Two years into their partnership at the SSR, he’d surprised her countless times with his thoughtfulness and intelligence, and they had even established a connection. In her mind, she’d carefully call it friendship, although their fellow agents tended to call them Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, or would randomly start humming Mendelssohn’s wedding march when they entered the station together.
Admittedly, Peggy was starting to get curious why he never mentioned a girlfriend - he was smart, responsible and handsome; a true catch for every girl in her right mind. But she was not one to pry, reasoning that whatever his motive was, she would find out if he wanted her to.
It was a cold December night in 1947 when everything suddenly fell into place.
All her colleagues were gathered for the annual pre-Christmas party, and most had brought along their girlfriends who were now chatting merrily and exchanging anecdotes about their partners; and probably knowingly hinting at how chummy Agent Carter and Agent Thompson seemed.
In retrospect, it occurred to Peggy that she really had shared a rather big portion of the night talking to Jack.
They spent the better part of three hours in their own little bubble, almost exclusively talking to each other about their respective cases, because neither of them ever truly left the office. As the evening progressed, the topics got more personal, both of them venturing into dangerous territory. Peggy opened up a little about Steve, and Jack talked about losing practically all his family in a car crash just two months before the war started. At midnight, the first agents started to leave, and they politely said goodbye, both of them feeling as if they had been woken from a - not entirely unwelcome - daze.
As their eyes found each other again, Jack’s were free from the guarded expression she’d seen him put on of late, and the raw emotion she saw in them made her forget how to breathe properly for a minute. Her heart beat faster as her mind put the puzzle pieces together.
He never mentioned a girlfriend because he was in love with her. He probably thought it was unrequited and didn’t want to risk their friendship.
Her body’s reactions to these news were fairly unambiguous: