Who: Peggy Carter, Dr. Strange, Tony Stark What: Agent Carter arrives! This is not the Stark she was looking for. No takebacksies! When: Presently Rating/Warnings: Greenish?
One day, all she wanted was one day. Peggy had barely seen Daniel at all in days and she was starting to get a little grumpy about it. While she could appreciate both of their dedication to work, it was getting a little tiresome. She was just deciding which hat she'd like to wear out when she head the door open and close, indicating he was home. With a grin, she dropped them both on the bed and walked out to greet him.
"It's about-... time." Peggy blinked, looking around momentarily before dropping her hands to pat down her person. She had been in Daniel's room, in his home, just seconds ago, but now she was in the middle of an alley that smelled too much like a warzone. Her eyes were wide as she turned in a circle, trying to figure out exactly what was happening. Was she going mad?
The way behind her was blocked off with a wooden fence so she proceeded down the open alley until she was out on the street. New York? Everything was... brighter. "Pardon me," she said softly as people bumped her shoulders trying to move around her. At least it looked like one thing hadn't changed from the old NYC. "Taxi!!!" She shouted, waving her hand until the bright yellow car pulled up. She hopped inside and bit her lip. Where was she going to go?
STARK. The word was in bold directly in front of her face. An advertisement for... well she didn't really care what. Howard would know- But it wasn't Howard on the picture, it was another man, one who looked a great deal like him. "T-take me to Stark Industries." She said, thinking quick on her feet. "Please." She added, never one to forget her manners.
Stark Industries current corporate building was a tall sky scraper, once used by an investment group. It was an imposing tower of clean energy and a mecca of innovation. It was not quite up there with Wakanda standards of tech, but still impressive by the standards the rest of the world currently had access to.
A thoroughly fed up woman was at the front desk in the lobby, haggling with someone delivering food.
"No, you can't take that to Mr. Stark. Or his personal assistant. You don't have the security credentials." She picked up a phone that was ringing and asked them to hold, before patting one hand down on the edge of the countertop. "Put it right here and I'll get payroll to send down a nice tip."
"Oh yeah? Well, I got a tip where you can stick...your tip."
"Oh yeah Well, I can tip off security about your tip being stuck to a tip. See how you like that."
"I work for Tony Stark. I don't know what my life is anymore. The man ordered a six foot tall floral unicorn with a bottle of Dom Perignon, to deliver to Miss Potts. Try explaining that to security so they let it through. In the meantime? You're not getting through with a vegan burger. Boo hoo."
She mock pouted and patted her hand down on the counter again.
Peggy had been in the building all of a minute, and already she knew she was in the right place. Sending a bottle of champagne and over six feet of a floral arrangement? Tony had to be Howard’s son or Peggy was a monkey’s uncle. Explaining… oh bloody hell this was going to be difficult.
Taking a deep breath, she approached the desk, her fingertips tapping on the counter nervously. “Hello, I- I know this is going to sound incredibly strange but I need to speak to Ho-... Tony. I need to speak to Tony Stark immediately. It’s… of the utmo-” Her fumbling sentence was cut off by the increasingly agitated food delivery service man.
“Hah! You think you can get a face to face with the guy just because you’re a skirt? I’ve got the man’s food and this-” Annoying food man wasn’t the only one who could interrupt.
“I BEG your pardon but today is really… really not the day you want to cross me.” She glared at him over her shoulder before turning back to the poor receptionist. Was everyone staring at her because she had shouted, very loudly, in a very echoey lobby? Yes. Did Peggy care? Not at the present moment. “As I was saying, it is incredibly important I speak to Tony. I was a very close friend of Howard and if you just mention my name, I promise you will not regret it.” Not the smoothest of operations, but you can’t expect your expert spy skills to be on par after… time travel?
"I like you," the receptionist said, like sisters are doing it for themselves. She was on the verge of a high five. "But I still can't let you up there without the proper clearance. Maybe you can take this guy's delivery. Hi, this guy. Your new name is Major Dickweed. Yeah. That. You can take his delivery upstairs, if I can get you cleared."
"You chicks are assholes," the guy said as he walked over to the waiting area.
As though she'd heard every name in the book, the woman picked up the phone and started dialing. Only to be interrupted by a portal of fire opening up next to Peggy, and a man walking through dressed like he was on a magical yoga retreat.
The receptionist dropped the phone while gawking.
"Hi. Sorry I'm late. Someone else needed a lift," the man said, looking around at everyone staring and saying a little louder, "Seriously. You work for Stark. I think you've all seen everything by now, including Norse gods."
With some grumbles of 'yeah that's true' a lot of those present went about their business. Except for the receptionist, who really had seen everything now.
"Anyway, hi. I'm Doctor Stephen Strange, master of the mystic arts. And you must be Peggy Carter. I'm here to welcome you to...." He looked over at the gawking receptionist, before reaching into a pouch and taking out a keycard. "...maybe we can do this upstairs. I have clearance. Where's the private elevator?"
The receptionist pointed off toward it.
"Thanks," Stephen said, nodding toward it like they should go that way.
"Wait! Take the sandwich," the receptionist finally managed to say, holding out the bag with shaking hands.
"I can't believe I'm delivering this douchebag's food," Stephen grumbled as he took it and started walking.
It… was fine. Everything was fine. It wasn’t like she was seeing men appear out of thin air, closing her eyes in one place and opening them in another, or STILL being talked down to by strange men. No everything definitely fine.
“I, I’m sorry, Mister Strange, what exactly are you welcoming me to?” She said, her heels clicking as she took a few extra strides to keep up with him. “I’m not going mad am I because that would really be awful timing.”
"Earth, and the year is two-thousand eighteen," Strange said, using the keycard to access Stark's private elevator. It opened a lot more quickly than the ones everyone else was waiting around for after their security check. He stepped inside and turned, tucking the paper sack in the crook of one arm and waiting for Peggy to enter. "You are in an unstable alternate universe, on a different Earth that is part of a vast multiverse."
“I… I beg your pardon?” She said, her head leaning forward a little as if she had misheard. She followed him into the elevator quickly, putting her hand on the railing to brace herself. “Two… two-thousand eighteen? I-” This was madness, even if it was real, she might go mad from trying to understand. She put her hand to her forehead, massaging the growing pain there. “Let me, okay-” She turned back to him, concentrated. “So I… walked through… something? In Daniel’s home… that brought me to New York City, in two thousand eighteen, in an alternate… universe.” She crossed her arms over her chest before she nodded. “You know ten years ago I would have said you were batty but honestly, I probably should have expected this.”
"Yes," he said, as the elevator ascended up to the Research & Development floors. "A rift exists between that universe and this one, which has dragged you at that particular moment in time, through to this place. It doesn't mean you ceased to exist if you're from the past. You're likely still there. Your history has already been written, as it was here. Where you died of old age."
In short, Stephen Strange was the world's worst doctor as far as bedside manner went, and he didn't believe in softening the blows. If you were dying, you were dying. If you had a chance of living, he'd lay out the odds and steps for how to start treatment. It simply was what it was. No more, no less.
"You probably knew Howard Stark. You're about to meet his son." And in another classic case of not softening the blow at all, Stephen said, "Good luck."
Peggy was gonna be honest. She was dizzy, a bit sick feeling, and extremely confused. But as she’d said, she probably should have expected this. “S-son?” She said hastily. She wasn’t nearly prepared for that. Not in any way. Where was Howard? His absence from everything left her with a dreading feeling that she knew where he was. Also, dead of old age? That was far too much to unpack right here and now so she simply nodded. “I’m only at about sixty percent in understanding but… I’ve done more with less.” She straightened her posture and took a deep breath. She wished… well it didn’t matter what she wished. Wishing had done nothing before and she assumed nothing now. “and good luck with your… mystical… stuff, Mister Strange.”
"Thanks, but I'm walking you in. Last time I used a portal, he got irritable. I'm supposed to use the elevator." Strange was looking up at the numbers and grumbling about Stark being a pain in the ass.
When the doors opened at the top floor, a glass walled laboratory was spread out before them, filled with holographic diagrams and walls of program coding streaming like data sheets hanging in mid air. Parts were everywhere, some in mid-fabrication in the background. A pile of gold and red metallic dust was on a table. Tools were everywhere, and the 'melody' of 'Supernaut' was loud enough to be heard on the other side of the glass. And at the center of it all stood a dark haired man with his back to them, arms held out like he was the messiah of the lab.
That ended when Strange knocked on the glass before using the keycard. The music blasted eardrums and Strange held up the delivery bag at arm's length, so it bonked against the back of Tony's head as he approached.
Hands battled at the bag wildly as though it was a rabid bat flying around. Once it registered that it was only his lunch, the look Tony Stark gave Stephen Strange was equally enthused. That is to say, it wasn't enthused at all.
"Friday, cut the music," he made a throat cutting gesture and the music cut off in mid guitar solo. "Hey, you brought lunch. That's useful. Who's......." He looked over at Peggy and squinted. A lot. "........this is new."
"Tony Stark. Peggy Carter," Stephen said, pointing between them both. "New arrival. Very confused. Try not to ruin it."
"Holy shit. I remember you. You're aunt Peggy. Howard invited you over a few times for dinner. Which I ruined, by being me," Tony said, ruining it all further on first contact. "Hi! Long time, no see...younger you. Weirded out right now. Massively. Just throwing that out there."
“Well that makes two of us.” She said, smiling at him empathetically. For as different as they were, a Stark lab was a Stark lab and Peggy felt more at home than she had since she’d been yanked to this, apparent, alternate dimension. Her eyes were drawn in every different direction. Taking in the various works in progress and lines of code that she might not even understand anymore.
She turned back to Tony, mildly flustered, which seemed to just be her current state of being for at least the rest of the day. “I see you’ve inherited his brilliance” It remained to be seen what else he had inherited but the inability to stop talking when he should also seemed to be one. It was endearing. At least for the moment. “I’m sorry to interrupt,” she gestured to what he had been focused on before. “I didn’t know who else to turn to when I found myself here. The first person I thought of was Howard. Which led me to you.”
"Yeah, can't seem to shake that Howard guy. Supposedly there's some kinda similarity. Go fig," Tony said with a shrug, although there was a shadow of sadness in his eyes for a moment, before a blink and it was gone. "Hey, Strange? I think I got this. I'll get her caught up and set up with some nice digs, if you want to throw us a welcome pack?"
"Can do." Stephen turned to Peggy, since it seemed Stark was ready to tackle this, and he had to get another of those welcome packs to a displaced valkyrie. "If you have any further in-depth questions about this timeline, I'll be on the network. It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Carter."
"I'll get you set up. We have apartments for new arrivals. Nice places," Tony added, closing down some of the windows hanging in mid air by clapping his hands toward them.
“And you as well. Thank you very much for your help, Doctor Strange.” She watched him exit through one of his portals, and she couldn’t help it when her mouth fell open momentarily. You’d think after everything she’d seen that she might be used to all this and yet, she still found herself surprised.
Shaking it off, she rounded back to Tony, unable to tear her eyes away from him as she inspected him. He was the spitting image of his father. However it seemed as if that particular subject might be a sore one. So Peggy turned her attention to the task at hand and saved her sentimental comments for another day. “That would be lovely, I’m going to need quite a bath and some rest.” She wasn’t even sure what time it was, either way, it had been long already and she saw no end in sight.
“This might not be my place, by the way,” She pressed her lips together before continuing. “But your receptionist? Exceedingly skilled at her job. The man who was bringing your food was exceptionally rude and I suspect he’s not the first, yet she was very collected. At least until Mister Strange showed up but who can blame her there.” She neglected to mention that she’d contemplated shooting said delivery man in his lobby. Not every story needed every detail.
"You once told a story over Christmas dinner about how you shot a guy in the foot for trying to touch your bum," Tony was saying, his back turned as he popped a quick text message off to Steve to let him know where Peggy would be. "And I thought you were the coolest lady ever. Why you were hanging out with my dad, I'll never know."
He turned around after trading the phone for a glass notepad, tapping a finger on the buttons as he walked past her. There was a smirk on his face, despite the fact that this was one of the weirder arrivals to their little group of superheroes and hangers on.
"So you didn't shoot the delivery guy?" Tony asked, ignoring when Strange's portal opened up near a lab table, and a welcome package was dropped off before the portal closed again. He peeked into the delivery bag. "God, he forgot the pickle. It's a deli. Who does that? If we run, think we can catch up to him so you can hobble him? Pop a cap in his ass? Not deadly force but, maybe teach him not to screw with our receptionist and my lunch."
And with that said, Tony began to tell Peggy Carter all about their broken universe, and the threats within.