Two years later
Darcy was struggling to zip her dress, twisting one way and the other, to no avail. She groaned in frustration, turning to try and see what she was doing.
She raised her head to look in the mirror. She smiled when she saw the reflection of Clint, leaning on the doorway. She nodded, biting her lips a bit and going back to her fruitless efforts. Suddenly, he was just behind her, swatting her hands away lightly. He finished closing the dress, and then wrapped his arms around her waist. Darcy leaned back against him, basking in the solidness of his chest.
"My, my, Miss Lewis, you should be ashamed to try and look all grown up. Men could get the wrong idea."
Darcy arched an eyebrow, smirking at him.
"Well, fledgling, I should now I'm nothing but a gold digger."
Ever since Phil had gone back to S.H.I.E.L.D., with Darcy as his assistant, rumors had flown all over the place. Apparently, even when he just came back from death, Phil Coulson couldn't need an assistant. So he had to be doing her.
Darcy had spent the first three months getting offers from the entirety of the single -or not single- male population of the Division. And some of the females.
When Clint had finally gotten fed up with everyone circling around his girlfriend and decided to go public with their relationship, well, things didn't get much better. Except that now Clint had a good reason to glare away all Darcy's suitors.
Otherwise, it meant that S.H.I.E.L.D.'S employees thought that both Phil and Clint were doing her. And the rest of the world thought she was a mindless groupie Hawkeye "Hot Guy" used as arm candy. Darcy had gotten over it pretty quickly. She had called her parents prior to their public statement, to warn them and assure them her relationship was based on love. And arguments. But mostly love.
With it all, Darcy's social life, even now that she was technically allowed to go out with other people -they officially trusted her- well she didn't. She had tried to catch up with her old school friends, but the only thing they had been interested in was her boyfriend and whether or not she could hook them up with Captain America.
Stupid people. Wanting to go after the Black Widow's boyfriend.
Anyway, she mostly hung out with the Avengers. Not that she was complaining. So here she was today. With Barton smirking at her.
"You are a lousy gold digger. A good digger would have been waiting naked on the bed for me to have a torrid round of sex before going."
Darcy turned around, swatting him on the chest.
"Well, you're going to have to deal with your lousy girlfriend, because we are not missing Pepper and Tony's wedding."
Clint pouted at her, eyes dancing with mirth. She chuckled and kissed his lower lip chastely, before turning toward the mirror for a few last minute adjustments.
"How is Tony?"
Clint cackled, sitting at the foot of the bed, eyes dancing over her.
"All over the place. Bruce and Rhodey are trying to restrain him."
She arched an eyebrow at him, through the mirror.
"And why aren't you helping them?"
He shrugged and she smiled, because he knew exactly how much she liked it when he played with his shoulder's muscles like that. And she also knew she wasn't going to do anything at the moment.
"They had the situation under control. They didn't need me. And seriously, between the two of them and Cap? There wasn't any room left to breathe. So yeah, I came here to help my girlfriend. It wouldn't do to miss the wedding."
She rolled her eyes at him, clasping her necklace on.
He chuckled in answer, throwing his head back.
She wriggled her hips alluringly, and he laughed even louder. She turned toward him and pecked him again on the mouth, before applying her lipstick again. She walked toward the door.
"I'm going to see Pepper."
"I resent that you are a bride's maid and I'm not in Tony's party."
"You simply shouldn't have blown up Tony's new armor just when he was choosing."
And spread his arms wide, looking innocent and disappointed.
"Yeha, but really! Even Phil's a bride's maid! I want to be a bride's maid. I'd look great in a dress."
She cut him an unimpressed look, which he saw right through, as usual.
"Sorry, babe, but you haven't got enough boobage to pull that one off. Leave that to the professionals."
She squeezed her own breasts for a little more effect. She chuckled when his eyes automatically dropped to them, darkening a little bit. She patted his hair.
He caught her hand and kissed it.
She left him back there and she knew in a few seconds he would go find himself someone else to bother. Hopefully, he wouldn't go bug either Tony, Pepper, or God forbid, Natasha. The Widow took her responsibility as Maid of Honor very, very seriously. No one would disturb the ceremony even if they had to slash the throat of the entire population of Manhattan.
In Pepper's room, Natasha was putting the final touches on the tall woman's hair. Phil was sitting on the chair in the corner, typing on his phone, probably tightening the security around the ceremony. Darcy smiled at them, and seated herself carefully on the bed.
"Clint wants a dress."
Phil lifted his eyes, and shared a grin with her. Natasha sighed and rolled her eyes playfully.
"Please, like he could fill it."
Darcy shrugged, smiling at the spy. Pepper was listening to them silently, still, but face tensed. Darcy's mother had told her the best thing her bridal party ever did for her was to distract her on the day of her wedding. If Darcy was good at something, it was digressing and distracting.
"Well, he does have a nice ass, I'm sure it'd look good in sapphire blue satin."
Natasha, surprisingly, giggled. Apparently, even Russian spies were vulnerable to weddings.
"Yeah, well, I'll arrange something for you, Cayenne."
Darcy nodded, because, honestly, between her and Natasha, the bride's maid dresses were adjusted for -for a lack of better term- stacked women. Phil had received the permission to wear the same suit as the other men, despite Tony's protests that he had to wear a dress, for Bruce if nothing else.
Natasha had hit him upside the head and commanded a suit for Phil. And a dress she delivered to Bruce's room. Bruce had turned red as a tomato.
Which was probably Tony and Natasha's prime goal.
Darcy smiled at them, definitely happy. She liked weddings. She was so happy for Pepper, for having managed to pin the man of her dreams down. She was happy for Tony to have found a woman who put up with all his quirks.
Not that her boyfriend wasn't great. Clint was awesome. Most of the time.
Because, seriously, with the way their relationship begun, no one, least of all the both of them, would have been naïve enough to believe everything would go smoothly. They argued. A lot.
Over stupid things.
Last week, it was because of, well, Thor. Again. Clint was slightly jealous. Not that he didn't trust her. He knew she wouldn't cheat on him. He was jealous because of the men he judged to be better than he was.
On the day he kissed her for the first time, he had been jealous of Johnny Storm because he had had the guts to ask her out when he couldn't.
So, ever since Thor came back from Asgard, and moved into the Tower, well they discovered the god didn't understand the concept of shame.
So he walked around more often than not completely, stark naked. And well, it gave Clint a complex.
So he was munching at his breakfast, glaring sullenly at the God who just exited, when Darcy entered. She raised an eyebrow at him, and asked.
"What's the matter?"
"What about him?"
"He's naked. Again."
"Yeah, so what? It's good eye candy."
And that was it. They were gone for a good hour, arguing about self-esteem, and aesthetic appreciation, and whatever they could think about. By the time they became conscious of their surroundings again, Thor looked a bit chagrined he was the cause of such an argument and Natasha and Tony were curled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn.
And that usually happened about once a week, to varying degrees. But, in the whole, they were happy.
And it was the best relationship she ever had. Her parents didn't understand. Clint and her were always on their best behavior on the rare evenings they saw them. But their main means of communication had always been snark and sarcasm, and basically as opposed to her parent's quiet, peaceful, symbiotic relationship.
But it worked.
It was all she was asking for. Finally, Hill, who had been designated as Fury's assistant in the ceremony since Phil was otherwise occupied, came to the door and popped her head in.
"Come on girls," unimpressed look from Phil, "it's time. The boys are waiting."
They all rose to their feet. Her, then Phil, then Natasha, then, finally, in her magnificent, flowing white dress, Pepper.
Darcy concentrated with all her might on not tripping while she walked down the aisle. And for a moment, she imagined it was her turn. That it wasn't Tony Stark in front of her, struggling to look over her shoulder, to catch a glimpse of his fiancé.
It wasn't him, it was Clint, with his infuriating smirk and his dancing eyes. Standing a bit too straight. Doing his best to look like it was no big deal but secretly wishing to jump all over the place.
She shook herself and focused on the task at hand. Today was Pepper's and Tony's day. When she reached her spot, she found Clint in the crowd, just beside Thor, who Jane managed to stuff into a suit. The astrophysicist was on the other side of her boyfriend, already teary because she was still, and forever would be, a hopeless romantic. What was more romantic than a known rebel, playboy billionaire finding the good woman and settling down with her?
Darcy didn't know and didn't care.
As far as she was concerned, one of the best perks of Thor's return was that now, as one of the Avengers' significant other's, Jane was allowed to live in the Tower. And talk to Darcy. The ex-intern hadn't allowed herself to think about her previous boss too often, because she hadn't been able to contact her and there was no point in what ifs as far as she was concerned.
She beamed at the three of them. And at the boys on the other side. Rhodey stood tall and proud beside his best friend. Bruce looked a bit twitchy and it was a bit weird to see him in a fitted suit, and not his usual two sizes too big for him clothing. Steve looked happy, if a bit teary himself.
Tony simply looked like he couldn't believe this was actually happening. And when Pepper entered, my god.
He had seen an angel.
The ceremony was short and sweet, every one finishing it in tears. Darcy spent her time between watching Tony and Pepper and throwing looks at Clint. As far as she was concerned, her archer of a boyfriend paid attention to nothing but her.
She did her best not to blush.
She wasn't entirely sure she succeeded, but there were so many things she could blame it upon, she wasn't too concerned about it.
The reception was over the top, because Tony requested to be in charge of it. Pepper could do whatever she wanted with the actual wedding, but Tony handled everything that happened after.
It took place outside of town, in an enormous property Darcy didn't even know if he rented, owned prior, or simply bought it for the wedding. None of the options would have actually surprised her.
She was seated between Clint and Phil, in front of Jane and Thor. Pepper and Tony were just three seats down the table. Clint leaned forward, to look at Phil and Bruce, on her other side.
"And you guys, when are you tying the knot?"
Phil glared at Clint.
"Considering you started dating far before us, I don't think you should be the one to ask."
Clint arched an eyebrow in answer to that, and Darcy forced herself not to interpret the gesture like she wanted to. Clint probably didn't mean anything by it. Bruce worried his lip between his teeth.
"I don't think it would be a good idea…"
Darcy leaned back to slap his shoulder around Phil.
"Shut up. No one cares about the Other guy."
"He is immortal, and so am I, as far as I am know, and-"
Darcy beamed at him.
"Well, that's great! Elrond will stay with you. Elves don't die."
Clint burst out laughing, and even Thor and Jane, who never got the full story, because honestly, far too long, chuckled a bit at Phil's and Bruce's expressions.
Tony got up and walked to the podium he designated for the speeches.
"Alright, I know I haven't got the best history with speeches, so I'll keep that one nice and quick. Virginia Potts, I love you."
He looked at Pepper with such intensity, such care, that everyone shivered slightly. And that was it. No one would ever dare to say Tony Stark was not emotionally constipated, but Pepper was beaming at him like it was the most wonderful he could have said.
Anyone who knew Tony Stark knew it was better for him to say a few words rather than to let his mouth escape his control.
Pepper wouldn't appreciate having their secrets spilled in front of everybody, so that was it.
Tony had also forbidden anymore speeches than his, Pepper's, Rhodey's and Natasha's. Darcy had wanted to kiss him when he said that, because she had no idea what she was supposed to say. 'Thank you for taking me in like a lost puppy?' Somehow, she had a feeling it would have taken something more, but she had no idea what.
The dinner ended shortly after, and the dance floor was opened. Darcy tried to convince Clint to have one dance with her, while Tony and Pepper went for the customary first dance. The archer was exceptionally stubborn, insisting he couldn't dance. When the song ended, a tall man with brown hair and red and black eyes took a woman with white striped hair onto the dance floor. Darcy was pretty sure she had seen him pick pocket someone during the wedding, and doubted she wanted to get too close. She was a bit afraid to lose her necklace.
When Fury asked Hill, and they started to whirl around the space far too easily, she decided she didn't want to humiliate herself by going there with her boyfriend who apparently couldn't dance.
He seemed to read her thoughts, and pressed behind her.
"Want to go somewhere more private."
She nodded, and he brought her to a balcony, where they could admire the garden of the mansion they were occupying at the moment. He looked at her, a small grin curling his lips as he tugged her closer by the hips. She settled between his legs as he leaned on the railing.
"You'll miss the bouquet throw."
She smiled, wrapping her arms around his neck. They weren't rushed, simply enjoying the ease and the warmth that came with being close to each other.
"I can live with that."
Clint cocked his hand, his fingers tracing little circles on her hips.
"Don't you want to get married?"
She rolled her eyes at him.
"Not because of a superstition. And certainly not because my boyfriend feels like he has to."
"But in the future?"
"Whenever you're ready."
She kissed him, nice, slow, tender. He sighed against her.
"I love you."
She smiled against his lips. It had taken him almost a year for him to admitted he loved her.
"I love you too."
He tightened his arm around her waist and simply held her, hugging her for a long moment.
"Hey! That's where you're hiding!"
She chuckled, as they separated. Clint growled at Tony.
"Dude, it's not fair to cockblock other dudes. Just because you're married now-"
Tony interrupted him, throwing an arm around his shoulder. The rest of the team started filling the room
"Exactly. It's my wedding, I do what I want."
"God help us."
Phil stood by the door, eyes crinkling. The agent in the last few years had become less of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and more of an honorary Avenger. He still technically worked for Fury, but everyone knew the director would never risk asking Phil to chose between them or S.H.I.E.L.D. because no one knew what he would chose.
Darcy always felt it was good for both Fury and the team to have someone that didn't belong to them. Someone they had to work to keep on their side.
Someone who wouldn't take for granted they were right, and act accordingly. Phil leaned forward, amused.
"Like ditching your own wedding celebration."
Tony waved a lax hand.
"Stuffy, stupid people. Boring people. Ignore them."
Pepper sighed, and elbowed him in the ribs. Suddenly the door opened, and a blond, tall man barged into the room, tie crooked. His eyes zeroed on Tony instantly.
"Stark! Have you seen Bones around?"
Tony smirked and shook his head.
He groaned, and whirled back around, dashing in the hallway. Clint cackled.
"Who the hell was that?"
"Jim Kirk. Don't worry, he's not often planet side, I just was lucky. He does know how to put some atmosphere in a party."
Steve shook his head.
"A party you aren't attending."
"Who cares? I'll watch the tape later."
Jane shook her head.
"I am the only one who thought it was weird for him to be looking for bones?"
Tony started laughing madly, but refused to explain that one to anyone, despite Pepper's insistence.
Clint had wrapped an arm around Darcy's waist, and she leaned on him. She turned to whisper in his ear.
"Am I the only one who thinks this whole day has gone a bit too smoothly?"
He was about to answer when JARVIS, apparently now networked to the house, pipped in.
"Sir? Mister Wilson appears to be creating quite commotion downstairs because he tried to demonstrate his sword wielding abilities to Miss Thurman."
"Don't worry JARVIS, Domino can handle herself."
"I wasn't worried about Miss Thurman, sir. I was worried about Mister Logan who decided to show Mister Wilson what a real blade show should look like…"
Darcy was laughing out loud by now, and she whispered breathlessly to Clint.
"How the hell is this my life?"
He grinned in answer.
"You love it."
She beamed at him.
A/N: And yes, that's it folks! So, I know a lot of you would like to read about the first date and all, but this had always been intended as a piece about the buildup, and nothing else. I'm just not ready to write another thirty chapters fic. I may write a one-shot about the dinner/date/talk, if I get inspiration, but I promise nothing. I just started school, so I'll have less time.
Anyhow, I want to thank all my readers, and especially my reviewers, you always lighten up my whole day! Thanks to my beta, she does such an amazing job!
On the whole, love you and read you soon,
Green Queen of Clubs