(Unabashed song-fic, borne of road-tripping from New York to Ohio. One-shot, Steve/Darcy, to Blood Bank by Bon Iver, one of my very favorite songs of ever.)

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Blood Bank

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"See how they resemble one another?

Even in the plastic blue covers?"

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It was an icy Christmas Eve, smack-dab in the middle of a record-breaking blizzard. Travel had been halted all over, flights at JFK delayed and almost all roads out of the city were a heinous mess. Not that Steve really had anywhere to go outside of New York, but plenty of people around him were downtrodden by the weather. The Avengers themselves were mostly loners, true, but Pepper and Tony were missing a family thing on Miss Potts' side, and apparently Clint had a niece he'd promised to visit in St. Lewis. Thor had no trouble taking Jane home for The Winter Feasting in Asgard, at least. But the handful of SHIELD agents Steve actually liked were all missing family gatherings, too. Including Jane Foster's pretty assistant.

He spots her as he's dropping another armful of toys in the Toys For Tots box outside of SHIELD headquarters. Steve has been tossing in an armful every week for the last month and a half, ever since he had the program explained to him. Christmas toys, guaranteed to military kids who aren't as well off? Definitely a good thing, and one of the myriad of small things he can do that makes an immediate difference. Some things never change, like a kids' dad being gone fighting a war somewhere when Christmas rolls around. The toys might be different, but Steve can relate to the situation.

He can't give blood, though, at least not on a large scale, and that's what he spots Darcy Lewis doing that Christmas Eve, at the Red Cross station SHIELD has authorized to set up on their premises, in their lobby, even. It's kind of brilliant, really, having a blood drive in Avengers Square. It's packed full of tourists daily, people hoping to spot an Avenger, and maybe giving blood in this spot makes them feel a little bit like a superhero, too. They're one of the most successful donation spots in the country now. Tonight, of course, it's much quieter, and it's easy for Steve to spot her, lying back in her chair as the bag dangling over her head fills with dark red liquid.

Steve doesn't really know her, at least not well. They've said hello, she's had him sign a cheesy Captain America baseball cap for her dad, he's asked her to help him program his cell phone. But seeing her alone in there, alone like he is out in the blizzard, delivering toys to kids he'll never meet, it makes something inside of him lurch. Especially when she looks up, spotting him through the glass doors, grinning and waving a hand. He smiles right back, a little shy he knows, looking down at his feet once before stepping inside the lobby.

"Heya Cap," Darcy's smile is wide, all full red lips and half-lidded, dreamboat blue eyes. "You Santa this year?" She nods to the dropbox outside the doors, and Steve gives a shrug, grinning.

"Yep, and you're the superhero," He nods to the bag next to her head, and Darcy lets out a graceful 'pfft'.

"Just doin' my part." She tilts her head, looking him over, "You can't give blood, can you?"

"Well, I can for myself," He chuckles, hands in his pockets as he stands beside her, "And for Bruce, actually. But they only keep those for the unlikely occasion that we lose more than our metabolisms can keep up with." A common thought reasserts itself then, and he frowns faintly, "Unless they're just tricking us into giving more samples..." Darcy shakes her head at that, though.

"Doubt it, handsome," She smiles when he blushes, looking down at his feet again, "I mean, I might just be a lab monkey, but they really do care about you guys' safety up there in the science ward..." She trails off, as a volunteer approaches and takes the needle out of her arm, smiling brightly as she graces Darcy's arm with a Captain America band-aid. "Ha! Look at these!" She holds up her arm for Steve to see, all giddy and grinning. He feels his throat go a little dry, looking her in the eye, and then looking down at her arm.

"...I didn't approve those," He notes, grinning though, as he offers her a hand to help her up onto her feet. "Suppose SHIELD doesn't really ask my permission about these things, though..."

"Cookies and juice?" The lady is asking Darcy, and she waves it off.

"I've got a Snickers with my name on it in my pocket, thanks," Her smile is so genuine and sweet. For all that she's piss and vinegar in the offices, Steve notices that she's really, really nice to random people in everyday life. She'd been nice to the Verizon guy trying to explain technology to Steve, the Indian man at the cheesy souvenir shop she'd gotten the hat at, and to this woman packing up her plasma, "Save 'em for people less prepared, bet you'll get plenty on a Christmas Eve like this, with folks with nothing else to do." She turns, looking back up at Steve from under her long hair, smiling, "Come on," She keeps a hold on his hand, tugging him toward the doors, "I'm low on blood and I want to see snow."

"You...sure it's okay for you to walk already?" He asks, worrying a little about the way she's wobbly on her feet. Darcy waves a hand though, leaning on his arm as they step out into the falling snow, rummaging in her coat pocket until she finds her candy bar.

"I'm an old pro, Cap," She smiles, peeling back the wrapper and digging in. Steve hesitates for a brief moment, before wrapping his arm around her shoulders, holding her close to his side. He doesn't need much more than his leather jacket now, in the cold, but her coat seems a little threadbare, faded and old, a little masculine, as if it had belonged to a man before her, most of its warmth and insulation gone with him, whoever he was. They're quiet that way for a while, the snow falling and sticking in Darcy's hair, Steve watching, wishing he had the guts to reach out and brush them away...and finding, to his amazement, that he's done just that, his hand pausing mid-swipe, hovering over her long wavy hair as she grins up at him. "...How are you alone tonight, hmm?"

"...Well, don't really have any family living," He smirks as he says it though, because it is kinda funny, that she's asking. But Darcy shakes her head, bright blue eyes that he likes so much narrowing.

"Not true," She says, licking away the chocolate on her lips, "You've got the team. Jane's told me, how close you guys have all gotten. Even Tony isn't as much of a dick to you anymore." He snorts, smirking.

"Yeah, you're right," He nods once, "...Actually, we had a big dinner this afternoon, up in the penthouse. All ham and gravy and potatoes..." Steve swallows. "...It was nice, don't get me wrong. And I...I love 'em all, even if they're all nuts." He sighs, shaking his head, and looking up at the falling snow, wincing as a plow goes by, "Just. Tonight..."

"...They've all got someone to go home to?" Darcy finishes for him, her voice just a little bit vulnerable at the end, looking up at him through her lashes as color returns to her cheeks. Steve can't argue with her conclusion, smirking, nodding up into the sky.

"Even Bruce made up with his gal a couple weeks back," He notes, "Betty was there tonight, even. Classy, looks like she stepped out of a fairytale," Steve shakes his head, reaching up to brush snow from his hair...only to find Darcy's hand already there. She's standing on her toes, flicking away flakes, grinning.

"You look good with snow on ya, though," She hums, a blush in her cheeks, and Steve finds himself swallowing again, looking at her. Darcy was free with her smiles, when it came to him. And not like a groupie (Tony had taught him the term, as they all had plenty of them now), or like one of the SHIELD agents who were afraid he or Bruce would flip out at any time. Darcy smiled at him like a friend, with something else, just under the surface. Even Steve wasn't oblivious enough to miss it...or maybe he was just hopeful, and watching closely enough to catch it, because he'd held a wee torch ever since he'd first seen her, fumbling with the coffee maker in the caf.

"...Do you want to..." He stops himself, wincing, knowing he was probably redder than a strawberry just then. Darcy frowns, tilting her head.

"To...?" She prompts, and he sighs.

"...I was gonna ask you if you wanted to come up," He smirks, eyes still shut, "To, you know. Have Christmas. But...I aah, remembered how that might sound, you know, with the...and the..." Her giggle made him open his eyes again, looking down at her dazzling, adorable smile. Steve swallowed, his expression breaking, licking his lips, "Honest, Miss Lewis, I just...I really like you, and wanna spend Christmas with someone I care about..." The term makes her suck in a breath, and Steve notices. Oh, does he ever notice, "...Miss Potts sent me home with a plate full of spice cookies like my mom used to make, and..." He trails off, and Darcy's smile goes soft, lips pursing, eyes sweet on him.

"I'd -love- to eat 'em with you, Cap," She tells him earnestly, her grip on his arm tightening.

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Steve Rogers spends his Christmas Eve cross-legged on the floor of his apartment in Brooklyn, telling stories about his mom and dad to a pretty girl from the office, with a band-aid on her arm. Darcy Lewis, in turn, tells him all about her family on the West Coast, who probably miss her, but who've never managed to throw a drama-free holiday party. Then they're talking about careers, and how Darcy'd always wanted to make a difference in the world, but it hadn't happened until, on a whim, she'd taken an internship outside of her field. Steve tells her about how he'd only wanted to do the right thing, and the serum had let him, but the pitfalls of politics and underhanded warfare were leaving him a little jaded these days, but he was struggling to keep his head and morals in a good place.

When Tony tries Steve's cell at around 6am, to tell him to get his ass to the Tower for Christmas morning, Cap is too busy kissing the pretty girl who came home with him. Wrapped up together against the New York City chill, snowed in by a timely blizzard, this Christmas swiftly turns into one of his favorites in memory...her's too. She tells him as much as she's shucking off her layers, taking his face in her hands, kissing him long and slow, tasting like cookies and candy bars.

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