They were never edited fully, so there might be some grammar and wording mistakes.
The first one was going to be at the end of 'Memory Lapse', but I cut it due to length and it not saying anything I needed to say.
Howard received a standing ovation when he returned to the S.H.I.E.L.D office, two weeks later. The bullpen all rose and clapped for him. He basked in it, smiling and making falsely modest gestures, and shaking hands. Peggy clapped politely, but with a heavy dose of sarcasm she felt it deserved. He'd done a great thing, yes, but Howard Stark needed no boost to his ego.
She'd been too busy at work to get out to see him, and every time she rang, he was either asleep (at doctor's orders) or back at Stark Industries (against doctor's orders), so she'd had to get her updates through Jarvis. According to him, Mr Stark still had no memory of the day. The last thing he remembered was going to sleep the night before. All of waking up, having breakfast, going to work, the explosion, was gone. His short term memory was back to normal except for a few moments here and there, and aside from some headaches and dizziness, and exhaustion, he was recovering well.
"Hey, sweetheart," he greeted her cheerfully, when she popped into his office. "Things still standing without me here?"
"Better than when you were," Peggy quipped. "How are you?"
"All better," Howard said. "My noggin is purring again. Howard Stark, 45 years old, April something 1965, Lyndon Baines Johnson, M-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, there are 27 nickels in a buck thirty-five, I'm a billionaire, I live in New York, my shoe size is 10, and I know how to Argentine tango."
"Well done," Peggy said. "Anything come back to you about the day?"
"Not a thing," Howard said. "I went to sleep, I woke up in the hospital with Maria there. And even after that is all a bit hazy. I know you came in, and Jarvis was there, but I don't know what we talked about. Sorry, I know you need the info for the weapon, but I got nothing."
"It's all right," Peggy said. "I've collected what the scientists knew about it, so maybe you could take a look when you feel up to it, and see if you can piece anything together."
"Sure," Howard said. "Anything else I need to do?"
Peggy pointed to the full inbox on his desk. "When you feel up to it," she said.
"And here's me believing Jarvis that no one needs me back here and I have to stay home," Howard said. "Guess I'll get started. Oh, your baby girl sent me a little get well card; it was cute. Tell her I said thanks."
"She isn't a baby any more," Peggy said. "Neither of them are."
"I know," Howard said. "I remember that, too. You got big and grumpy, you popped out Junebug, and then you got big and grumpy again and popped out Mighty Mouse, and they grew up, and you and them live in a little white house with What's-His-Face. I know it all." He tapped his head. "I got it all up here."
"You know his face, Howard," Peggy scolded.
Howard grinned. He took a sort of perverse pleasure in refusing to call her husband by his name. It was always 'the wife' or 'Mr Carter' or 'What's-His-Name'. She was a little more confident he knew her children's names, though he always called them Junebug and Mighty Mouse. With affection, she thought.
"Speaking of What's-His-Face, Maria thinks we should have dinner, all together," he said.
"Are you still seeing her?" Peggy asked, surprised. She was positive no girlfriend of Howard Stark's had made it to two months.
"Yeah, why?" Howard said, defensively.
"No reason," Peggy said. "I'm glad to hear it, that's all. I liked her. Why didn't you tell me you were dating her?"
"You told me twenty years ago to stop telling you about my love life or you were going to punch me in the throat," Howard said. "I considered it a valid threat. Anyway, it'll probably be a quiet and private thing; Maria isn't too hot on all the public stuff."
Peggy wasn't sure she could blame Howard's new found consideration on the head injury. Perhaps Maria Carrera was an anomaly after all.
"Well," she said, with a smile. "I'm sure What's-His-Face and I would love to attend."
This one comes from 'A Good Thing'. I wanted Anna and Peggy to have a conversation instead of just telling through narration that they were getting along, but the story was too long, and Jarvis and Peggy took the conversation over, so I ended up trimming it down to the end of the dialogue to give a sense of them conversing without it taking up too much room.
“You come from England like Edwin,” Anna said. “Where in the country were you born?”
“London,” Peggy said. “And raised there, as well.”
“I have been to London,” Anna said. “Only very briefly, and it was a very sad place at the time. Very broken; in little pieces.”
“I believe it still is rather broken,” Miss Carter said. “But less sad, I hope. We're rebuilding.”
“Edwin is from...how is it? It is not said like you spell it,” Anna said.
“Buckinghamshire,” Jarvis said.
“Yes,” Anna said. “Edwin is from Bucking-um-sher, but I did not go there. Just to London, and then Liverpool, where we left for New York. I was sad not see more of the place he lived. I have seen pictures, though, and it looks very pretty.”
“You don't sound like you're from Buckinghamshire,” Miss Carter said to Jarvis.
“I received an opportunity to go away to school when I was twelve,” Jarvis explained. “And learned how to say things 'properly'.”
“When he is very tired, or very drunk, he sounds different,” Anna said. “It is sweet.”
Jarvis dropped into the accent he'd been born with, letting his vowels soften and his consonants blur. “When I used to go home for school breaks, I'd come back and have start over again,” he said. “Very sore knuckles for the first few days. But over time it's become more instinctive to use the acquired accent. Though, as Anna says, I do regress when my faculties are impaired.”
“I see,” Miss Carter said. “You must have had the same elocution lessons as I did. 'Purse your lips, Miss Carter, drop your jaw. No one is going to listen if you don't enunciate.'”
“'Make space around your r's, Jarvis, don't rush right into the next word like a train,'” Jarvis said. “Quite.”
“These are the lessons I need,” Anna said. “So I can say your place names properly, with all their extra letters.”
“Your command of English is excellent, Mrs Jarvis,” Miss Carter said. “No one would fault you on it.”
“English is Anna's third language,” Jarvis said. “Which is very depressing, when I still haven't mastered a second. Her English is vastly superior to my Hungarian. Not a fair exchange at all.”
“It does not matter,” Anna said, with a shrug. “We live in America now. We speak English. You don't need to know Hungarian. As long as we can understand each other somehow, it doesn't matter what language we speak.”
They'd had this discussion before. Jarvis wasn't able to articulate properly that he wanted to know Hungarian because it was part of who she was, and he didn't want her to give that up just because they had come to a new country together. She'd given up enough for him, he'd like to preserve and share what she had left.
“How do you like America?” Miss Carter asked. “Do you enjoy living in New York?”
Anna beamed. “Yes, very much,” she said. “It is a nice place. So many people, all different kinds from all different places. Mr Stark was so generous when we came here, he gave us many things to help us, and made it easy for us to settle in. Sometimes I miss my old home, but I don't think that home is there any more. Just my memory of it. Maybe that doesn't make sense...”
“No, it makes perfect sense,” Miss Carter assured her. “Sometimes it's just best to move forward and onward than to look back.”
“Yes,” Anna said. “You have to make the home where you can find it, and I think we made a good one, yes?”
“Yes,” Jarvis agreed. “An excellent one.”
This last one is from my original attempt to write 'A Good Thing', which was going to be from Howard's POV. It was going along all right, but after this scene Howard got very self-centred and concerned about his business, and I couldn't get him back to where I wanted the story to go, so I switched it over to Jarvis' POV instead, and transferred some of the stuff from Howard's part to him. Therefore, there are few similar lines in it to the finished story.
Howard had had great plans of going home and getting a good stiff drink and shaking off the feeling of doom he'd had since he'd discovered Jarvis was missing. He wasn't sure why he hadn't shaken it off yet. He'd found Jarvis and Peggy, and they weren't exactly okay, but they were alive and would be fine. He just couldn't seem to get himself together. Maybe all the circling around in the plane had put him in a tizzy. At least he'd found who he was looking for this time. The last time he'd circled in a plane, he'd never found his quarry.
His great plans were quashed when he got home, as it turned out he'd forgotten to take Anna into account. The living room light at the Jarvis Residence was on, despite it being nearly four in the morning by this point. He supposed he didn't really expect Anna to be in bed after he'd woken her up to tell her that husband was missing. It's not like she would have gone 'thank you, Mr. Schtark' and gone back to sleep. He'd have to fill her in before he got that drink.
He didn't go over to Jarvis' house very often. Anna had him for Passover, usually, and about once or twice a month, she invited him for Sunday dinner. He wasn't sure if she actually liked his company, or if she thought he was lonely by himself in the big house, but he didn't really care. The food was good and it was nice to have a homemade, simple meal with friends once in a while. Jarvis and Anna weren't looking for anything from him, which was a nice change.
Anna's English was pretty damned good and her accent faded the longer she was in New York, but when she answered the door, she'd lost her W's in her worry and her accent was thick as molasses.
"Did you find him? Is Edvin alright?" she asked.
"We got him," Howard said. "He's pretty banged up, I'm not gonna lie, but he's in the hospital and he'll be okay."
"Vat happened? How is he hurt?" she asked.
"He was in explosion," Howard said. "It was an accident."
"Istenem!" Anna exclaimed. "Silly, silly man. I vill go to him. Vat hospital is he in?"
Howard should have realized she'd want to go to her hurt husband, too, and not just thank him and go back to bed. "St. Patrick's," he said. He thought longingly of his drink. "I'll drive you." He couldn't have her out in the wee hours on her own.
"Thank you, Mr. Schtark," she said. "Please vait, I vill be only a moment."
Howard waited at the front door for her as she ran to change her clothes. She was back a minute later, fully dressed. The pins were still in her hair and she'd thrown a headscarf over it like a factory girl.
"Do you wanna do your hair?" he said. "I'll wait."
She blinked at him. "No," she said. "I do not."
Okay, then. Howard figured it was probably true love when a girl went out in pin curls for you. Especially since Anna was as fastidious as Jarvis about her appearance. Her victory rolls were always perfectly pinned and he assumed she and Jarvis ironed each other before they left the house, because there was never a wrinkle on either of them.
Howard escorted her out to the car, and away they went.
"He vas vith Miss Cart-air, yes?" Anna asked.
"Yeah, he vas--was," Howard said.
"She is all right?" Anna said.
"Mostly," Howard said. "She's better off than him, actually. She looked after him until help arrived."
Anna frowned. "He thinks very highly of her," she said. "But I haven't met her. She is your friend, I know. If he admires her, she must be a good person, but she seems to put him in very much danger."
"I don't think she means to," Howard said. "Peggy just kind of goes in head first. Jarvis probably follows her. It's my fault. I introduced them. Though, in fairness to myself, I didn't really expect them to get along so well."
"But it is much more Edvin's fault," she said. "He is a man who acts very fast vhen he thinks he is doing right. He too goes in head first. He gets himself into trouble." She gave a bigger smile. "This how ve ended up married!"
Howard grinned. "That was my fault, too, though," he said. "Partly."
"Yes," she said. "It vas your fault, and we are both grateful, you know that."
She asked a few more questions and he told her what Jarvis had been up to, and ended up kind of pouring out his worries and fears about how it would affect the company to her. She gave his knee a pat and told him not to worry. It didn't help, but he appreciate it.
He went in with her at the hospital, leaving the car parked outside and hoping nobody took it. It was the kind of car you had valeted, not the kind of car you stuck in the middle of a public lot and said a prayer for.
"Yes, I am looking for my husband, Edvin Yarvish," Anna told the clerk at the front desk.
"That's E-D-W-I-N J-A-R-V-I-S," Howard said, to help the clerk decipher Anna's accent. "He came in by ambulance."
The clerk did some searching around and calling of floors, before finding Jarvis on one of the wards. Howard and Anna went up in the elevator, and Anna once again accosted the ward clerk.
"Yarvish with a J," Howard clarified, again.
"It's not visiting hours, Mrs. Jarvis, I'm afraid I can only let you in for a few minutes," the clerk said.
"Yes, that is fine," Anna said, impatiently. "Vich room?"
Jarvis was asleep when they got there, and Howard couldn't blame him. He looked like a guy better off asleep than awake. It had been dark at the warehouse, but in the lights of the hospital room, Howard could see how bad Jarvis looked. His eye was swollen, and part of his face was bruised black and blue. He was washed out and had little nicks and gashes all over him. His shoulder had been fully bandaged to his side. An IV bottle hung above the bed and attached to a cord stuck in his hand. Anna hurried over, and examined him from head to toe, gently brushing his hair away from his face and murmuring to him.
He opened hazy, druggy eyes and said her name in a happy fashion, like seeing her was a real treat, then went back to sleep. Anna sat down in a chair by the bed, and stroked his leg over the covers.
Howard stepped out, and went up to the ward clerk, pulling out his money clip from his pocket. He started peeling off bills. "No visiting hours for Room 234," he said. "Mrs. Jarvis stays as long as she wants."
The ward clerk looked appalled. Howard kept pulling bills out, but her face remained unimpressed. He hated when people had morals when he didn't want them to. Her eyes moved to the donation box for the local chapter of the March of Dimes. Howard stuffed the bills in there, and she gave a brisk nod.
"Mrs. Jarvis stays as long as she wants," she said.