I do not own Carmen Sandiego in any way, shape, or form.
This was written for the Carmen Sandiego Amino 2019 Pride Challenge. I decided to use one of my other fave pairings, Carmivy, for it. It features my CS19 OC, Darc/Shade Walker (real name, Diana). Hope you enjoy!
Carmen gave an aggravated sigh as she snuck through the shadows. How hard was it supposed to be to get her Red Minx something nice? Apparently really difficult.
Since early that morning, Carmen had been slipping through alleyways and blending in with the crowd in an effort to find something to make Ivy smile. She had thought about giving her a stuffed animal or a trinket, but that would be a bit superficial. She was a master thief. There had to be something she could do.
Checking her surroundings for any sign of danger, Carmen was caught off guard by someone grabbing her and dragging her further into an alleyway. She fell back on her self defense tactics, taught by Coach Brunt and tried to headbutt the person holding her. They were prepared for it and narrowly twisted their head away. Carmen grumbled as she was taken right to a dead end and pushed against the wall.
Gray eyes rose as Carmen prepared to kick the tail of whoever dared to try kidnapping her and found herself faced with an old but familiar face.
"Darc?" she asked in confusion.
In front of her stood a lanky woman in dark gray clothes. Even though she wasn't a ninja, Darc thought it fit her aesthetic and abilities better than bright colors like Tigress and Paper Star. Carmen hadn't seen her since she graduated, the year before Carmen's own class. Carmen assumed she was off doing VILE handiwork like all other operatives.
However, that still begged the question of why she was here. Were the headmasters of the school pulling out bigger guns to try trapping her? That wasn't good. She had witnessed countless thieves of varying skill leave the academy. She knew the select few who could cause her some trouble. One was standing right in front of her.
"Ah, ah, ah," Darc stated. "We're technically supposed to use codenames, Black Sheep."
Carmen rolled her eyes. "I'm not going to call you Shade Walker, Darc. And please don't call me Black Sheep. New name, or didn't VILE brief you properly for this little capture mission?"
Darc sighed. "This isn't a capture mission, Bla- Carmen."
Carmen raised a skeptical eyebrow. She had to admit she was impressed Darc switched over so quickly to her new name, but Darc was always one of the more polite operatives... in her own ways. Relaxing her stance slightly, Carmen crossed her arms. "Alright, I'll bite. Why are you here if not to capture me for VILE?"
Darc rolled her shoulders, rubbing the back of her neck in embarrassment. "Well, uh, I've been watching you and that pretty redhead for a while now, and, I mean, you seem to know what you're doing with this whole dating thing, so, uh... maybe you can, you know... help me pick out a gift? For my anniversary?"
Carmen blinked, waiting for the twist. Nothing else came, though Darc's cheeks flushed deeper with every passing moment. After an uncomfortable awkward silence, Carmen asked, "You're married?" This was such a bizarre situation, it was the only question she could think of.
"No, of course not!" Darc exclaimed, her cheeks somehow getting even darker. "We've been dating for a year. I just... I wanna do something special for her to commemorate it."
"And you decided enlisting your enemy was the best course of action?" This entire scenario felt like one of those dramas Zack watched when he was too tired for action and too awake for cartoons.
"You're not my enemy, Carmen," Darc told her seriously. "I'm putting myself just as much at risk as you are, probably even more since, unlike you, I can't just take off as I please and have the headmasters go easy on me." Carmen pouted slightly. "I can't tell you much, but even if we're not seeing eye to eye, you and I aren't enemies."
Carmen slowly nodded. She didn't trust those words for a second, but for now, she could at least call a temporary truce. If this really wasn't VILE's idea, Darc was definitely putting herself at risk.
Darc's demeanor changed almost instantly as she asked, "So, are ya gonna help me? I bet you know all kinds of awesome stuff to get that cute redhead you're with. What are we talking here? Jewelry? Exotic pets? Explosives?"
Carmen chuckled and started for the alley entrance. "First, you need a disguise. Rule numero uno of working with me? We don't steal except from bad people."
Darc groaned. "Fine, sure. Lucky I've got money on me today, just gimme a sec..."
She tugged off her gloves and stuffed them into her pockets. Moving her mask down, she twisted it around to the back of her neck so it resembled a hood. She rolled up her shirt to bare her midriff just slightly and rolled her pants up to just below the knee, keeping the boots as they were. "How's this?"
"It'll do," Carmen laughed. Now come on. Rule number two about stealth, Never-."
"Stay in the same place too long," Darc said with her. "Yeah, I know, kiddo. I took Shadowsan's exam, too."
Carmen smirked and headed off down the street. Now that she had company, it was better to keep the appearance of just a pair of friends walking down the street. Even if they weren't friends and worked for two separate causes, they couldn't afford to have that kind of tension come off to anyone passing by.
"So," Carmen started conversationally. "This girlfriend of yours, how long have you known her?"
"I bumped into her about half a year after I graduated from the Academy, give or take a month," Darc explained, eyeing some things in shop windows. "After that, I kinda made it habit to 'bump into' her a lot after that."
Carmen chuckled. "Yeah, sounds like you. You were never good at subtlety." She only laughed harder at Darc's glare. "So, what's she like? What is she into?"'
"History, geography, that stuff," Darc explained. "I can't tell you how much I've learned about the world just listening to her rave about it. It's hard to tell her to stop. She gets this excited sparkle in her eyes, and her smile just stretches so wide because she's happy someone is listening to her talk about it. Can't turn down a face like that."
"Wow," Carmen murmured in awe. "You might somehow be even more of a sap than me."
"Oh yeah?" Darc sneered. "What about you, then? What's your cute little redhead like?"
"She's energetic and witty," Carmen tried to shrug nonchalantly, but she was practically vibrating as the dam cracked. "You know, she's athletic, almost as much as us, believe it or not. Coach Brunt would be pretty proud of her ability to scale buildings. She doesn't have perfect form, but I've been working with her." Another crack. "And she's so smart, too. It's nice having someone to crack jokes or snark with. She's always thinking of new ways to relieve the tension. She'll draw me flowers, or take me out walking, or give me a massage when I'm stressed. She's like a Ray of sunshine, as cliche as it sounds."
Darc blinked. "Wow, you really are sappy." Carmen impulsively pushed her shoulder, forgetting their tension for a moment. Darc laughed, spinning to dissolve the impact. "But really, she sounds like a great lady."
"She's why I'm out today," Carmen said softly. "I want to get her something, to thank her. But it can't be some stupid stuffed animal or a trinket or something. I want it to be special."
Darc fell silent at that, and Carmen wondered what was going through her mind. Had she gone overboard talking about Ivy? Darc said she'd been watching them for some time, so maybe she wanted for herself what Carmen had with Ivy. Dating must be pretty hard when you work for a super secret crime syndicate.
"I think... I know where we should go," Darc said softly. "But it's gonna... it's gonna involve our skills."
Carmen's eyes narrowed at her. "I said no stealing except from the bad people."
"We're stealing from the bad people," Darc reassured her. "But we've gotta be careful."
Now, Carmen was intrigued. "Alright," she agreed hesitantly. "I'll follow your lead... for now."
Twenty minutes later found them standing outside a lavish apartment building. Carmen recognized this place. "Hey, I know this penthouse. It was on one of my target lists for next week."
"Mine too," Darc muttered. "Give me a second to disable the cameras, alright?"
"Yeah." Carmen watched as Darc pulled several paper shuriken from her pockets and cocked her head. "You've been talking to Paper Star, I see," she smirked as Darc threw the shuriken with precision, nailing all of the cameras in sight.
"Knowing what skills are good to utilize keeps a thief on her toes." Darc explained. "Besides, knowing her methods helps know her weaknesses in case the crazy chick ever crossed my path."
"Valid point," Carmen agreed, pulling her hood up.
"You gonna be good without that signature outfit of yours?" Darc asked, slipping back into her getup.
"They'll suspect me regardless," Carmen shrugged. "You ready to do this?
"As I'll ever be," Darc replied, hopping over to the penthouse and kicking in a windowpane. Reaching inside, she quickly unlocked the window and pushed it up, stealing inside, Carmen close behind.
Carmen stared around at all of the artifacts. She would definitely be calling the police before the Cleaners could raze the place to the ground. Looking around, she couldn't spot Darc anywhere. Of course she couldn't. Darc hadn't called herself Shade Walker for nothing. Better to focus on her target and let Darc do her thing.
Sneaking through the room, Carmen kept her eyes open for what she was looking for. She still didn't fully trust Darc's word, but if this place had what she was looking for, she wouldn't turn down the help. Even so, she kept herself prepared for a trap.
Turning a corner, Carmen saw it. An exact, functional replica of the communication device used by a spy hero in one of Ivy's favorite movies Team Impossible 2: Stitching Time. It was flexible and even looked to have it's own clip for carrying without pockets.
A presence behind her made Carmen stiffen and she turned to see Darc just barely visible in the shadows behind her. "Is that the kinda thing you're looking for?" she whispered.
"Sure is," Carmen breathed. "Watch my six?"
Carmen slunk closer, testing for any traps or anything of that nature. She gently lifted the communicator from the stand and heard a hatch opening. A shuriken hit the light just as a body slammed into hers, propelling her out of the way. Arrows embedded themselves in the wall beyond where Carmen had just been. She glanced over to see Darc smirking at her.
"Thanks," Carmen laughed breathlessly.
"Had your six." Darc responded, helping her stand. "Now let's get outta here."
With their treasure secured safely, the two stole out of the penthouse, no one the wiser of what had transpired until the police converged on the area. But by then, they were long gone.
Darc lifted the delicate tablet in her hands and examined it. It wasn't the real thing, just a replica, but Countess Cleo's replicas were nearly comparable to the real thing. Even this tablet, created to switch with the real one in three days had managed to get the engravings correct and everything. She just knew it would be the perfect gift.
"Hey, Darc," Carmen smirked over at her. "We make a pretty good team, you know. Sure you don't wanna join the team?"
Darc laughed. "Nah, I'm good. Me doing what I'm doing now only puts me at risk. No need to possibly upstage the illustrious Carmen Sandiego at her own game."
"As if you could," Carmen teased back.
They shared a laugh before quieting.
"I guess you better be on your way, huh?" Carmen asked.
"Yeah," Darc sighed. "But remember what I said, Carmen. You and I aren't enemies. Who knows, we might be closer to the same goal than you think."
"Not while you work for VILE," Carmen snorted, though there was no ill-intended malice behind it. "Thanks for the help today, Darc. Good luck."
Darc nodded and, as she tended to do, melted into the shadows and disappeared. Carmen shook her head and turned for home. She could practically hear Ivy's excited squealing already.
Darc moved swiftly through the shadows. She had a destination to be and if she wasn't there on time, it would be her hide. She clutched the stolen treasure to her tightly as she made a few sharp turns. Scaling up a building, she eased open a window and slipped inside.
Turning to the bed in the room, she smiled. Empty. Perfect. She still had time. Gently arranging the tablet on the blankets, she pulled a card from her pocket and quickly scribbled some extra lines in before leaving both on the blanket and diving into the closet.
The front door opened and Darc waited excitedly. A figure moved into the room. There was a small gasp and Darc took her cue. Slipping from the closet, she snuck up behind her darling and covered her eyes. "Happy one year anniversary, love," she said softly.
With a smile, Julia removed the hands and turned. "Diana," she greeted happily. "This tablet... it's beautuful." Her face fell. "But I didn't get-."
"You don't need to, Jule," Darc told her quickly, rubbing her hands to comfort her. "This isn't something you repay. This is actually me repaying you for one of the best years of my life. This... this was the only thing I could find that came close to expressing how much I love you."
Julia's cheeks flushed a deep red. "And... did you steal it?"
"Uh... well... technically, yes." Seeing the disappointment and disapproval on Julia's face, Darc explained, "But to be fair, the replica was made by other people who wanted to steal the real thing. Me giving you the replica means you just helped prevent a much more heinous robbery."
Julia softened at that and smiled. "Thank you." She leaned up and gave Darc a gentle peck on the lips. "I'll cherish it, always."
Darc's goofy smile couldn't have been wider if she tried.
Thank goodness for Carmen Sandiego.
Across town in a penthouse almost as lavish as the one they'd just robbed, a certain redhead from Boston was showing her appreciation for the infamous superthief as well. Carmen's smile matched Darc's, full throttle.
And there ya go!
Remember, sneak peeks and updates are available on my tumblr, gothalbinoangel-fanfiction. You can also ask questions, there. I'll be opening commissions again soon, too!