Worry / agent carter



Fandom: Agent Carter, Marvel Cinematic Universe
Sites: AO3, FF.net


There's a lot of ways to worry. Jarvis, Stark, Thompson, Sousa. Spoilers for 02x02.


The Jarvises are mother hens, both of them.

The mister fiddles with his hat, his tie, his cuff links, anything physically capable of being fiddled with. He makes phone calls to the SSR every half hour and to the police every forty-five minutes. He stands by the broad window of the residence, then paces to the door by the back gate, then promptly paces back. A provincial guard dog in the making. More than anything in the world, he hates feeling useless, idle, a discarded hammer during a month of carpentry. Pacing somehow eases that regard.

The missus plans exorbitantly. Plans for when her loved one returns, plans for a feast fit for a king, plans for a bath of roses and vanilla with lavender candles to ease the joints. When the missus worries, she loves. When she loves, she plans. She wrings her hands, knows she oughtn't, and continues to wring them regardless.

In another world, the Jarvises may have been a darling, elderly couple retired in a seaside cottage: a lovely arena where the only affair worthy of worry is the timing of removing a quiche from the oven.

A pity that this universe requires so much more worrying.

Stark. Stark is a problem all on his own.

Stark encourages her to take away her pain the same method he takes away his own. Drinks. Dancing. Girls, or for her, boys. A night of glitz and glamor with nothing to remember but the flash of swing at a dance club and sheets with scarlet petals.

She's always ignored him, of course. She is not the sort of woman to drink her sorrows away, but to stomach them up-front, unbending.

When she disappears, Stark isn't worried. He feels the first signs—beads of sweat on his brow, rising breath in his lungs, a neck too warm and feet too cold. They're unwelcome. Wildly unwelcome. So he calls for a stripper, buys a pallet of rum, and snaps on a vinyl of Frank Sinatra's latest. Drowns out the whispers between his ears with the din of a livelihood he never wanted.

Mostly, Thompson doesn't worry.

He plasters his desk with paperwork and news clippings and anything that might serve as a reminder of his goal. When he loses his focus, he looks at the medals he wants to earn, the people he wants to acknowledge him, the impact he wants to make. He's busy, too busy, thinking about what to do, rather than who's doing it.


Sometimes he sits in his office late at night, hunched over five miles of paperwork, and he'll lean back and remember that Marge is missing, or rather, he'll let himself remember instead of pushing it away for another time. On that night, cramped and alone like an old tortoise in its shell, he starts to think too much about too little. Things he should have explained, compliments he should have made, orders he should have given. He wishes he'd been a better boss. A better man.

Sometimes he resolves to treat her better when she comes back, because Marge always comes back. The gates of Hades couldn't keep her away from the SSR. So he shoves the thoughts away and returns to his five miles of paperwork and doesn't think of white flowers or Krzeminski.

Sousa, well, Sousa rages.

Most think him timid, or dainty, or at the very least, withdrawn out of courtesy. Most think that he's the type to bow his head rather than draw his claws. Sousa the pitiful. Sousa the handicapped. Sousa the follower.

They wouldn't say that he's dumb, or foolish, or hurt in the head. But they wouldn't say that he's a lion of a man, either.

Except... sometimes he is.

When there's a certain colleague who's reported missing—someone who's English, beautiful, and very, very capable—Sousa sheds his quiet, steadfast fleece all at once, bursting with something pent-up and strangled inside his chest for too hard, too long, and pitiful, handicapped, follower Sousa is splitting tables and chairs and smashing his hateful aluminum crutch into walls that never stood a chance. There goes Sousa, calm captain Sousa that the SSR thought they knew.

Maybe he never existed at all.

There's a lot of ways to worry. Like parents. Like friends. Like bosses. Like lovers.

Wonder which is which.

Author’s Note