Irreverence Is My Superpower by Silent Journey
Darcy Lewis did not have superpowers. Not unless you counted speed texting, inappropriate commentary, or the ability to find the best iced mocha in town. Unfortunately none of those did you a lot of good during an alien incursion. Which is why Darcy Lewis had been happy to find herself thousands of miles away when New York was attacked. Of course she’d already been through the whole ‘aliens are real! OMFG!’ in New Mexico. But that had been slightly different considering that Thor, her first honest to god alien, had been built like. well a god. His friends hadn’t been bad either. Especially Sif. (Yeah, she’d tap that.)
The giant black robot of death hadn’t been quite so fun but it had been a one-on-one deal (unlike New York where it rained alien menace like confetti). Thankfully she hadn’t been the one who had to do the fighting because even with her trusty tazer she was woefully underweight for that match. Thor had handled it. And though he hadn’t come back right away, Darcy had believed he would and stuck by Jane. She had followed Jane to England and stayed through another alien incursion. (Didn’t aliens have somewhere better to vacation than Earth?) She even followed Jane back to the currently-under-construction-New-York when Stark Industries had offered the astrophysicist a gig.
Which was how Darcy found herself standing at the main entrance to the Stark Tower. She was just standing there, staring at the glass doors and probably making security nervous, but she couldn’t make her feet take that next step. This was it. Big leagues. She was going to be surrounded by superheros, spies, assassins, gods, and aliens. She didn’t have a problem with the fact that they were stronger, smarter, faster, deadlier.
everything with an -er. No the problem was that Darcy Lewis, flippant comment master, wasn’t actually as flippant as she appeared. She respected, admired, and cared about these people. Even if she hadn’t personally met some of them yet. There was a reason she a political science major after all. She wanted to impact the world, leave it a little better. Her biggest dreams had been about being a motivating force behind whichever Congressman (or woman) would truly change policy. Maybe she would even follow him (her!) to the White House someday. She wasn’t planning on sitting in the Oval Office herself. Her mouth was too quick to get her in trouble and her past wasn’t the kind that lended itself to candidacy.
None of her dreams had included working for a genius billionaire or with people who where changing the world and making it better in real-time.
Deep breath, Lewis, she advised herself.
As she approached the door, it swung open and was held by a man in a security uniform. “Ms. Lewis,” he queried.
“Yep, that’s me,” she said, producing her patented nothing-troubles-me-grin.
The guard was not immune and smiled back warmly. “Mrs. Potts informed us you were coming. Did you need help finding your way?”
Immediately, Darcy’s opinion of the famous Pepper Potts jumped about 10 points. She was already pretty high in the scale but this was above and beyond anything Darcy had anticipated. “What’s your name, big guy,” she asked, knowing that she had a little extra pep in her step now as she followed him into the main lobby.
“Well, Arnold, that would be just terrific.”
Arnold gave her another smile and led her toward the security desk where he explained he was going to give her a temporary security badge until she was added to the system. Ten minutes later, Darcy was calling him Arnie and telling him to look her up on Facebook so she could send him the links for those books his kids might be interested in. He assured her that he would as he ushered into an elevator and pressed the correct button for her.
“Good luck,” he called as the doors slide closed. Arnie was good people, and Darcy was hoping that meeting him was a good omen for how the rest of the day was going to go.
When the elevator doors slid open Darcy was greeted by a stunning view and an empty room. A tiny spark of disappointment flickered through her but she squashed it. Superheros, remember? They were probably off fighting some super-villian and his giant killer gorillas which made it impossible for anyone to be there to greet her. As she stepped out and down the two steps into the main area a voice called out from vaguely to her right.
She couldn’t hear what was said but the tone spoke of frustration and the voice was definitely male. Following the sound she found herself in a fully outfitted kitchen that gleamed with stainless steel and acres of counter space. The voice must have come from the rooms only occupant, a spectacular occupant if the view of his tight ass was any indication. She opened her mouth to call out a greeting but snapped it shut when she heard him speak.
“I am going to hurl you off the roof if you do not cooperate.” It was said with such frustration and malice that Darcy almost took a step back. Jesus, this guy was not kidding around. She was trying to think how many steps it would take for her to be back on the elevator when she realized that all the mystery man’s venom was directed at the microwave. Her eyebrows rose in fascination and amusement. Again she opened her mouth to quip but an oh-so-proper-and-put-upon British accented voice rang out from above interrupting her.
“May I suggest allowing me to operate the microwave for you?”
“No,” the blonde pronounced, straightening his shoulder to military precision as if he was preparing to charge into battle. And god what a beautiful view that made. “I know how these things work. The one at my apartment had less buttons but I’ll be damned if I let Stark’s excessive appliances get the best of me.”
He looked so adorably frustrated that she felt an ‘aww’ rising in her throat.
“Very well, Captain Rogers,” the disembodied butler sighed with resignation.
That was when Darcy’s mind finally clicked the puzzle pieces together. god. Its Captain America! She had been staring at Captain America’s ass while he contemplated murdering the microwave (micro-cide?). Not that she really felt that guilty about staring at his ass. Those buns were definitely worth the price of admission. And even if he couldn’t get his food heated, she felt like something was cooking in the kitchen with how warm her cheeks (and other parts) felt.
She must have made some sort of sound, because the star-spangled beefcake tensed and turned in her direction. “Hello,” Darcy offered lamely with a little half wave and a sheepish smile.
He said nothing in return. His stare said enough though. Arms folded across his chest, he screamed suspicion and Darcy supposed he had a right to be. He was a soldier and used to dealing with spies and assassins, and she was an unknown element.
Darcy however was not one to be cowed even by that intimidating face. She mentally took a breath then jumped in. “Having a bit of a problem?” She didn’t give him a chance to answer as she pulled her bag off her shoulder and deposited it on the counter. “Well no worries. I am an expert with unruly microwaves.” Pushing up her sleeves, she sidled around the glowering defender of earth. “Even had to hog-tie one once, but it came to heel eventually.” She swore there was a spark of amusement in his eyes at that but it may have only been her imagination. Making a big show of lining up directly in front of the wayward appliance, she studied the many settings and buttons. The light inside was on, highlighting a bag of popcorn. “Aha, no wonder you’re having trouble. Popcorn is the hardest thing to get them to take on the first go. Always better to start with something easy like a hotdog. All the best wranglers will tell you that.”
She couldn’t see him from her current position, but she thought she heard a soft chuckle.
Moving slowly, as if not to startle the unresponsive machine, she gently pressed the appropriate buttons. When the low sound of the motor started and the bag inside began to rotate, she slowly took a step back still playing out her schtick.
She hadn’t anticipated how close her audience had been standing, as she ran right up against him. For a split second she froze. He was a solid wall of muscle and wouldn’t it be so much fun to see if every appendage was as solid as his chest.
She jumped forward and spun to face him, trying to keep the blush from her cheeks. Bad Darcy, she told herself. Bad bad Darcy. but god that had felt good.
“Sorry about that,” she said, throwing up her hands and trying not to look him in the face. Was it even possible for her to have made a worse first impression?
Now he laughed. It wasn’t malicious. It was gentle and warm and genuine. Looking up at his face she saw honest amusement there. “Not a problem,” he said dropping his arms to his sides. “I should thank you for helping me. I’ve never seen a. ” The pause was significant enough that Darcy had a second of panic. “. wrangler with your style before.”
It was her turn to give him a genuine smile.
“Steve Rogers,” he said extending a hand. She grabbed it without hesitation.
“Darcy Lewis,” she offered.
“Well Ms. Lewis what brings you to Stark’s ostentatious abode? Besides being the resident wrangler.”
She laughed. “Not gonna let that one go are ya, Rogers,” she queried.
“No, ma’am.” And he smirked. Smirked! She made Captain America smirk. Damn non-disclosure agreements. That smirk would have been hitting her feeds in ten seconds flat if Ms. Potts hadn’t forced those forms on her. The smile on her face was probably dopey but she didn’t even care. She was in Tony Stark’s kitchen joking around with Captain America. Dopey smiles were totally acceptable.
“Captain Rogers, your popcorn appears to be ready.” The voice startled her a bit, but it only made Rogers’ smirk grow.
“Thank you, Jarvis.” Darcy may have been imagining things. Maybe. But she would swear on her sacred iPod that Steve Rogers purposely invaded her space as he went to retrieve his popcorn. She moved back to give him more room as he poured the snack into a big bowl. She was fascinated as she watched him lift a few kernels to his mouth. Jesus fucking Christ, those lips looked like a way better snack than the popcorn. She swallowed trying to wet her suddenly dry throat.
Casting around for some topic of conversation that would get her mind away from the fantasies about what she could do with those lips, she remembered his question. “I’m Dr. Jane Foster’s assistant. Your basic lab monkey. Nothing special, but because Jane is staying here in the tower as part of the package Tony offered her, I got attached to the deal too. Just think of me as the appendix of the science department.” She had meant it jokingly. mostly. But the frown that Rogers was sporting told her she may have missed her mark. Or maybe he could read her better than she counted on.
Either way she was saved from whatever he was gearing up to say, but the unseen Jarvis. “Ms. Lewis, Sir left instructions for you to be informed when Dr. Foster arrived. She is currently on her way to the lab.”
“Um, thanks Jarvis,” she said. “Can you tell me how to get to the lab from here please?”
“It would be my pleasure, Ms. Lewis. If you would please follow the blue lights.” Darcy looked down to see a track of blue lights leading back toward the way she came. Gathering up her bag, she threw the still munching super solider a smile over her shoulder. “Nice to meet you, Rogers.”
His smile was slow but still warm. “Nice to meet you too, Ms. Lewis.”
As she made her way back to the elevator, she couldn’t help smiling. Life in Stark Tower was definitely going to be an adventure. If nothing else the eye-candy was totally worth it. So long as she could remember that eye-candy was not for tasting. or licking. or biting.
Bad Darcy, she reprimanded herself again. Bad, bad Darcy.