5714/Empty Chairs at Empty Tables

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Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
Date of Scene: 24 March 2021
Location: Carter-Sousa Home - Long Island
Synopsis: Lance, May, Jemma, and Peggy move Vogel from Lance's apartment to a seemingly time-frozen house in Long Island. The Carter-Sousa residence has not had anyone living in it since 1956, but hasn't changed an inch either. Jemma's introduced to the secret of HYDRA in SHIELD and Vogel's real identity. No one talks about the baby booties or bullets on the fireplace mantel.
Cast of Characters: Lance Hunter, Peggy Carter, Melinda May, Jemma Simmons

Lance Hunter has posed:
The Dawnview apartments in Salem were the last sort of place you'd expect a bunch of SHIELD agents to store a high value prisoner, but it was. The quaint low rise apartment building in the sleepy community hiding that prisoner in an apartment listed as belonging to Jordan Henderson rather than Lance Hunter, though Lance had definitely lived there before Vogel had been moved in and his life exploded as a result.

Now he was back, this time to finally get rid of his unwanted house guest from his one room apartment decorated with all manner of Liverpool FC gear and entirely stripped of its usual hidden weapons. Hunter has the final round of guard duty at this site and as he sits messing around with his phone, ICER on his hip he checks the time over and over eager to get this show on the road.

Peggy Carter has posed:
Like most of these completely off the books, undercover enough to not exist missions, everyone was slipped a note. 'If you want to help, meet at this address, 9 pm. Bring self protection. Burn this after reading.' in Peggy's neat handwriting. Jemma's also had a request for sedatives and 'Will explain there. Highly secret, please burn. -PC'. The nights of keeping Vogel chained up in poor Lance's bathroom are over. Peggy's finally caved to the need to transfer him somewhere a bit more secure, a bit less urban, and with more room for him to move around and breathe. It's almost going to be a mercy. Just not one she wants to deal with him awake for.

She's the second on scene, dressed to move in a dark pant suit with old fashioned wide legs and a double breasted jacket. It's a heavy enough jacket to hide both the weapons under her arm and at her hips. She's sleeping poor enough that it's ceased being worth pincurling her hair at night, so it's rolled back down both sides of her head, just finally having gotten long enough again to pull back at the base of her neck. She's not even bothering with make up, so the faint scars down the left side of her face show. She's tired and not bothering with much else. Nodding to Lance as she steps in the front door. "How bad has he been?" She asks quietly.

Melinda May has posed:
May isn't long behind Peggy. Her garb is a little more urban-utilitarian, as is her wont. Black jeans, dark t-shirt, leather jacket heavy enough to hide whatever weapons she feels the need to carry. A good pair of boots with just enough of a heel and laceless style not to scream biker. Because she's not. A biker. Not really.

She pauses outside the door to Lance's appartment, closing her eyes for a moment and inhaling a deep breath. The smell of the cheap carpet and leftovers from the dozen apartments on the floor isn't exactly pleasant, but she needs the moment to center herself. And, maybe, test herself.

Staticky sensations prickle down her spine, an interplay of tension and relief she can alomst isolate and identify... but not quite. It's... perplexing to her. But, it does allow her to 'steal' some sense of normalcy.

Thus, when she does slip into the apartment, she's got a more familiar set to her shoulders, a stiffness to her spine that seems more 'her' in many ways. The subtle lines around her tighten a little as she finds herself able to begin to tune in to some of the static around her. She gives a nod to both Hunter and Carter in turn as she enters the main room, focussing on each of them for just a moment, a hint of that puzzlement shadowing her dark eyes before she pushes it away and glances to the bathroom where Vogel is imprisoned.

And, for just a moment, she actually feels a flash of sympathy for the snake. He never did get his dignity back, did he? Her sympathy vanishes when she realizes just how angry he's likely to be... and that fills in just a little more of the static in the back of her mind.

Well. Hell.

Jemma Simmons has posed:
Bring sedatives? Burn after reading? How so very cloak and dagger. For Jemma, it is the fact that the note comes from Peggy that makes it enough for her to comply without questions. After all, this is Peggy Carter asking. Who is Jemma to deny that?

Still, there are questions. Like...why is Jemma going to what seems to be an apartment building with sedatives? That is the least of her questions. Still, answers can come later. Agent Carter awaits!

The knock on the door is heard, lightly, before Jemma walks in. And finds not only one Peggy Carter, but Hunter and May, too. Judging from the decor, it is easy for Jemma to determine that this is Lance's place. The taste of football clubs is a sure-fire clue. Jemma blinks in surprise, a hand reaching down to her coat pocket, where there is a vaguely square shape in the pocket. "Well, this is surprising."

Jemma Simmons, mistress of the obvious.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Lance looks up as the others join him. "Hey, oh, Vogel's been no problem," he tells her getting up from his chair and putting his phone away. "The problem is bloody Bobbi found out about it. I didn't give up what I was doing all this for and who, but she's pretty mad and might be doing some talking, so someone who's not me might want to reach out to her and explain things." he says.

"But that damage is done, let's just get the bloody bastard out of here," he says, seeming exhausted.

Peggy Carter has posed:
As May arrvies, Peggy gives her a longer once over. A little worried, a little curious, just watching how the woman is hanging in, especially since they didn't get back from the west coast until far too late last night. "May." She greets quietly. And then Lance is given a tired smile, "Thank you again for the... accommodations. I know it's caused some issues. I will talk to Bobbi. I promise. And... sorry I couldn't get him out of your hair sooner." The apology is utterly sincere, even some emotion behind it for the tired Brit.

Then, there's Jemma. Peggy's smile is a both relieved and a bit forced, the sort of smile that says 'everything is fine and don't be worried' when the opposite is absolutely true. "Jemma! Thank you, I know this was...abrupt. But, well, we... wanted to get you caught up to speed anyway. And could use your help." The we is a trusted, heavy look between Lance and May. It's got a lot of history behind it. And stress.

And then Jemma can hear an angry roar from the bathroom, "Get. Me. OUT OF HERE." A masculine voice growls. Peggy just winces, taking a breath in so she can just dive into the explanation.

"That man is Kurt Vogel. He's been an R&D contact to SHIELD for years and sold us most of our Quinjet parts. He's also one of the current heads of HYDRA. There are people in SHIELD right now loyal to HYDRA. We're not certain who. We're trying to figure that out. But until we know, we... can't turn him to SHIELD custody. In fact, there's a lot we can't do or say on SHIELD books. But he can't stay here longer. I've got a house to move him to, out on Long Island, and we'd like your help." She then looks back to the other two. "...did I miss anything?"

Melinda May has posed:
May meets Peggy's eyes for a moment as she senses her concern and the curiosity. Just the subtlest hint of a smile touches one corner of her mouth -- hardly more than a microexpression -- and gives a small shake of her head. They can talk later. And they will.

For now, though, there's a job to be done. Her brows knit faintly together. She can sense Lance's fatigue, and likely some of his pain and conflict about Bobbi. It's definitely better Peggy go talk to the new commander than she. Her hands thrust deep into the pockets of her jacket, balled into fists.

She brings one out briefly, raising a loosely open hand to Jemma in greeting. "Yeah, and if we survive this," she says after Peggy has given the explanation. "You and I need to talk again." Not here. Not now. But soon. She taps the side of her head meaningfully, so the scientist may understand -- things are changing for her.

Then, of course, Vogel's shouting and a flash of irritation, even outright anger, rolls across May's features. She inhales deeply again and her expression schools itself into a very familiar one -- her game face. The one she pulls out when she's pissed and on mission.

It's so much like being herself again, it almost makes her happy. Except, of course, it can't. Too much other interference.

Jemma Simmons has posed:
Oh, Jemma recognizes *that* smile. It is one that she is an expert on giving. The fact that it has a distinct British flair to it only makes it that much more recognizable. A slow nod is given as the urgency of the summons is touched upon. "Yes, well, I wasn't doing anything in particular anyyways." A joke, of course. "And besides, I knew you wouldn't have asked had it not been important."

Brown eyes shift to regard May, offering a warm smile in return of the greeting. There might have been a further, verbal greeting provided, but May's words squelch that. The tap of the head does have rather deep significance for Jemma...and the somewhat pleasant but confused aura that hangs about the doctor fades abruptly, with a corresponding expression of concern fluttering over her mien. For May, there is probably a sense of knowing mingled with that concern. Yes, Jemma can probably guess as to what is happening with May.

The shout, though, startles her. And the explanation as to who the voice belonged to is also startling. For Jemma recognizes the name, at least in passing. Being in R&D, it would be expected. But the dawn of comprehension is easily visible by all parties. Jemma knows who the sedatives are for. "Well, okay then. I am touched that you trust me so. And the Mission Impossible-style subterfuge is so much more clear know as to its necessity."

Lance Hunter has posed:
"I appreciate it," Hunter says to Peggy. "I'll handle the personal bits, just need someone she's going to take seriously, to explain what's going on better than I can." The personal bits... that was his particular mess.

He's almost glad when Vogel starts to complain from the bedroom, that was an easier problem to deal with. "Welcome to the party, Jemma," he offers the scientist at the end of Peggy's quick summary of the situation. "So, we going to drug him right off or does one of us get to shoot him with an ICER first? Because if it's the latter, I'm calling dibs,"he says raising his hand.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"You are either taking this *remarkably* well, or it's that British sensibility kicking in and there will be a very private panic later. Either way, I'm glad you're here. I'd recommend prepping whatever you need to knock him out as quickly as possible. We could just shoot him with an ICER then drug him on top of that, but I don't know how they interact and would rather not kill the man after we've taken this much time to keep him..." Then she hears Lance's request. A cold chuckle escapes her lips. "I mean, I was going to ask you to hold him down but if you're that desperate. Just get a dose ready that is... ICER safe. Once he's out, I want him in the car immediately. May, can you pull the SUV around to the back door and keep it running? You can drive. I just want to move fast as possible. Get him clear of this area before anyone who maybe followed us shows up." The keys are tossed to May from her back pocket. They can switch back later. Peggy doesn't THINK they've been followed, but paranoia is at an all time high.

Then Peg is waiting for the team to be ready. Lance with the ICER, Jemma with the drugs, May to be strong and with the SUV. When everyone gives her the nod, she opens the door to the bathroom to a string of quiet curses and words. "You know, there's still time to get out of this. I've got money, you want power. We own SHIELD anyway, you know that..." Peggy smirks and just nods towards Lance. Go time.

Melinda May has posed:
May catches the keys deftly in one hand, nodding to her friend. "On it." She slips out of the apartment swiftly after that, feeling an odd sense of relief as the tensions within the apartment abate with the distance. The doors between her and the other residents of the building are sufficient to keep them away from the edges of her consciousness. Still, she holds on to her carefully constructed center, putting up mental walls against outside pressure as she does. It's easier to do when she's alone -- if a whole lot harder to tell if they're at all effective.

Doesn't matter. She'll find out in short order.

She finds the SUV, brings it around close to the door, and makes sure the doors are unlocked. They'll be moving fast, she has no doubt.

Jemma Simmons has posed:
"Oh, you know me. Stiff upper lip and all that." Yes, there will almost certainly be a private panic, as Peggy put it, later. But now...now is the time to keep a level head.

The hand dips into that coat pocket, pulling out a square package that looks like it would be right at home transporting insulin for diabetics. And, really, it should...for that is exactly why Jemma chose it, for its common appearance. And, really, opening it to find a syringe and a bottle would be not that surprising at all. Of course, it is what is inside the bottle that is key. As Jemma slides out the syringe, she shifts into explanation mode. "I had anticipated that whatever subject in need of sedation would be rather...adverse to the notion of such. As such, I ensured I procured a sedative that will not react to the level of dendrotoxin that will be present should a more remote means of securing the subject was needed." In other words, Jemma was fully prepared to ICER the man, herself. The fact that Lance wants to do it is merely a formality.

A tap of the syringe to remove the air bubbles, and then a nod. "You may fire when ready." A little dry humour, spoken as straight as Jemma usually musters. She's ready when everyone else is.

Lance Hunter has posed:
When given the go ahead by both Peggy and Jemma, Hunter nods, kicks open the bedroom door and with a grin fires two ICER rounds into Vogel. "Put a sock in it mate," Hunter says as the man goes limp. "Jemma, he's all yours, Peggy, you want to get a free shot in or two while he's out be my guest," he says before stepping into the room and getting ready to carry him out once Jemma's done her work.

Peggy Carter has posed:
It all moves so fast, but that's how Peggy likes it. She gives Jemma that stiff upper lip smile as Lance is finishing his work. The man is sputtering protests again and then he's out. Heavy, boneless, a strong thud against Lance's poor floor. Peggy immediately moves in, checking his pulse to see that it's slowing enough she's convinced he's out cold. Once he is, she undoes the shackles and nods for Jemma to head for the door. "Get in the car with May, we'll move him, you can do your magic on the road, alright?" Peggy's just in full on orders mode now. Something else has changed in her. She's more locked down. More cold.

Then she looks up to Lance, "Give a girl a hand?" Together, they lug the unconscious form of Kurt Vogel out of his room. Peggy makes certain the hall is clear before they get him down the long way and straight to the back door and the open SUV. Hopefully Jemma and May are waiting. Once they're in the back, she orders Lance, "Restrain him again. Keep him safe for Jemma to do her magic. May, we're going to 1221 Hempstead Way, Long Island." There's a single, strange catch in Peggy's throat as she utters that address.

No sign of being followed or watched. Their way is clear. Off they can go. Vogel is quiet and helpless now, a middle aged business man with enough money to keep himself silver fox handsome, he doesn't look like one of the most powerful heads of HYDRA in the world. But then, none of them do.

Melinda May has posed:
May's fingers tighten some on the wheel, knuckles whitening, as the other three agents arrive with their 'baggage' in tow. The car is a far closer space than the apartment, which means she's not got a vertiable blender of unfamiliar emotions splashing all over her and no place to retreat to. Her heart rate increases unpleasantly -- albeit still within the range of 'normal'; she's not in danger of a heartattack, here. She's just used to having more control over it. Her expression tightens further and she finds herself mentally reaching out for the cold wall Peggy projects over top of her roiling emotions, which doesn't really help, given the maelstrom underneath.

A soft whisper of a growl flutters in the back of her throat as she grinds her teeth and glances back over her left shoulder to check traffic before merging out into it. Then, she puts all her concentration on the road -- blocking out as much of all of the emotions around her as she can... Peggy's maelstrom, Lance's brooding, and Jemma's concern all.

Therapy. Every last one of them needs therapy!

She is silent throughout the drive. She is vigilant. Her eyes are constantly scanning the road not only for the usual traffic hazzards, but also for signs of a tail or pursuit. After all, the paranoia level in the SUV, given their mission, is also through the roof. Even if she weren't inclined to such vigilance before (and she totally was), she certainly is now.

Jemma Simmons has posed:
"Right" The syringe, primed and ready, is replaced into the diabetic carrying case as Jemma immediately heads out the door and down the hall to find some fresh air. The lingering smell of multiple stale dinners and other fragrant orders clear Jemma's nostrils the moment she finds herself outside. And...as expected, there is May waiting with the SUV in tow.

A quick jump in the back while Jemma sounds out for May. "They're on their way. We decided to use the ICER and I will sedate once all parties are in the vehicle." There is calm in that voice...but the flutter of nerves can certainly be sensed by those sensitive enough to pick up that sort of thing. And, with a side-eye glance towards May, even though there is more space than the two had recorded before, it would seem that Jemma is doing more than just watching for the other two to emerge.

Which doesn't take long at all. Seemingly they were right behind Jemma. As May drives, Jemma gets to work. The syringe is reproduced as a pair of fingers slide fabric up the left arm of the unconscious Vogel, barely giving Lance any time to secure the prisoner once more. The fingertips find a suitable injection point and the needle flashes in the light as Jemma deftly injects her cocktail. In and out, without a blink. Almost too fast to follow.

As for the rest of the drive? Jemma is silent...but those eyes are not on Vogel, or Lance, or even Peggy. They are on May. The concern is still there, but tempered with curiousity and just a smidge of a sense of knowing. Which gives way to Jemma's overall research mentality, especially when a friend is involved.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"One sec," Hunter says when Peggy asks for a hand, he ducks out into the living room to grab one of a few half-finished bottles of beer and pours it on Vogel. "Just in case there's someone in the lift," also because he's happy to heap more humiliation on the man at this point. "Though we may want to put some plastic down in the car," he adds as an afterthought.

Then he's helping lift the man and when Peggy's ready drag him down to the car.

Peggy Carter has posed:
As they get into the car, smelling of beer now, Peggy quips quietly. "I promise, I'll pay for a good detailing after all of this." Even if this is one of the unmarked, false registered SUVs they've been using for this mess, it's still a shared work vehicle. She's trying to be polite about it. She settles in next to May, since Lance is helping restrain the man and Jemma's running medical. Peggy keeps eyes out the whole way for tails or other worrisome signs. It's a good way to keep herself distracted from this all.

It's about 45 minutes down to deep, middle class residential Long Island this time of night. It'd be far worse at rush hour. There's perfectly manicured lawns, a series of literal white picket fences, children's toys and playhouses in the yards, and the perfect mid-American dream still humming along. It just looks a few decades out of date. Halfway down one of these streets is a split level family home. No cars in the driveway, no lights on in the house. The lawn is perfectly trimmed, but there are no toys here. Peggy holds up a clicker that looks like it's from the 1950s and the garage lifts.

An ancient 1954 Nash is on the far side, but the near spot is empty. There's a few things hanging in the garage -- weed whackers, some truly antique Christmas lights, sun chairs for the back deck, a lawn mower. Everything looks in decent condition and from about half a century ago. If any agent is particularly sharp, they may have caught the name on the mailbox. The Carter-Sousa's.

Melinda May has posed:
May pulls the SUV into the garage and turns off the engine. She is out of the car fairly quickly, moving to close the garage door while the others deal with their unconscious cargo. It gives her a few feet more distance. Because, this place... is a very emotional place for some reason. Given the name she saw on the mailbox as they came in, she can guess why.

She hangs back as Lance and the others deal with Vogel, letting them wrestle him into the house proper and down into the basement. She follows more slowly behind, checking the doors as she does, making sure they're secure as they go.

She pauses, however, at the top of the stairs to the basement, unsure if she wants to follow them all the way down. "I'll keep watch," she calls after them.

Jemma Simmons has posed:
Wait....what did that name say on the mailbox? The surprise is palpable as the SUV pulls to a stop in the garage. Jemma...is the last to leave the SUV, due to her claiming the back for her medical deliberations enroute. As the door closes, the good doctor seems poised to follow Lance and Peggy to where ever they deem to take their rather beer-soaked cargo to. And, to wait with May? That isn't going to happen.

For, it doesn't take an empath to realize when someone wants some space. And May is giving all the classic signs of such.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Mailbox? What mailbox? Hunter's focus is on their prisoner and the fact that the man's finally out of his apartment. So when they pull into the garage and he looks around, he remarks, "You sure it'll be okay to stash him here? They're not planning on filming a reboot of Leave it to Beaver or anything?" he asks given the decor and a car from a company whose name he doesn't recognize.

Still when it comes time to haul Vogel down to the basement he's more than willing to do his part., "Don't suppose we could drop him a couple of times?" asks Peggy hopefully.

Peggy Carter has posed:
The interior of the house is like a strange museum piece. Completely stopped in time one day in 1956. It's strangely well kept, no noticable dust or cobwebs anywhere -- someone must have sent fairly regular cleaners this whole time. But nothing's been moved out, packed up, or changed. The bright sofa is faded on one half where the sun has come in on it for nearly 70 years, as is some of the carpet, but they're all in clean condition. There's black and white photos on the wall of several people -- the first class at SHIELD academy, Daniel and Peggy's wedding, the wedding party (which includes a photo of someone who looks completely identical to May), another photo of Peggy and that strange May-like woman smiling on a boat somewhere. A few baby pictures on the mantel and a pair of brozed baby booties on the mantel. There's beloved books on the shelves, a desk messy with some old SHIELD files, and a day crib in the corner of the living room. Life just stopped, very abruptly, but was never allowed to clean out of this place.

Peggy can feel the mix of emotions and realizations from May and Jemma. Not as an empathy, but it's like she can feel their eyes on her. Lance is thankfully oblivious and that's nearly a breath of fresh air. "No. No dropping him down the stairs. I'm hoping, maybe...we can sweeten him up. Get more cooperation out of him for better accommodations and some nicer treatment, just... requires us to find someone to come in and play good cop, you know. Or perhaps a certain mix of drugs, if Jemma has better ideas than my fake malaria. And we are fine to stash him here. This is my house. The basement is already reinforced for such purposes..."

And as they carry him into the basement, why that is is clear. It was made up as a panic room. Comfortable couch, bed, a few other nice amenities, but completely cut off from the world over head. No windows, no cracks, a steel door. "Oh...and it's a bomb shelter. He should be secure in there."

Melinda May has posed:
May would probably accept Jemma's presence more graciously than the others, at the moment. In the first place, Jemma's emotions are actually manageable. Peggy's are a veritable nightmare, on the other hand. And Lance... well, he's just Lance. As it is, however, the Asian woman is content to be left alone. In the guise of checking windows and doors, she wanders through the main level of the house -- peeking out the windows, certainly, but also just trying to give herself some distance. Breathing space.

Eventually, she finds herself by that fireplace mantle, looking at the baby booties (wait... what?!) juxtaposed with the mason jar and its content of spent slugs.

It's no wonder Peggy's emotions are so knotted up, if that means what the senior agent thinks it means.

And then, of course, there are those occasional photos with her face. That's not disturbing. Not at all!

For the first time in what feels like forever, Melinda May finds herself feeling things again. She just doesn't know how much of it is her own and how much of it is the others.

She doesn't like it.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter slowly starts to clue in when he sees the pictures and the whole mausoleum feel to the place but as talkative as he is British enough not to make a fuss about it, just takes a look around, pausing to study one of the pictures that looks like May before he's carrying Vogel down into the murder basement, er, bomb shelter down below. "Definitely not going to work as the good cop," he says. "I don't think Vogel likes me much," a feeling that is very much mutual. "But happy to take a turn or two as guard now that he's out of my house."

Peggy Carter has posed:
Peggy works in silence. She can't think too hard about this place. She can't look around too much. The cleaners were supposed to keep it, not her. But now they needed it. She helps Lance carry him down into the basement, "Look around, make certain there's nothing he can use as a weapon or hang himself with, but... we should be able to let him walk around, at least." It means taking the toilet seat and lid off the tank. No toothbrushes. Bare mattress. But it's fairly easy to scale down the panic room. Peggy tosses everything into a box of dusty books and toys, apparently not something the cleaning staff has gotten to in a long time, and sets it to carry upstairs.

"Jemma, if you can...check on him. Maybe give him another few hours sleep, that'll buy us time to triple secure the door from the outside." Peggy numbly offers, still in command mode. She's then helping Lance carry the things back upstairs to be put in a corner. For the first time, she lets herself look across the place. "I...was thinking of maybe Bobbi for good cop. Or Jemma, if she wants to get more into the... interrogation side of things. But at least he's moved. And I can,.. take my share of babysitting as well." It jsut means being stuck in this house.

Then she's staring at the photo on the boat. Then back to May. Then that photo again. "... you... *really* look like her..." She breathes out quietly.

Melinda May has posed:
May shifts a little as the others join her once Vogel is as secure as he can be for now. "I do," she agrees, placing the photo she was holding back down in its spot. Uncharacteristically, she forces a smile to her face -- a clear channelling of the damned Brits in the room. (All y'all, I swear!) Stiff upper lip, wot. "You'll have to tell me more stories about... all this... later." She gestures to the mantle, since it really does sum up the secrets of her friend's life -- a secret wedding (sorta), a secret baby (at least to modern folks), and the remarkable mason jar. Layers up on layers to unpack here.

For a fleeting moment, she wonders if that's how Andrew felt when he saw things around people he met.

Stepping casually away, she returns to the window to check out the side of it. "So," she says, switching purposely to a more business-like mode. "What's our gameplan from here? I can take shifts with him. Probably play good-cop. He thinks he has a connection to me." A beat. "And I can read him."

Jemma Simmons has posed:
Blast that damnable British sensibility! At least it is a little easier for May, since Jemma is actually down in the safe room making sure her 'patient', such as he is, is well taken care off. There isn't much she needs to do for him, however. A quick judge of the heart rate and other vitals gives Jemma enough data she needs to tailor another dose, this time of half a syringe. that should be enough to keep their little pet HYDRA asleep for a couple more hours, as requested.

As Jemma ascends to the main living room, she just walks in on the tail end of May asking what is next. "What? Good cop?" A moment of hesitation, then Jemma just nods in agreement with May. Particularly her proclamation that she can read Vogel. Then again, May can read pretty much anyone she chooses at the moment, but it is still all perfectly valid.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Once Vogel is dropped Hunter goes to work removing dangerous items out of the room and transporting them upstairs, he makes a few more trips before he's back in the living room with the others, leaning against the wall. "Whoever we send to get information out of him is fine by me, though would be good to get Bobs into this, but as long as we get something useful just about anything is fine by me. Our guest has been nothing but a pain in the ass so far."

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Well, Lance, he's not your worry any more. In fact... why don't you take a few days off of babysitting? You deserve the break, and it means I might be able to smooth Bobbi into this without... hiccups." Peggy is doing her best to be appropriately polite and British about the pair's spat, but she knows it's not good. As Jemma returns to the upper floor and May offers to be the sweet talker, she nods. "If May is up for it, then... you'll be the friend. You 'secured' this place for him. Got him a real bed, real food, are talking sense into us monsters." Peggy smirks, but the word monster is a bit too heavy coming out of her. She might actually feel like one right now.

Then she's turning back to Jemma, her tired eyes weighing a bit more heavy on the other British woman. There's something aching behind them, regretting drawing the young, brilliant scientist into this mess. "Jemma... you can walk away from this and pretend you never heard anything. I know you're busy back at base and... not all of SHIELD is bad. In fact, I think... most are fine. We can't trace or figure out whose corrupted yet, only who we...trust. Of which, you are one. If you want in on this, we want you here. There's other missions... More HYDRA to take down. We could use smoeone tracing who has their fingers in some higher level R&D stuff in SHIELD, so we can maybe figure out who is feeding things to HYDRA. But it's dangerous, and it technically means you... You're betraying your agency. It's up to you. You can walk away now or... we'll call you when we need you. Burner phones, private notes. Non-SHIELD issue equipment. It's not pretty but it's where we are."

Melinda May has posed:
May gives the hint of a humourless smirk, still feeding off the emotions swirling in the room. She nods to Peggy's instructions about how to handle Vogel. The fact she likely wasn't seen, nor even heard by the man before they left the apartment may actually work in her favour, too. Hard to say. Men like Vogel are unpredicatable that way. "We'll make it work."

She falls silent again as Peggy turns her attention to Jemma. Her eyes dart between the other three. She pushes casually away from her spot by the window and drifts a little closer to the scientist. Her emotions are the most stable. So, yes. May is shamelessly using her as a shield. Or, perhaps more accurately, a filter.

Jemma Simmons has posed:
There is a flicker of fear as Peggy addresses Jemma and mentions that whatever *this* is....is dangerous. But only for a moment before the sliver of fear is tucked away and Simmons reflects her usual. Calm, concern, and compassion. "I am truly sorry, Peggy, but I will be damned if you are getting rid of me that easily." Oh, there is a comfort level about Jemma now. She used the first name, rather than any honorifics. "You must have known what I would say. Otherwise you would not have asked me to come in the first place. Of that, I know."

A beat, as Jemma regards each person in turn, then returns her focus to Peggy. "I am afraid you are all stuck with me now. Whether you like it or not." The face remains stoic...but the voice betrays the scientist. She meant for it to be light-hearted, but true. She isn't about to run out on people now.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter nods as Peggy lets him off the hook for guard duty. "Nah, I'll do my part, need to give Bobs some space for a bit anyhow, easier to talk things out if things aren't so... fresh," he says. "So might as well keep an eye on our friend, you know once I've sanitized my place of all that HYDRA stink anyhow."

A smile is offered to Jemma. "Good to have you on the team, Jemma," a look to Peggy and May is given. "We drag Fitz into this yet? Cuz I still say he'd be good for this."

Peggy Carter has posed:
As Jemma reaffirms her promise to stay and, better yet, just calls her Peggy for once, an actual smile crosses Peggy's ever-red lips. It's what she suspected, but she simply didn't know until she heard it from the other woman. And it feels good to see the scientist finally relaxing around her. May might take some gentle comfort in a brush of happiness and stability off of Peggy, even if it only lasts a few moments. "I... thought you would. And I figured you might help us break it to Fitz. I've... not asked him yet, no." Peggy confirms to Lance, "And he would be good. We have so much to go through from the Pacifica which Jemma and Fitz will understand better than anyone. I...made a second copy of everything. Keeping it in safe house files. Just in case things go missing at the Triskelion. I half expect they will." There's that bittersweet smile again.

Then she's gazing slowly around the place, letting out a quiet breath. "Vogel is asleep for a few hours. We don't need to start questioning him tonight. Everyone... should get back to the city. Get some sleep. I can send you reading materials from the raid we did yesterday, Jemma. Human and inhuman experiments. See what you can piece together. There will probably be another undercover mission by next week. Otherwise, May, do you want to get these two back into the city? I'll stay here the night. If nothing... I can take the Nash out." Whether it's wise for Peggy to remain in her old home this long, who knows, but she said she would.

Melinda May has posed:
May nods to Peggy. "I can," she agrees. "Are you going to be okay here?" She meets her friend's eyes and allows more of what she's feeling in this house to rise in them. Enough to be a message: She *knows* what the woman is feeling. She's not guessing. She knows.

She's privately relieved Jemma is on board. And that they'll very likely have Fitz on board soon enough, too. Because they're an unbeatable team and she trusts them as much as anyone else in this room.

"Whenever you're ready," she says to the the others, pulling out the keys to the SUV.

Jemma Simmons has posed:
Jemma doesn't need to know what Peggy is feeling. It is easy enough to guess. But, of course, Jemma is not going to mention it. Instead, she shifts to the topic at hand. "I always did enjoy homework." It is something that Fitz will be more than happy to verify. Jemma is always a sucker for a little light reading. "I will look it over whenever you like."

"And...as for Fitz? I suspect he will be willing to help. But...only when you are ready to ask him." Jemma doesn't want to rush things, it would seem.

There is a second in which Jemma seems to want to ask if there is anything she can do. If maybe she should stay with Peggy here. But....the moment passes, as, with a deep breath, Jemma turns to May.

"I'm ready."

Ready for leaving? Ready to join the team? Knowing Jemma, she means for both.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Good," Hunter says as it seems Fitz will be drawn into their little conspiracy.

Though when Peggy suggests she take the first night here, Hunter frowns. "You sure about that?" he asks her. He might not have clued in to it right away but there was no denying the weight this place must have for her now that he's had a look around. Though as May pulls out the keys and Jemma says she's ready, he nods. "Alright, but I'll take next," he says before he checks his ICER is secure under his jacket and heads towards door to the garage.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"I'll be fine. You all get some rest. It... probably will be fleeting. And Jemma, I'll send you a private tablet of all the files. If you can keep a cross reference with the ones at SHIELD, it will be very interesting to see if any go missing, and which ones. But... yes. I'll be fine. I'll contemplate all the best ways to squeeze Vogel for every last drop of information to give me sweet dreams. Go. Bring my car back in the morning, Lance, when you switch out with May."

With that, Peggy is turning towards the kitchen. She'll have horribly stale tea and a kettle in there, at least. She waits to hear the garage door opening again and a car pulling out before she leans her hip against the kitchen counter and just breathes out hard. She squeezes her eyes against stinging she doesn't dare let free on her cheeks.