James was rudely awakened by the insistent buzzing of his phone. He looked at the clock on the nightstand. 2:00 PM. Shit, did we really sleep all day? Though, come to think of it, they hadn't gone to bed, well, sleep until nearly 5 AM. The call went to voicemail and that's when he saw them. Messages. At least fifteen of them. Six calls from Steve, including the most recent one. Four texts and a missed call from Barton. Two were from Banner and the last one was from…Stark? He shuffled to the bathroom and called Steve back as he shut the door.

"Bucky?" Steve was worried. Very worried.

"Hey buddy," James mumbled, checking himself out in the mirror. He was going to have a hell of a time explaining that bite mark on his neck later. "What's goin' on? We assembling or something?"

"Something," Steve said. "Darcy Lewis is missing."


"Jane Foster's been trying her for hours," Steve continued, "but her phone keeps going to voicemail. She never came home last night."

Shit. James could hear Thor bellowing in the background. "I take it the big guy's freaking out too," he said.

"Yeah," Steve replied. "You need to come in and help us look for her."

At that moment he heard a knock on the bathroom door and a very insistent voice whining, "James, come back to bed. It's cold and I'm naked."

"What was that?" Steve asked.

James sighed. "Hold on a second." He muted the phone and opened the door to find a very naked and somewhat shivering Darcy on the other side. "You forgot to charge your phone, sweetheart. Dr. Foster's going nuts looking for you." He shut the door and went to unmute the phone, when he realized that he'd hit the keypad button, not the mute button. Fuuuuck. "Hey Steve," he said weakly.

"She's with you, isn't she?" Steve said.

"You could say that," James said, pinching the bridge of his nose in an attempt to remain calm.

"Hold on." Steve didn't mute his phone. "It's okay. Bucky found her."

James could hear Stark in the background. "How the hell did he find her that….oh. Well, I guess Banner wins the bet. Unless Darcy's a high-class….OW! Jesus Christ, Jane, it was a joke!"

"You coming in?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, yeah," James replied. "Give us a bit." He hung up and opened the door. Darcy was still standing on the other side, this time wrapped in a blanket.

"They know," she said.

"'Fraid so," James replied. "Come on, get dressed. We need to get back to the tower."

They dressed in relative silence. Darcy had brought a pair of jeans and an oversized sweater to wear home, but nothing on God's green earth was going to cover up the bite marks on her neck and chest or the bruises on her wrists. And those were just the ones that were visible. James didn't look quite so…well loved…but he did have that massive bite mark on his neck (it was really a bunch of small bites in one place that blossomed into a huge bruise). He was pretty sure there were a couple more on his chest, not to mention the scratches all down his back. They'd had one hell of a night.

The cab ride back to Avengers Tower was equally silent. The only sound being James' phone going off. It was a text from Barton. Sorry man. Tried to keep your secret. Nat thinks you guys make a cute couple. They walked into the tower and onto the elevator holding hands. Finally James pulled her to him, kissing her hard.

"Nothing's going to change," he said. "We're still us."

The elevator doors opened and they got off, still holding hands. They walked into the common area together, unsure of what they would find.

What they found were the Avengers scattered around the common area acting as if it was any old Sunday afternoon. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner were sitting at the counter arguing over some experiment they were working on, Steve was playing solitaire, Clint and Natasha were playing chess, and Jane and Thor were curled up on the sofa watching the most recent Star Trek movie. Darcy and James moved to the other end of the sofa and sat down, watching, but not really watching the movie with them. Natasha appeared behind them out of nowhere.

"Don't worry," she said. "Clint and I told them to leave you alone. We get it."

James let out a sigh of relief. "Спасибо Natalia," he said.

"Не за что," she replied. "Be good to each other."

The rest of the day went by pretty smoothly. James had definitely caught Jane shooting him a look that said "If you break her heart I will fuck you up." He nodded, and pulled Darcy closer to him.

Dinner was an animated affair. Apparently Stark had blown something up in the lab ("I swear to god, it wasn't my fault."), scaring Banner so badly that the Hulk had almost made an appearance. Clint started telling some bawdy joke that had everyone rolling their eyes and Natasha kicking him under the table when Steve interrupted.

"So how was your night, guys?" he asked Darcy and James.

Darcy and James looked at each other, each daring the other to answer him. Finally Darcy sighed, attempting to kick him under the table but missing and getting Tony instead ("That fucking hurt, Darcy!").

"It was great," she said. "Pretty boring actually. Italian takeout and old movies. What was that one called again?"

"The Thin Man," James replied.

Steve's face lit up. "I love that movie!" he said. "We went to see it in theaters."

"Exactly," James said. "Wanted Darcy to get a taste of old time Brooklyn. That Italian place is still there, you know."

"You don't say," Steve said, delighted.

"You know, Thor and I have been looking for a new Italian place to try," Jane said. "Mind telling me where to find it Sergeant Barnes?"

"James," replied. "Call me James. I'll write down the address after dinner, Dr. Foster."

"Call me Jane."

After dinner the various couples split off to their various apartments. Bruce went back down to the lab while Tony took a rare night off to spend some quality time with Pepper. Soon Steve, Darcy, and James were left alone in the common area. The three of them sat on the couch, rather awkwardly, not really paying attention to the movie. After a minute Steve stood up.

"Well, I guess I should turn in," he said. "Give you two some quality time."

James laughed. "You know, punk, Another Thin Man's playing on TCM. Maybe we should educate Darcy."

Darcy grabbed Steve's hand and pulled him down to the couch next to her. "I'd like that," she said. "What do you think?"

"Well, Darcy," Steve said. "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

So that's it. Hope you all liked it. I could possibly be persuaded to write a sequel.