EH! I'm back! So, to make this clear, this is a Darcy/Clint story, that takes place during and after the Avenger's movie. There are no LOTR crossovers, just mine and Darcy's weird thinking. Otherwise, that's it, I hope you enjoy it!
Reviews always more than appreciated!
Darcy frowned, intent on keeping her brooding mood as long as possible. Why the hell was she here, anyway? She was done. Her internship had ended a few months ago and she had her degree, with honors of all things! Amazing the things that happen when S.H.I.E.L.D. put in a good word for you.
Anyway, the point was, she shouldn't have heard from them again. She signed her confidentiality papers and she was just getting used to normal, civilian life again while looking for a job. Even before Thor, Jane had thrown off her usual sleeping, eating, and every other pattern she had. Now she was trying to catch up with her friends and other acquaintances.
If she sometimes woke up in the middle of the night and went outside to watch the stars, or occasionally jumped up from her laptop to get pop tarts for Jane, well, it didn't matter. It was happening less and less now. She was getting over it.
She wasn't bored, not at all. Why would she be? It felt good to be normal again, why wouldn't it? She liked being normal. People didn't like weird politicians.
She wasn't bored, damnit!
It was a Sunday morning and Darcy had been walking around her flat in sweat pants and a tank top when her door bell had rang. She had frowned as she turned towards the door. Her flat mate was out at her boyfriend's and Darcy wasn't expecting anyone. She opened the door slowly.
She maybe wasn't expecting anyone, but she definitely wasn't expecting two stern looking men, dressed in black suits. She stared at them. One of them took out a card that identified him as Agent Taves, from S.H.I.E.L.D.
Darcy swallowed, trying to control the dread she felt rising in her throat.
"We need you to come with us."
Darcy started to panic.
"What? Why? What happened? To Jane? Please tell me Jane's fine! She has to be!"
The other agent cocked his head, his eyes hidden by his glasses.
"Dr. Foster is fine, Miss Lewis. Some unexpected events occurred, and she was sent away. We believe it would be safest for you to go with her."
Darcy frowned and opened her mouth. Agent Taves cut her off.
"We can't explain right now. Pack whatever you would need for a few days."
Darcy wanted to protest, but these guys weren't the ones in charge. They were simply executing someone else's orders. She nodded and turned around to get her suitcase, starting to throw clothes in it and grabbing her bathroom kit. She also changed her own clothes, feeling that, wherever she was going, she wouldn't want to be in sleepwear.
In a matter of minutes, she was ready and standing by the door. Taves cocked an eyebrow, probably surprised she took so little time. Darcy huffed. Why did people always assume she was a lost puppy, unable to take care of herself or make intelligent and reasonable decisions?
She was an adult for God's sake!
The other agent cocked his head.
"Is that all?"
Darcy nodded, raising her head, perfectly regal, and walked out of the building calmly, like she was doing it of her own free will. Internally, she was rehearsing the speech she was going to throw at whoever had asked two grunts to kidnap her. She slid in the black car waiting at the door, settling in the passenger's seat as she waited for them to leave.
Taves and his colleague climbed in, looking mildly displeased she took the front seat and leaving them in the back. The driver didn't so much as look her way, lurching forward as soon as everyone was belted in. Darcy squeaked and grabbed the door for her dear life, while the car weaved through traffic.
In far less time than it should have taken, the driver parked at a heliport. A strange looking plane was waiting for them. The two agents entered it without a word and she arched an eyebrow. Really? Would it kill them to talk to her? To be polite at the very least.
She huffed, knowing it didn't really matter to them. They could probably taze her if she didn't cooperate. No witnesses around here. She climbed, grumbling under her breathe. It really wasn't fair.
She dropped into a seat. The car's driver was now at the plane's controls, Taves seated beside him. The other guy was talking into some kind of device, which seemed to be answering him. Darcy glared at him, but he ignored her.
"Stop trying to drill holes into my agent's head, Miss Lewis."
Darcy's head snapped up. A panel of the plane had switched to a screen, and Agent Coulson was looking at her serenely. She couldn't help the smile.
"Hey G-Man! How is it going?"
Coulson gave her an unimpressed look.
"Very well, Miss Lewis, thank you for asking."
Darcy chuckled. After Thor left them hanging in the desert, Coulson had helped her, Jane and Erik set up the lab again. He also gave her iPod back, which made him one of the best people around as far as she was concerned. He also helped her hone her scientist handling skills, muttering about Stark's antics.
They had some good times while Jane and Erik went into full genius mode. The one where they used so much jargon, no one else could follow what they were saying.
However, when her internship ended, Jane hadn't been able to find an excuse to keep her that S.H.I.E.L.D. considered satisfactory, so she was sent back to her college. She kept contact with Jane, when the scientist was in a mood to talk and complain about her new assistants. But Coulson was a bit harder to keep in touch with, since his very existence was pretty much classified.
All in all, she was pretty happy to see him. Even if she knew he was probably the one responsible for this circus. She smirked.
"You know, it is common courtesy to ask how someone's doing in return."
His eyebrow twitched.
"We both know full well it would do nothing but send you into a rant about your rights and the indignation of our actions."
Darcy snorted. See, that's why she liked the guy. Why bother with bullshit? Waste of time. She cocked her head.
"Why am I here?"
"New Mexico's base had been destroyed. Imploded."
Darcy leapt forward, staring at the screen.
"Holy shit! Are you alright? Oh my god! That's where Erik was! How is he?"
"Miss Lewis, please calm down."
She settled back, glaring at him, trying to read the answers out of his skull.
"The situation is complicated, and we aren't exactly sure what is going on, so please, bear with us."
She crossed her arms, arching an eyebrow and waiting for her explanation. Coulson sighed again.
"We lost control of the tesseract, and someone used it to create a passage directly into the base. Loki crossed it."
"Loki? As in Thor's psychotic brother, who sent the big robot to destroy Puerto Antiguo?"
"Yes, the very same. He has somehow taken control of Dr. Selvig and one of our best agents. He used them to escape the base, which had become structurally unstable because of the tesseract."
Darcy tried to wrap her head around it, but she simply couldn't. It was far too weird.
"And you are sending me away because?"
Coulson pinched his lips.
"We are not aware of Loki's true motives, or of his relationship with Thor at the moment. However, both Selvig and our agent are aware of yours and Dr. Foster's link with Thor, and we think its safer to send you away until we know more."
Darcy pursed her lips, but couldn't help but agree with the logic.
"What about Erik?"
"There isn't much we can do for the moment. We are looking for them, but so far without success. We are assembling an expert team to track them down and stop Loki."
Darcy looked away.
"How much does Jane know?"
"She thinks we sent her to her current location for scientific purposes."
"How much am I allowed to say?"
"That is up to you, Miss Lewis."
She frowned, not sure what she was to do with that.
"Why did you tell me?"
Coulson's lips twitched infinitesimally.
"I was of the opinion that 'for Science' wasn't going to be a good enough explanation for you."
Darcy snorted, and nodded. Coulson answered the gesture.
"Goodbye, Miss Lewis. I will contact you again when we know more."
"Ciao, Coulson. Go get the bad guy."
The agent nodded and the screen went black before disappearing behind the plane's wall once more. Darcy sighed and let her head fall back against the wall.
She was done, why was she back? She was just getting used to being a civilian again, it wasn't fair.
On the bright side, she was going to see Jane again. And maybe the two of them would be able to not worry themselves sick over Erik.
Maybe she shouldn't tell Jane about that one.
She fell asleep despite having just woken up. Planes had the displeasing tendency to lull her to sleep without fault. When the other agent shook her awake, they had been airborne for over six hours. She shrugged his hand off his shoulder, grabbed her bag despite Taves reaching for it, and exited the plane with her nose up, ignoring the aggravated looks the two agents were throwing her way.
She jumped on the tarmac, looking around. The air was colder than it had been back home, so she fished out her jacket from the bottom of the case. She was just zipping it up when she heard a shrill "Darcy!"
She looked up just in time to get a glimpse before the scientist engulfed her in a nearly too tight embrace. It wasn't fair someone so tiny was able to squeeze all the air out of her lungs that easily.
"Oh my god! Oh my god, oh my god!"
The scientist suddenly pushed her at arm's length, keeping her hands on her shoulders.
"What are you doing here?"
She was beaming, looking positively ecstatic at seeing her here. Darcy swallowed and sighed internally. No way was she telling Jane about Erik. No use in freaking her out.
"S.H.I.E.L.D. sent me here. They said you were getting unbearable and they needed my help to keep you alive, so here I am."
Jane looked a bit pained, which in turn made Darcy feel guilty since Jane had nothing to do with her being here. But hey, better that than scared. The scientist frowned.
"Darcy, I'm so sorry! I didn't interrupt anything did I?"
"Nah. Just the interview for the job of my life, but otherwise everything's fine."
Jane stared at her, trying to decide whether or not she was joking. Darcy gave her the best Coulson Face she had, because this one was technically true. She had an interview the day after tomorrow for a dream job, but Jane was on a strict 'need to know' basis until further notice. Darcy chuckled, to pretend it was a joke, and Jane relaxed before she drew her ex-intern in another hug. It took a few moments before she freed her once more, and dragged her into the building.
"Come on, let's see your room!"
Her room appeared to be a unused corner of the facility. A quiet woman gave her a pillow and a blanket, while Darcy grimaced, trying not to think yet about the immense comfort the 'room' offered. She would see to that later.
Jane, who had disappeared for a few minutes to go talk to someone, popped in again, still far too happy. Darcy watched her wearily, unsure how to handle it.
"Hey boss, were the new guys that bad?"
Jane scrunched her pretty face, confused. Darcy frowned, stuffing her hands in her pockets, hunching her shoulders.
"You just seem far too happy to see me."
The astrophysicist seemed even more puzzled, cocking her head to the side.
"Of course I'm happy to see you! Why wouldn't I be?"
Darcy arched an eyebrow.
"You mean except all the times you fled to the roof because you couldn't put up with me anymore?"
Jane pursed her lips.
"It doesn't count. And it wasn't half as bad after..."
Darcy finished the thought in her head. After Thor. After she knew her boss wasn't hunting after a dream. When she had to give her everything to keep Jane in a somewhat good health, because the scientist wasn't paying any attention to anything irrelevant to Thor's return.
Still, Darcy shrugged. Jane sighed.
"It's just, it'll be like old times. My new assistants are great, but it's not the same thing..."
Darcy raised an eyebrow, and allowed Jane to drag her away.
"They just won't accept that everything that happened with Thor, that the things he said to me, are true. They always doubt me. I think they're about two weeks away from committing me."
Darcy gave her a sympathetic look, and wrapped one arm around her friend's shoulders, squeezing. Jane smiled at her.
She showed her around the different labs and explained to Darcy what they were here to do, which of course the younger girl didn't understand much of. As usual, she nodded, and made interested noise whenever she would catch something she understood, or at the very least, a term she heard before. Most of them thanks to Jane. Anyway, she was impressed with just how much she could understand, compared to the gibberish she remembered of her first day with Jane.
The only thing she remembered from that day was that her relationship with most of the equipment was on the 'Touch with the eyes' basis. Until Jane was convince she wouldn't throw anything or smash stuff with a bat.
Jane was slightly over protective of her equipment. Darcy filmed her once cooing at some star gazing device. It went into her blackmail bank, in case she wanted a day off at some point. She never used it.
The other people in the lab stared at her, clearly wondering why she was there, with her glazed eyes and overwhelmed face. However, they apparently had been warned by S.H.I.E.L.D. because no one commented upon it. Which Darcy was grateful for. The less she needed to explain, the happier she was. For the moment, Jane seemed to be happy making her own assumption, which suited Darcy just fine.
The scientist could be spacey at times -pun intended- but she could smell a lie a mile away. Like a shark with blood. She was surprised Jane hadn't called her on it yet, but she was probably still too happy to really compute what Darcy said.
Jane strode around and Darcy smiled. The scientist was never as much at ease as when she was in a lab. And Darcy decided, the Hell with it, she missed this, and there was nothing wrong with it. She fell in step behind Jane, providing comments and innocent smiles. Jane would throw her fond looks and Darcy knew it wouldn't last. The older woman would go back to the mix of amusement and exasperation that was the basis of their relationship.
Darcy was fine with that. She hoped the agents left a message for her roommate, notifying her she hadn't been kidnapped by aliens and that she wouldn't come back for a while. If she had her way. She usually did.
She would have to talk with Coulson.
For the moment, she had to take care of Jane. She was damn good at it.
Jane said something that sounded important and Darcy gave her an emphatic 'Ah!' that satisfied her.
The girls had been at the facility for three days, doing one thing or the other. The team seemed to have accepted Darcy, and most were grateful for having someone to take on the lesser tasks, instead of sparing an intern for it. She even heard the main researcher mention to Jane that he was thinking of hiring one after she left.
So, while Jane did her science thing, she was busy running errands, making coffee, and cooking. Apparently, malnutrition when in full science flow wasn't restricted to Jane, and often Darcy nearly stuffed the food down their throats. Stubborn genius idiots.
She was in the lab, seated on a chair in the corner, waiting for someone to ask for something to drink, or sent on yet another glasses hunt. Suddenly, a woman she learned to identify as Camille, ran in, lab coat flapping against her legs.
Everyone straightened up, curious. Camille stopped, using a table to balance herself, completely out of breathe. Finally, she managed to rasp out between her pants.
"New York. New York is being attacked."
There was a beat of silence, and the whole place exploded all at once. Jane looked at Darcy, horrified. The ex-intern didn't even bother to fake surprise. Loki was behind this. The lab head shouted.
Everyone turned to him, expectant.
"To the dining room."
Most of them frowned, but followed him. Jane fell back, looking at Darcy with sharp eyes. Darcy did her best to look confused and a bit frightened. Well, she was frightened, but not confused. Jane spoke slowly.
"What do you know?"
Darcy gave her wide, innocent eyes. Jane rolled her eyes.
"Pull the other one, Darcy. What do you know?"
"S.H.I.E.L.D.'s base was attacked, three days ago. That's why we were sent here."
Jane frowned, and cocked her head.
"What does that have to do with us?"
Darcy pinched her lips.
"Loki was the one who destroyed it."
Jane paled, and lengthened her stride, sliding in the room, plopping down on a seat. The lab head had removed a wood panel and was looking for a news channel on the hidden television. He finally found one, and everyone gasped. The city was swarming with flying machines, attacking civilians.
Darcy walked to the lab head, who was leaning on the wall watching the screen with a pinched look. She settled herself beside him.
"I thought you weren't suppose to have any contact with the outside world."
He shrugged, never leaving the screen with his eyes.
"It's for emergencies. And Camille was phoning home for her mother's birthday."
Darcy nodded, it made sense. She caught a glimpse of Iron Man who was shooting at the invaders. She couldn't help but frown, and feel her gut curl. Iron Man alone couldn't fight all of them.
A plane, like the one she arrived in, flew in, and crash landed. The behind opened, and three people exited, including, if her eyes weren't tricking her, Captain America. Judging by the shouts and cheering, they weren't. Just when she thought her life couldn't get any weirder.
The two other, a man and a woman, dressed in black, weren't famous as far as Darcy was concerned. The three of them quickly started kicking ass.
Did that guy fight with a bow?
Ah well, when you fought alongside Captain America, you could afford to use a bow and arrows.
For a few minutes, the four of them did their best to contain everything, but there were always more aliens coming. Because it was apparently aliens. Someone managed to get a close up, and the creatures definitely weren't human.
Suddenly, a flash of red flew by the screen. Both Jane and Darcy straightened, and the scientist stood slowly up. Everyone else threw them confused look, but they didn't care.
Could it be?
The being landed, and everyone could see the red cape, the weird armor and the hammer. Darcy leapt toward Jane, and caught her before she did something stupid, like kissing the screen. It didn't keep the scientist from half sobbing, half shouting.
Darcy tightened her hold, and watched as Thor joined the fight. They saw him trying to reason Loki, only to be stabbed. Jane let out a small squeal, and started shivering. Darcy petted her hair, not knowing what to do with herself.
How was she supposed to reassure a girl whose boyfriend was busy fighting an alien invasion started by his own brother?
If there was a guide book for that one, Darcy hadn't read it. Maybe she should write it. She was sure she could make some money with it.
'How to deal with your weird life.'
Sounded good. Anyway, Jane was still shaking, but Darcy managed to wrangle her back into her chair, and kept her arms around the scientist's shoulders. She wasn't letting Jane go in the foreseeable future.
They all gasped when a giant flying armored snake arrived. Iron Man took up distracting it, but no one seemed able to defeat it.
They watched as a nondescript man arrived, and suddenly blew up into an enormous green thing, who singlehandedly smashed the snake. One of the assistant's whispered a scared "The Hulk." Darcy raised an eyebrow, remembering the trouble this thing caused in New York a few years back. One of her ex-boyfriend's was obsessed with this kind of thing and could talk about it non-stop for hours.
The Captain send them to fight. Jane was a ball of tense muscles beside her, staring at the TV like she was trying to drill holes through it.
After what seemed like an eternity, Iron Man went through the portal with something. The lab head cursed and muttered, "A nuke." Darcy bristled at the idea that someone targeted Manhattan with a nuclear bomb. Idiots. Idiots everywhere.
And all the aliens crashed. Dead. Whatever was on the other side of the hole, was essential to their well being. Iron Man fell through the portal just in time as it closed, finally.
Everyone frowned when he continued to fall. The Hulk jumped to catch him. He landed hard, and between Thor, the Captain and The Hulk, they revived him. When it was obvious everyone was fine, Darcy dragged Jane out of the room. The scientist started to protest but Darcy was having none of it.
"You're not staying there. It'll do you no good. Thor's fine."
Jane pursed her lips, but finally allowed herself to be lead to her room. She curled up on her bed, wrapping her arms around her knees. Darcy propped herself beside her friend, and was terribly glad she was sent here, and that Jane wasn't alone.
But, as she watched Jane, who was still shaking, eyes watering, she swore bodily harm to Coulson.
He should have warned her. Sent her a signal, some code about the invasion, a message to keep Jane away from the rest of the personnel. It wasn't fair that the scientist had to share this moment, the first moment she saw Thor again, the fear of seeing him hurt or dead.
It wasn't right she had to show this to people who couldn't understand.
Who didn't know that she already saw him die once. That she had been waiting for so long, and couldn't even be reunited with him.
Camille popped her head in. She gave a compassionate look to Jane, who was still lost to the world, and an understanding one to Darcy, who had appointed herself as the woman's bodyguard.
"An Agent Hill called. The both of you need to be ready at dawn tomorrow to go back to... the shield? Anyway, she said you would know what it meant."
Darcy nodded and Camille looked back to Jane, pursing her lips, eyes soft.
"If you need anything, just ask. It'll be our pleasure."
Darcy nodded, smiling at her.
"Thank you Camille. I think she just needs time to think it through."
The other woman nodded, and closed the door behind her. Darcy sighed, letting her head fall back.
She was giving them points for being quick, but she was going to kill Coulson. He was the one who sent them here, and he didn't even called them himself.