Characters: Peggy Carter, Edwin Jarvis, Daniel Sousa, Rose Roberts, Dr. Samberly
Warnings/Triggers: [Spoiler (click to open)]someone who has been impaled, some blood, a person in shock, etc.
Spoilers: Agent Carter 2x5 "The Atomic Job"
Word Count 3,018
Summary: Peggy fights against the white noise filling her brain, as her friends help her out of a tricky situation.
Author's notes: Another 'missing scene fic' as [Spoiler (click to open)]they didn't show the aftermath of Peggy being impaled due to, I assume, keeping the plot going. But I wanted to know how they got her out of there, and was messing around, and then I got excited because I had actual, plausible science ideas! Yay me! And then I wrote almost all of it, before realizing I needed to change both narrators and tenses to make it work better, and rewrote it. So, this is getting posted an hour before the next episode airs. Sorry about that.
“Peggy, stay still.”
Peggy’s mind is part white noise, a gentle ‘shhhhhh’ of alarm that tells her something bad is going on, but the other part of her mind is crystal clear, telling her she has to do something now. Urgently.
“Frost is getting away,” she says to Daniel, who is trying to hold her down. “You have to follow her.”
Daniel lifts his radio to his mouth. “I need help down here, now,” he says. “Peggy’s hurt.”
“Daniel, follow Frost,” Peggy says. “Please. It’s important.”
“I’m on my way,” Jarvis’ voice says over the radio.
“You’re important,” Daniel tells her. “Lie still.”
Peggy has a moment or two of losing focus on the world, where the white noise dominates. She’s not in pain, but she knows that won’t last once the adrenaline wears off, and she doesn’t want to still be impaled when it does. She tries to get up again, and Daniel holds her down again.
“You’re making it worse,” Daniel says. “Lie down. In here, Jarvis!”
Jarvis’ hurried, crisp footsteps come her way. She hears them stop and then a stifled gasp.
“What happened--how did this happen?” he asks.
“I fell,” Peggy says.
“Protruding rebars are meant to be capped for safety,” Jarvis says, full butler indignance on display. He might as well be tutting his tongue at the builders.
“I’ll write a strongly worded letter,” Peggy says.
He appears beside her and takes her hand, which she realizes she’s had hovering around aimlessly, as though trying to find something to grasp and bring her back to reality. It seems far away. Down a tunnel. He folds her arm down on her stomach, gently, and his kind, worried face leans over her.
“Mr Jarvis, you’re supposed to be...securing the rods,” she tells him.
“Miss Roberts and Dr Samberly are seeing to that,” he says.
“Then you should be going after Frost and Chadwick!” Peggy says. “Someone should. They’re getting away, and Daniel won’t go.”
“Peggy, shut up,” Daniel says. “I told you that you’re more important and I mean it, so shut up. You need help.”
“I am not as important as stopping them from getting their hands on an atomic bomb,” Peggy says. Why is everyone being so unreasonable?!
“Miss Carter, we’ve put a large dent in that plan, and they will need time to reorganize and form a new one,” Jarvis says. “Therefore, we have time to help you, and that is the priority.”
Peggy tries once more to sit up, but now she has both Daniel and Jarvis holding her down, and she growls in frustration.
“Everything’s secure out here. Is Peggy all right?” Rose asks, over the radio.
“Yes,” Peggy says, at the same time Jarvis and Daniel say ‘no’.
“Should I call an ambulance?” Rose asks.
“Yes,” Jarvis says, at the same time Daniel and Peggy say ‘no!’.
“We can’t call an ambulance here,” Daniel says. “We’ve just broken into a top-secret facility, without authorization from the SSR to do it, and stolen two uranium rods. Rose, no ambulance. Just stand by.”
Jarvis is going to protest but then changes his mind and nods, though he looks uncomfortable about it. He and Daniel start to talk about her as though she isn’t there, and the white noise is creeping in again, so she has trouble finding her voice to tell them to stifle themselves.
“Miss Carter can’t live here. How do you suggest we move her?”
“We’ll have to lift her off the rebar.”
“That is out of the question. It’s already gone through her once. Dragging it back through will only injure her more severely.”
“So, you want to take the whole thing with us? Because I don’t think that’ll fit through the door, let alone into the van.”
“Well, obviously we’ll have to remove her from it. But perhaps if we shortened the rebar, somehow, or cut it off at the root, to minimize the damage...”
“Excuse me,” Peggy finally breaks in. “I am still here, gentlemen, and I don’t appreciate...appreciate being spoken of as though I were an...object. If you’ll just let me sit up--”
“No!” Daniel and Jarvis say together, and hold her down. She aims a foot toward Daniel, but it only makes minimal contact, and he doesn’t even flinch.
“Miss Carter, that is quite enough,” Jarvis tells her, his face as stern as a schoolmaster. “You will lie there and do what you are told until such time as you can make decisions on your own behalf, which is not at present because no one who has been impaled on anything is in the correct frame of mind to be logical. You are not helping, you are only making things worse, and I will not allow it. Lie down and save your strength. You’re likely to go into shock, and it would be best to delay that as long as possible.”
Jarvis would make a good kindly vicar in a historical novel, or an even better father, as she feels thoroughly scolded and stupid, like a wayward child. It stings, and she bristles, even as she knows he’s right.
Daniel looks at Jarvis with a mild ‘O’ shape to his mouth, before nodding. “Uh, yeah,” he says. “What he said. C’mon, Peg. Work with us.”
Peggy’s stomach is starting to hurt, and the tunnel to reality is only getting longer. It might be time to relinquish control. “I’m in your hands,” she says.
“Capable ones, I assure you,” Jarvis says, lightly. “I did just disarm two atomic bombs.”
Rose offers to come down to help, but Daniel insists she stay with Samberly in case they need to make a quick getaway.
“Perhaps Dr Samberly has a method of removing the rebar?” Jarvis suggests.
Daniel puts his radio on. “Hey, Samberly, I need to cut a metal rod,” he says. “Any ideas?”
“Uh...well, you could use a saw,” Samberly says.
“If I had a saw, would I be asking you for ideas?” Daniel says, his eyes rolling heavenward. “I need alternatives.”
“Cut it, freeze it, melt it, corrode it,” Samberly says. “Those are your options. I don’t have anything up here to do it. You field agents are supposed to be so resourceful, why don’t you come up with an idea for once --ouch!”
“You’re not helping,” Rose’s voice says. “Peggy’s hurt. Don’t be spiteful, or I will spite you right back.”
“Uh...maybe you could find something on site,” Samberly says, meekly.
“Freeze it,” Jarvis murmurs, his eyes darting back and forth.
“I beg your pardon?” Peggy asks
His face lights up. “Freeze it!” he says. “I have an idea.” He holds his hands out to them. “Please remain here.” Then he runs from the room before Peggy can point out that she has little choice but to remain there.
“Sometimes he reminds me of a greyhound,” Daniel says. He leans over her, his hand on her arm. “How you holding up there, Peg? You in pain?”
Peggy is, but only a little. She’s most concerned about how wrong and strange she feels. Shock is settling in, and she tries to find something to focus on to keep her anchored there. He has a half-smile on, playful to hide his worry. “I’m fine,” she says. “Never felt better.”
“We’ll get you out of here,” he says. “Don’t worry. You’ll be back beating up bad guys lickety-split.”
“Oh, good,” Peggy says. “I much prefer it to being beaten up. I’m sorry to have slowed us down.”
“Hey, wait, did you throw yourself down here on purpose?” Daniel teases. “Always trying to get my attention, Carter.”
“Yes, it’s an awful habit,” Peggy says. “Forgive me.”
“Always,” he says.
And Peggy focuses on him because that’s easy to do.
Jarvis comes back a few minutes later, out of puff and carrying a small metal casket. “I have a plan,” he says, pleased with himself like a child. Or, as Daniel said, a loyal dog. “Mr Stark invented a compound he called cryospray. It was made to help test electronic devices under extreme temperatures--I believe he was trying to find something that might help him locate Captain Rogers in the Arctic.”
“Less history, more explaining,” Daniel says. “What’s the point?”
“It instantly freezes anything to subzero temperatures,” Jarvis goes on.
“And?” Daniel says.
“If the rebar is frozen, it will break under force,” Peggy says. “Yes, that’s a good idea, Mr Jarvis.”
“Why does Roxxon have Stark’s...cryo thing?” Daniel asks.
“Corporate espionage works both ways,” Jarvis says. “Roxxon invented a suspiciously similar compound that they use to keep volatile substances stable during transport. I remembered having seen it in one of the rooms earlier when we were searching.”
“You remembered it out of all the rooms?” Daniel says.
“It’s become something of a habit to catalogue item’s whereabouts as I notice them,” Jarvis says. “It makes it easier to find the thing Mr Stark wants that he needs so urgently we all might perish from the delay. Anyway, I’m sure this will work, but we will have to mindful of frostbite.”
“I’ve had frostbite before,” Peggy says. That and the chilblains in Russia were a constant nuisance when she was crawling through the tundra.
“Did the area turn black, gangrenous and fall off?” Jarvis asks.
“No,” Peggy admits. “It didn’t.”
“Then I suggest we be prudent,” Jarvis says, with a sniff.
He takes his jacket off and lays it over her stomach, then removes the spray from the casket. Daniel gives Peggy a look, asking whether this is a good idea, and Peggy replies with a look that says it’s fine. She trusts Jarvis with a great many things, including her life, and if anyone knows how to use Howard’s inventions, it’s him.
He gives the rebar a quick spray, one or two inches above where it comes out of her abdomen. It’s an odd thing to watch because Peggy knows that she’s impaled on it, that it’s herself it’s going through and her body it's sticking out of, but watching it, it’s as though she’s seeing it happening to someone else. She’s detached from it, floating above it, and can’t connect her brain to the body that she’s seeing. Perhaps that’s for the best. That body looks like it should hurt.
Within seconds of the spray hitting the metal, ice crackles and forms over it and fog wisps blow into the air.
“May I borrow your gun?” Jarvis asks Daniel. “Or would you like to do the honours?”
“Oh, I would love to hit something right now, if you don’t mind,” Daniel says.
“Be my guest. I’m going to brace you, Miss Carter, please forgive my hands,” Jarvis says. “I don’t want you to be jostled.”
He puts one hand on her hip and the other on the opposite shoulder and gives a nod. Daniel swings hard with the butt of his gun, and the top of the rebar breaks off and flies across the room.
“Huh, it worked,” Daniel says. “I was sceptical, Jarvis.”
“My years with Mr Stark have given me an uncomfortable knowledge of how to break things with science,” Jarvis says. “Amongst other, equally dubious skills. Are you all right, Miss Carter?”
“I’m fine, thank you,” Peggy says. “Though I don’t suppose...you have some of that koala tranquilliser with you?”
“I’m afraid it’s in another car,” Jarvis said. “And I assure you, it’s not really worth it. Shall we get you out of here?”
“That would be lovely,” Peggy says. “Thank you.”
Daniel and Jarvis plan their movements. Swift, steady, and fluid is their agreed aim. Do it as cleanly as possible, as quickly as possible, with the least amount of jarring to her.
“We’ll have to be prepared for blood loss,” Jarvis says. “The rebar is stemming it. Once it’s removed, it will bleed freely.”
“I’ll try to bleed gently,” Peggy says, and gives a silly little giggle because, at this point, she’s feeling rather giddy, and isn’t sure how much longer she can last.
Jarvis and Daniel exchange a look of worry between them. Jarvis hops up on the slab behind her head and places his hands under her shoulders. His lips purse as he blows out a deep breath, and his eyes are serious.
“Don’t worry, Mr Jarvis,” Peggy says. “This won’t be any more...difficult than moving the uranium. Much easier, I expect.”
“The difference is that if something went wrong there, I wouldn’t be alive to know it,” Jarvis says. “If something goes wrong here, I’ll have to live with myself.”
“I have the utmost faith in you,” Peggy assures him, giving his knee a pat.
“Thank you, Miss Carter,” Jarvis says.
Daniel places himself at Peggy’s feet, bracing his bad leg in a position where it won’t slip. “On three,” he says. “No matter what, we don’t stop, okay? We have to do this in one go.”
“And where are we taking her--you--Miss Carter--once Miss Carter is free?” Jarvis asks. “Miss Carter will need medical care.”
Perhaps Peggy shouldn’t have been so vocal about not being spoken about in her own presence.
“We’ll take her to Violet’s,” Daniel says. “She’s a nurse.”
“I’m sorry, who is she?” Jarvis asks.
“My girlfriend,” Daniel says, with a quick glance to Peggy. “Oh, no. Uh. Fiancee. She’s my fiancee.”
Peggy really wishes that wouldn’t hurt as much as being impaled on a rebar, but she has to admit it does.
“I see,” Jarvis says. “Very well. On three or after?”
“1, 2, 3, go,” Daniel said. “We go on go.”
They go on go, and the white noise fills up Peggy’s brain completely so that, for a moment, there is nothing but white in her vision, and she hears nothing and feels nothing except the sensation of the rebar going through her, which feels wrong enough to make her nauseous.
“She’s fainted,” Daniel is saying, when Peggy can hear again.
She’s on her side now, on the slab, and has pressure being placed on her back and front. She has to open her eyes, but it’s hard, and she just wants to go to sleep and wake up and be ready to go again. She feels weak, and that’s frightening and awful, and she hates it.
“She has not,” she manages to counter, and opens her eyes. Daniel’s worried face is up close to hers, and his fingers are on her neck for her pulse. “I never faint. It’s unlady-like. I was just...resting, thank you. That was unpleasant.”
She sits up, and this time the hands are helping her instead of holding her down. She looks at her abdomen, where Daniel is pressing a handkerchief to the wound. It still doesn’t seem like it belongs to her, and when she gets off the slab into Jarvis’ arms, her legs don’t belong to her either, and she goes right down to the floor. Jarvis puts her arm around his neck and pulls her back up, and Daniel does the same.
“Let’s move,” Daniel says. “Just let us help you, Peg, okay? Don’t be a hero. Let us carry you.”
“Yes,” Peggy says. “Yes, all right.” She does try to at least keep her feet from dragging on the floor. Her left one is much higher than the other, due to Jarvis’ stature in comparison to Daniel’s. “Mr Jarvis, you’re far taller than it’s necessary for anyone to be.”
“It’s a Jarvis curse, I’m afraid,” he says. “The shin splints during growth spurts were really very trying. Not to mention fitting school uniforms. My trousers often didn’t reach my socks until my mother could get me new ones, even after I’d let all the hemming down.”
“Yeah, that sounds like it was a real hard life, Jarvis,” Daniel says.
He’s obviously never been caned for uniform violations, as Peggy can sympathize with Jarvis on what a catastrophe that would be at boarding school. Once they’re out of the lift, Jarvis picks her right up into his arms, bridal style, as Daniel goes ahead to open the doors.
“Your weight-lifting has paid off,” she tells Jarvis.
“Not at all, Miss Carter, you’re light as a feather,” he says, amiably.
Rose and Dr Samberly are waiting with the van. Peggy isn’t sure how long it’s been, but she thinks it might have only been ten minutes or so, possibly far less, even if she feels like it’s been hours. They still don’t have time for dilly-dallying. Alarms have been triggered, and security is surely on their way.
“Oh, geez,” Rose says, holding out her arms to help Jarvis put her on her feet again. “Sweetie.”
“I’m fine,” Peggy says.
Samberly’s face is a mask of horror, which turns green under the fluorescent lamps around the fence.
“Samberly, if you puke, I’m leaving you here,” Daniel tells him. “Get yourself in the van.”
Samberly swallows hard and crawls into the back, then up to the passenger seat. Jarvis and Rose help Peggy lie down, Jarvis laying his jacket over her.
“Shall I drive?” he asks Daniel.
“No, I know the address, I’ll drive,” Daniel says. “We’ll get her to Violet’s, and then Rose and Samberly can take the uranium to be neutralized.”
Jarvis gets in with Peggy and closes the door behind him. His hands are trembling, and he’s sweaty. He closes his eyes for several long moments before he composes himself and smiles down at Peggy again. The poor man has been through a lot in the last hour.
“That was very quick thinking with the spray,” Peggy tells him. “Thank you.”
“Each time I do something ridiculous as all this, I hope it’s the last time,” Jarvis says.
“And at the same time, you kinda hope it isn’t?” Daniel says, from the driver’s seat.
“Yes, precisely,” Jarvis says, with an abashed nod.
“We’ll make an agent of you yet, Mr J,” Rose says.
“Miss Roberts, I appreciate the thought,” he says. “But I really prefer my insanity to come sporadically and not on a permanent basis.”