I want more Nick/Peggy headcanons like I saw a nice gifset of Peggy and Nick recruiting Clint and it was nice, but, like, I want more headcanons and gifsets about Nick being recruited into SHIELD?
Like it’s actually not Peggy who finds Nick, but Gabe, who’s still in contact with his Howling Commando’s buddies and they tell him about this guy. Young man, black ops, government all that jazz, who’s been labeled as a problem child, reckless, disrespectful, doesn’t follow orders, etc
So Gabe calls him in and after one meeting he calls up his - wife cause they’re totally married - Peggy who’s still running SHIELD and is like “Peg, you have to meet this kid” and sends her the file with NICK FURY stamped in black letters on the front.
They meet and Peggy doesn’t see any of what Nick Fury has been labeled as. She sees his no bullshit attitude in the straight set of his shoulders, she sees the prejudice he’s had to face in the set of his jaw, she sees the strength of his resolve in the color of his eyes. She sees the future of SHIELD in Nick Fury.
They sit, Nick is polite, but plays everything close to the chest like a perfect spy. Peggy sits back impressed but can tell Nick is wary because he’s been through this before, white superiors judging his every movement, only interested in the politics; the cons and pros of keeping him around. They want his skills, they don’t want him though.
“Tell me Fury, who do you fight for?” Peggy asks and Nick tenses because the correct answer is ‘America’ but the honest answer is -
“People like me ma’am.”
“People like you?”
“Yes. People like me, people who can’t protect themselves under the threat of a larger power”
Peggy smiles, “the little guy.” And even Nick has to chuckle at that. “You know I knew a man once, who fought for the little guy.”
“Anything like me,” and Peggy laughs shaking her head.
“No, he was brazenly optimistic.”
Nick snorts, “Must’ve been a white guy.”
“He was, so he can’t understand, fully, what you and I had to experience. Just like I can’t understand fully what you’ve experienced. But I do know what it’s like, to have doors slammed in your face.” Nick waits, then -
“What are you offering here ma’am?”
“A chance to open a door.”
And then Peggy takes Nick on as her personal protege and when she gets sick Nick is there with the rest of her family. Nick and Gabe trade war stories and bond over their shared racial experiences in the military. Gabe is always trying to set Nick up and Nick stubbornly refuses. Even when Gabe nudges him about “that Coulson guy”. Nick watches Trip and Sharon grow up and gives a proud smile when they become SHIELD agents. When Trip dies Nick goes to Sharon’s apartment and they don’t say anything but it’s enough. Sometimes Nick visits Peggy and he’s the one to tell Steve where she is, even though he doesn’t tell him Nick knew her. Only Natasha, Sharon, and Trip know that.
They weren’t family, Nick, Peggy, Gabe, and their kids, but they were something. Nick finds himself seeing bits of that something in his relationship with Natasha. The broken spy who he took in, helped grow, learned to care for. They’re not family either, but they’re something. Nick has few somethings in his life, which is why Alexander’s betrayal hurt him so deeply, because Alexander was one of those “somethings” and he almost lost Natasha in the aftermath. But when Nick is at that point, when the weight of his life, the responsibility of justice, is weighing down upon him; he goes to Gabe Jones-Carter’s grave, or visits Peggy at her home. Because even Nick Fury cries, and Peggy will chide him in her more lucid moments that allowing Natasha to see that won’t ruin them. Won’t ruin their something. Nick wipes his eyes and grumbles and Peggy threatens to pinch his cheeks or call his momma not remembering Nick’s mother and father died years ago.
But that’s okay because Nick will gently take Peggy’s hand and thank her and Gabe for what they did for him. For opening that door to SHIELD. And Peggy will thank him for not just taking care of SHIELD, but for making it better. And Nick will want to cry again because he’ll feel as though he failed, because HYDRA, and Ultron, and now registration. But Peggy will tell him the people who matter, who truly matter, know it’s not his fault.
Peggy will tell him that Nick Fury isn’t a god, he’s just a man, and the people who really know him will know that. That’s the last conversation he’ll have with Peggy before she dies. Natasha comes up to him at the funeral where he stands stone faced in front of a grieving Steve, Sharon, and the rest of the Avengers who only knew her in passing. Natasha will rest her hand on his arm, and without words Nick will gently grasp it back and know, it’s safe for him to cry with her now.