1963-11-21 - A Rude Awakening
Summary: Dugan 2.0 awakens in a lab beneath the SHIELD base, and Peggy Carter rushes down to greet her old friend…
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
dugan peggy 

There wasn't supposed to be ANYTHING going on in those labs. Peggy only has monitors in there because she's paranoid and, sometimes, a complete control freak. So, the sound of that strangely familiar voice crackling over the speakers, cutting in and out, that was enough to make her jerk out of her seat. "…What in…bloody hell… Dugan?" She breathes out, suddenly turning to the comm box on her desk and trying to remember which one of the NEVER used buttons goes to those labs. Shit. Which number of the lab was he in? She hasn't been down with that project since she told them to roll the dice going forward a year ago. It wasn't supposed to be done. "Shite. Shite…just…hold on…"

And then Peggy is up on swollen feet, rushing as much as a rather pregnant, middle aged desk jockey can rush. Which, for Peggy Carter, is pretty damn fast. She's half jogging through the hallway, down to the secret elevator that gives them access to the lower labs. She mashes her code into the buttons and is off to the lower floors. Hopefully he hasn't destroyed too much!


When the director of SHIELD bursts into the lower laboratory, she finds…

A giant moustache.

Actually, it belongs to Timothy ALoysius Cadwallader Dugan, known to his friends as 'Dum-Dum' — it's a type of ammunition! — who is standing behind an overturned table, next to a cabinet that once had a door on it, next to a decanter that had one been full of brandy, just across from a wall that had once had pictures and graphs on it…

Now it has holes.

"Dagnabbit!" he bellows, hunkering back in the shadows. "Don' come any closer! I got me a…a… chair, an' I'll use the damn thing! Go get Director Carter afore I… I… Jus' hold on one cotton-pickin' minute…"

Dugan leans out of the shadows a bit more. "Peg?? PEG!!" In an instant, the burly, ginger-haired man all but rushes at Carter, wrapping her in a bear-hug — or should one say bare-hug, as he is… stark naked.

As for the hug, it is surprisingly gentle — Dugan has always been unusually strong, and hugging his dearest friends (like Peggy Carter) is something he does with great care… Then he notices something. "Uhm…" says he in a voice that becomes thinner and less sure of himself as he speaks. "Gain a little weight, Peg?"

He hasn't realised he isn't wearing anything.


Well, that's more action than these labs have seen in ages, so maybe it was a good thing? Make certain the scientists were on their feet! Sure! Peggy dashes out of the lift, staring at the scene of chaos, that familiar, bellowing voice, the rather overwhelmed, skinny scientist in his lab coat — one of SHIELD's people, because Paperclip goes no where near this area. Peggy coughs out a bit of a laugh, "Dr. Collins, stand down. Just… ah-"
And the Peggy is being scooped up in those massive arms, against her old friend's very, uh, bare body, and she coughs out a bit of a laugh, "Collins, get some bloody scrubs or sweats or something down here!" She calls over her old friend's shoulder, though just hugging him is enough relief to bring an odd sheen of tears to her eyes.

Lest he think she HAS gotten soft, she begins to swat at his shoulder, "Put me down, you oaf!" She teases him gently, and then she is back on her heels and he is looking her over. While she certainly doesn't look *fat* all over, the roundness of her stomach is definitely tell-tale, especially in the carefully tailored suits. She swats at his arm once more, "…I'm pregnant, you idiot. Not fat." She huffs, before stalking away to grab a towel. "Cover your shame, Dugan. Not everyone shared camp with you in the middle of the German summer and has seen it all before."


"Oh. Uh, sure, Peg — Director — uh, goshdarnit."

When Dugan does put Peggy down, he backs away a couple of steps, but mainly out of realisation that he just picked up a pregnant woman off the ground, and not so much from personal embarrassment at his state of undress.

Still eyeing his dearest friend's 'preggy-belly' in surprise, Dugan takes some overalls (at least they look like overalls) from one of the other lab technicians, and puts them on.

"How… how long?" he asks simply. The question might serve as an indication of what he already knows — not merely given that Peggy Carter is with child, and the last time he saw her… she'd just gotten married.

The man's eyes glance about himself, at all the unfamiliar faces in the lab, and finally re-settle upon his friend. "Where the hell are we?"


Just gotten married and, frankly, looked quite a few years younger than she does now. Despite the soft belly, there are other changes. Wisps of gray clear in the edges of Peggy's hair, especially at her temples which have almost entirely gone salt and pepper. Lines around her eyes and at the edge of her lips. Peggy looks *older*. No one ever thought Peggy Carter could look old. And she doesn't, really, she's still lovely and vibrant, but definitely older.

She gives a quiet breath and nods a thanks to the technician, averting her eyes out of mock politeness more than anything, and crossing her arms over her softer chest. "…Ah…a little less than ten years? It's 1963. Almost 1964, actually. I… I'm glad to see you but… things took time. You were… not well, Tim." She looks back to him, her eyes aching with the memories of the things they had to do to her best friend. "We're in the basement of SHIELD. We…got a bigger HQ."


Shocked, Dugan staggers backward a bit — causing other technicians and assistants to scurry out of his way. When his backside encounters the bench, he leans against it, eyes wide and blinking.

"Ten years…" the man breathes. "How the — ?? I thought I was… was sure of it…aw hell." he puts his hands to the sides of his head, bowing forward a bit — trying to process things.

"What happened? What… what did you do??" He asks it as if he already knows the answer, as difficult as he finds it to believe…


While generally Peggy is a sympathetic person, she's always been able to be one of the boys with Dugan. They aren't exactly gentle shoulder types, and it's been a crazy sort of week. The fact that she still is carrying a ring of fading bruises around her throat probably shows that. She looks flat up at him, waiting for him to get himself together or, at least, sit.

He's got the full of her dark eyes when he asks what she did, though he doesn't seem to believe. "I saved your life, Timothy. The least you could be is thankful. Don't worry to much more on it. No one else is hurt or dead. You are still here. It just took time. Now…do you want to get out of this bloody lab or you going to sit there with your jaw on the floor a bit longer?"


Even with his head bowed, the corners of Dum-Dum's mouth can be seen to upturn a bit — the birth of a rueful smirk. He has missed Peggy's voice, her commanding presence — even just as a soldier, knowing his commanding officer has the situation in hand, is…


A kick in the pants never goes astray either. He looks up. "As ordered, Director," he grunts around a smirk. The man sniffs, smoothes over his moustache and stands up. "I could use a beer too — I drank all o' whatever pizzle was in that decanter." It had been rather expensive brandy. Pushing off the bench, he comes to attention (if only for a second) and then shrugs his shoulders.

"Lead the way. Huh. Pregnancy suits ya."

One of the lab assistants murmurs to his co-worker: "Can… he talk to the Director like that?"


"You try sleeping in the foxhole with the man. He can talk to me as he pleases, as long as he's not snoring." Peggy off handedly clips behind her shoulder, proving that she has eyes and ears far too sharp for anyone, considering that murmur was supposed to be a whisper and probably was barely hearable. Peggy still carries on, though, turning on the ball of her foot and leading the way out of the room. She's not waddling yet. Mostly. It's all strong strides still managing on high heels despite swollen feet.

"And that would be Pregnancy Suits You Ma'am, Dugan. We wouldn't want the kids to get the wrong idea. Lots of young agents around… Still building up, needing to recruit more for some other projects which are going on. Once you're settled in, have some new clothes, and have gotten a night of drinking out of the way, I will give you a full sit rep."

She pauses at the elevator door, turning back around to look up to him, now that they are alone in the hallway. She never would let her guard slip with other agents around, but standing alone, she reaches one hand up to touch his cheek. A bittersweet, relieved, slightly scared smile tugs across her red lips. "…it's…Good to see you.." She really didn't know if the project would work. Much less this fast.


Dum-Dum smiles.

"Swell to see you too — Peg." They're in the elevator now. Decorum can wait a little longer. "I checked — you got all the right bits in the right places; grateful fer that." He barks a chuckle, and glances down at his friend's belly and goes to gently rest a hand against it — beaming with no small amount of emotion in his rosy-cheeked face.

"I meant it, jus' so ya know. It does suit ya. Is… this yer first?" Ten years, it can't be. Still, he asks.


The man in front of her is one of the only in the WORLD she would allow such a touch, especially without asking. But Peggy has missed him. Just having him here lets her breathe a little bit easier, the exhaustion which threatens at her features near on constantly abates, just a bit, for his presence. A touch of a blush crosses her cheek at the gentle warmth of his hand and she drops her palm, resting smaller fingers overtop of his.

"…You are… kind. I *am* fat. Can't quite stop it. And…no. This one was… a bit of a surprise, actually. Not really of an age for it but… life is life, you know? We've got a little girl… Five now. Named Mickey. Well, Michaela, but… Mickey." She smiles a bit wider at some thought, looking back up to his eyes, "You'll like her a lot. She…she's heard lots of stories about you."


Dugan finds himself grinning from ear to ear, and when he looks over at Peg, tears run down his cheeks. "I…" says he, in something of a stammer. "I — jus'… thanks. Thanks fer savin' me, Peggy. Dagnabbit — ."

He removes his hand from her tummy, taking a step back so he can dash tears away from his eyes. "Can't wait ta meet her," he remarks after a moment to regain his composure — speaking of Mickey. "Hope ya only told her the good stuff. An' Sousa? Daniel — he doin' well?"


"…Oh… stop it, you old softie. Going to make me cry too… Sod off." Peggy states with a slightly crackly voiced smile, shaking her head, but she is still a bit broken up herself. Then, rather abruptly, she leans up and tugs Dugan into an impossibly tight hug herself. She holds on tight for a few heartbeats, but they both need the hug. She takes in a deep breath.

"…Couldn't let you die, you oaf. Missed you too much…" She whispers gently. The hug doesn't last, because the doors are just about to open, but she had to try. She pulls back and settles back on her heels, recompsing herself neatly as she leads the way through the busy offices of SHIELD. "…And yes, Daniel is doing well."


After the embrace, Dugan cracks another smile and gives a rueful shake of his head. "You never did back down from anythin' ya set yer mind to," says he with a chuckle. "I ain' complainin' none — although I feel right naked without my hat."

The chuckling continues on a bit longer — then he suddenly stops.

"You… did save my hat, di'ncha? Please tell me ya did."


"…Well… the hat is… Saved. But… Mickey may have claimed it out of our closet at some point last year, I don't even quite know how she got INTO there, so you may have to negotiate it back from a five year old. I wish you best of luck on the mission, I know you're accustomed to the impossible ones." Peggy states with a half wry smile as she continues to lead the way back to her office. There are a few strange looks his direction from various agents around the bullpen, one or two stammering a question, but no one even dares speak up.

Peggy opens the way into her messy, medium sized office, desk covered with papers, a make shift tea set on a back table, a little sitting area that has a pillow and blanket tossed in the corner of the couch because sometimes the nights do go that late. She's probably here more than home. "…How…how do you feel? In truth?"


Once they are inside the office, Dugan wanders into the middle of the room and stretches out his arms. He shakes out his fingers — then quickly turns his back on Peg to 'adjust himself' — and stretches his neck from one side to the other…

"I reckon… I feel dang swell, actually," says he with surprise evident in his voice. Turning back toward Carter he lowers his arms to his sides and rolls his shoulders. "I'm stronger'n I was — believe it or not. That wall… felt like tissue paper, I swear ta God. I got… memories in my head I ain' sure're real… I know this ain' my real body — don' tell me exactly how. I… don' wanna know. Not yet. Fer now…"

And he shrugs.

"I feel like 'me'." Immediately, his countenance falls — and he clears his throat. What he has said might be perfectly true, but the notion of being alive and inside… some 'other kind of body'… it will take some getting used to. Still, things will be better once he has his hat back…IF he can get it back, that is.


A deep breath is taken, especially as she sees the slight discomfort in his body. Even after ten years, Tim was her best friend. Someone she knew better than most anyone in the world. Peggy turns back to him and reaches one hand up to rest gently on his shoulder. "…Hey. Tim. You *are* you… Bodies… they're just… Shells. They get old, break, change… Hell, no one knows that better than me. Fail us. Trap us. It's what's up here," her fingertips brush some of the hair at his temple, "And here…" Her other hand rests against his chest, "That matters. You know that. Look at Steve. He changed more than anyone, but all followed him because of what he felt and did. Not what he looked like."


Dugan smiles.

"Thanks, Peg." Clearing his throat abruptly, the big man pulls over a chair and plonks himself down into it — immediately realising… "Reckon I've gained a bit o' weight too…" he remarks, glancing up at Carter, eyes alight. It doesn't bother him.

"Swell. So a real sit-rep can wait, yeah… What about other stuff? Do I got an apartment? A barn somewhere, maybe? Or ya got me stayin' here? — 'cause, I'ma go nuts if I hafta bunk down in that lab. Rather dig me a foxhole somewhere."


"Ah… I… didn't quite expect you to wake up this quickly, so I don't have an apartment prepared, exactly. We can get you a hotel or, if you like, you can come back to the house with Daniel and I? It's Long Island. I know, I know…but we needed the space, and it's not THAT bad." Though she still has her British accent, she has certainly turned into a New Yorker, with the typical wincing reaction to anything Long Island.

"…I tell you what. Why don't you go down to Medical, have them… check you out. I'll wrap up a few things here then I'll drive us both home, alright? Get you a proper meal and that beer too." She reassures him with a quieter smile.


Dugan smirks at first — and then switches to an expression of dismay.

"Another medical? Aw, Peg… I jus' woke up!" he takes a breath and stands up, hands raised in surrender.

"Awlright, awlright… medical it is. I did… kinda trash yer lab. Then…" And he heads toward the door, pausing just before disappearing through it. "I'd love to see yer place. Catch up with Daniel. Meet the family. Get my hat back…"

And he disappears.


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