1963-10-13 - The Land of Suspicion
Summary: The Maximoff twins have just arrived to America and already the Director of SHIELD is waiting for them.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
peggy wanda pietro 

Autumn is full well in swing now, the evening chilly, a touch damp with drizzling rain that hasn't yet turned into a full storm. Hopefully it doesn't. The docks on the wrong side of Brooklyn aren't a place anyone wants to be this time of night — all the better for the two black, unmarked Sedans to go unnoticed. Peggy's got two guards with her, but no doubt there are others in the cars, waiting for what happens.

The Director of SHIELD is unassuming in person, compared to what people might think. An average heighted woman in a pair of dark heels, her suit jacket concealed by a long, black wool coat that she wears. Something in her very stance simply *screams* Federal Agent. Or military, at least. She looks no-nonsense, despite fire red lips and a slight curl to her graying hair. She watches the boat come in with emotionaless, quiet dark eyes.


It had been a long trip coming out to America. Long, boring, and blessedly uneventful. But really boring. Stupid boring. Pietro's mapped out every inch of the ship within the first five minutes of having stepped aboard. It's been -really really slow- waiting for it to come into harbor! Now that it's on final approach he just can't sit still.

"Nice seeing a skyline without all of the smoke and fire and—waitaminute, what's that?"

Less than a heartbeat later he's moved all of twenty-odd feet to the side of the ship, peering over the edge. "Something doesn't seem quite right here. You getting any sorta reads on the place, sis?"

Gees, isn't this darned tub parked yet??

These two could have easily passed under the European radar if they had just kept their heads down. With all of the fighting going on through the various countries they hadn't been ..the most subtle, perhaps. Two vagrants with no obvious home, no clear allegiances, and the potential to cause a lot of damage and harm despite, once in a while, attempting to do the opposite, they could prove to be useful assets. Or, at least, worth keeping a closer eye on before they really make a mess of things.


Chilly by autumnal standards in New York is superior to, say, a Berlin winter or a Tibetan spring, for that matter. Revolution may be in the air, golden light and copper shadows as stylish as protest signs, but they don't change the fact a leather coat will serve any season. Wanda wears that claret-shaded coat laced up the front, her gloved hands deep in her pockets, and the look to distrustful late teens/early twenty-somethings everywhere. Her headband is the only bit of sparkle about her, thanks to a half dozen barrettes shining like maple sequins over her temples.

She has a habit of standing to the back of the boat, staring at the waves and their wake. While Pietro is bored out of his mind, she has perfected her measurements of wave theory, wave reflection, wave deflection, current, and how often that seagull floats within ten yards in hopes of a free dinner being stirred up behind them. Never close enough to throw a rock.

If they had a rock.

She glances up at Pietro, eyes going clear after a blink. "It's never right here. America," she reminds him, "is waking up to its history."

Well, if that isn't a damning statement. A look around confesses interest, mild, but she isn't fully engaged with everything happening. "Watch that boat there," she points to one out of a string of barges. "It's pulling differently than the other ones. Maybe it has a broken rope."


As the boat finally touches dock and the experienced shoremen begin to tie her down, Peggy takes a few more steps across the old wooden boardwalk. Her hands leave the pocket of her coat, resting neutral at her side even as she's flanked by two men who look far more intimidating than she does. On first glance, at least. Anyone who can study closer and actually read people would soon realize that the terrifying one of the trio is the shorter woman in the middle. She's not someone who needs to LOOK intimidating. She simply is. However, as she walks forward, an actual smile quirks across her red velvet lips.

Peggy climbs the gangplank onto the boat. Better that the whole boat be blown up with all of them on it if the two proved to be too dangerous. She doubted that would be needed, but they are prepared. She looks down the deck, looking for the pair. "…I imagine you have been on this boat too long. If you are eager to get off, we have a ride for you." Peggy's clipped, warmly British voice calls over the deck.


It's hard to watch the barge the other Maximoff points out to Pietro, mostly because it's also going really freaking slow but also because there's a huge city just -right there- waiting for them. It's gotta be full of interesting things. Has to be! Why else would anyone come all the way out here if it wasn't interesting?

Between the barge and the city the distractions, and anticipation, are real. Pietro's experiencing a bit of tunnel vision, frowning in thought as his mind continues to race. Then there's the new voice speaking up behind him. These two are easy to spot, alright. Peggy is pretty easy to spot as well, once she wants to be noticed. And the muscle accompanying her…

Pietro's attention is now focused on the trio rather than the city. Just as soon as the other woman's offer is voiced he's glancing sidelong at Wanda. They've been through some tough situations in the past. Lots of close calls. These three definitely trigger the suspicious part in his brain. Having 'a ride for you' sounds just a little ominous.

"Yeah? You offer that to everyone passing through here?"

They haven't put one foot onto American soil yet and they're already making friends. This really is the land of opportunity!


The barge exists on the muddied waters, like every other craft, ugly as they come. Functionality trumps cosmetic benefits. The piers are aged and weathered, devoured by time, and no longer worth anything more than a passing glance. Wanda dismisses those features while admiring the city skyline that rises and falls like a pulse measured on a cardiogram. Her fingers clutch the railing as she drifts nearer to Pietro, the wind whipping over her golden-skinned cheeks and making the split up the back of her jacket sway back and forth.

"Your lead," she murmurs to him, falling in a step behind him, letting her hands slide out of her pockets to reveal that her fingers are empty, her palms exposed. It might be a comfort for the strangers they face. Her hair is a bit wild, dark shades struck by fire in the sunlight, and the strands are brushed away from her cheeks irritably. Why dare it be so messy?

"Thank you, and hello." Or is it the other way around? She follows after Pietro when she notices Peggy, trying not to fall too sharply into any obviously suspicious route. The tendencies are there, plain as day for a skillful reader, but she's trying to quash their rise.


The smile that was on Peggy's lips before warms a bit more at seeing them. She hears the accent, her head tilting a bit to the side. "…Maybe you'd prefer to have a conversation in your mother tongue? That way tweedle dee and tweedle dum don't know what we are saying. If it makes you feel safer, I am happy to do it." Peggy explains, in only somewhat accented Trasian. Peggy's words have a Russian accent to them, showing exactly where and how she learned the language, but her fluency is remarkable for a Brit living in America.

"My name is Peggy Carter…I'm with an organization called SHIELD. Have you heard of us? We…well, we're in the business of protection. For everyone. Not just America. So… you both fall under that umbrella. I know life hasn't been kind to you. I'm hoping that can change." While Peggy looks intimidating, if either of them are good at reading body language or truth at all, every word Peggy says is the honest to god truth.


Pietro's got point, alright. Though he's also a tad surprised to hear the other woman speak in their own language. How'd..she know where they were from?

"Okay, that's a good trick," he replies in kind while crossing his arms together, clearly guarded. "I've got one, too."

The motion is an easy thing to miss, even to those looking directly at the silvery-haired fellow. The only real tell that anything has happened is that his stance has changed, suddenly he's looking down at a wallet now sitting within one hand. A second wallet is absently being held over to Wanda.

"Brian Holt. You look like a Brian," he states while glancing up to the one guard in question. "SHIELD, huh. That like some sorta Government agency? Protection from eeeeeveryone?" he asks with emphasis placed upon the word. And a cheeky grin edging its way upon his face. "Pretty sure we're an 'everyone,' yeah. Besides, we didn't do anything wrong. We just got here, we've got alibis. The only thing we're guilty of is not hitching a ride on a nicer boat."

There's high-energy, then there's this guy. Maybe he lives on coffee?

Here he looks back to Wanda, thinking aloud "She seems pretty legit. Want me to check their car?" There's probably one somewhere around here, he'll check them all out if he has to!


The brunette is a shade or three shorter than her brother, which helps her linger behind him the way twins so often pattern. One takes lead, the other follows. They might well be communicating on a perfectly different wavelength in body language as a result, putting off the unknown predators by making Pietro seem the decision-maker, the diplomat, and the more gregarious. For the most part, this is true.

She opens her hands to take the wallet suddenly there, cupping her palms as though to receive a fruit bun glazed in honey. Idle rifling through the cards and contained bills gives her an assessment in rapid time. "Fourteen dollars, seventy-six cents," she pipes up quietly in Trasian, giving confirmation for what her fingers inform her. She is mild compared to the full burn energy crazy man, but then the visible similarities between them are profound — even if they are Apollo and Artemis, or Helios and Selene, merely reversed for the colouring.

"Weapons," she murmurs, and leaves it at that, turning those uncannily clear eyes back onto Peggy. "If you protect everyone, what do you protect them from? One another?"


The men don't even realize what has happened until Pietro says his name. Brian blinks, giving a little bit of a squawk, his eyes widening as he steps forward and tries to reach for his wallet, but Peggy's hand comes out almost immediately and stops him. "Agent Holt. Stand down. He will return it, they are just protecting themselves. And being certain that we are who we say we are. They have that right." Peggy explains, in English again, and the man (despite having several inches of height on her) does stand down. He sighs, looking ruffled, but he listens.

Back in the other language, Peggy's voice is a bit more calm, "One and other, sometimes. Outside dangers. Things that are… super human, and would use their powers to take advantage of those who cannot defend themselves. We have many on our team who are *differently gifted* as well. I know it's hard for those who are different, but we give them a home. A purpose. To help others. I… I've heard your stories. Both of you. I know it's been a very… difficult time. I'd like to offer you a hotel, some stability, whether you'd want to work with us or not… We can at least make certain you are on your feet in this country." And traced, of course. Watched. Because they were dangerous. But the tone of Peggy's voice says she does mean all of this out of help, not just self service.


There's that smile again. If the SHIELD agents didn't enjoy having their wallets taken then they're really not going to like what happens a split-second later.

Any weapons those two might have been carrying are going to be missing, relocated, stripped down to their individual parts where possible and neatly laid out upon the deck of the ship in picture-perfect order.

"Must have been expecting some trouble to be carrying that kind of hardware around," Pietro comments with a look which is just plain smug. And yet..that smugness doesn't linger when Peggy says her next piece. This time there's a few words which really catch his attention. Taking advantage of others. Differently gifted. -Stability.-

A few seconds ago this may as well have been just another game for Pietro. How quickly it all turns into a matter for serious consideration. Even if he's taking point for the two he does look back to Wanda a lot. His decisions affect them both, after all. This time he's looking thoughtful. They have next to nothing between them both. All suspicion aside, this is an offer for something they probably both -need.-

Turning back to Peggy and inclining his head once more, he pointedly asks "That's a lot to be offering, everyone expects something back. What's the catch, what do you want from us in return?"


Their stories. Mention of that sets Wanda's shoulders into a tighter line, her chin dipping in a potent display of defense that doesn't come near shame. The quick dart of her gaze measures Agent Holt's reaction, ad the other forced to behave by that unflappable British bird he answers to. No doubt if her boots weren't so impressively thick and combat grade, her toes might be curling to go right along with the nonplussed expression.

"What happens if it does not work? Maybe they do not like us or trust us." Her head tips and she looks up, her grave eyes in shadow. Fingers brush aside her hair, so windblown and direly seeking comb, brush, or single stylist willing to tease through knots with a minimum of scalp abuse. Inquire within! "Do we end up locked at desks or forgotten about somewhere?" Her volume erodes away. "Like… Scranton."

Scranton, where dreams go to die the death of unwanted horses forgotten in the high pasture, unnamed and unknown even to their descendants. Someone has been cursing out poor Scranton to a Maximoff.

She gives Pietro one of those sisterly looks that spells… a good many things, interchangeably, but lands mostly on 'Well?'

She nods to his question of a catch. "Nothing for free."


No, the agents don't like that at all. The black agent, Moore, takes a step forward himself, controling temper through breathing in and out of his nose. But it's not really anger. It's more a slight panic and need of protection — how could he keep the director safe this way. He dares speak up, "Director Carter, I told you it was too dangerous. You shouldn't have come." He states simply, his voice loyal and protective. Holt chuffs out an agreement even as Peggy smirks, tossing a half glare back to both of them.

"Gentlemen, I wasn't sending a gopher to make an offer like this. These two have been through hell and back. It's important they know that…" Peggy then turns her dark eyes to them so they can see the earnesty in her gaze as she says the next piece, "That they would be considered important, respected Agents among us. If Junior Agents, to start, while they train. That the offer is serious, isn't coming from some secretary." Then the guarded question that Pietro asks actually gets a wider smile from Peggy. She tilts her head in assent and respect. He had a good point.

"No. Nothing for free. Ideally, we get along. You see the good work SHIELD does, you agree to work with us. We get two other gifted agents to help us fight against things that are super-human threats. I get to sleep a bit better at night knowing skilled, but human agents, like Bolt and Moore here, aren't going in to every situation with the odds stacked against them. Even if things don't go perfectly, we show you generosity, and hopefully you keep in touch enough that if we get desperate for your unique skills, you'll let us hire you for specific jobs. I still come out ahead for doing what any decent, nice person would do for a young man and woman who seemingly have been forsaken by the world before now. Yes, it's generosity. But with a price."


All in all, things could be worse. Is there a better offer to be had out there? It's difficult to say. Though if they have their experiences overseas to look back upon for comparison, this isn't just the best deal they're going to get but an offer which few ever get to experience even once.

Of -course- Pietro has his reservations. However, he's also feeling supremely confident that if they ran into any trouble with this SHIELD group that the twins would be able to pull free of it and disappear without any real trouble. They've done it before. They could do it again.

He's also really quite hungry, and if this Peggy here is indeed planning to help foot the bill for them both…

"Beats living in a box," he suggests to Wanda with a slight shrug. "Maybe they'll come in handy." There's enough forces out there hunting them down, maybe SHIELD could live up to its title and block some of that for them?

"Think about it. We could be 'super-heroes,'" he teases her with emphasis put on the words. "People might not wanna mess with us then." IE: Cultists.

Back to Peggy, arms folding once more, he says "We agree to this, I want something else from you. Like how you seem to know about what we've been through. Been watching us for a while? Got people working overseas, too? I'm all for scouting out fresh talent but that's a little creepy, you know."


"Agent Moore assumes we are dangerous, brother. They do not like your demonstration because he is afraid." Wanda sinks her teeth into her lower lip, rolling the tender flesh across the ivory embankment. Shadows tend to fade behind solid objects when the sun moves and she is no different, holding herself to rather precise angles in relation to Pietro even if no one may pay too much attention to how her slower drift follows his rapid velocity. Theirs is a profoundly deep and subtle dance on the whole of it, maybe governed by an unconscious action.

"We would not think very much of an offer upon a clipboard with three layers of paper. The pink and yellow paper is suspicious, not superheroic." So is Scranton. American culture is hard to come by east of the Rhine, just saying!

Once more she lapses into silence, staring out at the moody sea and casting her thoughts with them, pushing out to daydream as young women who warp probability are known to do. Right.


"Agent Moore knows you are dangerous. As do I." Peggy says that in English, just to let the other agents know what is being said about them. She is trying to be understanding of her two now weaponless body guards' comfort — she cares as much about them as she does potential agents. But, with no fear, she takes another step forward to Pietro and Wanda. She's now almost in touching distance, her oddly motherly smile never leaving her lips.

"I don't know that 'Super Heroes' is the best word for it. Agents. People who save lives. That's what matters. We aren't in it to be heroes, we're in it to do the right thing. I don't even *want* you to make the decision tonight. But I want you to get somewhere safe, have a warm shower, hot meal, recover from your journey, and take time to think about it. No pink and yellow paper yet. Just an offer. Words are more important than paper anyway." She states with a half smirk.

But Pietro's last demand lingers in the air, on her mind. Peggy turns dark eyes to him, studying a bit closer. "We have people all over the world, yes. We are an international organization. I cannot say we have been watching you for a while. Since you made your escape, in truth. If it had been longer, we would have probably tried to step in to help earlier. But… information can be found after the fact. So, we did our research. My people are very good at information. It's a skill we can teach you also, if you join us. But… tonight, a hotel." And without fear, Peggy turns on the ball of her foot, turning her back to them and leading the way down the gang plank to the boardwalk and those unmarked cars.


This time when Pietro looks at Wanda it's with an overly exaggerated turn of his head, both eyebrows hooked upward as he stares back at her. The sarcasm is running deep way before he ever opens his mouth. "Would -you- trust us, sis?" They -are- dangerous! Not that he's going to say that part out loud.

Then he leans in closer for the sake of whispering to Wanda directly, "Think of what they're going to do with that fear. Rather they watch us from the shadows or us having a chance to watch them back?" Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Not that these guys are enemies at the moment, but they never can tell how that will play out.

Oddly enough, it's when Peggy claims that SHIELD is an international force that his mind is made up. Not out of fear, not even out of the hope of them being protected. In his mind they're being given a chance to see behind the curtain of this group, a chance to truly understand who and what SHIELD is. This, to him, is significant.

In the blink of the eyes he's standing behind and slightly to the side of Peggy, the two guards' weapons reassembled and held out in Pietro's open hands. "Think I got these back together right. Bullets are in your pockets next to your wallets."

With those items returned he darts back to Wanda's side with hands on his hips, now standing on the other side of her just to mix things up a little.

"A hotel. Deal." He can hash things out more with Wanda later.


The reassembling of their guns, and return of their wallets, gets a slightly wide eyed look from the men. But that's it. They should be hooting and hollaring as to how fast he moves and how strange this is, but they seem to expect it. Holt gives him a simple, respectful nod. "Thank you." He states simply, walking to one of the cars and opening the back door like they are being limoed around.

Peggy follows them, not minding the boy whipping around them like that. She just smiles a bit more, amused really at his showing off. It doesn't bother her. "Excellent. We're in Chinatown, somewhat near the offices. Once you formally agree, we'll bring you in for a proper tour. But first… sleep. Food. In whatever order you like." She motions to the car for them to get in and she'll slip in to the opposite side of them, riding safely along into Manhattan the moment the doors are shut.


Wanda is the quiet one in the background, and is content to remain so while Pietro connects the dots, does two crossword puzzles, and probably plots the likelihood of the Yankees going to the World Series for the next seven years. She does keep behind him while Peggy approaches, a habit simply imposed by time. It isn't even conscious reflex, but space is important.

And then he is gone and she shrugs, taking this in stride with everything else. Her eyes flick back towards the boat, and she steps to the gangplank. There is a wobble there as she gets her land legs again, feeling for the absent heave of the concrete.

"A hotel with a balcony or good windows," she eventually says. "Please. We would like to see the city." The car she has absolutely no comment on, sitting in it like a doll when they are placed to enter. And it's very much obvious she does not do small talk.

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