Characters: Angie, Bond, Peggy, Howard
Warnings/Triggers: sexual harassment considered acceptable for the time period
Spoilers: A few general ones for Agent Carter Season One
Pairings: heavy Angie/Bond flirting
Word Count 3,111
Summary: Angie moonlights as a cocktail waitress for a night for a crowd of people that is full of celebrities, and, as it turns out, spies.
Author's notes: I was trying to write a sequel to Ships in the Night, and somewhere along the way the first part of the story got entirely separated from the second half of the story, and the more I tried to join them together, the harder it got to write, and then I remembered that you can actually write stories that aren't 9,000 words long sometimes. So, I broke it off into a short interlude of espionage fun and will do something with the second part later on.
The song that Angie and Bond dance to is 'That's For Me' by Dick Haymes (from 'State Fair').
Angie wondered what it was about her ass that made every guy in the Astor Roof want to touch it. She didn't think she had that amazing an ass, but it was going to be bruised tomorrow from the amount of pinching it had already gotten—and it was only 11PM. She wasn't even sure what satisfaction guys got from doing that. It wasn't like a kiss or something pleasurable for them. Maybe they just did it because they knew she couldn't bite back. Not in this crowd of stars and millionaires.
She ducked into a little alcove, lowering the tray of drinks she was carrying down to give her arm a break—as well as her ass. At least she was getting good tips. That was the only benefit to working these parties. Her friend Charlene worked as a cigarette girl for a bunch of places and she loved the attention, but Angie only ever put her waitress skills to use when they needed extra hands for something like this. A big, rich, extravaganza to support a charity. Charlene put in a good word for her and Angie made enough money to pay for a few more acting or singing lessons. And there was always the rare chance someone might notice her and offer her a job or an audition. Though, the way it was going tonight she'd probably find some guy who wanted her on a couch, not the stage.
A woman approached and Angie straightened in case she wanted a drink, but she just leaned against the wall next to her.
“I've really no idea how you haven't punched anyone yet,” she said.
It was Peggy.
Angie turned her head to gape at her. She didn't look much like Peggy. She had on a very good red wig and she wasn't wearing something Peggy would wear and her make-up was layered on much more dramatically than Peggy wore hers. But her eyes were the same and so was her mischievous smile.
“Surprise!” she said.
“No kidding, English,” Angie said. “Why didn't you tell me you were gonna be here? You didn't say nothing this morning when you left for work.”
“I wasn't fully aware I would be here,” Peggy said. “However, it's turned out to be the place for a meeting we'd like to be witness to, so here I am.”
“Huh,” Angie said. “Well, that's nice, Peggy, but I hope you don't cause any trouble.”
“I am aiming for a minimal amount of trouble,” Peggy said. “Which is why I haven't decked anyone on your behalf yet. Though, I did 'accidentally' hit someone with my pocketbook. Which is very heavy, tonight.”
“You're a pal." Angie shifted her tray to her other hand and shook her arm out.
“I'm also very impressed how you balance that all evening,” Peggy said.
“You got your skills, I got mine,” Angie said. “I think yours are more useful, though.”
“It depends on what field of work you're in,” Peggy said. “I could never manage as a waitress. I'd have punched someone in the throat by now.”
“You don't get good tips that way,” Angie said.
“No, I don't imagine so,” Peggy said. “But I—” She stopped, squinted, and leaned forward. She frowned, and her eyes narrowed. “Now what on earth is he doing here?”
“Who?” Angie asked, craning to look. There were so many people that she could have been talking about anyone. Celebrities for days there tonight. Which was exciting until half of them turned out to be kind of jerks. Some of them were real sweet, though, so that was nice to see. Angie had promised herself if she ever made it big she was going to be nice to everyone.
Peggy left without answering. Angie tried to watch her to see where she was going, but the head waiter caught her eye and gave her a pointed look. No more break. Angie raised her tray of martinis, put a smile on her face, and went back out amongst the crowd. When her tray was empty, she went to the bar to get more and did another round. There was less ass-grabbing this time; maybe she'd just been in a bad area of the room. Or maybe people's dates were starting to notice.
“Hey, sweetheart, any of those dirty?”
Angie turned at the voice and found Howard Stark with a quarter in his hand. “I ain't your sweetheart,” she said.
His hands came up a little in defense. “Sorry. Just being friendly. I take it we've met.”
“Sorta,” Angie said. She felt like she could at least tackle him as not treating her like an object, just because Peggy knew him and talked about him enough that Angie felt like she did too. She remembered he was Howard Stark, though, and she wasn't in any position to piss him off. “Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude.”
“No, it's fine,” he said. “If we've met, I might have deserved it.”
“We haven't met, really,” Angie said. “I just know you by reputation.”
“Ah, well, I can always change your mind,” he said, with a smile. “Don't believe everything you hear.”
“I'm Peggy Carter's roommate,” Angie said.
His shoulders slumped a little. “Might take more work to change your mind, then,” he admitted. He thought really hard for a second. “...Annette?”
“Angie,” Angie corrected.
“Hey, three right letters, better than I usually do!” he said, brightly. “Hell, I even got the first syllable right. I deserve a reward. About that drink...?”
Angie took one off the tray and handed it over. Stark swapped the quarter in his hand for a dollarl which was more than a decent tip. It was a stupidly big one. Probably more than the martini cost. Angie didn't object.
“You liking your apartment?” he asked.
“It's swell,” Angie said.
“Good,” Stark said. He tipped the drink toward her before he took a sip and grabbed another off the tray, this one straight. “Thanks, sweet—er, Angie. I hope we meet again.”
“The pleasure'd be yours,” Angie said.
He grinned and gave her a wink, then headed off toward a table, where a blonde in a fur stole was shooting Angie daggers, as though Angie had been trying to steal Stark away. Angie didn't want Stark. She had to admit, at one point she thought he was the bee's knees, but even before she'd gotten all the gory details from Peggy, she'd known he was probably a jerk. Even if he was a handsome and rich one.
She finished off her tray again and snuck another break in. She couldn't find Peggy in the crowd and didn't really have time to do a good search for her. She wondered if anyone else from the SSR was there, but if they were, they were blending in well.
When she went back to the bar for a refill, she was handed a martini glass with a spiraled peel of lemon in it.
“Some guy wants you to take that to him,” the bartender said.
“Huh?” Angie said.
“This guy--British accent I think--he came and asked for three measures of dry gin, one of vodka, half a measure of Lillet, and told me to shake it until it was ice cold and put a long thin peel of lemon in it,” the bartender said. “Then he said to make sure the waitress with the brown hair and the nice backside talking to Howard Stark was the one who brought it to him. That's you, dollface. He's over there.” He nodded toward a wall. “Blond guy, nice tux.”
Angie turned and looked. And then she grinned and shook her head. She put the drink on her tray and carried it over to him. Everyone and their dog was here tonight, even cute British spies she'd met once three months earlier and whose life she might have saved.
“Small world, Sugar,” she said.
“Ah, you remember me,” James Bond said, with a half smile at her.
“I sure do,” Angie said. “Surprised you remember me.”
“I have a good memory,” he said. He took the drink from her tray and handed her over a couple of quarters. “I believe someone told me to tip my waitress, once.”
“She must have been a smart cookie,” Angie said. She added the coins to her purse. “You working or playing?”
“I always try to do both,” he said.
“You here about the same thing as Peggy?” Angie wondered.
“Yes,” James said.
Angie raised an eyebrow. “She know you were doing that?”
“No,” James said, and those eyes twinkled like he was getting a lot of pleasure out of it. “It was a surprise.”
“I keep bumping into folks I know,” Angie said. “But maybe that isn't that odd, if something's up.”
James nodded, but his eyes weren't on her anymore; they were looking around the room. He managed to make it look like he wasn't looking, though, and talking to her instead.
“It's always nice to see a familiar face,” he said. “Have you left the diner?”
“Naw, I'm just moonlighting,” Angie said.
“Pity,” James said. “I think this uniform suits you better.”
“Skirt's shorter,” Angie said, swishing her hips a little to make the poof of her skirt swirl.
“I noticed,” James said, and his lips did that quirky thing they seemed to like to do.
She gave him an admiring glance. “You ain't looking so bad yourself, Sugar."
His tuxedo was fitted real nice and she didn't know much about guy's clothes, but she guessed it was at least as expensive as Howard Stark's. All black, too, not the white coat like some of the guys had on. He looked like a movie star.
“I prefer this uniform, too,” he said, giving his coat a little tug. His head craned a little and his body tensed. He put his drink on the window sill. “Put your tray down.”
“What?” Angie said.
“We're going to dance,” he said.
“No, I don't think I'm supposed to dance with guests,” Angie said.
His eyes found hers and they were sparkling. “Don't worry. I wasn't invited.” He held out his hand. “Come on, Sugar, you're going to show me your second threat.”
Boy, he really did have a good memory. Angie put the tray on the window sill next to his drink and took the hand. He guided her out to the dance floor in the middle of the room and set them moving.
He was a good dancer, but not a great one. There was nothing wrong with his dancing. He was on the beat and he moved fine. But he didn't have that thing that great dancers had. He didn't feel it in him. He was dancing to the music, but not with the music. He didn't have it in his bones like—well, like Howard Stark, for example, who was dancing nearby with a red-head.
“That's Peggy,” Angie said, as she and James foxtrotted by them. She wondered what the blonde in the fur stole was making of that and craned her neck to Stark's table to see if she could spot her.
“Pay attention to me,” James said.
“Don't tell me what to do,” Angie replied. “I don't need that from you, too. Use your manners, Mister."
“Please, keep your eyes on me,” James said, sweetly.
“That's better,” Angie said.
She turned her head back to him. He was doing that thing where he was looking at her, but not with his eyes, which were shifted to the side. She wasn't sure what was going on but figured it was best to go with it. She liked to dance, anyway.
Stark and Peggy foxtrotted by them again. Peggy shot Angie a look and Angie lifted the hand on James' shoulder in a sort of shrug to indicate she didn't know what was happening. She and James and Peggy and Stark crossed paths a bunch of times, and Angie realized they were all making their way toward the center of the room.
“Don't look with your head, just your eyes,” James murmured quietly to her. “But at about 10 o'clock over my right shoulder, there's a man dancing with a woman in a purple dress.”
Angie flicked her eyes that way and back. And she wasn't a spy, so she had to do it again because she didn't see a thing. She got them this time. “Okay,” she said.
“We're going to get very close to them,” James said. “And when I tell you to, I need you to pretend like you're going to faint. You don't need to lose consciousness, just look like you're overcome. Can you do that?”
“Sure I can,” Angie said.
James let out a very soft chuckle. “Good lass."
Just when the orchestra reached the end of the instrumental break on 'That's for Me', James gave her hand a squeeze and Angie started to sway a little, then leaned against him and let her eyes roll up and her knees give out. She didn't want to overdo it, like she was on a stage. She didn't need to play to the back row, just the immediate area.
“Fall into him,” James muttered.
Angie staggered and bumped into the guy dancing with the woman in purple. He stumbled back—right into Stark and Peggy. James caught Angie before she hit the ground and Angie murmured a weak apology. She put her hand out to the floor in case James didn't have her proper, but he was holding her pretty tight.
“It must be the crowd,” James said, apologetically. “Come on, love, we'll get you outside into the hall and let you have some air.”
“Here, I'll give you a hand, pal,” Stark said, and suddenly Angie had him on one side and James on the other, and they were both helping her to the door of the room.
She wasn't going to lie, it was not an unpleasant situation.
She let herself be half-carried and made her head loll to James' shoulder, trying to look weak and disoriented. There was another hand on her back; she guessed it was Peggy's. The crowd parted for them and the guy manning the doors opened them up when Stark barked at him to do it.
They put Angie in a chair outside the door and Peggy started fanning her with her pocketbook. As soon as the guy closed the door again, everyone stopped fawning over her.
“Did you get it?” James asked Peggy.
Peggy opened her palm and showed him a little book there. He snatched it. She snatched it back. Then they both hunched over it, murmuring as they flicked through the pages.
“You okay?” Stark asked Angie.
“Yeah, I'm fine,” Angie said. “I was just pretending.”
Stark nodded. “Peggy told me that, but you did a good job, Angel."
“Angie,” Angie corrected.
“Hey, almost all the letters right this time!” Stark said. “I'm on fire tonight.”
“No, it's my lead, I did all the work,” Peggy snapped at James.
“I've done quite a bit of work myself,” James snapped back.
“The SSR has been—”
“MI-6 sent me to—”
“I don't care about MI-6, this is American soil and—”
“If it gets out, this is a worldwide problem. Do you want your homeland to be compromised over—”
“I don't work for Mother England anymore, Mr. Bond, and I certainly don't need your help to—”
“I'm hardly letting you go on your own, when—”
“Because I'm a woman?”
“Because I have a mission and I intend to fulfill it.”
Peggy and James glared at each other for several moments.
“We may have to liaise,” Peggy said.
“Oh, good,” James replied, dryly.
“I'm in charge,” Peggy said.
“Last time you were in charge, I was nearly hit by a train.”
“Well, perhaps this time the train won't miss.”
James grinned and held out an arm ahead of him. “After you, Agent Carter."
“Thank you, 007,” Peggy replied.
They both left. Stark and Angie looked after them, Stark giving a kind of sarcastic wave goodbye.
“Well! That was interesting,” he said.
“No kidding,” Angie said. “What the heck are they up to?”
Stark shrugged. “I used to work with the Brits during the War,” he said. “They're all like that. Can't build, can't dance, but damn if they don't know how to insult each other and not tell you anything.” He held out a hand. “You wanna dance, sweetheart?”
“I'm still not your sweetheart,” Angie said.
“Right,” Stark said. “Well...could you get me another drink, then? Extra dirty. I'm starving.”
Angie's tips for the night were really great. More than enough for a few more weeks with Madame Giraud to hone her tap skills and maybe a few sessions with Mr. Sigmund to see if she could improve her head voice. She also bought herself a new dress, because she felt she'd earned it.
James Bond seemed to be a guy who came in and out of a girl's life and Angie didn't see him again. She didn't see Peggy, either, though, for the next few days. She came home, but while Angie was at work, and Angie only knew she'd been there because she left some scribbled notes about borrowing a pair of Angie's shoes, or using the last of the butter. Angie wrote a few silly notes back, in case Peggy needed some cheering up after a hard day being a hero.
Then, Angie came home to find a bouquet of flowers sitting on the kitchen table. Her name was on the front of the note.
Thank you for showing me your second threat. Still looking forward to seeing the third, Sugar.
“I took the liberty of putting them in a vase for you,” Peggy said, coming into the kitchen behind Angie. “They were delivered while you were at work.”
Angie instinctively hid the note in her shirt before she realized that was stupid and took it out again. “Thanks." She touched one of the roses. “They're swell, ain't they?”
“Very swell,” Peggy said. “I'm afraid the sender has returned home again. It was quite urgent, or I think he would have liked to see you in person. Something about black coffee?”
Angie grinned. “Maybe next time."
Peggy went over to the counter to get a piece of cake. “For my sanity, Angie, if not your love life, I do hope there isn't a next time.”