she isn't wrong. One hand comes up to gently rub against her throat, testing those hot bruises there. Fortunately, the screaming kettle distracts her from poking at them too much.

She disappears into the kitchen only to come back about a minute later with two mugs of her usual gunpowder black tea. Not exactly good for sleeping, but something she takes comfort in and she served Jac for years after the war. It felt like tradition at this point. "What do you want *me* to start looking into, if anything, right now?"

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
It's not barley tea. Therefore, it's perfect. Jacqueline reaches out to take the strong tea with a grateful smile and nod of thanks. Before saying anything more, she takes a long sip of it, despite the scalding temperature. There's an advantage to regeneration like hers. "Perfect," she smiles. "As always."

She cants her head, looking at those bruises on Peggy's throat. She knows there's not much she can do about them. And that fussing won't make them any better. "Try a cold cloth before you turn in for the night," she suggests, gesturing to the bruises. "At the very least, it may curb the swelling." If not, well... there's always more whiskey.

"See what you can find out about the Sisters of Charity," she suggests. "The book those pages came wrapped in was ledger of sorts for them. Ostensibly, they're nothing more than a charitable society, but you never know. It's worth checking out. If I recall correctly, they're connected with St. Vincent de Paul. The imprint was from the Bronx. I want to say Riverdale." Like most spies, she's got a fairly robust memory.

"What little I skimmed detailed transactions for the foundling hospital and college by... Oh, there were two or three sisters of note. I'll have to try better to remember their names. Perhaps after I've slept some." She shakes her head and then meets her friend's brown eyes. "Providing you've got the cycles to handle another investigation, mind. I don't want to take you away from other concerns."

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Sisters of Charity. Got it." Peggy makes a mental note to herself then something in her realizes she is that tired, and hurting, that writing it down is probably wiser. That's when she leans over to move her tea aside and make some room on the coffee table to grab her note pad. She goes still as she moves the box. It hits her it's just been sitting out. But Jacqueline didn't ask, and it looks boring enough even if her heart catches in her throat every time she sees it. She takes a breath, and goes to writing herself a quick note.

The question of investigation cycles gets Peggy's eyes, expression most certainly tired. Weighing things. SHe sighs, "No...I... I can handle it. SHIELD and other matters have been... a lot on my plate. But I'm back in the area and I don't want to leave you high and dry on this..."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
"Yes, well. I'm not terribly concerned about being left high and dry. I always welcome working with you, Peggy. But I *can* find other resources."

The change in heartbeat is probably something Jacqueline notices. She's just polite enough not to draw attention to it. "Do you have a symbol book?" she asks after a moment. She has one (she hopes) back at the condo, but she knows it's hardly unusual for other spies to have them, too. Even those not regularly dealing with the occult.

"There was a symbol pressed into a wax seal that sealed the envelop those vellum pages were in. I'd like to research it."

It can wait until morning, of course, but it's something she should probably sketch down, herself, so she doesn't forget it.

She gestures to the pen and paper Peggy uses. "May I?"

Peggy Carter has posed:
"I...do. Not here. I've not really moved.. a lot of things here." Peggy admits quietly, clearly not having made this a home. She finishes writing her notes and then passes the note pad across to her friend. It frees up her hand for wrapping around the tea and hugging it against her chest, like she could make herself warmer just from pressing it into her chest. The spirit that ripped through her has done a quiet number on the woman, body and soul. But she's trying to work through it.

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
"It's fine, then," Jacqueline says, watching her friend closely. "I've got one at home, providing it hasn't disintegrated." It likely hasn't. The open spaces of the apartment took the greatest damage. Her library and bedroom mostly survived. Failing that, there are other ways to find out such things.

She takes another sip of her tea before inhaling a long, silent breath and leaning forward. "Talk to me, Peggy. I know it's been ages since we've seen each other. And maybe we're not so close now as we once were... but you don't look well. And I saw the thing that attacked you, tonight. I saw what it did. I'm sorry I wasn't fast enough to stop it."

And coming from a speedster, that's a damning admission.

Peggy Carter has posed:
That last comment, the gentle request for Peggy to speak to her and the admission that she wasn't fast enough? That gets Peggy's gaze. Jac can practically see the woman weighing her pride and exhaustion against itself. Peggy's tired hands tighten almost defensively around the coffee mug in her palms, but she doesn't make a motion to let it go, to get back to work, or do anything but watch her friend.

"I am... trying to tell how much of this is just that... thing which ripped through me, and how much of this is the fact it's been a long few weeks. If it's just that thing, and much of it is, it'll... fade. It's not your fault, and I'm not even that hurt. Just a little cold and a little... more tired than I should be. It will pass."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline rolls her head slowly in response, a somewhat ambivialent gesture. "I hope so," she says sincerely. "But if it isn't better in a few days, you need to tell someone. Constantine, perhaps. And me. I've dealt with field fatigue often enough, myself. Even with my metabolism. So, I'll accept that as a possibility. But I've also fought monsters like that more often, I suspect, than you have. So, trust me when I tell you... just as snakes can have venomn, spirits can be poison. And I'd rather you not succumb to it."

She's blunt, maybe. But neither woman has ever been given to sugar coating the truth. Not since the war, anyway. It took Jac a long time to break her aristocratic habits. But those days are long gone.

No matter what her business associates may think.

Peggy Carter has posed:
Slowly, Peggy sinks back into her part of the couch and she draws her legs up onto it, knees into her chest. Her arms hug around the front of her calves, still nursing that tea, but it's the body language of someone who's just working on keeping everything inside and trying to get warm again. Neither of which is much effective.

"What I tell you can't...leave this room. I'm not suppose to tell a soul but, hell, if anyone will understand..." She sighs out quietly through her nose, looking down towards the box of letters. "SHIELD... had an incident as of late. One of our agents got sent back to 1949. We... were able to communicate with her, for a bit. And...some of the others from the old office. I..." She exhales quietly, closing her eyes, "I simply hadn't realized how much I missed their voices."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline's eyes stray to that box and back to Peggy. "Bloody hell..." she breathes. Yes. If anyone would understand the ache that could bring, it's Jacqueline Falsworth. She'd give a great deal to hear Cedric's voice again. He's been gone almost as long as Daniel Sousa. "I'm sorry, Peggy." Her voice trails off. She doesn't really need to say more. She gets it entirely.

"Did you hear... Daniel, then?" It explains the box. For all that there's no dust on it now, she can't know how recently that box arrived into Peggy's hands. And she has her own keepsakes in battered old shoe boxes that aren't nearly as dusty as anyone might expect.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"I...got to speak with him. For a few minutes. We...never should have. But the communication device was an open walkie talkie on their end, and he over heard and..." Peggy takes in another breath, bracing against emotions that are still somehow there but also still oddly aching, empty and dulled after tonight. The hollowness somehow feels worse than the sharp edges of before.

"And he... I guess he got it in his head to send these. There was a law firm that's lasted all these years, our agent sent a few things through to us to use in getting her back. ANd Daniel...sent these letters. They got here last week." She admits, a bittersweet smile crossing her lips for just a moment. She looks so incredibly tired.

Finally, she forces dark eyes back up to Jac. "...and I don't know if it's the...spectre's damage talking, or other things, but I know... there is a part of me that... wishes I'd found the same peace he and...so many others did. To just shut my eyes and not open them again. But I can't do that. There's still...so much work to do."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
"Oh, Peggy..." Jacqueline says softly. There's no pity in her voice, but there is infinite empathy and compassion -- the sort that can only come from hard experience. "I've been there, too." She doesn't reach out to touch her. She's British, too. And she's not lived in America nearly so long as Peggy has.

"I felt cheated for so long. After I was shot." In other words, just after they gave her that damnedable transfusion, the one that jumpstarted her dormant powers and forced her body to revert to its adolescent state. "Cedric was gone. Kenneth was gone. I'd lived a full life and lost it all. I had to rebuild almost from scratch. I couldn't even control my own company without working through a trustee. So many people would kill to have what you and I have. No one understands the curse immortality really can be. They don't know what it really costs..."

But she does. Oh God, yes. She does.

Peggy Carter has posed:
A faint nod of agreement comes from the other Brit. No, they are both far too repressed to touch or express anything other than verbal support, but it does help that someone else *knows*. Someone really gets it. Peggy watches her quietly, a faint smile painted across her currently somewhat pasty features. She finally even lets herself take a deep sip of her tea, which she probably should have been properly drinking the entire time.

"I... know. I really do. And I figured you would. And I'm not going to...do anything horribly dramatic. I suspect much of this is some psychic injury that will heal alone side of the bruises. But it doesn't mean it hasn't... nailed home a few things that have been dancing around as of late. It will pass. Don't worry too horribly."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
"I suspect some of it is," Jacqueline concedes. "And I will worry," she notes, "as much as anyone who knew worried about me." Those folks were few and far between. "But I'll try not to fuss." Truthfully, she grew out of fussing. She used to fuss quite a bit as a girl, and even early in the war. Then she became a CEO and navigated the trials of being a woman in business in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Fussing became a liability.

"It will *recede*, Peggy," she says. "It doesn't pass. At least, it hasn't for me. I don't think we ever truly move on. We hold that place in our heart. We close it off, we lock the door, and we visit from time to time. But we don't move on. Not from something like that."

She takes a sip of her tea. "At least, I never have. Not truly. And never in the dark of night after I've battled soul-freezing, man-eating monsters bent on my complete and utter distruction."

Peggy Carter has posed:
The comment about the feeling never fading gets a quiet, almost half grunt from Peggy as she uncomfortably looks down into her tea. She doesn't want to agree with the woman, but most of her knows that Jac is right. It's just the disquieting kind of right her brain doesn't need this evening. "...Maybe this is our punishment for cheating death. Cells don't age so...other things do. Get heavier and harder. Fate balances the scales eventually, somehow." Peg mutters, not even looking at her friend as she says it, but staring forward into the room at nothing. Or, more likely, at the ghosts of a hundred years behind her.

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline regards her friend's wan face in the incongruently warm light of the livingroom. A tight, almost pained realization, touches her lips as brutal realization dawns.

In the last twenty years, even with her great speed, she's been shot and stabbed more times than she can count. She's been gassed and poisoned; at least, that was her attackers' intent. She's been ripped limb from limb by monsters who proved fast enough or numerous enough to catch her. She's been electrocuted, crushed, and buried alive. She's been burned, blown up, and immolated in dark rituals, not to mention impaled on stakes at least three times. Superspeed isn't nearly as proof against harm as people think.

Despite all this, she has only truly approached death twice: once, in 1940, when her uncle drained her blood in his attempt to turn her; and again, in 1995, when she deliberately put herself between a bullet and an ally. In both cases, a transfusion of artificial blood saved her... and damned her, too. Now, she's fairly certain the only things that will kill her are a proper vampiric execution -- which must include a beheading as well as a staking -- or some form of true disintegration, whether magical or scientific. Like maybe by being at ground-zero of an atom bomb.

And none of those are things she can accomplish herself.

Regardless, it dawns on her she has spent much of the last twenty years chasing her own death. The thought unsettles her.

She studies her friend's face for another long moment and consciously pushes all those thoughts away with a fortifying swallow of tea. Illuminating Peggy about just how many different ways she's subconsciously tried to kill herself won't help now. And it's not something she really wants to continue to contemplate, in any case.

Thus, she simply nods, inhaling deeply and letting the breath go in a brief rush. "You may be right, at that," she agrees, recognizing that thousand yard stare for what it is. "Nothing in life is free. But I have to believe Fate also decided we're strong enough to handle it. Otherwise... I don't think either of us will survive the night." She smiles as she says that -- that British stiff upper lip coupled with encouragement that's only slightly forced. And decidedly directed at both of them.

Peggy Carter has posed:
As tired and drawn as she is, Peggy's still an old spy. She misses very little. Bloodshot eyes flicker from their aimless staring to focus on the woman at her side, head tilting a bit more, "...something's dancing back there. And you don't need to tell me but... while our hearts are on the table, if it might take a bit of weight from yours, I am listening." The offer is a quiet one, not meant to be forceful in any way but gingerly coax Jac into maybe sharing just as Peggy has done. She doesn't want either of them carrying these things alone.

"And...I have no choice but to survive the night. And a few years beyond that, at least. Things with SHIELD are... complicated, and I must see to cleaning up my old messes before even considering retirement -- permanent or otherwise." Still so horribly British, to contemplate these things heavy as death and it's pursuit the same way you might talk about an IRA.

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline shakes her head -- not quite dismissive, but somehow reluctant. "Mm," she grunts softly. "I was just thinking how fortunate you were, really, to have even a few moments to speak with Daniel again. I have little doubt, were I to hear either Cedric's or Kenneth's voices again, I'd end up having to put stakes through their hearts and cut off their heads." She says it matter-of-factly, but the ghost of that pain is there, over top of every other horror she's endured. She's already seen that done to her son.

Peggy Carter has posed:
A bittersweet smile crosses her lips, "I... goodness. I know. I wish I could have kept him on that phone for hours but... I probably shouldn't have even done what I did. Still. I'm lucky. But I miss him so much... God. It hurts. It should not hurt this much after 60 some years." Peggy admits, but her expression towards Jac is all understanding about the woman's commentary on her own family.

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline reaches out to give Peggy's shoulder a light squeeze. It's not a hug. That may come. But, for now, it's just an acknowledgement. "I think what hurts most," she admits, "is being cheated of the chance to join them." Which is what Peggy said earlier, really. And what turned Jac's own thoughts melancholy. "On some level, I suppose we were both cheated by well-meaning people who didn't understand the full impact of their actions."

She lets her hand fall and pulls it back into her lap, crossing her arms over her chest as if she were chilled. "I know what it is to grow old. I'd even retired. I was looking forward to spending my golden years walking the woods with my dogs and giving everything I owned to charity. Instead, I ended up in the body of a sixteen year old, fighting monsters -- most of whom were my own kin. It's taken me twenty-five years for my body to finally stabilize and the best doctors and scientists I've been able to find all tell me the same thing: My cells have completely lost the ability to age. And they're damned near impossible to kill. All of which means... I will likely never grow old again."

A lot of people would consider that something to celebrate. She's seen to much to be one of them.

"But, I do get tired. Emotionally. Mentally. Spiritually, even, if not physically. Just as you do, my friend. That doesn't change."

Peggy Carter has posed:
Peggy's hand comes up to wrap overtop of Jac's, giving those strong fingertips a gentle, slightly cool fingered squeeze. But it's reassuring never the less, a bit of bonding touch which is still more than they've ever done over five decades of friendship. A tired, still slightly bitter laugh echoes those words. "I... was dying, both times. I gave them permission to freeze me the second time. To... try and find a cure for my own cellular degradation. I...don't know why now. I should have let it go as it did. I suppose I was so accustomed to being in charge at at point... I just felt I should try and boss around death too." Peggy smirks at the thought.

"...and it was the 80s. We were all high on our own power in those days. What a... strange decade. I suppose I'm glad I slept through the end of it." But now she's here. Seemingly unaging as well, but the exhaustion of the day has put some lines around her eyes and a grayness to her skin which maybe isn't simply the spiritual attack (but probably is.) "...Anyway. We have been entirely too maudlin. I swear I did not bring you here to cry upon your shoulder. I am sorry."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline actually laughs at that. It's not a bright sound, but there is warmth to it. "You've just had your soul raked by a spectre and I've just seen my home decay all around me. A certain amount of maudlin is to be expected." No worse, really, than some of the shell shocked conversations both had and avoided at 3am in a blind in France during the war.

"Don't apologize. I should have kept my own mouth shut. It's just nice, I suppose, to know there's someone else out there who's been there, too."

She looks at her cup and then Peggy's. "Shall I warm these up for us? I'd suggest another shot of whiskey, but I think tea is safer."

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Yes... we should, at least, finish the tea. Then probably consider bed. They day will be long and I have two other cases to juggle before I get on researching the Sisters. But, go ahead. There is a microwave in the kitchen, if we don't mind being heretical about it." This late at night, there's no reason to go about boiling the pot of tea again.

As Jac moves to warm the tea up, Peggy shifts her too-sore frame up and out of the couch to move for the bedroom. She pulls out a warm, heavy robe from there and wraps it around her frame, finally giving into just how cold she was feeling. She returns a moment later to curl up in the corner of the couch.

"I am...sorry about your flat. I know you've got funds to cover it, but...if you need help with anything, or hunting replacements, or the like...Just say."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
"Thank you," Jacqueline says, returning with the warmed tea. "But as you say, I have the funds. And we have other holdings I can repurpose to my needs." She sets the one cup down at Peggy's elbow, noting the addition of the robe. "My most precious possessions are still in England. I didn't see the point in dragging them across the pond when I wasn't sure how long I was staying. As it is, now, I suppose I'll take the entire suite back to its studs and rebuild it properly. Perhaps even have some more robust magical defenses installed." She wrinkles her nose at that, returning to her seat at the end of the couch.

"But, if you do want to help, I think, perhaps, I need to find myself a house, rather than an apartment. Someplace where, if I'm attacked again, I'm not putting a tower full of innocents at risk." She gives her friend a smile. "You know this city. And you know security. I'd welcome your thoughts; so, do say you'll come with me. I don't think I'll be returning to England nearly as soon as I'd perhaps expected. And I could use a friend."

Peggy Carter has posed:
"That is... probably not a poor choice at all. A proper house would be somewhere out on Long Island, if you actually want a full yard away from other people, but you can manage a town house on your financials many places in the city. I wonder if they are easier to ward as well, if... you are going to continue to draw such attention, a more robust set of mystical security might not do poorly either. I'd say that John owes me, but...I suspect after tonight we are even, and he's not in a state to put them up... But he'd be a good one to ask, if you don't know how to do them yourself." Peggy scoops up her tea again, looking somewhat more comfortable for having gone back to talking about more work-like things instead of the older days.

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline swallows another mouthful of tea and nods. "Mr. Constantine may be the man to do it, but it will depend greatly on his recovery. If worst comes to worst, I can have someone flown in from England. I'm not the strongest practioner out there. And any wards I'd need require a specialist's touch, if only to accommodate my own... unique nature."

She knows Peggy saw the monster she can become. She couldn't do that prior to 1995 -- something for which she's eternally grateful.

"Long Island may be a good choice, though somewhere in the city would be far more convenient. I suppose it's a trade off. Land brings better isolation, but the city allows me to keep a finger on the pulse easier."

Peggy Carter has posed:
"...oh hell." Peggy mutters, some thought having popped up in her head. "I...still haven't cleaned out my own house, out on Long Island. They...kept it all these years. I barely lived there after Daniel died. Didn't feel right. Never had the heart to get rid of it. And since I've been awake, I've been between here or the Triskelion. I... really should do that." Peggy gives a low sigh at the thought. The sort that says she knows she should but almost certainly isn't going to.

"Depending on money... You can find *some* houses in the city. You will almost always be connected to at least one person, but a nice corner town house will mostly protect your neighbors. We'll...start looking around. See if there is anything here in Brooklyn. You can keep the flat and redo it simply as a safe house, always good to have... but if you're staying longer, then yes. Make yourself a home."

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
"It's worth investigating the boroughss, too," Jacqueline concedes. Perhap just not as far out as Long Island. "I enjoy Manhattan, but since I rarely drive, it's just as easy to have cars sent across the bridges as anywhere else."

She glances over to her friend. "Would you like help with your own house?" she asks after a moment. "I'd be glad to. I remember how... awkward it was to pack up Cedric's things." And that wasn't something she left to servants to do. Then agan, as the decades went on, she left less and less over the years for servants to do. She's become a lot more hands on, in recent years.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"... I should say yes, but right now, I will say no. My pride doesn't want it and my heart doesn't want to pack the place. There's enough of a mess going on with SHIELD and other assignments that taking time out to pack a house that will sit quiet and keep another year...?" Peggy gives a tired, self-depricating bit of a laugh, "It's easy to use as an excuse."

She turns dark eyes back to Jac, her smile somewhat softer, exhausted but earnest. At least she's smiling. "We'll find a place for you that isn't the couch -- I still think you should take the bed, or we could both. It's more room than a fox hole -- and if I find time in my life to do it...I will let you know. Deal?"

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
Jacqueline chuckles knowingly. "Yes. It is easy to use as an excuse. And it's perfectly valid." No judgement here. Truthfully, there's still one room in the mansion back home that's Cedric's and always will be.

She nod Peggy, then. "Deal," she agrees. "Whenever you're ready." As for the couch vs. the bed? "I think we're both weary enough to sleep where we fall," she admits. "I don't rightly care where I sleep. If you care to share the bed, that's fine. God knows, we've shared worse." Fox holes, indeed.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Bed it is, then. Come on. I'm fairly certain I have a few things that might fit you so you don't need to sleep in that." Peggy takes a last, deep gulp of her tea, the dregs just left in the mug as she sets it back down. She then shifts up to her feet and leads the way back to the quiet bedroom. It's even more sparse than the front room is -- a queen bed, some messy sheets, a locked gun cabinet, a side table.

Peggy starts slipping off her robe and jacket, then she's walking to the gun cabinet to pull off all her things and put the firearms away safely. Except for one. One always lives at her bedside table. Then she's moving to pull sleep pants and a t-shirt out of the closet, setting them on the bed for Jac. "That should do fine... need anything else?

Jacqueline Falsworth has posed:
"No," Jacqueline says, taking the offered clothing. "I grabbed most of what I needed before we left." Her black canvass rucksack is over her shoulder again, day clothes, toiletries, and a handful of other sundries tucked within. "Thank you, though. Your hospitality is appreciated, as always."

Some things never change. And Jacqueline's courtesy is one of them.

She withdraws from the room to let Peggy continue her nocturnal preparations, retreating to the bathroom to change and scrub her own face. She looks into her own blue eyes for a long moment in the mirror, always surprised at how little stress shows on her ageless features. Finally, however, judging enough time passed for Peggy to settle herself -- sans whatever ablutions she may require -- she returns. More than ready to call it a night.

"Sweet dreams, Peggy," she says when they finally settle. "Or better, perhaps... dreamless sleep. Morning will be here before either of us know it."

Peggy Carter has posed:
"...Sweet dreams, Jac. I'll make up a proper pot of tea in the morning." Peggy echoe those word, as she settles down into bed, politely back-to-back with her friend. She's out within a few short minutes of her head hitting the pillow.