betaed by the fabulous Allie! The title is from Ke$ha because of reasons, let's go with that. This is a multichapter story! Exciting! More Bruce/Darcy, cause they're just an excellent pairing overall, you know? Cool. Also posted at AO3.
"What I'm saying," Darcy says, gesticulating with a long green straw, "is that it's a pattern. A trend, if you will."
"You wouldaccidentally become fuck buddies with someone," Jane agrees.
"More than once," Darcy adds, a little miserably, and the eyebrow Jane raises at her- even through video chat- is slightly judgmental. "That is a judgmental eyebrow," she adds. "I know it when I see it. And- and you hit someone with a car, twice, because I maintain that it was all legally your fault, and then you fell in love with them, Jane, so glass houses, okay?"
"No," Jane says, after a moment. "It's not the same thing at all."
"Hmph." Darcy pulls her knees up to her chest. Her pajamas are purple plaid, and she traces the pattern absently with a finger. "You could have vehicular manslaughtered him. Like, if he wasn't Thor and a giant demigodly stud who's crazy muscular."
"Lucky for me he was," Jane grins, and her face goes all mushy and soft and ugh, people in love are annoying.
There's a pause.
"You know what's really annoying?" Darcy asks, slurping at her drink. Jane raises one perfect eyebrow.
"That you only buy Frappucinos for the whipped cream?"
"What? No, shut up, I need the whipped cream for my soul. What's annoying is that I never get to wear any of my sweaters anymore. I got some fabulous sweaters when I was interning for you."
Jane sighs. "It's summer in New York, wear sundresses or something."
Darcy shrugs. "Agent Romanov told me that sundresses are inefficient for combat and that I should invest in comfortable cotton shorts with hidden pockets."
"Combat training? Darcy, seriously, say the word and I'll come and get you, I swear-" Jane's practically squawking, hands flapping around her face enough to pixellate on the screen. "Whatever they're paying you isn't worth it, I should have had you stay with me, we could have found the money to pay you eventually-"
"Not the issue at hand," Darcy reminds her. "Remember? We were talking about how I tripped and fell on his dick? More than once?"
"I hate SHIELD," Jane mutters. "And yes. We were talking about that. Be cruder, why don't you?"
Darcy rolls her eyes and settles back on her elbows. The nice thing about having access to Tony Stark's tech is that basically, her computer does whatever she wants it to, including tilting at just the right angle so she can video chat without straining her neck. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a robot arm to bring her more caramel coffee drinks.
"It's just," Jane continues, her tone becoming insistent as she leans forward. The image quality has improved, and her concern is that much clearer. "I don't getit, Darcy, I really don't, I mean- okay, I don't mean this in any sort of offensive way, but I wasn't aware that Dr. Banner, er, had sex with...you know, with people."
Well, Darcy has seen his file, and- "he doesn't, really."
"Does it feel good to be the exception?" Jane looks at her intently. "Because you shouldn't be making decisions based on that."
"I know that," Darcy says. "I do. It's not like that."
"Still, you were drunk the first time it happened," Jane confirms, switching into a tone that's almost analytical, and Darcy nods.
"Yeah. Of course."
Tony Stark's parties are basically legend, right, they're hedonistic displays of what money can buy (almost anything), they're shows, plain and simple.
This one is not like that. Darcy's a little bit disappointed.
It's a smaller party, a hey-we-survived-the-week party, and it would probably be a blip, barely better than a significant number of the college parties she'd attended, but there's expensive alcohol and Darcy can sit back and watch Tony and Steve do their dance, or watch Clint watch Natasha when Natasha tries not to let him know she notices (oh god if any decent reporter could get their hands on this, field daydoesn't even convey the full- meaning, maybe, it's a good thing SHIELD has airtight nondisclosures written up) and drink whiskey. She's getting a lot better at drinking whiskey.
Mostly she watches them. Them and others- Maria Hill is a surprisingly good dancer- because she can be quiet when she needs to be.
(We do actually need you, Natasha had told her, and coming from Natasha that's a compliment, but Darcy doesn't know if she wants to be an asset, Darcy wants to write her thesis about the effects of voter suppression on the electorate and be able to tell her family about what she does at work; basically this is not what she meant to get into when she applied for a job worth six college credits with Jane Foster, Ph.D.)
She ends up sitting next to Bruce because he's by himself too and Darcy firmly believes that no one should drink alone if they don't have to.
"Hi," she says, and drops into a seat next to him, "you're drinking whiskey too?"
He raises his glass to her, and if it's not exactly a smile, it's a start.
"Straight," Bruce says, and Darcy nods like, of course, of course. She takes a long, deep sip and it slides down her throat the way good alcohol is supposed to, settling warmly in her stomach. "Easy," he says, and Darcy rolls her eyes.
"College frat parties," she informs him. "You have noidea the extent to which I can hold me liquor."
"I don't doubt it," Bruce says dryly, and maybe that's an insult, but she lets it slide off her shoulder and takes another sip. It's her second glass of whiskey and she had some wine before, light white wine that was crisp on her tongue, and she feels like she's- not floating, exactly, but hovering, just an inch or two off the floor.
He's had more than her, she's pretty sure, when he touches her arm- lightly, ever so lightly- and says, "I like your mouth."
She says, "okay," and he says, "sorry."
"It's fine, you're allowed to say things like that," and then he's kissing her. Bruce is an insistent kisser, which is surprising; firm lips and warmth and his hand reaching up to tangle in the loose hair at the nape of her neck.
"Mmmph," she says, and "oh," and "yes," and he pulls away looked a little bit dazed and a little bit concerned.
"That was- impulsive," Bruce says finally, looking at her with darkened brown eyes, and Darcy nods.
"I could tell." She bites her lower lip and his eyes flick to it.
Seriously, it's pretty much an open invitation.
He kisses her again, and this time his hands grip her waist; Darcy gasps and presses herself to him, drink completely forgotten. He tastes like whiskey and something spicy underneath it all, and she licks into his mouth. He groans and his hands squeeze just the slightest bit.
"I have-" Bruce takes a breath, "my room, if you want, it's close." And it's dark and no one will see if they leave, no one will miss them, so Darcy nods and picks up her bag, follows him out of a side door and down the corridor to a staircase. He kisses her again in the staircase and she jumps, wraps her legs around his waist as he supports her. "Jesus," Bruce mutters, his lips against the line of her throat, and he says her name and grabs her hips, and oh god the way he says it makes her shudder.
She shifts restlessly against him and his fingers dig in; maybe she'll have bruises, proof that this happened, and Darcy thinks, goodand arches up against him. "Room," she says, "this is Tony's house, there are cameras here and we shouldn't-"
"Yeah," Bruce agrees, "no one else should see-" and they stumble up the stairs until they get to his floor, until he pushes open the door and she slides onto the bed, boneless, pulling him down beside her. Darcy knows her underwear doesn't match (she wasn't planning this, she didn't think that this could happen) and it doesn't matter as he pulls off her shirt and unbuttons his, it doesn't matter at all- "I disabled the cameras in my room," he says, and she says, "good," and shimmies out of her underwear. "That's good," Darcy repeats, her voice stuck low in her throat, and Bruce nods and trails her fingertips down the plane of her stomach, barely hesitating, and then goes lower.
"You weren't that drunk," Jane says.
"But I felt like I was."
"And he wasn't either."
Darcy bites her lips. "Sometimes things just, they happen, and you take the excuse you need because otherwise you would-"
"Chicken out? And this is not a hypothetical you, stop using the hypothetical you." A line of worry creases Jane's brow. "Darcy- so if that was the first time, then what was the second time?"
"The next morning?" Darcy winces.
"I don't need to hear about your sexy escapades in the shower, thanks," Jane sends her a look. "You know what I mean. The next evening. I'm talking about the next evening."
"Which was not as bad as you are implying."
Jane practically snorts. "I got about five panicked texts in quick succession, I was worried."
from Darcy, 10:10 PM: oh god Jane he brought me sushi WHO DOES THAT?
from Darcy, 10:12 PM: is this his way of apologizing for sex? butbutbut there is nothing to apologize for ahhhh
from Darcy, 10:13 PM: wtf am I supposed to say
from Darcy, 10:15 PM: he is giving me really weird looks Jane, what do normal people do right now, please tell me?
from Darcy, 10:16 PM: maybe I should just take off my shirt, I feel like that would help the situation more than words can express
She pulls her shirt off, over her head in one move, and Bruce gapes, eyes tracing the bones of her ribcage and the skin pulled taught over it.
"Sorry," Darcy says immediately, "sorry, sorry, sorry, sometimes I do things and I don't know why, and I didn't know what to say- you didn't have to bring me sushi-"
Her apartment is small. There's one bedroom that maybe used to be a closet, and there's a kitchen with a single counter and a leaky sink that she should find someone to look at. There's an old futon, a poor excuse for a couch, that has electrical cords strewn across it and an Indian blanket she got in New Mexico with a matching pillow. Her rug is from New Mexico also, and there's still sand in it. The living room walls are bright yellow and her bedroom walls are green, the color of the trees on the mountain in rural New England where she lived when she was little. Bruce sets the sushi down on the bistro table she got one feverish weekend at IKEA (Thor had demanded to come along and it had been An Event), the one she left out screws when putting it together because they rolled under the couch, and in fact they're probably still underneath the couch somewhere, gathering dust with her surge protector and the cracked Ethernet cable that weirdly came with the place.
"It seemed like the thing to do," he says, and she shivers, goosebumps raising on her arms. She left the window open and the nighttime breeze that comes in is colder than it ought to be for June.
"Okay," Darcy mutters, "I'm just gonna- okay." Maybe she's tired.
"I make you nervous," Bruce says.
"Yeah," she agrees. "But not for the reasons you think."
"Then tell me," he says quietly, voice a low, controlled hum, and the sound of it pools at the base of her spine.
"You brought me sushi," Darcy says finally, looking anywhere but at his face. "You know? I think that's part of it. And I don't know, you're a really successful physicist and bonus, you're a superhero plus you spend several hours a day in an enclosed space with Tony Stark, one of the more irritating people alive. You shouldn't be a booty call."
"You actually said booty call?" Jane's eyebrows shoot halfway to her hairline.
"Shut up," Darcy grouses, and presses her hand against suddenly hot cheeks. "God, he brought me sushi, I didn't know what to do. That's like, food with implications."
"Booty call?" Bruce repeats. "Even when I was in college I was never a- um."
"I can't take my shirt off to make you forget I said that now, can I," Darcy swallows hard. "I probably shouldn't lose any more clothes."
"You know," Bruce looks at her and wow, he's really examining her, eyes flicking over cheekbones and lips and the bridge of her nose, "sometimes I think maybe I'm too patient."
"You kinda need to be," she says. "Dealing with the people you deal with."
"Maybe," Bruce murmurs, and hey, she's seen his eyes darken like that before, hasn't she-
"Oh shit," Darcy says, and Bruce huffs out a laugh, pulling her to him; the breath escapes her lungs as he lifts her easily onto the kitchen table. She straddles him because it's easier and because she wants to, and his smile reaches his eyes.
"Hey," Darcy grins, "thanks for the sushi." She kisses him, throwing her arms around his neck, and he unhooks her bra, tossing it to the side. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees it end up in the saucepan, which, whatever, she didn't like it that much anyway. She rolls her hips and feels him, half-hard against her stomach. "You're wearing too much stuff," Darcy says, and Bruce chuckles.
"I'm beginning to see that." Her fingers fly to the buttons on her shirt and she fumbles them before yanking it open. He's wearing an undershirt- "it's summer, don't you get hot?"- and she touches the thatch of hair visible above the curve of the neckline.
"Sexy," Darcy says, and Bruce muffles his laugh, pressing his lips to her hairline, to her temple, to her jaw. He pulls off the undershirt and they're flush, skin pressed to skin, and she sighs at the sensation.
"Darcy, God." His hands are unsettled, stroking up and down the knobs of her spine and she shifts restlessly against him, bucking up into him. He responds, moving into a rhythm, and Darcy takes a deep breath.
"Okay, so we're gonna fuck on the kitchen table," she says. He hooks a finger into her sweatpants and pulls; they're on the floor within two seconds and her underwear, sensible lace and striped cotton, quickly follows.
"Pretty much," Bruce agrees, and steps out of his khakis and boxers. "It's new and exciting, breaking in this table."
"Yeah," Darcy agrees, breathlessly, and lets her legs fall open, allows herself a wide smile. "Come on."
"Okay," Jane says. "So- three times. That's not too much to be concerned about, I guess. You could brush it off as a blip, maybe."
"Four," Darcy says, looking up from under her eyelashes. "Four times, and the third time he stayed the night."
"He stayed the night?"
"It was late, and there was a really chilly breeze!" As she says it, she knows it's basically the worst defense to come up with, but she hadn't needed an excuse at the time, that's the thing. At the time, Darcy had said, "stay," and Bruce had murmured a yes, pulling her closer so that she was tucked against his side. When he sleeps he gravitates towards warmth, just like a kitten- and that thought is fond, it makes her silently smile, and wow, she is basically in the worst type of trouble.
"You don't need to talk about the fourth time," Jane breaks her train of thought, "seriously, or I'm going to regale you with the details of what went down the last time I saw Thor."
"Yuck, my poor virgin eyes, etcetera, etcetera," Darcy interrupts. "Save me, you know the drill."
"Uh-huh," Jane sends her a look that's all too knowing, and this is the problem with talking to your friends about your problems, isn't it, they know you and they know your history and they genuinely want to help.
"It's, okay, this sounds weird, but like- I want us to stay a secret," Darcy says, and hugs her knees. "It's nice this way, it's quiet, it's not a thing."
"It's a thing," Jane tells her, "but I understand what you mean."
"So I told him that I was cool with sneaking around, which I admit was terrible word choice on my part, and he got all quiet. Quieter than usual."
"And then we had sex in his lab, which I know you don't want to hear about, and then I panicked a little bit, promised to meet him for dinner later, and called you."
"Right," Jane says, blinking. "I, I don't know Darcy, you were right when you called it a trend."
"No one else knows about us," Darcy confirms, swinging her legs idly against the table and Bruce looks up at her like he's surprised that she's there.
"I'm sure they suspect," he says, no question about the they he's referring to. "But no, no one knows." He touches the curve of her ankle, bony over her Converse, with a thumb.
"Okay," Darcy says, and takes a deep breath, in through her nose and out through her mouth. "I mean, it's nice, isn't it?"
"Being a secret?" Bruce looks at her, his mouth twisted a little. "I guess."
"I like sneaking around." That makes him stand up, his knees nearly knocking into the bench, until they're on an equal level.
"Really," Bruce says, and he mutters something that sounds like "let's test that hypothesis," and maybe she squeaks a little when he kisses her, lifting her off the table (he's stronger than she remembers, always, there's this well of strength in him and she never knows if it's him or it's the other guy, it should make her nervous, and yet-) and they stumble almost blindly to the wall until her back is against it and jesus this is hotter than it should be.
"Cameras," Darcy gasps, "are they even in your lab, you said there were ones in your room," and Bruce shakes his head no, mutters that he likes his privacy.
And this is different, she can tell, in the thrum of his heartbeat against hers, this is possessive and it's going to be fast and just a little bit rough; her pulse speeds up and the blood rushes in her veins and she kisses him with more abandon than she's ever done before.
When they're done she thinks he might say something she's not sure she wants to hear, but instead he says, "I owe you dinner," and Darcy nods and collects her clothing, balancing on shaky legs, and takes comfort in the fact that he looks almost as shattered as she feels.
"Is it melodramatic to say that I hate everything right now," Darcy asks, and Jane considers.
"I'll allow it," she decrees, and Darcy considers that maybe she does deserve another Frappucino. "It's a hell of your own making," Jane adds, and since that is essentially the least helpful thing ever, Darcy sticks her tongue out at the screen.