((Disclaimer: All right, so this started as a one-shot of fluff on my tumblr, and became two chapter'd tales and a slew of random prompts. I like my romance and I enjoy the movie-verse and it's spunky little bespectacled minor character, but rest assured, I am backed by 16 years of Marvel fandom. I might borrow here and there, but I know my shit ;) I also know the whole 'Darcy introduces Cap to the world' bit has been done, but I like to think I've done something original with it. For all the wonderful readers this has amassed on tumblr, I humbly adore you. Rating mostly for language, blood, and lovin'.))

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Her favorite Disney film had always been Beauty & The Beast. Darcy was well aware that she wasn't alone in this, hell it was practically prerequisite to a girl earning her Quirky Brunette membership card. But it was more than the fact that hey, there was a princess who liked books, and whom everyone thought was a huge weirdo (though those were pretty amazing points). Mainly it tapped into a romantic bone in her body that few things could, even after she'd grown up and gotten far more cynical about the world, love, and everything.

There was that moment, at the end, where sure the Beast turns into a Prince with abs and hair to make Fabio jealous, but Belle didn't care. In fact, Belle looked worried and a little sad at first. Little Darcy would hug her pillow to her chest, hardly breathing as her heroine stared into the eyes of this new fellow, not ready to accept him until she saw the same person she'd fallen for staring back at her, with those same clear blue eyes.

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Stark Tower wasn't exactly as advertised. "Woah, they weren't kidding when they said we'd have to do some of our own cleanup." Jane was grumbling, setting a toppled desk chair right side up, in front of a desk piled almost to the ceiling with boxes.

"We've got stuff coming in from all over the place," A passing agent told her, looking like some sort of strange, suit-wearing moving guy with his arms full of more boxes. "Lab equipment. Avengers intel. Waffle-makers."

"Aaaand still holes to fix in the joint, I see," Darcy added, looking at the missing far wall thoughtfully, the plastic sheeting wafting on the high-rise breeze. The agent nodded, smirking.

"Well," Jane huffed, still in a foul mood, "Let's get to work, people." Darcy couldn't blame her too much for the grumps, she'd finally gotten clearance to work here, to come and see her long-lost God of Thunder, and had arrived only to find her boyfriend gone for a week or so defending the Earth from some alien invasion or another, and her new work space still a battle casualty of the last one.

They did their best that first day, though. Mostly the cleanup consisted of sweeping up rubble, Miss Potts trying to get a glass guy on the phone, and determining if a given box was prudent to the science department. If it wasn't, it got stacked in the hall, much to the chagrin of anyone trying to get from point A to point B.

Hey, Darcy figured, it wasn't her and Jane's fault that they were some of the first to move in and claim a spot.

The next day involved, Darcy was correct in assuming, more boxes. This time the unpacking thereof. And still Miss Potts pacing floor to floor, now half-bullying various purveyors of glass and mortar on her phone.

Darcy was elbow-deep in an ancient-looking box labeled simply "Serum" when she found the file. At first, noting the label and the amount of Captain America stuff inside, Darcy thought perhaps they'd accidentally kept something perhaps meant to be somewhere a bit more top secret. But the scrawling on the side was messy, personal, and the cardboard had the distinct, mothballs-and-old-lady-perfume scent of having been kept in someone's basement.

She glanced over her shoulder. Erik had shown up, and he and Jane were deep in catch-ups-ville, so Darcy turned back to the box with a devious little noise. The scientific notes were scant and mostly just observations. There were a few comics and trading cards that would've made Agent Coulson gleeful. A moldy manilla folder held Steve Rogers' various attempts at joining the army, and she couldn't help smiling. Under that folder was another, containing only a few papers, two photos and, Darcy found, a drawing. Her jaw dropped. It was Captain America, but it wasn't.

He was such a short, skinny thing. The first photo must have been right before his procedure, looking dubious yet eager. The next was a shot from boot camp, Darcy figured, his uniform too big for him, but his face set with such determination. In the corner of the photo there was a ruby-red smudge...lipstick, Darcy quickly surmised, and something twisted inside of her, something sad and bereft as she looked back down on what had at first seemed such an odd collection of Cap mementos. It made sense now, though. These had been all that someone special had left.

The last piece of paper was torn from a sketchbook, Darcy could tell. It was a drawing of that same skinny boy, at that odd angle she knew you usually saw in self portraits, done hastily, as if it'd been a simple exercise in drawing faces. Still, it was very good. Darcy could see why someone who'd cared for him would keep it...Steve had gotten his own face perfectly, the old face, sunken cheeks, skinny shoulders, determined brow. And those eyes of his. She caught herself staring back at him, wondering if there was anyone alive left in the world who'd known that boy, if he was still that boy...

"Darcy!" Jane's voice startled her from across the room, where the scientist had returned to cutting open boxes, now with Erik put to work as well, "C'mon, I'm still missing half my instruments!"

"Yes, Khaleesi," Darcy shot back in a deep voice, rolling her eyes. A wad of packing paper hit her in the back of the head. She shut the box again carefully...and pocketed the drawing.

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The week passed quickly, and Darcy found herself immensely enjoying her new working digs, even without the famous Avengers home to make things even more interesting. The labs on what were designated "The Geek Floors" were huge, the wifi was incomparable, and the more the tower was cleaned and polished, the more it felt like working on a space station. Darcy actually found herself thoroughly enjoying being Jane's errand girl, because going on a coffee run in Stark Tower was like going on a mini-tour of the future. The building even talked to you.

Still, busy as she was, Darcy found herself periodically pulling that drawing out of her pocket, unfolding it carefully and studying the face looking back up at her. He was so small, like every scrawny nerd she'd ever seen shoved up against a locker in highschool. She'd seen his medical records on his enlistment sheets too, she knew the poor guy had been sickly and allergic to everything. An easy target. In some ways she'd hardly even admit to Jane, Darcy could relate. And yet his eyes were so -good-, like life hadn't beaten the good guy out of him. Developing way too early and dealing with what came after had given Darcy a pretty thick, caustic skin.

But then, Steve Rogers -did- have that great shield.

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When word came that the chopper was coming in, Darcy threw on her grownup clothes and hurried to the roof to meet the big man, and you know, a few other superheroes. She felt awkward, smoothing a pencil skirt under her lap coat and tipping sideways in shoes that gave her a good four inches. "The dress code dissolves quickly, don't worry," Pepper Potts said mildly at her side, "Best to keep the heels around though for when Fury shows up." She nodded to the imposing figure across the roof, "He likes to think we're all professional all the time."

"He knows we're still like, totally not, right?" Darcy cursed the rooftop wind for blowing her hair so ungracefully into her face, sticking to her lip gloss. Pepper's hair, of course, blew gracefully everywhere -but- her face. It was probably on orders.

"Of course he does. The man just needs his illusions. Ah, there they are!" She waved at the approaching helicopter, and between Darcy and Erik, Jane suddenly forgot how to breathe. Darcy laughed, the sound drowned out by the spinning blades. Brilliant, determined, strong, Jane Foster was still reduced to a breathless kid at the prospect of seeing her boyfriend again.

Predictably, Thor was the first one off the chopper, and it was like something out of a cheesy movie, the running, the sweeping her off her feet, the epic kissing in front of mildly uncomfortable friends and colleagues. Darcy grinned, "GET A ROOM!"

"I like that one!" Tony Stark noted, sauntering across the helipad and retracting his mask. Behind him, Clint Barton was propped up between Natasha and, Darcy guessed as he wasn't green or giant, Bruce Banner.

"Medical team settled in? Someone forgot he wasn't fireproof." Natasha sent toward Pepper, who was kissing Tony's cheek. She nodded,

"Set up and on call."

"I'll be -fine-," Hawkeye was grumbling, and no one was listening.

"I'll have to meet my new team a bit later, excuse me," Dr. Banner nodded to Darcy and Erik, smiling briefly and apologetic as they hurried to get Clint inside, Fury and Erik following, leaving Darcy to...well. Look awkwardly toward Jane and Thor, who were quite lost to the world in PDA. She'd really been hoping to say hi to the big lug herself, but oh well, it could wait.

"Well so much for properly saying hello to our new oompa-loompas," Tony coughed, and then waved over Darcy's shoulder, "STEVE, tell Pepper how you pulled Clint out of a burning warehouse!"

"I ah. Pulled Clint. Out of a burning warehouse." A voice deadpanned. Darcy looked back toward the chopper as Captain America himself approached, hood back, uniform looking a bit singed. He was grinning though, and Darcy suddenly found herself with the utmost sympathy for Jane's inability to breathe properly.

"Excellent. Boys, these are the newest members of our science department..."

"Oompa-loompas." Tony corrected. Pepper swatted him.

"...Jane Foster, her assistant Darcy Lewis..."

"Jane's a bit occupied," Darcy took Tony's hand, trying not to be too awed. It was just, you know, Tony Stark, "And I may be short but I am decidedly not orange, dude."

"I stand corrected."

"Miss Lewis," Darcy turned back toward The Cap, taking the offered hand. "Steve Rogers," He grinned, and she met his eyes. She blinked once, and it felt very slow, her gaze moving swiftly all over his face, a face that looked so much like the one she'd studied...more so in person, really, than comparing that sketch to old posters and news clippings. And then back to his eyes, for a long moment, before her lips spread in a slow, wide smile.

"...Yeah, you are."

...And then of course, she realized their hands were still linked, and looked down blushing, hair flapping horribly in her face again. To her shock and awe, though, Steve was still grinning at her, and god almighty, was he blushing too?

"DARCY!" She had a split-second to react, before the Norse God of Thunder had her swept away from Captain America and into a crushing bear hug. "IT IS GOOD TO SEE YOU!"

"...Missed you too, Thor," She managed to croak.

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