Vision lay on the bed, his eyes open staring at the ceiling but all he saw was the vision that Wanda had placed into Steve’s mind when she still worked against them. Before he had even been born. Well, this form of him.
She had imparted the vision to him, a vision for Vision and he felt greatly the emotions of this dream.
Vision knew of Peggy, he had visited her since the vision had been given to him. The frail woman who death clung to the edges off, ready to take her completely.
Vision knew what he should do and went to the one he considered one of his fathers.
“Tony, I would ask a favour from you.”
“From me?” Tony seemed surprised by the request and not by Vision suddenly dropping into his car.
“You care for the woman, Peggy Carter?”
The question caught Tony even more off guard and Vision had his answer in the change in body language and the moisture that appeared in Tony’s eyes. Something Vision had not witnessed before.
“Then I would ask your help, Tony. I wish to restore her and not let death take her from this world or from Steve Rogers.”
Tony pulled the car over to the side of the road and faced Vision.
“Tell me what you need.”
“Howard.” Peggy smiled at the man leaning over her bed. For a moment those eyes and that smile, it had been her old dear friend.
“It’s Tony, Aunt Peg.”
“Tony. Such a handsome man you grew into.” Peggy smiled and then began to cough. The coughing took over her frail body and Tony feared it could kill her. His smile turned to a frown as blood dotted their hands as he held hers.
“Sir.” Vision said sounding just like JARVIS. “Her time is short.”
“You don’t need to call me Sir.” Tony replied not acknowledging Vision’s words. He knew. If this did not work then Peggy would be lost to them all.
“Old habits.” Vision replied. “Time is brief if you wish to ask her permission.”
“I know.” Tony replied, his eyes never leaving Peggy’s face as the coughing stopped and she lay back against her pillows. She looked so small, this tiny woman almost lost amongst the pillows. Barely a reflection of the vibrant woman she had once been. Tony hoped this never happened to him. He’d rather go out fighting.
This time Tony didn’t correct her. He just laid out their plan as it stood. Told her that this might kill her. “I won’t do this without your permission, Peggy.”
“Learned your lesson have you, Pal?” Peggy asked and her little laugh nearly set her off in another coughing fit. “I’ve lived a good life, Howard.”
“You still owe him a dance.” Tony said quietly, it was perhaps not playing fair, but when had that stopped Tony.
“Steve. On Saturday, we’ll have the band play something slow.” Her eyes started to flutter and it was clear that she was going now.
“Was that a yes, Sir?” Vision asked quietly.
“It will have to be,” Tony replied. Peggy’s hand went limp in his grasp and he heard the death rattle of her final breath. Many had accused Tony of being heartless but he knew he had one because right now it was breaking. He finally took his eyes away from Peggy and looked to Vision as he stood next to the bed.
“Sir, Tony…this might take some time.”
Tony correctly read the unspoken questions in Vision’s statement. What did they tell everyone while they made this attempt? Did they tell people they were making their attempt and get hopes up. That seemed barbaric to give Steve hope and then have it fail. Tony had been cruel in his life but that was completely beyond him. Could they let her be mourned while Vision made this attempt?
And would anyone let Tony even try after what had happened with Ultron? Tony’s track record was shocking to say the least.
“Just begin and I’ll take care of the rest.”
Tony exited the room and closed the door. Tears were wet on his cheek and Pepper looked up from the uncomfortable seat in the hallway.
“Tony…” She spoke his name and rose, crossing to take him into her arms.
“I’m not crying. You’re crying.” Tony murmured sounding his petulant best. But it was half hearted, not even a real attempt at a joke. Humour, the best of defence mechanisms. Pepper didn’t laugh, or snort, she just held Tony in the hallway, her own tears spilling as she grieved the strong woman in the bedroom who had become something of an idol, and family.
Sweat dripped from Vision’s brow as he attempted the unimaginable. He had not told the others of the link between the stones, he feared the knowledge falling into the wrong hands. As such knowledge always did. Tony simply knew he had a capability through the stone to achieve, potentially, their goal. And they did, the stones were bound to each other, a bond forged when the universe created them.
Through the mind stone Vision could project to a higher plane and in that he could find Peggy. Her soul was not so far gone yet.
“You remind me of someone.” Peggy spoke, not verbally as she had done in life but still, she was capable of communication as was Vision.
“You have known me before, Miss Carter.”
“Jarvis?” Peggy seemed to radiate happiness and it warmed Vision.
“Would you care to return with me? There are many who would see you returned and made as you once were.”
“I have lived a good life. No one can ask for more than that.”
“You have not asked, it has been offered.” Vision replied. “Which in my humble opinion makes you more worthy than most.”
“Such things are a dream, Mister Jarvis.”
“You do not dream, Miss Carter.” Vision explained. “Your soul has left this world and I would return you to it. Restore you to the youth you once were, to the woman that Steve knew.”
The name stirred many emotions in Peggy’s soul. She shone brighter with them, a light of hope for a long dismissed dream flaring brightest of them all.
“I will not do this without your permission, Miss Carter.” Vision was firm on that. It seemed immoral to do so, and as young and naïve as he could be accused of being, Vision felt he had a strong moral compass and it was one of his best features.
“I have had a good life…”
“A chance to find out the what ifs and for love… it is a temptation and I do not know if that makes me worthy of such a gift.”
“Then it is something you wish?”
Vision nodded and withdrew back to his own body looking down at the frail body before him. He needed the power of all six stone to achieve what he wished. And Vision had no idea that this would work, just the belief that it could. Power, Soul, Mind, Time, Space and Reality would all mix and warp to create what many would call a miracle. Youth would be restored, death would be reversed. Who knew what other side effects there would be for Peggy.
Vision closed his eyes, his hands folded around Peggy’s. The mind stone began to the fill the room with a golden light that soon became like a rainbow. Now it would be up to forces beyond Vision to work through him and they would see if they ended up with the miracle they sought.
Peggy stood in front of the mirror. Vision standing behind her. He placed a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it gently.
“I would say that you are a vision, Miss Carter, but that would perhaps sound rather odd coming from me as I am now.”
Peggy laughed lightly at his attempt at humour. The laugh was genuine but less jovial than it might have been if her mind had not been whirling at a rapid pace.
“Is this real, Mister Jarvis? I mean Vision.” Peggy laughed nervously. “That seems like such a strange name to call someone, a vision is something one has not what one is called.”
“It would perhaps confuse the others for you to call me anything else.” Vision replied picking up that Peggy required time to process her transformation, and what they had discovered of him in their time rebuilding her was a viable distraction.
“Perhaps at first.” Peggy replied, her eyes still on her reflection.
“No, I am now The Vision or less pompously, Vision.”
“You wish to be less pompous, Mister Jarvis? Truly times have changed.” There was a teasing tone in her voice, again it was genuine amusement, even if she was still distracted.
“Ever with the sharp wit, Miss Carter.” Vision replied. He smiled at her reflection. “I will of course explain things to whom I wish to share this knowledge, but I will be known as Vision and not Edwin Jarvis, for I am not in entirety that man.”
“But he is there, within you.” Peggy replied. “That was clear, when you…”
Peggy gestured up and down her body referencing what Vision had done. She could still barely register it. Vision had reknitted her body, it felt like every part of her had been touched by the magic he had called up. Peggy had felt it all. It had felt as if she had spinning suspended in the air, or perhaps like floating in deep water. Colours had swirled around her. The brightest colour had been the same brilliant hue that rested within Vision’s forehead now. It had been he and the stone that had worked the magic. Peggy was sure of that, sure that this was magic.
A small smile curved her lips as she wondered what Howard would make of all this. Her smile held a tinge of sadness at the thought. Years had passed and her body had now changed but she still felt that pang of loss for her dear pal.
Vision’s voice and presence had been with her throughout the whole transformation. Soon she had come to recognise it, know it and him completely, though how had eluded her. She found the same comfort in him as she had in Edwin Jarvis, the memory of the night he’d stitched her up and spoken of Steve burned strongest in those moments.
Just A Rather Very Intelligent System. Someone had wanted his initials to spell Jarvis. And the reason became clear.
Doctor Arnim Zola had become a computer in the 1970’s, was it so crazy that Tony could weave Edwin into his own system. The butler, confidant, father figure. The death of Edwin Jarvis had been the final straw in the change in Tony Stark to the public figure everyone had grown to know. Peggy had never approved.
So now there was this man, The Vision, created into being by men and by magic with Edwin Jarvis woven within the soul the stone had given him.
“When do you wish me to tell the others we were successful?” Vision asked when Peggy snapped out of her thoughts and her eyes shifted up to meet his in their reflections.
“What does Steve know?”
“Nothing. I believe he thinks he has given you his final goodbye and already mourns your passing. Miss Potts also mourns you.”
“He questions these actions, he prepares to grieve and I believe in it he grieves for others he has lost.”
Peggy nodded and returned to trying to process what she was going through. She had lived her life, she had a life time of memory, of experience and she had lost much of that with the illness. It had been a fate worse than death for a woman who had always prided herself in being independent and capable. And here she stood as she had been so many years ago, years ago when she had fallen in love with a young man who would be a soldier.
It had not been the serum soldier who had stolen Peggy’s heart. No, it was a gangly young man from Brooklyn with a heart much bigger than his body. Though the transformation of his body had not been a terrible tragedy, Peggy would have continued to love Steve Rogers even if he had never changed and never been able to fight.
Peggy chewed the inside of her lip nervously as she thought about Steve. How would he take this? Would he be happy with it? Would he be traumatised? Terrified? Disgusted?
Did he still love her? Had he ever loved her the way she had him? They had shared a kiss and promised a dance. It had not been wedding vows. What if?
There was only one to find out the answer to the questions and when had Agent Peggy Carter ever shied away from a challenge. She would face it head on and deal with the outcome of the decision to allow her restoration.
“I am ready, Mister Jarvis.” Peggy nodded once, her mind made up.
“I will come for you once I have spoken to Tony. Or would you prefer to tell him yourself?”
Peggy thought for a moment.
“Let us go together.”
Vision nodded and offered his arm to Peggy to take, always the gentleman.
Together the two left the room they had been in for two days and made their way downstairs. Tony was pacing in his living area. A bemused looking Pepper watching him and occasionally commenting on his verbal diarrhoea.
“Ahem.” Peggy cleared her throat as she and Vision stopped at the bottom of the stairs. Tony turned at the sound and he looked like he was about to pass out.
“Language, Tony.” Peggy admonished and wondered why everyone else started to laugh.
Tony had been overwhelmed by Peggy’s Restoration. It had been a very moving experience for all of them and then Tony being Tony, he had wanted to stage it for everyone else to find out the wonderful news, and no amount of head shakes from Peggy was going to change his mind.
It was hard to keep secrets though and people knew before Peggy had time to dry her eyes.
In Clint’s defence he hadn’t been trying to find out, he had stopped by to drop off a book to Pepper from Laura before he returned home to his wife.
Clint and Peggy had known each other before her rapid decline. Peggy knew what it was to be talented and yet very human in the midst of immense genius and those more than mortal. Clint had not spoken much but there had been a sweet embrace, like family does, and Peggy regarded most of them as family.
“Steve is at our place.” Clint said at the end of the embrace.
“The simple life to ease his grief.”
Peggy frowned at the thought of the pain her Steve must be suffering.
“Then we go to the farm.” Tony grinned. “It’ll be perfect.”
Clint came out of the new room he was working on at the farm house. Steve had just come in after helping out in the barn.
“Hey, Steve, I found something in the other room you might want.”
Steve turned slowly as Clint rolled the door open, a stunned look on his face.
Peggy smiled as she stepped out of the shadows and into his line of sight.
Peggy smiled softly at the man she had loved so deeply all her life, even after his ‘death’. She had expected the look of shock on his face but she did not expect his anger.
Neither did Tony.
“How could you, Stark?” Steve rounded on Tony. Peggy couldn’t recall ever hearing Steve so angry.
“I thought this would make you happy, Big Man.”
“Happy?” Steve glared, before looking at Peggy for a moment and back to Tony. “You go too far with your lies and tricks. Why would you do this to me?”
Steve didn’t wait for a reply, he pushed past Tony pausing at the door after he ripped it open. “This trickery, a fake vision of my Peggy. Have you no soul?”
And then he was gone, motorcycle roaring down the road from the Barton homestead and Peggy’s heart was breaking.
This was not the reunion she had dreamed of.
“He did not know me.” Peggy sat on the step edge, tears wet on her cheeks.
“He can still know. He did not understand.” Vision stood and a handkerchief to Peggy.
“I should not have done this.” It ached Peggy to cause her dear Steve such pain. The noble boy with the soul too big for this frail body. And now she caused him such pain.
“He is being called in by Fury. If we hurry we can meet him there and explain.” Vision smiled softly and wiped Peggy’s cheek. He then offered his hand. “Come with me, Miss Carter.”
She stood there, walking towards her Steve. He just stared at her.
“Is it you?”
“It’s me, Steve. Really, truly.”
Her voice, her face, everything was the same even with her wearing modern day clothes. It was her, his Peggy.
“I missed you so much.” Peggy’s voice broke as she looked at Steve. “I came back for you.”
Writer’s note: Marvel can this please happen! I don’t normally dabble in FanFiction due to not being fully in the head of the characters, but this story demanded to be written so here we are. I adore Peggy Carter and honestly my life would be made if Hayley or Chris ever saw this. Or if Marvel happened to hire me to make an AU movie *snickers* I hope you enjoyed it :)