Slight AU here, mostly because I don't know much about the Avengers, so I'm tweaking things the way I want them. The Avengers have rock star/A-list movie star status in this story, thus the fan worshipping that takes place outside of Avengers Headquarters. This takes place after Thor, leading up to my own version of the Avengers. For any of you who reads my Blame it on the Vodka story, be warned. This story is dark. Loki will be very dark, and Darcy is a little less admirable. Rated M for a reason! Hope you enjoy. Please review!

I don't own the characters. Sigh.

Yes – I'm posting this just after New Year's because I have no life right now. Woohoo.

Why did dying hurt so much? Almost as much as the breaking of her heart and soul. Darcy hoped it would end quickly.


"You probably want to change into regular clothes, if you want a shot."

Darcy couldn't help herself. She knew it was ten shades of stupid, and that some day, doing it would probably get her killed, sooner rather than later, but she couldn't help it. She was a complete sucker for the geeks. Even the older ones.

This one was different. He turned slowly, and Darcy felt a prickle of…fear? Apprehension? Flat out lust? He was lean and tall, dark and oh so dangerous. His swivel to face her was a slow, controlled movement that felt like he was realigning the world to look at her. She actually felt the shift in reality as his attention focused on her.

Oh wow. The lines of his face had practically been carved – chiseled cheek bones and a jaw line that made her knees weak. His expression was smoldering fire; green eyes that jumped out and devoured you, and a thin mouth that neither smiled nor frowned, but hovered somewhere between.

She was going to die. Right here and now. She could see it in the restrained violence of his muscles. Every inch of him was coiled, waiting to strike, and she had so foolishly called attention to herself by speaking. But what a way to go. Darcy pressed her legs together to ease the sudden wicked throb between them, and took a step back.

"I'm sorry," she whispered. She felt bad that the other fanboys (as she called them) would be exposed to her killing and their innocence would be forever tarnished. She felt a darkness gathering on the edge of her vision, and wished she'd had the chance to say goodbye to those that mattered.

Then…he arched an eyebrow in question, and a tiny smile stretched his thin mouth. Light resumed its normal state, and Darcy relaxed with a sigh. She was thinking crazy thoughts. Look at him! He was just an older-than-normal fanboy. Harmless. Looking for something that made sense in this crazy world.

"I'm sorry?"

Oh yeah. What a voice! What an accent. Yummy. He was European, apparently, though she couldn't quite place the accent. The voice was soft and smooth, cultured and precise, like really kick-ass yogurt. The kind that looks deceptively mild but has a killer tartness when it hits your tongue. She wondered idly if he would make her taste buds tingle when she licked him. Oh man. She pressed her legs together harder, and tried willing her blush to go away.

"Your clothes!" she blurted, shivering a little as those green eyes stared at her. "You have a better chance of getting close to them if you're wearing regular clothes, or fanclothes."

He appeared baffled by her words. "I do not understand."

Darcy took a deep breath. It was hard to be coherent with those green eyes shooting warmth right to her loins. She wanted to hop on him and give him a reason to forget he was a fanboy, but her aggressive tendencies usually scared them off.

"The Avengers," she explained, feeling her cheeks heating. "You have a better shot of getting close to them, getting to meet them, if you're wearing regular clothes, or the fanclothes. The costumes tend to scare them a little."

She couldn't figure out what his costume was supposed to be. It wasn't that of any hero or villain she knew of. Green and gold cloth, with portions of what looked like leather armor. It was sharp – he was definitely the best dressed in the fancrowd, but the costume didn't say out loud what it was supposed to be.

He titled his head. "Am I to understand you are saying that my clothing frightens them? These so-called heroes?"

Maybe she wasn't thinking crazy thoughts, because she was pretty sure she was seeing a dark smile, and an almost manic light in his eyes as he glanced over the throng of fans to Avengers Headquarters. Oh crap. They were going to find her body later, when the fan curfew kicked in and the crowd was gone. She felt that darkness gathering at the edge of her vision again.

"Why does a costume frighten them?" His voice. OMG his voice. There was amusement in his tone, but she could hear scorn and mayhem beneath it.

"The costumes are usually worn by the fans who have trouble realizing they're not a part of this world. That type usually does crazy things, like stalking and attempted kidnapping."

"Ah. So a costume denotes a troubled mind. Does that not also indicate that your heroes have troubled minds, for they wear costumes as well?"

Darcy blinked. She'd never really thought of it that way. Everyone was so quick to judge the fans for wanting to believe in something extraordinary. Especially those who wore the costumes and were almost lost inside their own minds. What did that say about the heroes? They wore the costumes too. Maybe it was because they didn't just pretend to play the part of the defenders – they actually went out and did it.

"They wear costumes because it stands for what they do. It's a symbol. Why are you wearing the costume?"

He tilted his head. "Custom," he finally answered. "So I will have a better chance of meeting the 'heroes' if I dress to blend in?"

It was feeling safe again. "Yeah. They won't notice you as quickly. They keep their eyes on the fans now, since that guy tried to kidnap the Black Widow two months ago."

He nodded thoughtfully.

"I'm Darcy," she introduced herself. "I work nearby, so I'm around here a lot."

He studied her intently for a moment. "L..Luke." How adorable. He had a bit of a nervous stutter. "I very much appreciate your suggestion, Darcy. Do you know where I can obtain apparel to blend in? I am not familiar with this place."

Oh yeah. "There's a great store a couple of blocks from here. I could show you where it is, where to find the good clothes. My shift ended 30 minutes ago."

He smiled. "That would be wonderful, thank you."

Darcy ignored the inner warning that told her not to do this. Not this time with this guy. She couldn't help it. She had such a weakness for the fanboys, and not a month went by where she didn't pick one up and rock their world. It was a little power trip for her, since the fanboys were easily awed. Normal guys tended to overlook her, because she was such a geek herself. But the fanboys…..she was like a goddess to them.

Still….this one was different. She could feel it. When he'd first looked at her…she thought for sure that he was going to kill her. But the feeling had passed, and left her feeling slightly absurd in its wake.

"This way," she offered, turning away from Avengers Headquarters. For a second, she thought he wasn't going to follow, but then he fell into place beside her. He was easily able to keep pace with her short strides, and oh the walk. Loose and confident, without being arrogant. He might be lean, but he was packing some serious shit between his legs. She could tell just by the roll of his hips, and her mouth was almost watering. She wondered how he'd look out of the bulky costume and in something a little more form fitting. Or nothing at all. Slurpalicious.

The store was only a couple of blocks from Headquarters, and Darcy set a quick pace. Luke easily kept pace with her, arms folded behind his back in a strange pose that she couldn't remember seeing before. Who tucked their arms behind their back that way? But it completely worked for him, and she was digging it. It was all about confidence.

She liked this part too. Buying clothes to help the fanboys fit in. Their usual garments were either a costume or fangear, so the chance for her put something on them that was flattering was appealing. It gave her a little more power, and she'd take what she could get in this life. She could see the appeal it held for men who liked to dictate what their women wore.

He liked his green, she found out quickly. Most other color choices were discarded without thought, though he did linger over black. They wandered through the store, drawing knowing looks from clerks who had seen Darcy here before with other fanboys, sorting through racks of clothes.

In the end, she settled on a deep green sweater that wrapped his lean torso, and a pair of black jeans just short of sinful with how close they fit. She let him keep the boots, and wrapped him in nice coat. Out of the bulky costume, he was even more desirable, and Darcy was practically licking her lips.

The fanboys usually didn't have money to pay for new clothes, but Darcy considered it a small investment in good times for herself. She was surprised when Luke pulled out a wad of cash at the register to pay for the clothes he was wearing.

"I am not accustomed to this currency," he admitted to her. "Will this suffice?"

"That's plenty," she assured. She counted out the appropriate bills to the cashier, and then handed the rest back to Luke. He was devastating in normal clothes, with the pale skin and the longish jet-black hair that had a tendency to flop down into his eyes. The form fitting clothes only emphasized his height, and she wanted to climb him like a tree.

She artfully suggested dinner after they were done in the store. He did almost look like a starving artist type. Fanboys usually had very good appetites, and frequently forgot to eat. He seemed to be no exception to the rule, as a little light came into his eyes at the mention of food.

"I would like food, yes. I went right to the gathering when I arrived here, and did not give consideration to my own arrangements."

There was a nearby restaurant that served the same purpose as the store. The employees there were also used to seeing Darcy, and there were smug smiles when she settled into a booth with Luke. She ignored them, because she didn't care what they thought.

Luke seemed baffled by the menu, and finally looked to her for help. "I am not familiar with this food. Can you recommend anything?"

Wow. Darcy was just in heaven. She ordered for both of them and then sat staring at Luke.

"You're different from most fanboys," she told him. "You don't fit the mold."

His smile was tight and humorless. "I have been told that before. You are very kind to a stranger you know nothing about. I could be one of those troubled minds that worry your heroes."

Darcy had to press her legs together again. He knew his effect on her, and that gave him power. It made him very dangerous. "It's kind of my thing," she explained blithely, as if that made any sense. "I always want to help the fanboys meet their idols." She took a sip of her drink. "Are you one of the troubled minds?"

His stare was stripping the clothes right from her body. "Perhaps," he answered finally. "Normal minds do not wear costumes, do they?"

She had to grin. "No…guess not." Ohmigod. He was toying with her. No other fanboy she'd encountered had the sense of self to be able to do that. He was so freaking hot, and dangerous, that she was practically liquefying on the spot.

"I'm really glad I swung by the crowd today," she told him. "You're the most interesting fanboy I've ever met. You don't really fit in with the rest of them."

"I pride myself on being different," he responded. "Tell me more of the heroes. Have you met them?"

Here was where she had to be careful. Darcy wanted to tell him enough to impress, without risking her job. After all, she worked for the secret organization that ran the Avengers, but she couldn't tell that part. Still, she had enough inside knowledge to tease his fanboy need-to-know, and it always worked out well for her.

"I have," she told him cheerfully. "Kinda hard not to, what with working so close to their headquarters."

He was strangely intent. "Tell me of them. I find myself fascinated with what they do."

She stared at him, trying to pin him. Hulk fan? With the danger she was picking up from him, she could totally see it. He would appreciate the rage monster. But then again, his danger was much more subtle, not easily identified. Black Widow fan! No…that wasn't right either. The underlying arrogance – an Iron Man fan!

"Who's your poison?" she asked curiously. "Usually I'm pretty good at pegging a fanboy's top choice, but you're breaking rules left and right. Who's your favorite?"

He frowned, running a hand through his inky black hair. "I find them all fascinating, yet I find myself drawn to the god more than the others."

Huh. Darcy wouldn't have pegged him for a Thor fan. But then again, he was European, and Thor was huge over there. "Ah. A God of Thunder fan. Nice guy, Thor. A little arrogant, and a little dense, but still a nice guy."

Luke's eyes flashed, and Darcy felt a twinge of uneasiness. "Tell me more of him." He leaned forward intently.

She justified it by telling herself that he could get the same information on the internet. There were tons of fan based sites devoted to each of the Avengers. The difficulty lay in separating fact from fiction. In all honesty, she felt more comfortable divulging information about Thor than about any of the others. He was a god, after all. There was very little that a possibly troubled fanboy could do to hurt him. Thor's biggest weakness was Jane, and Darcy never talked about her friend to the fanboys. Not ever.

She was relieved when their food arrived, because Luke's focus on her words was a little intense. He blinked when the plate was settled in front of him, and sat back in a casual sprawl. Wow. Most fanboys sat with their legs tightly together, displaying insecurity about their own sexuality. Not this one. His legs were sprawled almost obscenely wide, and Darcy wanted to plop herself right in between them, right now. Plus, with his legs spread like that, his newly bought jeans outlined every inch of his package, and there was quite a bit of it to see.

Darcy was almost in physical pain now, and the flash of heat that moved through her was melting her brain. She tried shifting her position to relieve the wicked ache between her legs, but it didn't go away. She downed her drink in one gulp, and chewed the hell out of the ice that was left.

She was still staring at the significant bulge between his sprawled legs, and finally had to tear her eyes away. They traveled in a slow crawl up the lean torso, and stopped in mortification when they met his green eyes. One eyebrow arched in sly amusement, as if asking if she liked what she saw. Oh yes. Darcy finally looked to the side, staring at the wall of the booth they were in. She was way out of her league with this one, and that had never happened to her before. Fanboys weren't like this. He was something else.

It completely didn't help that he practically made love to his food. The tongue, the lips, the teeth, the sounds….ohmigod. It looked like he hadn't eaten in days with the way he attacked the grilled chicken sandwich she'd ordered for him. He was….was he growling? It sounded like it.

"Do you want another sandwich?" she asked a little breathlessly when he finished inhaling the one he had.

Luke looked up from his French fries. His tongue darted out to clear ketchup and salt from his mouth, and he followed it with a wipe from his napkin. For a moment, there was vulnerability in those green eyes, and he looked more like a fanboy.

"Yes please. I have not eaten in quite some time."

Darcy flagged their server and ordered another sandwich for him, and another drink for herself. "You shouldn't neglect yourself," she told him. The intense heat was beginning to ebb. She had to get herself under control. She was supposed to be rocking his world, not the other way around.

"What do you do?" she asked after their server left.

Luke tilted his head to one side thoughtfully. "I was in the family business, but relations became…tense…between myself and my older brother, so I departed. I am a bit adrift right now, although I am looking into a new career in…acquisitions."

The low chuckle he uttered was a little freaky, and Darcy smiled uneasily. "Well good for you. So this is sorta like your vacation between careers?"

"Yes. What do you do? You work close to the heroes' base of operations?"

"Yeah. I'm the go-to gal for a local firm. Data-entry, secretarial, you name it, I do it." Not exactly, but that was as much as she could say. "It's not exciting, it's completely boring, but it pays well, and you can't beat the location!"

"So you are a … servant?"

"Something like that. I make sure the everyday stuff runs smoothly." Their server returned with her refilled drink, and Darcy gratefully took a big sip. "I never really had any big plans, you know? I'm just kinda floating right now."

His expression was wistful. "That would have been a relaxed way to grow up. My brother and I were both raised to take over the family business, but only one of us could. My father selected my brother when we were children, but he never shared that decision until recently."

Darcy watched his hands clench into fists. "That's so wrong. Why would your father do that?"

"I intend to ask him someday, when I see him again." The smile that stretched across Luke's face was not nice. "It will be after I have risen in my new career. I believe I will enjoy tearing apart the family business."

Oh wow. A fanboy with major issues. Darcy felt sorry for him. Family could be hell. "I'm sorry, that sucks. No wonder you're looking for some heroes."

His face darkened. "I doubt they can help." He drew a deep breath, and then smiled as his second sandwich was delivered. Darcy watched in fascination as he dug in. At least he wasn't growling with this one. That allowed her needy libido some time to cool down. She was practically panting at his feet, and that just wasn't acceptable. Usually the fanboys were in that position at her feet. This was new to her.

He looked softer somehow, when finished eating. Like one of the many edges she could sense had dulled a little. Well, he said he hadn't eaten in awhile. That was enough to make one very cranky.

Darcy propped her chin on her hand, just staring at him. Luke stared back, with a little smile.

"Why haven't you eaten in awhile?" she asked finally.

He shrugged. "I had other things on my mind. I wanted to get here as soon as possible." One corner of his mouth quirked up. "I become a little fixated when I focus on something. Everything else tends to fade."

She could totally see that from him. He had been very scarily focused on Avengers Headquarters when she'd first spotted him. He had the capacity for violence. She'd seen that when he'd first turned to look at her. That made him dangerous and appealing and intoxicating. Her inner voice kept telling her to stay away from this one. There was too much potential for trouble. But her libido was guiding her. She really wanted this one.

"You shouldn't neglect yourself," Darcy told him again. "It's not worth it, no matter how bad your family has made you feel."

She watched the darkness come over him again. The eyes darkened, the lips thinned, and it seemed that every muscle in his body tensed. His hands clenched into fists so tightly that his knuckles whitened.

"My health is of little concern to me. Being successful in my new line of work and tearing down the family business…that is all that matters."

"But you won't be able to do those things if you don't take care of yourself," Darcy pointed out quietly. She felt like she was losing him to the darkness. Her presence had briefly given him something else to focus on, but now he was turning inward again.

She reached out and dared to place a hand atop one of his clenched fists. "Look Luke…I like you. You're interesting, you're a little dangerous, and you're hot. I can offer you a very pleasurable distraction from your family woes."

His gaze intensified, almost literally shooting heat to her groin. For a moment, Darcy idly wondered if here was where she would die. She wasn't sure if his intensity was fury, desire or madness. It was making her tremble in anticipation. Something needed to happen. Please. Or she was going to embarrass herself.

Slowly, oh so slowly, Luke's fist unclenched and turned over. He laced his fingers through hers, and his tongue edged out to lick his lips. That sent a bolt of pure lust straight through her, and Darcy squeezed her legs together. She was dimly aware of a small, needy sound escaping her throat, and wanted to hide. He was supposed to be groveling at her feet in complete awe that this goddess would want him. Instead, she was jelly at his fingertips.

"Darcy…" his voice had grown deeper, huskier, sending shivers up and down her spine. "You are too trusting of someone you just met."

"I know," she said in a small voice. His hand was so warm. His eyes were so green. She was lost in those eyes, willing to lie down and bare her throat if he wanted to tear it out. Or do whatever he wanted. Anything at all. She wouldn't be able to function as a normal person until he took action. And did something. Anything. Please.

"I like your proposal," he breathed. Then he blinked and the spell shattered. Darcy shook her head a little, and felt her stomach drop. He was going to say no. It was in his face, in the apologetic expression.

He squeezed her fingers. "I like your proposal a lot, Darcy, but the timing is not right. There are things that I must do first, that I cannot allow myself to become distracted from. And you would be quite a distraction." His eyes traveled leisurely down her torso until the table blocked his view. Then they slowly traveled back up to meet her eyes. Oh god. Darcy could feel the caress on her skin. She could feel it, and it left heat and longing in its wake. She was trembling WTF? This wasn't supposed to happen to her.

"Luke." Her voice was a little ragged, and she cleared her throat. "Wow….you really know how to turn a girl down but leave her panting for more. So…is that it then?" She wanted to cry. She wanted this one so bad it hurt, a deep physical ache that was destroying her mind. She'd never reacted this strongly to a man before. It was…weird.

His thumb stroked the back of her hand. "For now. But I will be around as I complete my plans, and I do wish to accept your proposal at a later time." His eyes were like a bottomless pond and Darcy was drowning. The barely-there stroke of his thumb on her skin was just ruining her, and her panties.

"Good," she whispered. Oh god. This sucked. She so had a date with her b.o.b when she got home.

A crash of breaking dishes drew Luke's attention very briefly from her, and Darcy was able to breathe. She didn't want to leave it with her being the needy one. Ultimately, he was a fanboy and they were meant to be ruled by her. So when he turned his eyes back to her, she bent her head and sucked his thumb into her mouth.

She felt and saw the violent twitch, and had to smirk around his thumb. She swirled her tongue around his digit, watching his eyes widen, then narrow and darken. A playful nip, and then she pulled her mouth free with a suctioned pop. There was her power, because now he was off balance.

"Just a preview," she told him.

Luke swallowed hard. "I look forward to a full performance later." A wry smile twisted his mouth, and he slowly withdrew his hand from hers. "You certainly know how to leave a man panting for more. Well done." He took a deep breath and slowly unfolded himself from the booth.

Oh yeah. Darcy couldn't stop her glance, and grinned when she saw that his new jeans were a little tighter than before. Score. She slid out of the booth on her side and stood. He really was quite tall, looming over her.

"So I'll see ya around then, right?" she asked.

"You shall." He dipped his head in acknowledgement. "I am also glad you approached me today. You have given me something else to think about. Thank you."

They walked out of the restaurant together. On the sidewalk outside, Luke turned to her. He reached out and took her hand, lifting it to his lips. Darcy was speechless. No one kissed hands anymore! Well, except for Thor and Rogers. Unreal.

"Thank you again, Darcy. I do look forward to spending time with you later." He released her hand. "We shall see each other at the heroes' headquarters." With that, he turned and stalked away.

Darcy exhaled shakily. She couldn't wait. This one was going to be so much fun. He wasn't a shy, sexually awkward fanboy. Not at all.

With a cheerful smile, she set out for her little apartment, and an appointment for some stress relief.