I'll say this once and I'll probably say it a million times as far as fanfiction updates go. I am the laziest person on the planet, if I do not get a push to do something, chances are it will not be finished.
"I don't get it Tash,"
Natasha looked up with dark eyes as she poured her coffee, in her other hand she held the latest newspaper. "No one calls me Tash except Hawkeye."
Darcy rolled her eyes, spinning on the chair. "You mean Hawt Guy," She corrected, pushing her glasses up her nose.
Natasha continued to glower darkly.
"Oh come on, it's not as if you don't call him that under your breath," Darcy teased.
Natasha sighed and picked up her mug, drinking deeply. Darcy winced.
"Don't you want any sugar or milk with that?" She asked.
"I'm Russian, sugar and milk is an Americanized way of drinking coffee." Natasha replied. She folded her newspaper up and pushed it to the side. "What don't you get?" She asked, returning to the original question that Darcy had proposed.
"Seriously? No sugar or milk?"
"Sometimes Vodka in the afternoon," Natasha said. "Your question, Darcy,"
"Oh yeah, right." Darcy glanced at her bright stripy socks. "I don't know if Bruce likes me or not."
Natasha sighed and rolled her eyes. "He likes you."
"Yeah, but how do I know?"
Natasha flicked over a page. "You'll know,"
"But I don't," Darcy continued.
"You'll know." Natasha repeated.
Darcy pouted. "You're really not getting the full concept of a dilemma, aren't you Tash?"
Natasha glanced up and put her palms flat onto the granite surface of the kitchen table. "Why are you asking me this? I'm not good at relationship advice."
"Pfft," Darcy laughed. "I'm not asking you for relationship advice. Please, I know how to do that stuff. No, I need your expertise."
Natasha raised an eyebrow. "My expertise?"
"Yeah," Darcy chirped. "You know how to read people. Specifically men, and what their motives and thoughts are. Hell you were trained for it by the Soviet Union to infiltrate dumb American CIA men and steal all our secrets…" She then realised what she was saying and her eyes grew wide. "Oh please God don't kill me. I haven't met George Clooney yet."
Natasha gave a crooked grin and stayed silent.
"I just want to know what to do with Bruce." Darcy said. "He appears to like me, but he won't let me in and that makes me thing that he doesn't like me at all."
Natasha sighed and finished the last of her coffee, she moved around the kitchen and shoved it into the sink before raiding the freezer of ice cream. She passed a pot to Darcy along with a spoon and sat down opposite her.
"Really? Ice cream? You just had coffee." Darcy said.
"Yes, and now I want ice cream. Isn't that what girls do in situations like this? Have coffee and ice cream?"
Darcy stared at Natasha. "It's coffee and slash or ice cream."
Natasha shrugged. "Either way, Clint is on a diet. If he spots ice cream he'll eat it all. Best we have it first."
"Fair enough," Darcy popped open the lid and scooped out a chunk. "I just don't know what to do…"
Natasha smirked. "He likes you Darcy."
"How do you know that?"
"Because I know Bruce."
"Oh do tell," Darcy said, sighing deeply.
Natasha put her ice cream to the side and leaned forward. "You have to remember that this guy has been on the run for nearly a decade. He has had to forgo trust in anyone, if not for the fear of harming them, then certainly for the fear that he would be discovered by General Ross and his band of unintelligent assholes he calls the Hulk Busters. Bruce also hasn't had a partner in those years. He has been completely alone. He is also one of the more complicated of men you will ever meet. I mean most men – Morning Clint – are as dumb as a post and can't work out basic skills – "
"As a representative of my gender," Clint said sleepily, rubbing the back of his head. "I take that as an insult."
"But some are intelligent enough to have real troubles too." Natasha continued.
"Like me?" Clint asked.
"Like you Clint," Natasha said sighing.
"Cool," Clint sat beside Natasha and pulled her ice cream from her and began to eat it. Natasha disregarded it as not on top of her priorities.
"Bruce Banner, is top of men with troubles. He has been battling with crippling self-worth issues since before you were probably born."
Clint shuddered. "Age differences man, creepy,"
Natasha turned her piercing gaze to Clint. "I'm thirty years your senior remember."
"Yeah with the body of a 27 year old," Clint said. "Bruce is not going to look that young ever again. Nor that hot."
"You're obviously looking at the wrong Bruce Banner if you think that," Natasha said. Darcy choked on her ice cream and Clint turned to Natasha.
"What?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Nothing Clint, eat your ice cream," Natasha said.
"Wait when you said he hasn't had a partner…" Darcy narrowed her eyes. "Does that mean he hasn't had sex in nearly a decade?"
"Hm-mm." Natasha said as Clint began to choke on his ice cream. "Anything that gets his heart rate up will inevitably bring out the Hulk."
"So that means masturbating is out of the question?" Darcy looked shocked. "How has he managed? 10 years without giving himself a handjob?"
"And I'm gone," Clint said, abandoning his ice cream and standing up.
"What's wrong Clint?" Natasha asked.
"I don't want to hear about Bruce's sex life at…" He checked the clock. "9:46 am. I'm off to the shooting range."
With that he was gone.
"No but seriously, how did Bruce manage? A month without giving myself a little something something and I dry up like an old woman!" Darcy cried.
Natasha smiled. "He's getting his head together. Trust me, he does like you,"
"How do you know?" Darcy sighed.
"Relocating your shoe? Getting you coffee? Protecting your necklace… He didn't manage to take it off before he transformed by the way. The chain snapped and the pendent fell into the rubble. He asked Tony to fly him back out to the scene so he could recover it and get a new chain for it."
Darcy tentatively touched the necklace that hung just above her cleavage.
Natasha smiled. "I don't know many men who would do that for a girl."
"Except Hawt Guy?"
"Except maybe Clint yes…" Natasha pursed her lips.
"Darcy!" Bruce looked up from the keyboard as the brunette skidded to a halt in front of him holding two large Starbucks cups. "What are you doing here?"
"I brought you well… Coffee!" She said cheerily. She frowned. "No not coffee, because you can't drink the stuff… What did I ask for again?"
Bruce frowned slightly. "Hot chocolate…? Tea?" He suggested trying to help her out.
"Tea! Yes!" She cried. "Green tea! No sugar, no milk, 'cause when I went to put sugar and milk into it, some hipster guy told me that ruins the whole experience of green tea… Apparently."
"You listened to a hipster?" Bruce asked, raising an eyebrow as he took his cup from her.
"Well yeah, since you and him are pretty much the same guy,"
Bruce nodded. "Good call."
Darcy found a revolving chair and sat on it, tucking her leg underneath her and using her other leg to spin her.
"You okay Darce?" Bruce asked, taking off his glasses.
"Yeah," Darcy replied, taking the lid off her coffee and putting it on the desk.
"Something on your mind?" Bruce asked.
"A little. Tasha helped."
"Don't let her know you call her Tasha," Bruce warned. "She'll have your guts for jelly."
"Mm, she made that quite clear earlier."
Bruce chuckled and tapped at his computer.
"Has it really been ten years?" Darcy asked.
Bruce stopped and licked his lips, his eyes falling to his lap. "That's what you and Natasha were talking about? How long it's been since I've had sex?"
Darcy shook her head. "I mean that came up in the conversation. But it wasn't the main focus."
Bruce looked over at her. "And what was?"
"Well, I didn't know if you liked me or not." Darcy said sheepishly.
"Darce," Bruce got up from his chair and moved around the desk, kneeling down in front of her. "Darcy, how could you think that I don't? I deeply care about you."
"But not love?" Darcy said.
Bruce sighed. "I need time. It's as simple as that. I need time to come to terms with a new relationship, I need time to adjust to not being on the run. But I assure you, it will come one day." He looked down for a moment. "Please tell me this is not important to you. Surely you want me to say it and mean it without sounding false like I would right now."
Darcy smiled, letting her hand curl under Bruce's chin. She kissed him lightly on the lips. "Relax Incredible Hunk. I just needed to know where you stood."
Bruce felt a weight lift off his shoulders. He smiled in return and then frowned. "Incredible Hunk?"
"You like it? I've been coming up with nicknames for pretty much all of the Avengers… Like Steve is Captain Ass-Cheeks. Clint is Hot Guy, Thor is Phowar, Tony is –"
"I get it," Bruce interrupted with a smile on his face. "But Incredible Hunk?"
"Just go with it."
"Fine then come up with an embarrassing nickname for me," Darcy said.
Bruce shook his head. "I can't do that!" He said.
"Oh come on. Anything!"
"Okay." Bruce pursed his lips. "Okay, Socks."
"Socks? Really Bruce? You're a lot more creative than that,"
"Hey, I choose the nickname, remember?" Bruce said.
Darcy sighed. "Fine."
Bruce pecked her on the cheek and sat back down on his chair.
Darcy turned in hers, humming slightly and playing with her necklace. She paused and smiled at the thought of Bruce pestering Tony to fly him out to the disaster area just to find the charm. Bruce caught her smile.
"What are you so happy about?" He asked.
"Nothing," She replied, her smile growing.
Bruce shrugged and returned to his work, tapping away at the keyboard and stopping every few minutes to look up at the screen or steal a glance at Darcy. She got up and took his hand.
"Dance with me," She said.
"There's no music," Bruce pointed out.
Darcy pouted then began to hum a tune. Bruce laughed and got up, twirling her under his arm and pulling her waist towards him. Darcy liked the feel of his hand, she moved closer to him, swaying from side to side. She leaned against his chest as they moved around the room a low noise coming from Bruce as they did so.
She looked up frowning only to realise that he was singing, albeit very silently. He had his eyes closed and he was smiling. Darcy couldn't help but smile with him. Her head fell against his chest again.
"Hey," She said. "You want to get a coffee or something?"
Maybe I'll write a really long Bruce/Darcy fic
But not at the moment, too many fanfics I need to update…