|Historical: Bullet Holes and Bowler Hats (Part 1)|
|What: Back in France, 1942, the soldiers of the 107th were assigned by Senior Agent Neville Longbottom (of the Strategic Science Reserve) to extract one of their agents - Peggy Carter - on the belief that her cover had been compromised. Alas, they were wrong...|
January 1, 1942.
The extraction team was slim. While the rest of the 107th was stationed at an ocean front base in the south of England, a few contingents were on a boat waiting in the darkness to provide the final leg of extraction should the team that's actually gone into occupied France succeed. The mission was a slightly strange one -- A SSR Operative by the name of Margaret Carter had gone in under cover two months ago, helping pass information from a beach drop point to the local French resistance. While she'd yet to miss a bi-weekly drop, Nazi command had moved several more units into the area of the rural ocean side town. It was assumed by someone higher up in the SSR that Carter had been compromised, but she had enough valuable information that they'd prefer to get her out than leave her to be tortured or killed by the enemy.
The beach front was quiet. Somewhere in town, music played, some sort of pub or tavern clearly still operational. Distantly down the street the sound of marching boots can be heard, at least one unit on patrol even this late at night.
The small group selected to actually enact the extraction heads out from the secluded ship. They're dressed in civilian clothing, but they all know not to trust in that helping for long. If Carter is compromised, and with all the new enemy activity reported in the area, someone coming to try and get what she knows is not that far- fetched.
And they wouldn't be wrong.. Sergeant James "Bucky" Barnes directs the group to start asking around at the pub, judging their poking around at the place she lives right off would be more likely to draw attention. Though he notes with a small smirk to the group, "Remember though, we're here for this Carter dame, so don't get too in character, yeah?"
"Okay, ya heard th' Sergeant," one Corporal Timothy "Dum-Dum" Dugan replies, turning back to look at the little squad of soldiers. "Keep it together, ladies." Dum-Dum smirks from beneath his helmet as they head up from the beach toward the town.
"We ain' gotta description, neither -- only a pass-phrase. Th' Sergeant says his, 'n the broad -- whoever she is -- 'll say hers."
Private Francois asks something in French, causing Dugan to groan and roll his eyes. "Someone tell th' Private here I don' speak Frog."
So Gabe Jones pipes up, speaking to Barnes, not Dugan: "He wants to know what do we do if a German patrol shows up?"
There were German boots on the ground, marching in line, probably farther up the main street of town than the water front. But they'd eventually cross their paths unless the boys moved, and then town seemed rather sleepy and only half occupied otherwise. Of course, half the houses were bombed out, clearly war had come through here at some point. Now the people were doing their best just to live their lives. The only life in the whole damn town seems that tavern one street up from the water. The music was loud enough to pour into the streets and at least one couple drunkenly making their way out of the place towards a back alley to do... well, something that should probably be behind closed doors.
The 107th wasn't selected for this mission because they were fluent in French.. the fact more than a few of them are is a nice bonus. They were selected because they were gaining a reputation for getting the job done. They have impressive individual skills, and those individuals are swiftly starting to work together as a close knit team. They scatter a little to approach the pub and avoid the patrols, with Gabe and Francois set to head up the intel gathering in the pub, with Dum-Dum for backup. In response to the relayed question Bucky smirks and replies, "Then we'll make 'em wish they hadn't. But let's work on finding this Carter before we start lighting the place up, yeah?"
The answer is addressed to Gabe in English. For Bucky, his knowledge of French consists basically of just what he needs to navigate the pass phrase exchange in question, and a smattering of pickup lines he's acquired along the way. He's taken all jokes not to mix the two up in good stride on the way over.
For now though, he heads around to the back of the pub with the others, perhaps making use of some of those latter French words as he bypasses the eager couple. Once out of sight, they climb up on top of the roof to scout out for any signs of enemy alarm. If anyone leaves furtively or a group seems to be heading their way, he can radio the group to scram. "Looks good so far, how's it look in there?" he murmurs into the radio.
Dugan fans out through the pub -- with Francois and Gabe in tow, leaving Pinky and Falsworth with Bucky -- trying not to look like an American tourist. He smiles and nods to a few random patrons and makes his way to the bar where he sits down as casually as he can.
"All's quiet on th' drinkin' front," he whispers into the radio.
Meanwhile, wherever 'that broad' is, a young agent of the French Resistance -- a girl no more than fifteen years old, named Jeanne -- rushes over to Peggy and whispers:
"Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle Nighthawk! There are strangers in the tavern, smelling of cigars and cheap alcohol. And the Germans, they have a patrol on the way! What do we do?"
'That broad' is actually right upstairs, in the private dining room, helping wait on an entire table full of Nazi command while she's plying the with several too many bottles of wine, a shirt cut rather too low, and a mind sharply picking up every damn thing their tongues let slip. The moment she sees that young girl, her brows furrow and she shoos her out into the hall to get the message. "What? Just... go back to your mother. I'll handle it. Go. Run." Peggy will not have a little girl in the line of fire if things go poorly.
Not bothering to adjust her blouse or change anything, the brunette quickly comes down the stairs, dark eyes crossing the tavern a bit too sharply to just be another serving girl. While the team inside didn't necessarily scream military, they were out of place. Even if some of them spoke French, this was a small town. It took her two weeks to even start being trusted, much less secure the position she has now. She steps quickly up to the bar, ducking behind it and moving to fill another two carafes of wine. "I suggest whatever you are doing here you leave. Now." The French words are uttered beneath her breath though she does not look directly at either of them. "It is not safe." She whispers even lower, this time in English.
Meanwhile, outside, Bucky is going to see a little girl running back towards the house where their operative is supposedly staying. A child far too young to be out this time of night.
Up on the roof, Bucky spots the little girl and frowns, lightly whapping Falsworth to point her out. "Hey, isn't that Carter's place she's running to?" though he already knows it is. They were told that Carter was almost certainly compromised, so were treating her home as unsafe. If someone's running there, even a little girl, it could mean an enemy ambush just got wind that something isn't as it should be in the pub. Bucky talks into the radio, "Hey, hey. You guys see a little girl run out of there? She's making a bee-line to Carter's. We might have company soon, tell me you've got a lead."
Falsworth blinks. "I say, Sah," he remarks quietly in a decidedly British -- posh -- accent. "That is a mere wisp of a child; I hardly think she's... erm, yes sah. It would appear she is."
Within the tavern, Dum-Dum is smiling blankly through his moustache up at Peggy -- not recognizing her. The French she speaks goes completely over his head, only causing him to smile a bit more and reply:
Francois clears his throat and nudges Dugan in the leg, eliciting a scowl. When Peggy switches to English, Dugan's eyes go wide but he still does not break character (despite the fact that he knows his cover is blown).
The radio buzzes, easily audible to Carter, shortly after the girl (Jeanne) leaves, and Dum-Dum closes his eyes in frustration while still trying to maintain his smile. He makes gestures with his eyes at Francois and the door in a 'go check it out' fashion.
Outside... the Germans start knocking on doors, making random inspections. As they near the building upon which Bucky stands, some of the tiles on the roof shift...
The look that Dugan gets could probably murder for the amount of daggers in it alone. And his accent is horrible. Peggy flickers a fast gaze between them both, but not having been given the phrase yet, she's not even certain if these men would be contacts or are just idiots. Possibly both. She finishes filling both the carafes she's been muscling behind the bar and leans over, right between Dugan and Gabe, for just long enough to whisper in quick English. "I do not know what you are doing here, but your accent is horrible. This town is quickly being turned into a command base for Axis command and it is not safe for those unknown. I suggest you leave this minute and go back to wherever you came from."
The little girl continues running, straight up into the house, yelling for her mama as she goes. If Bucky has particularly sharp ears, he'll hear the girl whine something to 'Mama' in French and drop the name Nighthawk, which was in the file as Carter's alias. Something is definitely going on.
There's a woman in the pub dressed even more provocatively than Peggy. When the woman comes downstairs and hushedly speaks to the rather out-of-place men at the bar, she stands up, giving a wink to the Englishwoman - and turns her charms on a couple of German soldiers, off duty but known to her. "Ah, if it isn't sweet Citron!" one says in heavily accented French. "Jakob, good to see you darling..." The woman sits between Jakob and his soldier buddy. "You brought a friend this time? That costs extra you know..."
The tavern is in what probably used to be a house -- maybe the original tavern was bombed? The downstairs is all one large, cleared out room of bars and tables, but upstairs is broken into the private dining room, two bedrooms for other...Activities, and a bathroom.
Up on the roof, Bucky is focused on the doings of that little girl. He's not sure, but he thinks he picks out Carter's code name. Shit.. that only furthers his suspicion. He radios, "Dum-dum, do ya got anything?" still nothing. Bucky tchs... "I dunno what's going on, but trouble's coming. We need to -- " he breaks off again when Pinky points out the patrol coming into sight behind the tavern. By the time they could climb back down they'd be spotted for sure, better to just keep quiet, keep the advantage in case they pass --
Right then, a pair of roofing tiles shake free, and crash to the ground below. It's a mistake you can bet the commandos will never make once they're a thing, but right now they're just a group from the 107th, and there's still plenty they have to learn.
Bucky bites down on some choice words as an alarm sounds out back, and he quickly waves the others to the side of the building. There's a balcony there into an interior room, and the three manage to slip down and duck inside before the patrol below can round the corner to be sure where they went...
Unfortunately they're likely pretty sure by now that there was a 'them' to have went somewhere.
Inside the tavern...
"Look lady," Dum-Dum hisses at Carter, his very American accent shining through. "I'm waitin' fer someone who -- oo," and he notices Ci-Ci across the room. "Oo, la-la..."
At that moment, Francois and Gabe return from the door in a rush and whisper at Dugan: "German patrol! And the alarm has been sounded. ETA thirty seconds!"
"Swell," Dum-Dum mutters and instantly pushes away from the bar. Already heading for the stairs, he looks at Peggy and motions for her to hide somewhere. "Go on, git," he tells her abruptly. "Soon as them Krauts figure out ya can speak a real language, they'll nab ya fer a spy. Scoot!"
Unfortunately, the sound of Dum-Dum's rather distinctive voice attracts the attention of the off-duty Germans currently being entertained by Ci-Ci. One of them, wearing a bowler hat proudly upon his head, leans away from the French girl and frowns in Dugan's direction.
Then he reaches for his weapon.
There was almost literally no time left. That patrol would be here within seconds, especially with the things Peggy heard coughed over Dugan's radio. She looks up from where she is behind the bar and across to Ci-ci. The woman was one of very few who knew the extent of Peggy's position in this town and she trusted her. Now was the time to see if the woman had any sort of combat reflexes to match those bedroom reflexes. Peggy grabs a beer bottle from behind the bar and whips it with a snap of her wrist *violently* fast in the direction of Jakob's companion's temple. It's a straight shot and the man is distracted enough by his companion to take it without any fuss, right to the temple. He slumps over on the table.
"I am a spy, you idiot. And the second half of the phrase is 'At least the wine still pours!'" Peggy's British clipped voice could NOT sound more frustrated. She waits to see how Ci-ci handles her job before stating flatly in perfect French, "Ci-ci, you hide THEM," The Nazis, "And I'll hide them!" The Americans. Then Peg leaps up across the bar with a single smooth motion and is dragging on the coats of the two Americans, tugging them back to the upper level. "Shut it. No words. No sounds. You louts can sneak, yes?" Because they had to get past the loud drunken room to get to the bedroom where they can be hidden away.
"Oui, madam." Ci-ci quips, hitting Jakob in the head as the startled Nazi starts to react to the flung bottle to his friend's head. "Stay safe, Lady Nighthawk." And then the willowy bondy Frenchwoman is somehow hauling two good-sized men into a far corner and hiding them behind the liquor stash.
"Now just wait a darned cotton-pickin' moment!" Dum-Dum snaps at Carter as he is guided away from the tavern floor. Apparently he is not big on the 'no words, no sounds' thing -- especially when it's a dame telling him off. If fortune does not favour the ignorant in this case, nothing will. Perhaps even the Almighty is rolling his eyes...
As Ci-Ci brains the Nazi officer, Jakob, the man's bowler hat falls off and Dugan pulls his arm free of Carter to go get it. "That's vintage, that is..." He manages -- albeit barely -- to grab the hat and hide over near Ci-Ci. He puts the bowler on his head, and motions to the unconscious Nazis with a 'lemme help' expression on his face.
"Oh, la-la..." he murmurs again.
The Germans pause outside, accosting a patron on his way out (someone unwittingly, or perhaps deliberately, buying the Allies inside a bit of time). "Zere has been a disturbance reported in zis area!" the squad commander barks. "Take zis vun for questioning, jawohl!"
"Jawohl, mein herr!" a lowly private responds with enthusiasm, and he takes hold of the poor patron roughly by the arm, leading the man away from the door.
Seconds tick by...
On the second floor towards which Peggy is currently dragging a pair of hard-bitten soldiers along like misbehaving eight year olds, the remaining three of the extraction team find themselves crouched in an unoccupied bedroom on the far side of the hall with a cheerful fire in the hearth.
The door is open on the hallway, making the rather spooked trio plainly visible to Peggy when she reaches the top of the stairs, looking no more in place than the soldiers she found in the tavern did. In between the two groups are the open double doors from which laughter and the sounds of tipsy German is pouring fourth, though there are also rising shouts wondering 'where that damn girl is with our wine'.
Bucky has clearly heard the group of officers, and perhaps even picked out enough of their words to know without a doubt they're not just run of the mill enemy soldiers either--he's pulled out a grenade.
"Bloody wanker!" Peggy hisses beneath her breath in shock and anger as Dum-Dum actually stays below. She'd quickly see how he gets his nick name later on, or so she'll joke down the line. Right now, she's ready to breathe fire. She can't save them all, plain and simple. She's upstairs with the others in tow, dark eyes wide as she sees Bucky and the others. ~What the HELL?!~ If she wasn't mouthing the words as to NOT disturb the private room on the other side, she'd be screaming them.
She gently pushes Jones and Francois down the hallway, towards the other room with their allies, one finger to her lips to try and coach them to be dead silent. When they make it past, for now, she whispers to them fiercely. "Stay here, keep quiet, stay down. I'm going to buy you time." And then she's turning to go back out and into the private room. A warm laugh and a popped button to them, she's reaching for the record player to turn it up louder and make a few excuses about the wine.
"Get down, little soldier boy." Ci-Ci's heavily accented English is a mix of anger and worry. She puts her finger to her lips, and gently pushes him into the hiding spot behind the liquor. "Stay put, oui? For Ci-Ci?" She draws a heavy burlap sack over the Corporal, and just in time. The patrol is coming in.
"Capitan!" Citron sings out, winking more than just flirtatiously at the Nazi commander. Brigitte is upstairs, monsieur. May I help?"
Bucky was edging closer to the room when Peggy appeared with Gabe and Pinky in tow, her face enough to stop him in his tracks even before his gaze drops to her low cut shirt. The combination is off-balancing enough that she's already shoving the all back into the bedroom and whispering about buying them time in that clipped accent -- didn't they say Carter was British? -- before he remembers to hiss back in poor French, "Everyday it seems fortunes are drying up more and more?" And if she replies he starts to state, "Carter, great. We're here to rescue -- ." and then she turns on her heel and disappears into the room to the sound of pouring wine and rising music.
"...You?" Bucky exchanges a baffled look with the others, who seem similarly nonplussed.
In the room Peggy is met with more than a few dismissively impatient glares and raised glasses. The latter are easily filled by the pitchers, and the former pleasantly distracted by that extra popped button. Though even with that, one of the nastier customers amongst them has risen, apparently having heard some of the shouting below. "What is going on down there?" he demands of her in German, stepping towards the doorway.
As Dugan ducks back behind the liquor with Ci-Ci, the Germans fan out through the upper lounge -- standard procedure as they begin to search the area. The commander in charge has his full attention upon Peggy -- well, almost full. At least some of his attention remains on that open blouse.
Predictable (for him).
Genius (for her).
Downstairs, Dugan almost hisses a response to Ci-Ci, but cuts himself off short as she gets up to attend to the Germans approaching her. When Jakob moans in his unconscious state on the floor, Dugan quickly punches the Nazi out again... and hopes no one heard it.
The soldiers turn to Ci-Ci and one replies with: "Ve are looking for several spies in zis place. You vill tell us vhere zey are! And -- fetch a drink for me!" His words are French, but the accent is notoriously German.
Upstairs... In the other room down the hall from Peggy and the commander, a floorboard creaks heavily -- beneath Falsworth's foot."Erm, sorry chaps," he whispers.
"I demand you tell us," the commander reiterates to Peggy, still admiring the blouse. He reaches for the closed door just as a third soldier approaches...
Holding young Jeanne by the arm.
The code phrase is given back to Bucky in quick, smooth French, Peggy having time for procedures, if nothing else. But then she's down the hall and trying to buy them as much time as possible. It almost worked until that commander decided to get wise. Peggy smiles sweeter to him, her fingertips traveling to ever so gently undo the button of his jacket. Her whole hand smooths across his chest now, tempting, seductive, as she leans a bit closer to him and states in the ragged German she used around all the officers, "Drunk boys, from the new unit. Enjoying leave too much. Don't let them bother you, my darling..." Her lips are but inches from his as she whispers that, leaned so close he'd easily be able to see fully down her shirt now.
Of course, her hand in his jacket isn't just getting a brush of nipple. She's also getting the thin records book and one time use pad all the local offices were sharing. She'd caught sight of them earlier and been watching most of the night. If she was going to retreat, she'd get out of here with information, if nothing else. When he seems to notice something odd, her hips grind up against his front, inviting and distracting. "Finish the wine... then I will ensure you enjoy your leave. Maybe Ci-ci and I... Together?"
She'd need a shower after this. She felt awfully dirty.
Downstairs, Ci-Ci's using her own charisma to distract the patrol. "Spies? I have not seem spies. Many drunk soldiers, but no spies." She winks again, leaning to show off her own figure. She licks her lips. "A drink for all of you? Of course, my dear boys -- on the house." She turns away to fetch some wine, swaying her hips in just the right way. "The higher men enjoy themselves upstairs. I'd hate for you to be left in the cold." As she passes by Dugan, as pretends to stumble, letting her kneel down and whisper "Wait." Of course, it also gives the men a good look at her rump on her knees. She gets back up, and gets a serving tray, pouring full glasses of their best win. She passes out glasses to those who will take them.
She gave the phrase and matches their very vague description -- and also she just waltzed right into the room full of German officers. It leaves the extraction team...all of it but the missing Dugan, stuck in that side room, hoping Peggy's going to be back and quick. The grenade has been put away, and there's some very hushed back and forth where Bucky finally gets some report on what the hell was going on downstairs... so Dugan's still there, but so far they can't hear anything over the raised music, so they can only hope he's alright for now.
Inside the Officer's room, the commander's mouth curls into an openly covetous leer, appreciating the view his current vantage affords. "Yes," he responds in German, "It is rather late in the evening. It is only to be expected they would be in high spirits, and.. we all deserve our rewords for work well done." His own hand has raised to run suggestively along Peggy's side. "Why don't you go and fetch her, so that -- " he cuts off as the floorboard creaks. "..Then again, perhaps I will do so myself." he steps out into the hallway, completely missing Peggy palming the intelligence booklet from his jacket.
He does not, however, fail to miss the group of allied soldiers registering incredulous around the contrite Falsworth.
"Spies, upstairs!!" the commander shouts, reaching for his sidearm.
The words echo downstairs into the lower lounge where Ci-Ci shamelessly entertains the 'rank and file' soldiers, and Dum-Dum hides behind the liquor bar, lying on top of two unconscious Krauts...
(It's not what it sounds like.)
With a stolen bowler hat on his head.
The soldiers need no further prompting -- even the wiles of a talented seductress like Ci-Ci are no match for the opportunity to shoot things, so they draw their weapons amid many cries of: "Jawohl, mein kommandant!" and charge up the staircase.
"Sacre bleu, t'incompetent!" Francois exclaims at Falsworth, reaching for his gun. Gabe Jones looks at Falsworth and says, "He means -- "
"I know what he bloody means!" Falsworth snaps, as he turns to shoot... but the other officer holding onto the young French girl, Jeanne, cruelly (and cowardly) puts her between him and the men of the 107th.
He and the commander take aim at Bucky and Gabe...
Dugan tries to get up to follow the Germans up the stairs, only to slip and land face to face with Jakob, swearing. He puts his hand upon the Nazi's unconscious face, using fellow's nose for support, and manages to get himself into a crouching position, and get his pistol out.
"Can I get me a 'wahoo'?" he asks the German with a sneer. "C'mon, don' be shy!"
Ci-Ci lets out a very 'typical' womanly shriek as she hears the commotion upstairs, pretending to run and hide in a corner. Of course, that's where the security sidearm for the bar was - always handy with drunk soldiers about. "Merde." she spits, as Dugan acts like a Dum-Dum and draws the patrol's attention back to him. "I said wait you dumbass. Men, seriously! No wonder we have war all the time!" she complains - as she draws the sidearm and starts shooting at the patrolmen. She's no expert shot, but she doesn't have to aim to far away. Sadly, she's not in much better of position - she's trying to buy Dugan some space.
The chaos upstairs isn't any better than downstairs. The only upside that Peggy, Bucky, Falsworth and Francois have on the Germans is that Peg has been plying them with wine the entire night and no one was really expecting combat. So as everything falls apart, Peggy does not hesitate in taking command of the whole situation and at least being the first one to pull a damn trigger.
The two officers' eyes, and their weapons, are on Falsworth and Bucky. Because, clearly, the men were a threat. Even worse that one of them is using a little girl as a shield.
So, out of seemingly nowhere, the blouse brunette comes out with a swift kick to the back of the man's knee (the one holding Jeanne), her hands coming around and grabbing at his wrist that holds the gun with an expert twist meant to break wrist and elbow or force his grip to loosen. She's disarmed him just as a shot is going up into the ceiling and then whips the gun across the man's face, shouting to Jeanne, "CLOSET, NOW!" in French as she pushes the girl towards the linen closet.
"We're fighting our way out now, boys!" Peg yells back to the men behind her, really hoping they are more competent with guns than they are with sneaking, because she's only bought them a handful of seconds by disarming the initial commandant.
The officer threatening Jeanne stalls the 107th boys, and with the commander drawing a gun as well, they're left with little choice between fighting their way out and hoping for the best with the endangered girl, or getting gunned down where they stand...
And then there's Peggy.
With a crack of bone and a howl of pain the officer fires into the ceiling, young Jeanne twisting free. She scampers for the closet reacting near instinctively to Peggy's shout as Peggy whips the officer across the face with his own dun, dropping him where he stands.
The scream draws the attention of the tipsy commander a moment too long -- a moment it turns out he couldn't afford with the much more sober allied soldiers armed and ready. A shot from Falsworth hits the commander first, and Bucky adds a second as Falsworth is saying. "Not so bloody t'incompetent now, is it? Right -- Let's go, then!" And then the row starts in earnest.
The officers in the room start pouring out, one of them shouting something rather unflattering at Peggy standing over the fallen German, and fires at her. Most of the rest seem more concerned with the increasing fire angling into the room from the advancing representatives of the 107th.
Both officers upstairs drop to the ground -- one with several mangled body parts, and the other with a bullet hole in his otherwise pristine forehead. The latter Nazi drops to his knees and topples sideways, his eyes completely glazed over in death...
Just as the rest of the Germans erupt from the stairs onto the second floor. "The Kommandant!" one exclaims. "KEEL THEM!!"
Bullets fly -- most of them from the German's guns, aimed both down the hall at Peggy and in the opposite direction at the 107th men at the same time. The very walls of the tavern's upper floor become RIDDLED with bullet holes, and ricochets prove to be a huge problem.
Two Germans that are too close for gunfire, whip out knives and lunge at Bucky and Gabe. One manages to stab Gabe in the leg...
Downstairs, the attention drawn by Dugan and Ci-Ci is not without consequence, as the last few soldiers turn about to face the no-longer-hidden threat behind them. Ci-Ci's shots hit the first of the Germans to turn upon her, striking him in the upper chest, and shoulder. Her third shot catches the second German in the gut.
The man stumbles back into his comrades to the sound of a "Vive la France!" from the French girl... "Vive la Fr -- !"
"No! Ya bastards!" Dugan bellows at the top of his lungs as he fires from behind the liquor bar, leaping over the top in an effort to reach Ci-Ci...
Ci-Ci is indeed yelling Viva la France. Hell, she'd probably sing the national anthem if she could, just to piss off the Nazis. She's actually saying some incredibly vulgar things to them, but sadly Dugan doesn't understand French. In the middle of her shouting, though, one of the bastards gets lucky. A bullet pieces her chest, and she screams, falling to the ground. "Vive...la liberty..."
A proper, indoors fire fight isn't like the dramatic old west shoot outs in some of the movies -- it's fast, brutal, dangerous, and immensely chaotic. A grunt of pain coughs from Peggy's throat as a slug slams into her back and she jerks forward, just finishing the motion she's started earlier, which was getting low and out of the most common line of fire. Her hand is still mostly working, but she's not certain for how long as the upper side of her back is on fire. Adrenaline helps her ignore it, gun up, two quick, coughed shots levelled at the group coming up the stairs. She's as good with a gun as she was with her hands. Apparently, this was their contact.
"Clear the room, downstairs, out the back. We need to be gone from this place before any other back up comes!" Peggy probably shouldn't be the one giving the orders here, but she just comes by it naturally. Pain makes her voice particularly sharp now, and it only gets worse a second later. She's not certain if it's one of the lingering men from the room, or a ricochet, or poor luck, but a second slug hits her back, barely an inch from the first. That actually gets a cry of pain from her, sending her to her knees. "...you have got to be kidding me..." She hisses out while she's still conscious. Hopefully she can remain that way.
As the Germans pour out, the 107th soldiers are pressing in, Bucky and Gabe meeting the knife wielding Nazis just to the side of where the door opens. Falsworth and Pinky shoot around them, the whole knot of men using the knife wielders as shields from their last few fellows. Gabe staggers as he's stabbed, but manages to catch the knife arm of the man who did it long enough for Pinky to shoot the soldier responsible point blank over his shoulder. Bucky makes good use of all the street brawls he's been sucked into over the years and dodges the knife blow coming his way tidily. He strikes back hard and fast, one fist slamming into his attacker's elbow, making him drop the knife just in time for Bucky to step forward and pistol whip the man across the face a la Peggy.
Speaking of Peggy, wherever that second bullet came from one of those last two soldiers has turned from the messy melee to focus on the tempting lone target she presents.. the soldier rounds his weapon on her, not so fast that she doesn't have a chance to raise her own through the pain -- but it turns out she doesn't have to this time. These boys may be like bulls in china cabinets compared to her standard of spywork, but there's some remarkably competent shots amongst them.
The soldier falls over dead in front of her, and the group is heading her way, Bucky helping Gabe along as Falsworth offers her his arm. "I thoroughly agree, miss Carter. Charmed, by the way." by the look of them, he's speaking for all of them after seeing how she took down that first man with the hostage.
"Hold on, I got ya!"
Dugan manages to catch Ci-Ci before she hits the ground, immediately holstering his pistol so he can scoop her up in his arms. The big man makes his way over the bodies of the downstairs Germans to the base of the stairs, and peers up to the rest of his 'boys' and Peggy make short work of the rest of their Nazi adversaries.
One of the Germans at his feet groans and feebly points a gun up the staircase, only to have Dugan tread on the man's hand with one foot -- putting all his weight (and Ci-Ci's) on it -- and on the Nazi's throat with the other.
Hearing Peggy's strained commands from above (it is not hard to tell the pain of someone who has been shot), Dugan kicks bodies out the way with his feet and motions with his head (and bowler hat) for the 107th to follow. "All clear down here! Ya heard th' lady!" he calls up as men start clambering down. "Do what...ever her name is says. Down 'n out!"
Upstairs, Francois heads to the wardrobe when Jeanne is hiding and tries to encourage her to follow them. The young girl steps out of the closet, but adamantly refuses to join them.
"Come, little girl!" the Frenchman urges. "It is not safe here!"
Jeanne crosses her arms over her chest and goes to the window. "It is not safe anywhere, Monsieur!" she tells him, fiercely. "And I am not a little girl -- I am a fighter for the Resistance!"
Then she smiles.
"But to the Nazis, I am just a little girl. Go!"
Francois, in awe of Jeanne's bravery, salutes her and leaves along with the rest of the 107th, Ci-Ci, and Agent Carter.
"Vive la France," he breathes.
Reunited, the group makes tracks, ducking out of the perforated tavern before the approaching patrols can pick up where the officers left off, helping each other along.
As Gabe catches sight of Dugan he makes a pained smile around the wound in his leg, offering: