Dinner and Saving the world (one conversation at a time)

March 16, 2015 Sara meets with Steve and lets him know she's also working on the case.

New York

The Big Apple.



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Mood Music:

Things have been busy lately. Starting with SHIELD has meant all sorts of new training, then settling in, then starting to build up a new case load, so to speak. Ten years in NYPD doesn't mean much until there's some proving going on. So while Sara hasn't been quite as busy as she used to be at the precinct, she's still been working some late nights. Tonight, though, it looked like she was going to get off on time, so she called Steve to suggest they grab a bite to eat at a little Italian place about halfway between her place and his.

She's still wearing her suit as she waits outside the restaurant, though she's got the jacket unbuttoned, despite the chill that lingers in the air. Spring is starting to peek its head out, and dammit, she's going to enjoy what she can of it.

Captain America's busy life is about to get busier. In addition to SHIELD duties and everything that's entailed thus far, there has been a lot of movement on the JL: Avengers initiative, which Diana has made him a council member for. That is to say nothing about the Winter Soldier. It has become Steve's number one mission to get his best friend back, and if he is unable to do that then he will be forced to deal with the thought of bringing him to justice for his crimes. It weighs upon him heavily.

And then there's everything with Peggy Carter. The elderly woman may be a target for someone, at least in Cap's mind. He's been working to get more information, but has come up short with a door in his face at every moment.

He enters through the main entrance and finds Sara quickly. He gives a quick wave and then takes a seat, wearing a simple brown, plaid shirt, with his bomber jacket over the top. Completely normal for his day and age, but sort of nerdy for right now. Just the way it goes with this guy.

"Hey, how are ya?"

"I'm not hiding a huge part of my life for the first time in almost seven years," Sara answers as she puts a napkin on her lap, looking up with a swift smile. "I'm great. The SHIELD thing and the security clearance levels are a little…awkward to negotiate, but talk about a load off." She settles back in her chair, watching him for a moment with a smaller smile. "I figured you could use a few minutes to think, though. How's Peggy?"

This is what happens when you date a detective.

"Alive, thankfully," Steve says, the worry on his face coming to the forefront. "I'm worried for her safety though. And Stark keeps closing doors on me as fast as I can open them." He pauses and chuckles, "Are you following me?"

After, he continues, "I'm glad it's been a relief to you. You deserve to have things lighten up on you for a while, here."

"No, I'm following Stark," Sara flashes a swift smile back at him, reaching for her water to take a drink. "And the science squad. Which is where I heard these portal disturbances might be at least a little bit related to her. And I figured that was something you'd be worried about. So I sort of listened in on the watch that was running by Stark's place when he got back, and I stopped by to talk to him. Took Paul, because he likes questions without answers even less than I do." She quirks a brow, looking back to him. "You want some help?"

"Absolutely," Steve says with a nod. "I've been meaning to compare notes with Booster Gold as soon as possible. Stark is asking that I trust him. Will tell me nothing. And then asking me for favors." Steve shrugs his shoulders and just shakes his head.

"Well, I've managed to get a couple things," Sara shrugs. "I can't guarantee I one hundred percent understand all of them, because like I said, the science squad. But I've got a general idea of what's going on and what we're looking at. And some names and…" She pauses, brows rising. "You know, we keep looking at the past and at the present, but I'm not sure if we've cross-referenced things the right way."

"Well I'm all ears," Steve says getting comfortable in his seat. "And if you think you don't understand it all, you should imagine my position. What are your thoughts?" he asks as he motions to the waitress for a glass of water.

"We've been so wrapped up in paradoxes, we haven't been thinking about trying to track any of them." Sara rummages through her pockets, pulling out a pen and a notepad. Some habits die hard. "We've got a list of people who went missing back in '48, and we've got a plotted map of where they disappeared. According to FitzSimmons, it's some sort of mathematical progression on the location front. We've been going down the list trying to get DNA samples from the descendants of the people who went missing, but what we haven't checked is any record of those people after they went missing." She scribbles down her thoughts as she goes. "Like now. You're worried about Peggy. But Peggy's safe and alive. If something caused that to change back in '48, would there still be records? Tax returns? Photos?"

"Well, that's the thing about time travel. Everyone assumes that it would work a certain way if it's even possible. That all of this is based on one reality. I don't think we know enough to know to be honest," Steve says with a shrug. "I don't pretend to be a scientist, but it's as if they all watched the same movie and assume that they have the same understanding of the impossible."

"I should check," Sara muses, marking down explanation points on the pad before tucking it back into her pocket. "Hell if I know how it all works, but if it can tell us more about these people and if the common point has to do with them or has to do with location, then it'll be worth it. Finding a pattern in where people had disappeared, though…" She trails off, tilting her head. "Makes me think those people got caught in the wrong place more than anything else. So the next question is, is this a pattern of whatever they're using warming up? As in, did they find their target, and this is all working into it? Or out to it. And if that's the case, how did they pick their target?"

She grimaces, reaching for a menu. "I swear this time stuff makes my brain hurt."

"I guess I didn't realize that Peggy or anyone else had disappeared. Do we know for sure that that happened? I'd recommend talking to her, but I'm not sure the stress would really be a good idea."

"Other people did. The…person who came through with Peggy's watch did," Sara explains. "Apparently, those things we ran into in the park? They're what happens when something or someone goes through the portal. Like traveling across time makes…a bad copy or something. It's screwing with their DNA."

"What do we know about the people who have come through the portal?" Steve asks. "I suppose that if those rules we talked about were true, then we would never know. Things would change for us and have always been that way."

"That's what we're working on tracking now." Sara flips the menu closed, taking another drink of water. "But one of the people who disappeared actually already has some info out. It was the aunt of someone local, who's recently written a book including how she was affected by the disappearance. Which apparently took place around a bookstore. I'm thinking it's possible there might be some clues around this bookstore. Or it could be a red herring," she admits with a shrug. "But at least it's somewhere to start."

"Who's the lady? I imagine she was probably considered a crackpot when she first started discussing it." Steve folds his arms over his chest almost as if hugging himself for a moment. "Do we have eyes on her at all? What does the book say?"

"Local TV presenter, actually. Candice Allen. Victim was Sherry Allen, her aunt," Sara explains. "She was just a kid when it happened. There was a disturbance near the bookstore, but we couldn't connect it to the woman until now, because she didn't live or work in the area. She just visited Candice at the bookstore. So we've connected a person to a place. We just don't know if it means anything yet."

Steve nods, "Who else do we have working on this? And what can I do to help?" He props his elbow against the chair rest and props up his chin trying to figure out what he needs to do and the time constraints being put on him left and right.

"Paul and I are working on hitting the street. May was in the meeting, but I'm not sure what her plans are with the search. Fitz and Simmons are running the science end of things," Sara adds, a crooked smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "And actually, I was going to ask you what I could do to help you. I figured you'd been working this on your own."

"Get Stark to talk," Steve says plainly. "The science things aren't something I can broach, even in the slightest, but the other stuff, I need to be kept in the loop. I get the feeling because it deals with Peggy that I'm sort of getting the door shut in my face."

"Already working on it," Sara nods, pausing to put in an order when the waiter comes over. "He's been willing to keep me in the loop on the science, for what it's worth. If there's something he knows that he's leaving out…" Trailing off, she shakes her head. "I don't know enough about what's around it to know the right question. I did, however, get him to agree to let me know if something was coming that was likely to send you into a tailspin." And at that, she actually blushes. Caring. Gross.

"That's all well and good so long as he is upfront and honest with you. He hasn't shared the same courtesy with me, unfortunately." Apparently Howard struck a chord with Steve. In truth, Rogers hung up on him the lone time they talked about the matter. "This is also assuming he understands fully what's going on. I'm not convinced of that either."

"I have no idea what's got this whole thing…" Sara shakes her head again. "I get things that threaten the fabric of reality being high on clearance. But outside of that, I'm not reading why this has that kind of clearance level on it. I doubt it's the sort of thing anyone could replicate. But again, not a genius," she says, raising her hands. "Either way, though?" She folds her arms on the table, trying to catch his eye as she leans forward. "I can help. You don't have to do it alone."

Steve nods to Sara and smiles, "Thank you for that. I appreciate it." He takes a drink from his cup of water after the waitress brings it before asking his next question. "Are there any preliminary thoughts about the watch? What it has to do with Peggy and if it's just an eerie coincidence?"

"According to Howard, she lost it when she was trying to stop a woman from being pulled through one of the portals," Sara explains. "It was one of the first cases they worked after they formed SHIELD. A string of missing persons cases." Sara knows all too well the heartbreak of missing persons cases you can't exactly explain to the people in charge, and don't entirely have the power to solve. "So far as we can tell so far, there's no reason to assume she'd be targeted any more than Howard would be."

"Looks like I'm worried about nothing, then. Wish he'd have told me that and put my mind to rest," Steve shrugs. "What's your personal read on all this?" he adds. Sara seems to trust Howard so it's likely that she believes his take. Nevertheless, he wants her to confirm it, it seems.

Sara grimaces. "I never assume anything like this is going to be as simple as I want it to be," she admits. "But this time thing…Either they wanted to make something happen, or stop something from happening. Until we know what that is, we're not going to be able to figure out the rest of it."

Steve chuckles, "You're right on that account. This is probably not as simple as any of us would want it." He reaches up to rub at his face, tiredly. "I suppose we should compare notes when we learn anything more."

"Hey." Sara leans over the table, reaching out to brush a hand against his cheek. "We'll figure it out. She'll be okay. I promise." There's an odd note of intensity to that. Peggy Carter isn't anyone to Sara, not really. So why would she care so much?

Steve closes his eyes as she brushes by his face. He assumes she cares because he does. Sara comes across as someone who is gruff and tough, but Steve knows that she cares. Not everyone would have gone to such lengths already for something like this.

"You need some sleep," Sara says ruefully, brushing her fingers behind his ear before settling back into her seat. "You wanna get this to go? I promise, these things are easier after a solid night's sleep."

"You're right," Steve says with a nod and a smile. "I think getting it to go is a good idea. I'm not sure the last time I got a full eight in."

"Great." Sara slips out of her chair, leaning in to press a kiss to his cheek before heading to the waiter stand to put in the change. When she comes back, she leans against the edge of the table. "Be about ten minutes, then we should be good," she murmurs. "Go home, eat, and then you go to sleep. I'll make sure the world doesn't end for the next eight hours."

Steve stands up wearily and stands with a bit of a stretch. "Yes ma'am," he says in response before leaning in for a kiss. "Thank you. For everything."

"Hey, I'm on a record-breaking stretch of not screwing things up spectacularly," Sara chuckles, wrapping an arm around his waist as she tips her chin up to the kiss. "Have to do what I can to keep things up for when I inevitably do something really, really stupid."

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