5384/1950: Roses and Rue

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1950: Roses and Rue
Date of Scene: 28 February 2021
Location: New York City, 1950
Synopsis: Peggy returns to work and gets a report on the latest investigations into the people that put her in the hospital. Even if she can't be out pounding the streets, her agents certainly can be.
Cast of Characters: Peggy Carter, Daniel Sousa, Melinda May, Daisy Johnson
Tinyplot: Echoes In Time (SHIELD 1950)

Peggy Carter has posed:
Things are almost back to normal. SHIELD has managed to run in Peggy's absense, one week to the day now. They let her out of hospital four days after the surgery, much to the doctor's protest, and she allowed herself another few days to recover at home surrounded by the comfort of her paperwork. But now a week has passed and she's absolutely determined to get back into work. Even with a few stitches in place and trying to keep off the painkillers, so she's slow moving. She's being stubborn. Nothing is new.

It's not 7 am, her often start. It's nearly 10 when she finally steps into the office, moving just a LITTLE slow but trying to hide the aches with confident, solid steps. She looks up as the bullpen goes a little dead around her at the sight of the Director back in place. "...What? Haven't you seen your boss before? As you were! Go!" She huffs out, moving towards her office. The only other change is on her left hand. It's the first time she's worn her engagement ring to the office. In fact, she hasn't taken it off since she got home and put it on after the hospital.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Daniel had gone to the office of head of Peggy, kissing her goodbye and telling her he'd see her soon. He knew whatever the doctor might say she was going to come in so he figured why waste the effort in trying to stop her. Hearing her voice, he rises from his desk and collects his cane, making his way into the bullpen as the agents scatter about trying to look busy and not whisper about Director Carter's return.

Making his way to Peggy's side, Daniel smiles, "Good to see you're putting the fear of god in them your first day back," he says with a wry grin, even as he looks her over just a touch of concern in his eyes.

Melinda May has posed:
Lily isn't initially in the bullpen. She enters during the bustle immediately following the 'as you were'. A brow drifts skyward, but she sees Peggy and immediately understands the phenomenon. "Good to see you up and moving again, Director." No chiding. No reproachful look. Just business. Not that different, really, to Melinda May, unsurprisingly.

She does give the other woman in the field of men a quick once over, checking to see where she's showing strain. The sparkle on her left hand catches her eye. There's a beat as she looks from the ring, to Peggy's face, to Daniel, and back to the ring. "Congratulations," she says softly, voice not carrying.

Then, a small smile of pleasure on her lips, she turns toward the desk she's claimed near the back of the bullpen, near a window. It's a very neat desk, kept almost immaculately so when she's not actively on duty, and well-organized even when she is. She has a folder in her hand, which she tosses with far less care than the rest of the desk suggests, onto the middle of the blotter.

Peggy Carter has posed:
The sight of that concerned smile from Daniel gets a brief 'Don't start' look, but she's smiling at him. Despite the ring on her finger, any open affection in the office seems an unwise idea, but she reaches one hand out to squeeze his fingertips. "I'm sure as hell that *Howard* didn't. Was he even in most of this week?" Peggy asks with a frown, partly to Daniel, but also to the nearest agents. Lily especially. She trusts Lily to be straight with her about all of this.

Then that soft comment comes from the slender woman and Peggy looks down to her hand, realizing she didn't take the ring off before heading into the office. Was it a conscious choice, or did she simply forget? Who knows. Either way, she squeezes Daniel's hand a bit tighter before nodding towards her office. "Both of you. My office. Grab whatever we have from the incident last week. I'm sure every trail is cold but... time to get back to it." In truth, Peggy is hoping people were following up while she was laid up. She just needs the updates. She then continues her way towards her office. Lily will notice her abdomen is definitely not happy about the motions and Peggy is bracing her breath just slightly. Her left arm is also held a bit too still against her side, but Peg is good about hiding just how bad it hurts. "If Rose is around, I want her eyes on this too."

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Daniel smiles when he's given that look holding up a hand as if to say 'he'd never' though they both know that's a lie. He does return the squeeze though and smiles faintly at the sight of the ring on her finger. "Thanks," he says to Chen with a nod for her as well. "Well as for Howard," he grabs a news paper off one of the desks as he passes, holding up the page six headline, "Apparently he had some other things on his mind," the story is of course linking him to *another* big name actress. He tosses it aside, as they're called into the office. "Wallace, pass me the report from the factory," he says to the agent as they pass taking the folder off of him and adding, "And let Rose we need her in Peggy's office ASAP."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
Say the name and Rose is certain to be found. Long gone are the times in which she was at the front desk, or at the phones, now with her own desk as a more proper Agent. But as we were saying, as the name is said so do those familiar footsteps are heard ambling closer, "Oh, I have my eyes on it alright." yep, she is looking at the engagement ring. Yep, there is a big wide smile on her lips.

No talk about the wound at all. If Peggy was here meant she was able to take it. Not that she wouldn't look concerned when she finds how she moves more carefully. "Welcome back, Director. And why, I think you almost even managed to get a smile out of our Lily here." a clap on the woman's back and there she goes to follow them in.

On her way she grins to the Chief. "I knew you had it in you, Chief. Well done."

Melinda May has posed:
Lily gives Peggy a simple nod and picks the folder she just dropped back up from her desk. She opens a drawer and pulls out two more folders. Then, tucking them simply under her arm, she heads for the Director's office, heels sharp against the floortile. Even now, she's dressed in a smart pantsuit with stylish boots instead of t-straps or peekaboos. That's just how she rolls.

"Yeah, Mr. Stark hasn't been around very much," she agrees, stepping through that door. "Something about meeting a woman to discuss a new project." Not fooling anyone, that.

She actually laughs when Rose claps her back, doubtlessly picking up on the redhead's enthusiasm. As she steps away, the laughter dies, but the good humour remains. "Rose," she greets. Reserved as Lily is, she displays a somewhat wider range of emotions than Agent May ever did. Mostly feeding off the emotions around her, though that's not been overly evident, thus far.

Peggy Carter has posed:
A *look* is given in Lily and Rose's direction, Peggy not even in her office and she's realized they noticed. Of course, she couldn't get it past them, but she makes no comment on the matter as she finishes leading the way to her private area which is just on the edge of collecting dust. Her nose wrinkles as she tosses the light on, gingerly moving for her desk. "One week out and this place has gone stale...No Howard... I should have come back earlier. But. Here now." She huffs out, more frustrated at herself than anything.

She moves around to the back side of her desk, bracing herself against the chair with her right arm, then the edge of her desk, before she very gingerly folds down into sitting. That clearly still hurts, half the reason she didn't stop to take this meeting outside. Pain braces across her features but she's soon down into the chair and lets out a little breath. "Alright... alright. Yes... Daniel made a proper ask of it, it's been a few weeks now, just didn't want the whole office knowing... Must have forgotten to take it off. You both can... squeal as you wish," Not that Lily was much of a squeaking person, "But...I want the details on anything else we got out of that warehouse." Peggy looks a mix of gently embarrassed and quietly proud. She's not used to attention on her personal life, or to showing pain. But she's also not ashamed of the ring, or her agents' work in her absense. It's a weird ambivalence of emotions.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Like Peggy there's an unfamiliarity with this sort of attention payed to his personal life, he glances downward a little hiding a smile before he says, "It's Field Director now Rose," though he sometimes slips and uses the old title from time to time. "And thank you, you'll both be invited to the wedding," a look to Peggy follows. "Whenever it is we sort out the details." Apparently near death experience and recovery can be murder on wedding plans.

Then it's time for business. "We found a couple mores crate of the HYDRA weapons at the factory, but they were tearing down shop when Cardoza and I found them so god only know how many more crates are loose right now. As for their leader, the Blonde, I found a file her in the OSS archives, Annika Hitzig, HYDRA, one of Red Skull's people, did a lot of work for him on the Russian front, including Volgograd, and got picked trying to escape to South America before a judge took pity on her and cut her loose because she's a woman. From her interogation files she sounds like a true believer though. Wallace said she definitely escaped so she may still be out there with the rest of those weapons."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
Rose is dressed in a dark blue dress filled with flower motifs, a little black belt around her waist and gloves in her hands. Because it's nippy this time of the year. Glasses are in place of course, and so is the sassy hair and attitude, now heightened at the news about an engagement.

The talk on Howard has her focus back to the matter at hand. "Howard, pffft. I have been to one of his houses." Rose one of Howard's girls?! But then she clarifies, "During one of the missions to find some more of those .., misplaced toys." a roll of her eyes, "I am sure he wanted something but this Rose ain't just for anyone. I am waiting for the right man."

The permission to squeal is received with a, "Acknowledged, director." before she ..., squeals. That's right. But it's behind closed doors. And it's just to release some of that enthusiasn. And of course that she comments. "Oh, I hope he hasn't been proper all the time." scandalous words!

But there's business to attend to now. She nods at the intel on Annika, "Do we have any pictures of her?" she asks about the leader.

Melinda May has posed:
Lily sets her folders down on the edge of Peggy's desk, as Rose takes the moment to squeal. "Let's at least see it," she says to Peggy, holding out a hand towards the Director's left. She *does not* squeal. Ever. But she is perfectly willing to let the woman show it off. She smiles when they do get a good look at it, her expression somehow mirroring Peggy's. "It's lovely." She glances to Daniel. "You have impecable taste, Daniel." First name, because this isn't business.

When she gestures to the folders, however, the ring is forgotten in favour of business. "I've run down some connections between Lotus Blossom in Chinatown and the place we found you. There are connections. Tenuous, but they're there. There's a business group that is remarkably... *inclusive*. It crosses several community boundaries. I haven't heard of Miss Hitzig being on its roster, it's still very male, but there are links to shipping companies and manufacturers all through the tristate area."

Peggy Carter has posed:
Edging on pale because driving here, taking the stairs, and making her way across the bull pen was a lot, Peggy's still smiling a bit warmer and there's a hint of blush warring with that ashen patina, especially as Rose squeals like that and Lily practically asks to see it. Peggy gives no complaint, reaching her hand out to show off the antique ring. There is no doubt this is from an earlier generationl, the white gold a slightly more old fashioned set around the large stone. But it fits her hand perfectly and she seems relcutant to take it off now. "From Daniel's family... Your grandmother's, right?" She asks him, her voice abit softer, still flattered that he'd have given her such an antique. And parts of it don't feel real. "...we... We'd like to do something small, soon. With most of you. But... a proper wedding. When we can all find breathing room." Peggy admits quietly to both of them. Apparently, eloping at City Hall is off the table, for whatever reason.

Then she's sitting up just a bit straighter, clearing her throat and forcing herself to focus on the files at hand. Her head tilts at the question of the business group, but she's grabbing at Daniel's file to start flipping through quickly before she catches sight of that woman, the one that shot her, and turns the black and white photo to Rose. "That's her. SHe's got a taste for torture, among other things. No surprise she's one of Red Skull's." Peggy's nose wrinkles in disguist. "...Lily...do you think this business group is simply a cover for HYDRA?"

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Daniel gives Rose a /look/ when she makes her remark about him being proper all the time. "That's classified above your paygrade," he replies with a shake of his head before he nods to Peggy. "That's right my grandfather gave it to her before they sailed from Portugal," and ended up in Idaho somehow. "He was the one with the taste I just made the trip home to get it." And to talk his folks into giving it to him for a girl they've never met. "But yeah, that's the plan, something small as soon as we can all find the time," he says of the wedding.

Then it's back to business, "Here," he answers Rose about the photo, producing one of a blonde woman, pretty but disdainful, clearly a mugshot from when she got picked up after the war. "I can definitely vouch for the fact she's nuts and has a solid right hook," he says, the evidence of his rough treatment still healing on his face. "Unfortunately the reports from the OSS are pretty light on connections or information after she was cut loose, so it sounds like this business association is the best place to start to pick up a trail."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Speaking of paygrade. Now that you have made the favor of reminding me you are 'field director' where's my upgrade, mmm?" Walked right into that one, Sousa! But then Rose simply winks. The ring is, of course, thoroughly looked over by the eagle-eyed Rose. "I will look forward to it, I am sure it will be lovely. I already have a dress for it you know?"

But all that is before the *business time*, which she gets into quickly enough, picking up the pic from the blonde. "Reminds me of Dottie.." she comments off-handedly, making a face.

A glance then goes to Lily. "Sounds like that merits being followed up. Any solid hooks that we can look into about that group?" which probably means raiding! Or infiltrating. She can do both!

A look back to Peggy. "Has any of their motives being found so far? On why they are moving weapons around?"

Melinda May has posed:
"From what I understand," Lily replies, with regard to whether or not the group may be HYDRA, "they certainly were in L.A. This is a vastly different group than that, but the general activities suggest there's a parallel. So... yes. I think it's possible, anyway." She gives a mild shrug. "We already know we're up against HYDRA in some form or another. Miss Hitzig's involvement proves that. Without her, I'd say it's *possible* the weapons are simply being distributed by opportunists seeking to sow discord or to take advantage of holes in the national security net to get them into the hands of bad actors -- militant communists, organizied crime, or whomever. But given everything? My gut says HYDRA isn't nearly as dead as anyone thought it was."

And somehow this just doesn't surprise her. Something tells her that the next decades will see not just battles with HYDRA, but with Leviathan and the CDSA, the first of several incarnations of the Chinese intelligence agency. She doesn't say it, though. She's slowly learning to filter the strange thoughts she has like that.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"We'll... let you all know about a date. I promise. Not too far away..." That last comment is said more in Daniel's direction than anything. The promise included. Apparently, they've had some conversations about this. But life or death situations do that to people. However, for now, Peggy is quite content to focus on work more than personal things. That's why she drug her still-healing self all the way downtown to the offices.

"I have no doubt HYDRA is still in operation, though weapons weren't always their deepest interest. Medical and science experimentation... we're missing that part of their business. It might even be the larger section. So... we need more information on that cross business group. If we can trace where their business interests are going, we might be able to dig up other edges of HYDRA, even if they aren't one and the same." A bittersweet smile is given to Rose at her last question, "It's HYDRA. They want to destroy or use anyone different from them... and otherwise, make themselves the most powerful force in the world. Normally through scientific or medical means. If they are that active in New York, we should start tracing disappearances as well. They always need...Subjects."

Daniel Sousa has posed:
"We'll talk about it on your next review," Daniel deflects with a grin, before he gets back to the business at hand. "Yeah, this group does have a very 'Arena Club' feel to it," he agrees of Chen's assessment, "As for motive, not sure, it could be like the Nazi werewolf units after the war, sow chaos, make life hell for the allies, Hitzig seems like the type for that sort of work," he says before adding, "And because our life's been on the strange side lately, that's just the name the army gave those units, they weren't actually werewolves," he says, a little wry smirk forming that their lives had gotten to the point that distinction had to be made. Then he's serious again, "I can talk to our friends in the FBI and NYPD about missing persons cases, we know what sort they'd be looking for, people who are likely to survive whatever they do to them, or people who aren't going to be missed?"

Daisy Johnson has posed:
Rose listens in attentively to each, chewing on her lower lip in thought. Hydra was always one lurking around a corner apparently. "That bunch of snobs." this about the arena club. Good riddance! The photo is returned back to the folder, "And like those snobs it's as if Hydra has their little tentacles everywhere. Weapons, scientists.., experiments. What's next? Politicians?" she breathes out through her nose.

But with that thought out of the way she nods sharply. "Alright, whatever I can help with I am your gal." the woman not exactly having the same kind of connections the others do.

Melinda May has posed:
"Inevitably," Lily says in response to Rose's quip about politicians. She's sure they're already in someone's pocket. Why not HYDRA's?

As shiver runs down her spine, and for just a moment, she winces. But, then, it's as if it never happened. She crosses toward the window, arms wrapping around herself as if she were unconsciously holding herself together.

"We need proof the business men are cooperating like the Arena club did. They're not much for mixing socially. But if we could get someone in one of their offices." Or bedrooms; that's always an option. "Perhaps we can find something."

Peggy Carter has posed:
The Arena club gets another wrinkle of her nose. "...I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same with a new face. Failed in LA, came out this direction. Chen, I want all your attention on this new business group. Tag which agents you want for it, put a team together, but that's your entire assignment until we have some solid leads, understood?" Then Peggy's biting her lower lip, considering all of this a bit more as she reads through the file Lily droppped instead of Rose. "...Rose, you're probably right about the politicians, honestly. I want you to start making inroads... My and Daniel's faces are too well known and Lily's too Chinese for them to listen. You? You look like the perfect politician's wife... when you want to. Start getting invites to dinners. Bug Howard about if, if you can. I know you're great on the phones and with the files..but we need you on some actual spy work for a while. Trust your instincts and earn that pay bump you've had since we gave you a desk."

Peg smiles wry to Daniel, "...you two can talk the title as much as you want. Pay's already in place." Peggy sure as HELL wasn't going to pay her lady agents less than the men, and Rose's promotion was set in her mind the moment she moved onto the floor. "Sousa...I want you looking at those case files. Generally they grab people that aren't going to be missed, but you look the best to hob nob with the FBI and local PD. Brush elbows, make friends, get their files... Any questions?" She looks up to her team, content that she's back steering the helm and they've all got effective orders. And it's not even 11 am.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
"Wouldn't be surprised," Daniel agrees about the Arena Club. "Those kind of guys always have nine lives," he says before adding to Rose. "Try not to punch out Howard though, no matter how much he deserves it," since it seems Rose and Stark would be working the politician angle.

There's a smile for the pay situation though before he nods, "On it," he says about the files. "I'll get into it with my contacts and spread out from there," he promises.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"For the record, I was just joking about the paygrade. Just wanted to rub it on the chi- I mean the field director's face." Rose replies, grinning faintly. Not that she minds a payrise! Noone does! But then. Orders. And surprising ones since she does get to adjust her glasses. She as a politician's wife? But then a creeping grin starts to rise up on her expression.

"I will get right on it. Howard will help I am sure. And I know a few people..." a look to Sousa, ".. From my time fronting the LA office. You have no idea how many artists I got to meet at the start of their career. Some were even good and became famous." some weren't, like the mimes trying to grope her. Ugh..

"And I promise I won't punch him unless he deserves it."

Melinda May has posed:
Lily turns away from the window and gives Peggy a simple nod in response to her marching orders. She glances to the others and a hint of a smile touches her lips again as Rose rises to the challenge put before her. "We'll get it done," she promises.

She crosses to the desk and lays her hand on her folders. "May I? Or do you want some time to look, first?" There are details in there that explain why she's got the hunch she does, but Peggy may not need to see them, just now. Once it's clear whether or not she should leave the folders with the Director, she smiles again. "I'll keep you posted with what I find." Like that was even a question.

Then, to Rose: "Oh. Remind me later to touch base with you. There's something I'd like your eyes on." With that, she turns back to the Peggy and gives her another nod, ready to take her leave.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"You can punch him maybe just a little." Peggy winks at Rose, giving the trio a bit more of a smile after. Then her voice gets louder. "Dismissed. Go! I don't pay you to gossip, goodness. You'd think this was a tea room and not an intelligence agency!" Peggy grumps, though it's clearly good natured teasing behind the edge of those stiff words which are just loud enough for the room beyond to here. The Director is back and ready to hit the ground running! Or, at least, make sure her agents do!