dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira posting in [community profile] mcuflashmeme
Perhaps with a little more obvious relevance to our favorite characters, this week's challenge:

A story set in London

You have a week for this prompt, so get a move on!

Date: 2016-02-03 01:36 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Fandom: Agent Carter
Character: Peggy Carter
Summary: Peggy Carter, newly joined up with the SSR, in the London Blitz.
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Non-major character death, death of children.
Notes: Quickly written. Not betaed.

Peggy stepped out of the SSR offices and pulled her coat tight against the chill in the November air. Half of London, it seemed, was on fire, but the flames did little to ward off the coming winter; the ash floating through the air fell like blackened snow upon the ground and froze her bones just as effectively.

Despite the ache in her feet and her back from a day of, marching around the city, evacuating civilians to nearby shelters, Peggy found herself wishing she could have stayed at work, instead of being sent home to sleep. The typical nightly skeleton crew at the SSR offices had been bulked up to nearly a full daytime staff, but Peggy was still deemed to fragile for extra hours. She had been told, politely but firmly, every evening since the bombing started, to go to a shelter at night. It infuriated her; her mood, lately, had been as bleak as the city in which she lived.

Tonight was especially forbidding. Clouds had come in from the south during the day; now they hung grim and heavy in the evening sky, blacker even than the ash and smoke that filled the air constantly these days. Peggy found herself fighting to keep her spine straight beneath their weight as she walked. Few people were in the streets, which heightened her sense of wrongness. London was meant to be a busy and bustling city.

A block from the shelter, a young girl no older than thirteen ran up to her. There were tear-tracks running through the dust and dirt on the girl’s cheeks, and Peggy stopped instinctively. “Please, help me!” the girl cried as she drew near to Peggy. Her head twitched constantly in the direction she had come from, and her hands formed white-knuckled fists in her skirt. “My family,” she said, hiccupping out the words between swallowed back sobs. “A bomb landed on our home, and my mum and dad and Reggie were inside!”

Peggy’s exhaustion fled in a wave of adrenaline. “Show me where,” she commanded, as the girl finally burst into tears. The girl nodded frantically and darted off down a street perpendicular to Peggy’s own.

They reached the girl’s home a block and a half later. A flickering streetlamp shone on a scene that was becoming all too common in London. Most of the house was nothing but rubble; bits of what appeared to be the kitchen were still on fire. As she got closer, however, Peggy could hear low moans and other sounds from the middle of the wreckage. She forced her tired legs into a run.

“Stay back!” she said to the young girl as she stepped gingerly over the remains of the front door. Twisted metal, rough shards of stone, blown out glass, and other sharp odds and ends littered the entire scene. It was no place for a child. No place for a trapped family, either.

“Are my family going to be okay?” the girl asked, following Peggy into the debris anyways.

Peggy turned to her, and did her best to infuse her voice with confidence. “I’m going to get them out,” she said, “but I need you to do something for me. What’s your name?”

The little girl nodded as more tears streamed down her cheeks. “M’name’s Susan,” she said, wiping at her face with the back of one small hand.

“I need you to go get some colleagues of mine to help me dig your parents and brother out of here,” Peggy said. She gave the girl directions, and watched her run away out of sight. Then Peggy went to work. The noises came from the back of the ruin, where a staircase could be seen still partially intact behind a pile of heavy beams. The sounds of life slowly decreased in volume and frequency, and Peggy forced her body to work faster. When she could not lift pieces of rubble with her bare hands, she used bits of broken piping as a lever. Even with that, however, the heaviest beams remained lodged in place, trapping whoever of the family remained alive.

Halfway through the night, a few passersby joined her. With their help, she was finally able to lift the beams to reveal the door to a little closet under the stairs.

As the last beam was heaved away by a group of young nurses who’d been fetched from a nearby shelter, Peggy finally managed to get the small door open. Bits of it splintered off in her hands, but she ignored it. A middle-aged couple lay curled around a baby boy in the cramped closet, covered in dust and bits of wood and brick. The woman was still moaning, low broken sobs that Peggy finally realized were not moans of physical pain. The baby lay silent in her arms, a deep gash in his forehead that bled in the thin, sluggish trickle that said his heart had stopped beating. Her husband, too, lay still. The dark bruise on his forehead didn’t bleed, but it looked dangerous and painful nonetheless.

A nurse pushed past Peggy and knelt by the woman and her husband. She laid one hand on the husband’s throat, and then placed her other hand on the wife’s arm. “Your baby is with God, but your husband is still alive,” the nurse said, her matter of fact tone belying the sorrow in words. “Can you help me carry him? We’ve got a hospital set up nearby.” The woman stared at her baby, seeming not to hear the nurse.

“Where’s Susan?” someone asked in the crowd that had gathered, and Peggy finally realized: she had not seen the young girl since she had sent her off for backup from the SSR. That had been only just after nightfall, and now it was nearly dawn.

The nurse called out to Peggy as she left, but Peggy hardly heard. She rushed back along the streets, adrenaline once more carrying her tired body along. When she reached the street where the SSR building stood, she had to stop and hold herself up on the shop at the corner.

Half the SSR building and the entire home next door were utterly destroyed. The clouds of the previous night still filled the sky, but the encroaching dawn lit them up in red and orange to match the fires still burning in the wreckage. The whole place was an open, bloody wound at the end of the street. Peggy picked her way gingerly towards it, her horror growing with each step.

When she reached the building, a soft cry tore its way out of her throat. Susan’s body lay on the steps of the office, her neck twisted at an unnatural angle. Trails of blood ran from her nose into her hair, and one small hand was crushed beneath a pile of bricks that had blown out from the side of the building. Inside the building Peggy saw more bodies. Her coworkers (those she could see), never close or kind to her, now lay like broken ragdolls in bits and pieces among their scattered things and bits of desks and filing cabinets.

Peggy sat heavily on the curb. For several minutes, she allowed herself, for once, the luxury of not thinking, not feeling anything except the sidewalk beneath her and the raindrops that had finally begun to fall from the sky.

Eventually, she stood. She would go to a shelter and report the bodies. Then she would clean herself up, and head to the SSR offices in west London. Beyond that, she was too tired to think. The future would come, and she would face it.

Date: 2016-02-04 02:03 pm (UTC)
helahler: (Default)
From: [personal profile] helahler
This is lovely -- tragic, and painful, but wonderful; your writing style is so evocative, and I really like how you write Peggy.

Date: 2016-02-05 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it!


MCU Flashfic Meme - Weekly Prompts!

May 2016

123456 7

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 18th, 2017 02:14 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios