It all started innocently enough. Darcy Lewis had interrupted Thor and Steve's training session, smiling big and carrying two colorful gift bags.
"Hi guys, miss me yet?"
"Darcy?" Thor mutters surprised.
Steve wears a matching look of disbelief. "Hey, we thought you'd left already!"
"Nah, still here. I do have a plane to catch in a bit, but before I go, I wanted to give you two a little something I've been working on."
"A parting gift? How unexpected! We thank you, Lady Darcy, for your kindness."
"Yea thanks, you really shouldn't have gone through the trouble."
She hands them their bags, looking bashful all of a sudden. "It's nothing really. I've been playing around with some software and thought it'd be fun to design both of you your own t-shirts. It's cheesy, I know, but I hope you'll like 'em."
Darcy waits anxiously as first Thor reaches into his bag and pulls a folded shirt out of wrapping tissues. Holding it up he reveals an all-black tee with an interwoven crimson and bronze design of Mjölnir's symbol across the chest; beneath it in electric blue were three oddly shaped characters.
"Why Darcy, this is splendid! And it bears my name in the old tongue."
Steve leans over to peer at the shirt from around Thor's shoulder, "It does? Which language?"
"Norse Runes…" Darcy offers as explanation, "It's an ancient text that uses all these really cool, funky lookin' pictographs. I admit I had Erik help me a bit with the translation ... I hope it's accurate."
"It translates beautifully, Darcy." Thor beams, admiring the shirt once again, "I adore it and will treasure it always."
Twice more curious than he already was, Steve digs into his own bag full of tissues and pulls out his shirt. It's a crisp navy blue and has an antiquely tarnished illustration of his original triangular WWII shield depicted on the front. The SSR's eagle emblem is perched proudly on top of said shield.
"Hey, will you look at that! And I thought everyone forgot I ever welded this lil beauty." Steve exclaims, referring to the vintage shield.
"I figured you'd appreciate a little nostalgia. Plus, I heard Coulson once say this was the shield you had in USO shows and the one you used on your very first mission."
Steve smiles, a fond faraway look in his eyes, "True, it was mostly for show, but it got me out of a tough spot later on. Anyway, thank you, Darce, this looks great. I didn't even know you could do something like this."
"Neither did I. You are very talented." Thor agrees.
"Meh, I took a couple of graphic design classes before I stuck with poli sci, but I'm glad they're good for something."
"Any skill or talent that you do well and choose to do in the service of another is a precious one." Thor says with solemn reverence.
"Exactly. And really, they look amazing, Darcy."
"Aww, c'mere you big blond lugs!" Darcy coos affectionately, "Makin' a gal feel all appreciated 'n' stuff."
Thor and Steve chuckle as they move in towards her outstretched arms until they have her caught between them in a one-armed embrace. She gives them each a final pat before her phone alarm sounds.
"Oops, that's mine. " She says, peeling away from their group hug, "Sorry, got that flight to make. So catch you later, Cap! See ya in London, Thor!
They both bid her a safe farewell and watch her make a mad dash for the exit, though they miss her lingering pause at the threshold.
Now that her back's to them, Darcy allows herself to smirk, barely able to conceal the devilish cackle erupting from her throat.
"Well, that was easy." She thinks in relieved triumph.
She had gotten away with it, but she silently wondered how long before they found out.
Lucky for her, she'd be miles away before they'd even notice.
A/N: I'll have to blame (JK, I meant thank) Sudoku again for unknowingly being the reason I was inspired for this idea during one of our many email conversations. Those prompting powers of hers are more subliminal than I thought . ｡◕ ‿ ◕｡
While Sudoku will probably know the punch line of this story, everyone else will just have to wait and see the mystery of Darcy's shirts unravel chapter after chapter.